The ultimate guide to the Citizenship by investment options in 2024!
What is the most powerful passport you can buy?
Citizenship is taking on a new meaning for some as our world becomes more globalized and accessible. As people seek to align their interests and goals with the country in which they are citizens, they may come up short and seek to expand their opportunities through new or multiple citizenships.
Citizenship by Investment, which is growing in popularity, is in simple terms, obtaining a citizenship in another country through a monetary investment, which can be done in multiple ways, depending on the country’s requirements.
Real Estate Investment options are among the most popular investment requirements as they have a strong impact to the real economy in a country. As the name implies, individuals invest in eligible real estate and, if due diligence conditions are met, on the investor and the investment, will be granted citizenship. Investment amounts vary by country, but the promise is universal: a citizenship in a country that offers benefits aligned with lifestyle goals and a path to a more powerful passport – one that will enable travel to many countries.
Another popular alternative are non-refundable contribution schemes, which allow individuals to make a one-time financial donation to a country's development fund. This gesture not only helps to enhance the nation, but it also ensures the investor’s place among its citizens.
Citizenship by Investment
Citizenship by Investment provides a unique opportunity for families to obtain a second citizenship, allowing them to travel freely to other countries and live in another country. These initiatives have evolved into the foundation of global mobility and financial diversification.
The concept of Citizenship by Investment is not new. St. Kitts & Nevis was the first to introduce a Citizenship by Investment opportunity in 1984, followed by Dominica in 1993. It wasn't until 2014, however, that numerous additional countries entered the arena, resulting in a robust $2 billion market. St. Lucia and Grenada have joined the Citizenship by Investment market alongside Malta and Austria, increasing the choices for prospective investors.
Key Factors in Evaluating the Best Passport for Investment
Visa-Free Travel: One of the paramount advantages of securing a new citizenship through investment is the promise of visa-free travel. A powerful passport should grant its holders access to an extensive list of countries, simplifying both business and leisure travel.
Economic Stability and Tax Benefits: Beyond convenience, economic stability is a crucial factor. The best passports for investment often belong to countries that offer tax incentives and a stable financial environment conducive to wealth preservation and growth.
Family Inclusion: The ability to include family members in the citizenship acquisition process is a defining characteristic of some countries’ opportunities. These programs are not limited to the primary investor; they extend to spouses, children, and sometimes even parents.
Investment Amount: The investment required varies from one country’s program to another. It's essential to assess the financial commitment in conjunction with the benefits offered to ensure it aligns with your personal and business goals.
Over the last few years, the popularity of Citizenship by Investment showed dynamic growth in Europe and in Caribbean countries. Here are our top picks for citizenship by investment in 2024 and why:
Citizenship in Austria opens the gateway to the European Union with a unique and impactful investment. Rooted in the concept of mutual prosperity, Austria's citizenship program combines its intrinsic geographic allure with investment for the betterment of both the nation and its prospective citizens.
Austrian investment options follow a specific path, distinguishing them from many other Citizenship by Investment initiatives. The framework in place requires prospective citizens to actively participate in the Austrian economy. This contribution is typically expressed through joint ventures or direct investments in firms. Austria's citizenship requires investment between USD $2.2 - $10.9 MM (€ 2-10 MM). These investments not only promote job creation but also generate fresh export profits, boosting the nation's economic vitality.
There are a variety of key benefits that make Austria's Citizenship by Investment program one of the best choices for those seeking a second passport.
Access to Public Services: A new Austrian citizen enjoys the privileges of access to a wide range of public services, which include top-tier healthcare and education systems.
Expanding Investment Opportunities: Investing in Austria not only secures a new citizenship but also opens doors to a dynamic business landscape. It's a gateway to broader investment horizons.
Global Mobility: The Austria economic citizenship program offers visa-free access to nearly 190 foreign countries, ensuring citizens can explore the world with freedom and convenience.
Family Inclusion: Austria's program extends the benefits of citizenship to family members, allowing you to embark on this journey together.
While the standard process for obtaining Austrian citizenship may require up to 6 years, the Citizenship by Investment path offers a much faster timeline. With just 24-36 months of dedicated commitment to the process, you'll find yourself holding an Austrian passport.
The Malta Citizenship by Investment program, formally known as “Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment” (MESDI), is a prestigious initiative designed for individuals and families seeking an extraordinary road to Maltese and European citizenship. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to obtain citizenship in a financially stable and secure country with a competitive investment requirement starting at €738,000. The advantages go beyond immediate citizenship, however.
Malta's program provides a clear structured avenue for investment being a combination of the following:
Real Estate: Lease or Purchase a residential property for either EUR 16,000 annual rental value or EUR 700,000 purchase respectively.
Main Contribution: Depending on the initial residency period chosen, either 36month or 12months, before eligible for Citizenship, the contribution amount to EUR 600,000 or EUR 750,000 respectively for the main applicant.
Charity Donation: EUR 10,000 Donation to a locally registered well-fair charity as approved by the Community Malta Agency.
5year Residency requirement after Maltese naturalization: Post citizenship naturalization, the investor must maintain a legal residency status in the country for at least five years continuously.
Visa-Free Travel: As a Maltese citizen, you can travel visa-free to popular destinations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, most of the middle east, the Schengen Area, and many more countries. With visa-free entry to 187 countries, the world feels borderless.
High Quality Healthcare: Maltese citizens have access to comprehensive medical insurance packages that provide them with high-quality healthcare and treatment.
Dual Citizenship in Malta: Malta supports dual citizenship, allowing investors to become Maltese citizens without having to renounce their prior citizenship. This presents a distinct benefit, particularly for people wishing to retain their native nationality.
Obtaining Maltese citizenship might take up to 36 months on average. However, exceptions can shorten the period, bringing it down to a short 12 months. This speed can be critical for anyone wishing to obtain their Maltese passport and its associated benefits as soon as possible.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis became a Caribbean trailblazer in 1984 when it established the region's first Citizenship by Investment program. The major goal was to spur economic growth and increase both the commercial and public sectors. This ground-breaking program enables international investors to gain permanent legal citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as the distinction of possessing a second passport.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program provides multiple investment pathways:
Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC): This option requires a contribution of US $250,000 and offers access to St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship for the main applicant.
Real Estate Investment Option: Investors can choose to invest in government-approved real estate with a minimum investment of US $400,000. This real estate option serves as both an investment and a pathway to citizenship.
Private Home Sale Investment Option: Another route to citizenship is through approved real estate with a minimum investment of US $400,000, in the form of a private home sale.
Public Benefit Investment Option in St. Kitts and Nevis: This investment option, requiring a minimum investment of US $400,000, not only leads to citizenship but also contributes to the public benefit in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Visa-Free Travel: Holders of a St. Kitts and Nevis passport gain the privilege of visa-free travel to 161 countries, facilitating seamless international mobility.
Tax Benefits: Citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis comes with an array of tax advantages, including a low-income tax rate, exemption from capital gains taxes, and a favorable corporate tax rate for those choosing to establish tax domicile in the country.
No Requirement to Live in St. Kitts: One of the unique advantages is the ability to obtain dual citizenship without residing in St. Kitts and Nevis, offering flexibility for those with international lifestyles.
A standout feature of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program is the fast processing time. Applicants can typically obtain their St. Kitts and Nevis passport within a comparatively short timeframe of 45 to 60 days.
In terms of demand, St Lucia citizenship stands in first place with its non-refundable contribution option. The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program is therefore the most frequent choice for those in pursuit of a second citizenship. Launched in 2015, this program offers boundless possibilities for investors seeking the advantages of a second citizenship. Whether you aim for greater economic stability, safer growth, or the freedom to explore the world with your family, Saint Lucia citizenship could be the gateway to it all.
Saint Lucia's Citizenship by Investment Program offers various investment avenues:
National Economic Fund (NEF): The Saint Lucia National Economic Fund is a cornerstone of the nation's economic development and the key to acquiring St. Lucia citizenship. It plays a vital role in strengthening St. Lucia's economy, primarily by contributing to public debt payment and supporting critical sectors. The investment amount for this option is US $100,000.
Real Estate Purchase: Investors can opt for a government approved real estate purchase with a minimum value of US $200,000. This real estate investment not only provides an opportunity for investment but also a pathway to citizenship.
Government Bonds: The St. Lucia National Action Bond, introduced in January 2023, is a groundbreaking addition to the Citizenship by Investment program. This investment option is available to the primary applicant and any number of qualifying dependents pursuing citizenship in St. Lucia. The investment amount for the St. Lucia National Action Bond is US $300,000.
St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment comes with a set of advantages similar to those of St. Kitts and Nevis:
Dual Citizenship: You can retain your original citizenship while enjoying the privileges of St. Lucia citizenship, offering flexibility for international lifestyles.
Visa-Free Travel: St. Lucia passport holders can travel visa-free to 138 countries, simplifying international mobility.
Tax Benefits: St. Lucia offers attractive tax benefits, including no income tax, no inheritance or gift taxes, and no dividends or capital gains tax to those with their tax domicile in the country.
Full Confidentiality and Security: With the assistance of Mirabello Consultancy, participants can expect a secure and confidential environment during their citizenship application process.
The process for obtaining St. Lucia citizenship typically takes around four to six months, ensuring a swift and very reliable pathway to a second citizenship. St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment opens doors to financial and personal opportunities while providing the freedom to maintain your original citizenship.
Grenada, like other Caribbean countries, has been a pioneer in offering beneficial citizenship by investment programs to the world. Grenada's Citizenship by Investment is distinguished by the fact that it has an E-2 Investor Visa Treaty with the United States, making it a very desirable destination for investors seeking international mobility and economic prospects.
Grenada's Citizenship by Investment program offers multiple investment pathways:
Non-refundable Contribution in Grenada: Applicants can make a non-refundable contribution of US $150,000 to Grenada's National Transformation Fund, supporting the nation's development.
Real Estate Investment in Grenada: The Real Estate Investment option allows individuals to invest in government-approved real estate projects in Grenada. The required investment for this option is US $220,000.
E-2 Visa for the United States: Grenada is the Caribbean's only country with an E-2 Investor Visa Treaty with the US. After establishing residency in Grenada, Grenadian citizens can apply for a work visa in the United States under this treaty. Without a rigorous minimum investment requirement (though a recommended minimum of USD 100,000 is advocated), it opens the door to business opportunities and prospective U.S. resident opportunities later in life.
Visa-Free Travel: Obtaining Grenada citizenship through investment entitles you to visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 140 places worldwide. Access to Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, and Singapore, as well as Europe's Schengen Area and the United Kingdom, are included.
Tax Benefits: Grenada has a tax-friendly environment, which can have a considerable impact on your financial status. Global income, dividends, interest, and royalties received from other countries are exempt from taxation. Grenada is also well-known for being a tax-free haven in terms of inheritance, capital gains, income, and stamp duty.
Timeline of Receiving Grenada Citizenship
Like other Caribbean citizenship programs, the process for obtaining Grenada citizenship typically takes between 4 to 6 months, ensuring a quick path to your second citizenship.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda's Citizenship by Investment program stands out with its remarkable visa-free travel benefits and has gained recognition among investors over the years. Launched in 2012 by a government decree, this initiative provides an enticing opportunity for individuals and families to contribute to Antigua and Barbuda's development while securing a second citizenship.
The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program offers diverse investment avenues:
Non-Refundable Contribution (NDF): This option offers a high level of cost-efficiency and is suitable for individual investors and families of up to five members. The NDF is a non-refundable donation directly contributing to the advancement of Antigua and Barbuda's development, with an investment amount of $100,000.
Real Estate Investment: Investors can choose to invest in real estate by purchasing property from an authorized real estate project with a minimum investment requirement of USD 200,000.
Business Investment: There are two investment paths in this category. The applicant can become a sole investor by investing at least $1.5 million in developing a company in Antigua and Barbuda. Alternatively, a group investment of at least US $5 million is allowed, with each investor contributing at least US $400,000.
Investing in the University of the West Indies: This unique option allows investors to contribute US $150,000 to the University of the West Indies, which, in return, offers a year of tuition-free education to any family member under the age of 29.
Visa-Free Travel: The Antigua and Barbuda passport provides visa-free access to a remarkable 151 countries, offering unmatched travel freedom.
Exceptional Tax Benefits: Beyond travel advantages, obtaining an Antigua and Barbuda passport through investment offers significant financial benefits.
Commonwealth Membership and International Connectivity: Antigua and Barbuda's Commonwealth membership bestows additional privileges, enhancing global connectivity for its citizens in the UK and other member countries.
The process for obtaining Antigua and Barbuda citizenship typically takes between 3 to 6 months, ensuring a relatively swift pathway to your second citizenship.
Making Your Decision
Whether you want to invest in real estate, make a non-refundable contribution, or start a business, it's important to know that each program has its own application process. To guarantee a smooth and successful journey, it is critical to work with reputable firm such as Mirabello Consultancy, who have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the difficulties of the application process.
Furthermore, while investment numbers are important considerations, they are only one element of the picture. We at Mirabello Consultancy have done the Homework for our clients and are glad to find the best immigration option for you. Nonetheless, we urge you to explore the service pages available on our website for more information and a deeper understanding of each of the citizenship programs.
We encourage you to take the next step toward obtaining a second citizenship. Our expert team is ready to give you the help and professional guidance you expect. Contact us now to begin this incredible journey, to a borderless living. www.mirabelloconsultancy.com