Wednesday, 26 August 2015

5 Countries offering Cheapest Citizenship by Investment

Economic citizens are rising rapidly all over the globe. The number of people who spend money to add a second or even a third passport to their collection is massive! Christian Kalin who is a citizenship expert from Henly and Partners stated how there are people who would like to expand their passport portfolio just like their investment portfolio. This is very common and famous amongst the Chinese and Russian citizens and is now an increasing trend among the citizens from Middle East as well. Several new programs have been started in Grenada, Malta, Antigua and Barbuda, Spain and the Netherlands that provide citizenship by investment or ways to get citizenship for rich investors. So basically, citizenship is now being offered on sale and whoever has some extra cash to spend can easily get a citizenship by investment rather than having a residential condition. Below is a list of the few main countries that offer citizenship by investment.

  1. Dominica: By having a population of 71,000, the numbers of investor citizens in this country are more than 3000. Citizenship can be bought simply by investing $100,000 along with a few more free structures along with a face-to-face interview on the island. The cheapest citizenship bought can be at the small scale Caribbean Island of Dominica. On the other hand, the interview team only takes interviews once a month so you have to be quick or else getting a Dominican passport can take anywhere from 5 to 14 months. Thanks to Dominica being a commonwealth nation, Dominican passport holders get tons of special privileges. These include Dominican citizens travelling to 50 different countries, including Switzerland, without having to apply for a visa.
  2. St Kitts and Nevis: St Kitts and Nevis has the longest citizenship by investment program (CIP) since 1984. The least expensive way to get citizenship in St Kitts and Nevis is by investing $250,000 to the St Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification which is not refundable. The second option is investing at least $400,000 in the real estate of the country. This program is no more accessible to the Iranian citizens because the US thinks them getting a passport is against their consent. Mr Kalin helped set up this program and thinks it is still doing great!
  3. Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua and Barbuda started their citizenship by investment program back in late 2013 and it was pretty similar to the one St Kitts and Nevis had. To gain a passport, either a $400,000 investment in the real estate or a $200,000 charity had to be done. Mr. Baldwin Spencer, the Prime Minister of this country stated how this CIP will benefit them from gaining funds as tradition funding sources are declining. The Prime Minister praised how the St Kitts and US allow foreigners to get a green card under the EB-5 visa only if they make an investment of $500,000 in a targeted employment area and are able to create 10 jobs. However, the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is not so easy to obtain for every other general citizen.
  4. Malta: Ayelet Shachar, a professor from the law department from the University of Toronto stated how citizenship by investment programs is rising day by day. A nation as small as Malta has decided to give passports to wealthy investors who will make at least a minimum of 650,000 euro investment in this country without any such requirements for a residency. Malta is said to be the cheapest European Union country to give out citizenship. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta estimated a number of 45 people applying for CIP in the first year making them earn 30m Euros as a profit. However, the European Union has raised strict rules against this and now at least one year of residency along with an investment of 1.15m euro is necessary to gain citizenship.
  5. Cyprus: Cyprus is also a part of the European Union and gives out citizenship by the CIP method. An individual is asked to invest at least 5m euro in the bank or the real estate of the country where as a group applying has to pay 2m euro only if their total investments are more than 12.5m euro. However, the program is getting cheaper month by month which is terrible. It was first priced at 28m euro which came down to 10m euro and now it is 5m euro.

Source: BBC

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