Citizenship by investment is attracting high net-worth individuals across the globe who are looking to add a second passport to their investment portfolio. We have ranked these programs based on the most important parameters to help you evaluate the plan that would fit your own needs most adequately.
The cornerstone of Citizenship by Investment Index
The methodology we have chosen to rank Citizenship by Investment programs is based on what we call the “Cornerstone of Citizenship by Investment”. Before we get into which programs rank highest, let us take a quick look at the criteria used for this ranking. Each of the following five criteria is given equal weight and importance in this ranking system.
Visa-free mobility – 20% weight
This reflects the Visa-free travel access to holders of a particular passport. Visa-free mobility offers business people an incredible amount of convenience, as they do not have to deal with filing Visa applications. Visa-free travel saves time and allows for great flexibility.
Human Development Index (HDI) – 20% weight
This is an index that includes components like life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators. Countries with higher HDI Index values are more favorable for business activities.
Minimum Investment Requirement – 20% weight
We rank programs based on their cost-benefit analysis. Programs with a higher balance of benefits versus costs rank higher in our system.
Citizenship Application Processing Time – 20% weight
We have also taken into consideration the complexity of applying for Citizenship by Investment program. Some programs require residency for a specific period to get initial approval and even more time to process the applications.
Ease of Doing Business – 20% weight
Higher ranking indicates better and more straightforward regulations for businesses and stronger protections for property rights. A country with higher ranking is placed higher in our system.
Here is the list of the Top Ten Citizenship by Investment Programs available in the market:
Turkey shares a strategic location between Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East with stable political, economic, and financial conditions. It gives Visa-free travel opportunities to over 112 countries, and also allows its holder to obtain the E-2 Investor Visa to the USA. The investor can also include all family members under the age of 18 years, who will have access to world-class education in Turkey and to multiple scholarships and grants in universities. Turkey scores best in Ease of Doing Business Index due to its conducive business environment. It also scores reasonably well on the Human Development Index, which means a high standard of living, education and healthcare benefits.
Investment in Turkish citizenship allows you to derive maximum value through several available options such as the purchase of real estate properties for USD 250,000, excluding application fees, Government Bonds, or a bank deposit.
Cyprus is an independent island, a member of the European Union and attracts tourists from all over the world. Acquiring Cypriot Citizenship allows travel across 165 countries, Schengen countries mobility, as well as the option to work and live in any of the 28 EU member countries. The process to obtain Cypriot citizenship is simple and takes six to eight months to complete. Investors can also include dependents in the application form that can enjoy free education in many European countries. Cyprus enjoys low tax rates and trading rights with all EU Nations.
In our analysis, Cyprus scores second-best on the Human Development Index and third-best on the Ease of Doing Business Index. This means you can enjoy a favorable business environment and maintain a high standard of living with your family in the country.
The reason why Cyprus did not come in first place in our ranking is because of the relatively high investment requirement, which is the highest among the countries included for our analysis. However, if you are a potential investor and interested in Cypriot citizenship, you should still consider the long-term value derived from this investment. You can choose the most suitable option from investing EUR 2 Million in either real estate, Cyprus-based businesses or purchase units from the Alternative Investment Fund.
Antigua & Barbuda is a country in the West Indies in the Americas, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. This country is one of the five Caribbean countries that offer Citizenship by Investment. With Antigua & Barbuda citizenship in hand, you are eligible for travel to over 149 countries Visa-free, including the EU, Hong-Kong, and Singapore. There is no residency requirement to benefit from this program, and the investor can include his spouse and children in the same application. Antigua & Barbuda citizenship holders do not get taxed on worldwide income.
It is the most affordable citizenship to acquire with the best Human Development Index score among Caribbean countries in our analysis which led us to rank it in third place. You can obtain citizenship status via a minimum contribution in the National Development Fund of USD 100,000 or a real estate investment starting at USD 400,000.
Montenegro is a Balkan country with rugged mountains, medieval villages, and a narrow strip of beaches along its Adriatic coastline. The country enjoys economic, political and social stability along with a low cost of living. It also has membership status in the European Monetary Union, the WTO, the NATO alliance and OSCE. With Montenegro citizenship you can travel Visa-free across 123 Countries including the Schengen area in Europe, Switzerland and Singapore.
It differs from other programs in that the investor can add the spouse and dependent children in the same application, regardless of children’s ages.
Montenegro scores third-best in the Human Development Index and second highest in Ease of Doing Business following Turkey. We have ranked this program as fourth-best given its cost of investment which starts at EUR 350,000 excluding application fees.
You can choose one of two options:
- An investment of EUR 450,000 to real estate projects in the capital of Podgorica or the coastal regions
- An investment of EUR 250,000 to real estate projects in northern or central Montenegro, excluding Podgorica
The total investment includes a government fee of EUR 100,000 per application, which will be directed to a special fund for the advancement of underdeveloped areas.
St. Kitts & Nevis is a dual island nation known for cloud-shrouded mountains and beaches and situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. You can enjoy Visa-free travel to 154 countries, including the EU, the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. The process is simple and very straightforward with a fast processing time of three months.
You are not required to travel to St. Kitts & Nevis during the application process, and citizens enjoy no tax on worldwide income.
In our Analysis, St. Kitts scores the best on the Human Development Index among Caribbean countries. The investment requirement is relatively low and comes in many options:
1.Sustainable Growth Fund
- USD 150,000 per single applicant
- USD 25,000 for spouse
- USD 10,000 per each additional dependent
2.Real Estate Investment
- Government-approved property valued at a minimum of USD 400,000, maintained for five years.
- An investment of USD 200,000 in a government-approved project, maintained for a minimum of seven years.
Malta is an island country located in the middle of the Mediterranean between Sicily, Italy, and the North African coast. Malta is part of the European Union, and Maltese passport holders get Visa-free access to over 169 countries, including the Schengen Zone, the United States, Russia, and Canada. There is a one-year residency requirement, and dual citizenship is permitted. The Maltese passport ranks as the ninth strongest passport in the world.
Malta scores the highest on the Human Development Index reflecting the lifestyle, education, and per capita income level. It also scores well on the Ease of Doing Business Index. The minimum required investment is EUR 900,000, excluding application fees. However, keeping the benefits of this passport in Mind, we believe that the price is justifiable if it matches your requirement. Malta offers diversified investment options, including:
- Contribution to the development of Malta
- Purchase of stocks or bonds
- A property transaction
The combined upfront financial requirement, including applicable government charges and citizenship application fees, is just under EUR 900,000. These costs will increase slightly depending on family size.
Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean island nation, famous for its natural hot springs and tropical rain forest. It offers Visa-free travel across 130 countries, including the UK, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Ireland, and the Schengen area. There is no residency requirement, and Dual Citizenship is allowed. The processing time stands at three months or less. Citizens also enjoy no tax on wealth, gifts, inheritance, or foreign income of capital gains.
We found that Dominica has a comparable score on the Human Development Index and Ease of Doing Business Index with other Caribbean Countries.
The investment amount is as low as USD 100,000. To avail citizenship, the investor has to pick one of two options:
1. Economic Diversification Fund
Programs starting from USD 100,000 excluding application fees
2. Real Estate Investment
Programs starting from USD 200,000 excluding application fees
Saint Lucia is a country in the West Indies in the Americas, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Citizens of Saint Lucia can travel to over 133 countries Visa-free or Visa-on-arrival including Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and the Schengen area. Dual citizenship is allowed, and investors have the option to include spouses, dependent children up to the age of 25, and dependent parents above the age of 65. The process of obtaining citizenship is very straightforward and takes up to four months with no residency requirement.
In our analysis, we found out that Saint Lucia has comparable scores in the Human Development Index and Ease of Doing Business Index with other Caribbean Countries
Saint Lucia does not differ much in terms of citizenship programs from the other Caribbean countries. It also offers multiple investment options, including:
1.National Economic Fund Contribution
- USD 100,000 per single applicant.
- USD 135,000 for the principal applicant with a spouse.
- USD 185,000 for a family with up to three dependents (spouse and two children).
- USD 25,000 per each additional dependent.
2.Real Estate Investment
Applicants may purchase property valued at a minimum of USD 300,000 in a pre-approved real estate development area.
Grenada is located in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain, also known as the Spices Island. Its citizenship allows Visa-free entry to over 130 countries, including the Schengen Zone, the United Kingdom, Singapore, China, and Hong Kong. Grenada is one of the only eleven nations offering the unique benefit of Visa-free travel to China. Additionally, it provides an excellent opportunity to obtain an E-2 Investor Visa to the USA. Investors also have an option to include spouse, dependent children up to the age of 30, a sibling (single, with no children) up to the age of 18 and dependent parents.
Grenada citizens get up to USD 100,000 in scholarships and grants on a Medical School program.
Grenada has a comparable score on the Human Development Index and Ease of Doing Business Index with other Caribbean Countries. The amount of investment for Grenadian citizenship starts at USD 150,000. Investment options include:
1. A contribution to the National Transformation Fund starting at USD 150,000 (excluding application fees)
2. Minimum investment of USD 220,000 (excluding application fees) in approved real estate.
Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 Kilometers. It is one of the fastest options for investors looking for the second passport within two to three months. Vanuatu passport holders have Visa-free mobility to over 125 countries, and the Vanuatu program accepts investors with Schengen and UK Visa rejections.
Vanuatu citizenship applicants can include dependent parents and grandparents at least 50 years of age.
To obtain Vanuatu citizenship, the investor has the only option of donating USD 130,000 or more. The applicant can include his family members in the same form and benefit from the island’s indirect tax system.
Book a FREE no-obligations consultation with our team of experts to learn more about your desired locations and to find the best fit for your needs. Fincasa Capital experts provide a secure and reliable way to invest in the economy of the host country to receive a new passport.