Fast low-cost citizenship

Citizenship by investment (CBI) is a way to legally acquire citizenship by making an investment in a property or a contribution to the economy of a host country. Several Caribbean, Mediterranean, and other countries offer citizenship programmes not only to high-net-worth individuals (those worth more than US$1million), but even to less well-off investors.

The minimum contribution starts at only US$100,000 for the principal applicant, plus fees.  Investors must pass strict due diligence and meet other requirements, but residence requirements are generally minimal.

The number of investor visas (including accompanying family members) granted per year globally is estimated to be close to 50,000, if residence programmes that eventually lead to citizenship are included, and much more if dependents are included. For example, both the U.S. and Greece will issue 10,000 residence visas each (leading eventually to citizenship) in 2019. 

The financial requirements for such residence through investment varies from US$100,000 to investments as large as US$8 million, but on average it is well-less than US$1million.  Most CBI countries require an investment, mostly in a property that must be kept for three to five years, and/or a once-off, non-refundable contribution to a government-approved project. Sometimes residence is available within a few months, in other instances, investors must wait for several years.

For the purpose of this website and the ebook, we will be focussing on a small number of countries that offer fast, low-cost citizenship options. The benchmark is host countries that require an investment of less than US$250,000 for an individual applicant and which grant citizenship in less than one year.

A larger investment/contribution is normally required for a couple or a family. There are additional processing, due diligence and government fees equal to 15-20% of the investment/donation, plus legal/consulting fees if the applicant uses a legal advisory firm to process the application.

The most popular immigration-friendly countries for fast and low-cost 2nd citizenships covered in the eBook are Vanuatu, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Moldova, and Turkey.