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Published
July 2, 2024
Category
Citizenship by investment programs

Top Fastest Citizenhsip by Investment Programs: Requirements and Benefits

Due to global instability, many individuals across the world are planning to obtain a second passport as it provides an emergency landmark in unforeseen situations. For those holding a less coveted passport, citizenship by investment programs offer an alternative. These programs are one of the most widespread ways for wealthy individuals to acquire dual citizenship.  Despite their shared appeal, citizenship by investment programs differ significantly in terms of regulations, processing time, and benefits they offer to successful applicants.

In this article, we’ll briefly introduce the fastest citizenship by investment programs, their eligibility criteria, requirements, and the best picks for certain groups, namely families, retirees, frequent travelers, and entrepreneurs. 

Key Takeaways

  • The processing time of citizenship through investment programs depends heavily on each country. Caribbean islands grant the fastest citizenship as the main goal is to stimulate the economy as fast as possible, while European countries spend a lot of time on background checks of applicants to prevent money laundering.
  • Among the countries that issue the fastest citizenship are Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St. Lucia, Vanuatu, and Malta.
  • If you have made the decision to relocate overseas and aim to obtain citizenship in the host country, the most efficient and rapid route is to select from the available investment options. Mirabello Consultancy can provide further assistance with any inquiries regarding the investment programs. 

What are Citizenship by Investment Programs?

Wealthy people are increasingly applying for a second passport and residences efficiently and remotely as a way to hedge financial risks, find better living conditions, and gain access to new business and business opportunities. So, what is the concept of citizenship through an investment program? It’s a legal framework that enables non-citizens to acquire a new passport by making large financial contributions, usually in infrastructure development or government bonds, to their destination country, whereby the government of this country will, in return, grant the investor citizenship. 

The concept of citizenship by investment started in 1984 when St. Kitts and Nevis introduced the program. Over the years, these programs have become more standard in developed countries, including some of the EU member states. 

Typically, the application process differs from one country to another. Bet there are some common steps that look like this:

  1. Choose the program - Individuals should find the most suitable program for their needs. Whether they are pursuing the fastest citizenship program or the cheapest, thorough research is a must in the first stage of the process.
  2. Engage with an experienced consulting firm - As the process is complicated, professional guidance is needed. Experts can assist with any further questions related to investment programs. 
  3. Submit the application - After gathering all the necessary documentation, which typically includes personal documents, proof of funds, police certificates, and medical reports, the applicant submits the form to the Government. 
  4. Government background check - The process usually includes checking the applicant's criminal record and other necessary background information.
  5. Make the investment - Upon approval-in-principle issued by the Government, the applicant must choose between the available investment options, such as a donation to a government fund or a real estate purchase. It’s worth mentioning that the investment amount varies depending on the program and the number of family members included.
  6. Obtain citizenship - Citizenship is granted after making the investment and passing the due diligence check. The time frame here varies, with some programs offering the fastest citizenship. For instance, St. Kitts and Nevis grants citizenship in 6 months.

Top Fastest Citizenship By Investment Programs In The World 

There are some factors that contribute to the overall efficiency and speed of the investment program, making it more attractive to investors seeking quick citizenship.

The primary factor is the benefit that the investment program brings to the country issuing citizenship. For instance, the country might aim to diversify its economic sector.

Another key factor is the reputation and experience of the country in handling the applications, which helps to speed up the process. 

Let’s have a look at the countries with the fastest citizenship through investment programs.

Caribbean

The significant economic benefit is the driving force behind the Caribbean countries’ ability to issue fast citizenship through investment programs. The countries decided to generate more income streams beyond tourism, which led them to incentivize citizenship through investment programs. 

St Lucia

The country grants citizenship by investment in 4+ months. There are several investment options, the most popular of which is a minimum non-refundable contribution of $100,000 to the National Economic Fund for a single applicant. Other pathways include real estate, government bonds, infrastructure, and business investments. 

Like other Caribbean countries, St Lucia has a favorable tax regime with no taxes on global income, capital gains, or inheritance.

St Lucian passport grants visa-free entry to 138 countries and access to top educational and healthcare institutions.

Grenada

Like the rest of the Caribbean countries, Grenada also offers fast citizenship through an investment program with a processing time of 4-6 months. There are two investment passageways possible. The first one is a non-refundable donation to the National Transformation Fund with a minimum investment of $150,000 for a single applicant. The second option is a real estate investment. The investment amount may increase depending on the number of applicants. 

Among the program's key benefits are visa-free travel to 145 countries, the potential to obtain an E-2 investor visa, which enables Grenada citizens to apply for a working visa to the USA, and a favorable tax system. 

St Kitts and Nevis

The concept of citizenship by investment was first introduced by St Kitts and Nevis to stimulate economic growth. The program offers its applicants to obtain citizenship within a timeframe of 6 months. Several investment options are available, with a minimum contribution of $250,000. 

The holders of the St Kitts and Nevis passport have the freedom to travel to 161 countries, can include family members in the application for an extra fee, and enjoy tax benefits. 

Antigua and Barbuda

Not only is Antigua and Barbuda a world-known tourism destination and tax haven, but it is popular for its citizenship through an investment program. Citizenship is granted within 6 months. The program offers several investment options. Investors can make a non-refundable donation to the Antigua National Development Fund. The minimum investment amount is $100,000 for a single applicant.

As one of the most sought-after citizenship by investment destinations, Antigua and Barbuda offers something for every global citizen, investor, traveler, and business owner. Citizens can travel to 150 countries without a visa, including the Schengen area, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Russia.  

Oceania

Vanuatu

Vanuatu offers the fastest citizenship through an investment program, with applicants receiving passports in 60 days. The minimum investment amount is $130,000, which is contributed to the local government fund. The applicant must be over 18 years old, have no criminal record, and have proof of sufficient funds to be eligible. Spouses and children might also be included in the application for an additional fee. 

The program offers many benefits, including visa-free travel to 130 countries, access to long-term B-1/B-2 Visitor visas for the USA, and no residency requirements. Vanuatu is known as a tax haven. No tax on worldwide income, dividends, wealth, or inheritance exists.

Europe

The processing time for citizenship through investment programs in Europe is relatively longer compared to other regions, with several factors contributing to this delay. The due diligence check is more rigorous, including strict and thorough background checks, financial investigations, and other measures to prevent money laundering. Many European countries require applicants to reside in the country for a certain period of time prior to applying for citizenship. For instance, Spain requires a min of 10 years of residency before granting citizenship. 

Overall, European countries have more complex application processes, which can result in longer processing times. This includes multiple stages, additional documentation, and more stringent requirements. 

Malta

Malta grants one of the fastest citizenships in Europe, with processing times of 12 to 36 months. The country offers several investment options. In the case of being able to make a direct investment of €750,000, only 12 months is required for the fast-track option. Otherwise, one can make a minimum of €690,000 to get a residence permit and wait for 3 years to apply for citizenship. 

The program is packed with numerous benefits, including visa-free travel to 187 countries, the right to work, live, study in EU member states, and a favorable tax regime.

Fastest Citizenship by Investment for Families/Entrepreneurs and Business Owners, Frequent Travelers, Retirees

Fastest citizenship through investment programs is structured to accommodate a wide range of individual goals and preferences. They offer tailored solutions for families looking to quickly secure a prosperous future, for businessmen eager to tap into new markets with speed, for travelers seeking swift access to visa-free travel, or for retirees searching for a peaceful environment.

Families might consider Antigua and Barbuda, as it offers one of the quickest paths to citizenship. Additionally, the minimum investment for a family of five is $125,000, making it a highly advantageous option. 

These investment thresholds are going to be increased in the near future.

Maltese citizenship can be a good pick for entrepreneurs as the corporate income tax can get as low as 5%. In addition to this, the Caribbean islands offer favorable tax regimes.

Where else can retirees find perfect harmony and peace than in the Caribbean islands? These islands offer an ideal retreat for those looking to enjoy their retirement years in tranquility. 

Conclusion

Citizenship through investment programs offers a lifeline in times of global instability. They cater to a diverse range of needs, whether for families, entrepreneurs, frequent travelers, or retirees. While the specific requirements and benefits vary, the overall appeal lies in the swift and efficient pathways these programs offer to dual citizenship. Countries like Vanuatu, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, and Malta provide the fastest citizenship through investment programs, making them attractive options for those who want to obtain a second passport in the quickest way possible. 

Mirabello Consultancy offers expert guidance for those seeking detailed information on the fastest citizenship by investment programs.

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