If you want citizenship or a second passport from a new country, an investment program is the easiest way to do so.
There are many countries that offer citizenship by investment programs. The way it works is pretty simple. You invest a certain amount of money and the country offers you a passport that comes with certain rights and privileges.
It’s mutually beneficial for both you and the country.
However, each participating country has different requirements and conditions that you must meet in order to qualify.
Let’s take a look at the recommended countries for getting a second passport through investment.
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To get a passport-through-investment, most countries in the world have similar requirements.
First, you need to invest a certain amount of money into the country. The investment can be through real estate, funds, or a business.
The minimum of investment varies between each country. For example, it can range from US$100,000 to over US$1,000,000.
In addition to the investment, you may need to contribute or donate money to the country’s government. Your contribution will go into the development of the country as deemed necessary.
Certain countries, which you’ll learn about later on in this guide, only require a donation.
The other main condition is time. Some countries require you to be there for a set amount of time before you’re eligible for citizenship. There could also be a residency requirement.
For example, in Portugal, you need to be there for at least five years before you can apply for citizenship.
Other countries offer an option where your donation is used to purchase real estate, which is then held for a specific amount of time.
Other than that, you only have to do basic due diligence and a criminal background check.
Pros of Getting a Second Passport
A passport from a peaceful, stable country could save your investments should your country of origin experience any political unrest.
But here are some more benefits of having a second passport.
Freedom of Movement
You get the freedom to travel to more places. Holding a second passport allows you to cross the borders of other countries visa-free. This means you don’t have to apply for a visa for your vacation or business trips.
Note that different countries have different allowances when it comes to where you can travel visa-free with a passport.
In addition, it’s undeniable that some countries may have a strict requirement on the visa application if you hold a passport from a certain country. If you have a second passport from another country, this can help your chances of getting a visa.
A second passport allows you to improve your business development abroad.
You have more freedom to conduct business. You can invest in and open businesses in some areas that would not be available to you if you did not have a second passport.
Raising a Family
Many countries in the world allow you to add your family members to the program during the application process without having to make extra investments. You just need to pay the application fee for those added members.
This means you can get a second passport, not just for you yourself, but your entire family. This makes it easy if you want to move your family to a new country that provides a better standard of living.
Many countries offer low tax rates to attract new applicants to their citizenship by investment programs.
By getting a second passport, you can optimize taxes for both yourself and your business.
If you’re taxed worldwide because of your nationality, it’s also possible to optimize your taxes with a second passport too.
Cons of Getting a Second Passport
The main disadvantage of getting a second passport is the amount of investment you have to make, which can be at least US$100,000.
Choosing the Right Program
When choosing a citizenship by investment program, here are some key factors to consider:
- passport ranking – how many countries you can travel to without a visa
- investment amount – the minimum investment or donation amount
- tax rates – how much you can lower your taxes after getting a second passport
- application process – how long it takes to get a second passport
- family – how easy it is to get a second passport for your family members
The following countries are recommended for getting a passport-through-investment.
- Antigua and Barbuda are the best option if you have a larger family.
- Dominica has the lowest cost for an individual.
- Grenada is a similar program to the rest.
- Turkey is a great European choice for a quick passport.
- Montenegro is a great option for someone looking for a passport in Europe.
- St. Kitts and Nevis are the original founders of the passport-through-investment program, and it’s still worth pursuing.
- Saint Lucia has the largest variety of ways to qualify for its passport by investment program. Vanuatu has the fastest turnaround time of any of these choices.
Note that the requirements for getting a passport-through-investment in any of these countries are subject to change. It’s best to talk to a residency program expert before proceeding.
Let’s look at each country in more detail.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda are two larger islands associated with several smaller islets. They are part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.
Antigua is the more developed and touristy of the two islands. Barbuda is mostly composed of beaches and low-lying flat lands. Antigua actually offers four citizenship by investment options.
- You can donate at least US$100,000 to the National Development Fund. This donation covers up to a family of four (the main applicant, spouse, and two children). If you have a larger family, the minimum donation increases to at least US$125,000.
- You can invest in real estate. There are some requirements, such as a minimum investment of US$400,000. The property must be located in an approved development area and be held for at least five years. There is a loophole for two related applicants, such as siblings (along with their spouses and families) to apply together and invest US$200,000 each in real estate.
- You can invest at least US$1.5 million in an approved company. That company has to be either a proposed company or an existing company approved by the Citizens by Investment Unit. The majority of the qualifying companies tend to focus on real estate and tourism.
- A newer program exists that involves a US$150,000 donation to the UWI fund. It covers passports for up to six family members. One family member can also attend university tuition-free for a full year. This is the most cost-effective way to get a second passport in the world.
A passport through Antigua and Barbuda would allow for visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 150 destinations around the world.
Antigua and Barbuda are part of the Commonwealth of Nations, allowing privileges in the U.K. and other member nations.
Dominica is an island nation in the Caribbean that should not be confused with the Dominican Republic.
This scenic island boasts a variety of flora and fauna, as well as a lot of lush rain forests. Agriculture makes up most of the economy, but it’s increasingly reliant on tourism for growth.
A passport from Dominica allows visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 144 nations. It allows citizenship to be passed on to your kids and grandchildren. There are no restrictions on dual citizenship in Dominica.
Dominica offers two plans for getting a second passport-through-investment:
- The real estate option requires that you invest at least US$200,000 in property that must be held for at least three years. One unique feature of this method is that they allow you to sell your investment to another passport-through-investment individual after that three year period has elapsed. There are additional fees required too: US$25,000 for the applicant, US$35,000 for a couple or a family of four, US$50,000 for a family of five or six, and US$70,000 for a family of more than six.
- You can make a donation to the government’s Economic Diversification Fund. The minimum requirement is US$100,000, but it goes up if you have a family. The minimum requirement is US$150,000 for a couple and US$175,000 for a family of four.
Regardless of which option you choose, the process can take up to six months. About halfway through, you’ll be expected to provide the donation or close on your real estate purchase(s).
Grenada is another island nation that offers a second passport-through-investment. While its main economy is based on tourism, is also is called the spice island because they produce nutmeg and mace. It’s a frequent cruise ship destination as well.
With a passport from Grenada, you can have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 144 countries. This is the only Caribbean passport-through-investment program that allows citizens to be eligible to apply for a non-immigrant visa with the U.S. for the purpose of investing.
Citizenship is also transferable to new spouses, future children, and grandchildren.
There are two ways to qualify for a second passport-through-investment in Grenada:
- You can invest at least US$350,000 in real estate. The advantage of this option is that there are no additional fees. It covers your family regardless of the size.
- You can make a US$200,000 donation to their National Transformation Fund (NTF). This lets a family of four get second passports without additional fees.
Turkey is bordered by three seas. Turkey is a great tourist destination, but also has great commercial and cultural centers in its cities, especially Istanbul.
Turkey boasts a mild, Mediterranean climate, a high standard of living, and beautiful scenery. A passport from Turkey allows you to travel to 110 destinations, including Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong.
On top of that, Turkey is poised to possibly become a member of the European Union, which brings other perks to having a passport from Turkey.
The passport-through-investment program in Turkey gives six different options:
- You can invest in at least US$250,000 of real estate.
- There can be an investment of at least US$500,000 of fixed capital contribution.
- You can deposit at least US$500,000 into a Turkish bank account.
- You can commit at least US$500,000 into Turkish bonds.
- There can be a real estate commitment of at least US$500,000 in a fund share or at least US$500,000 in a venture capital investment fund share.
- You could create jobs for at least 50 people.
The application includes your spouse, children under 18, and disabled dependents of any age. After all of the paperwork has been completed and filed, it takes approximately 120 days to get approved.
Montenegro is a tiny country in southeastern Europe that has a total population of about 621,000 people. It boasts beautiful beaches along the Adriatic sea. It doesn’t allow dual citizenship but has made an exception for its passport-through-investment program.
With a passport from Montenegro, you can travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival to 123 countries. Full citizenship is granted to the applicant and his or her family members.
This applies to both same-sex partners and unmarried partners. Montenegro is currently a candidate country for the European Union, which may bring additional benefits in the future.
To get a passport by investment in Montenegro, you need to donate EUR100,000 to aid poor communities. You also need to make an investment in real estate, but the amount varies by the area.
If it’s in an under-developed area, you can invest only EUR250,000 in real estate. In more developed areas, they require a real estate investment of at least EUR450,000.
This program was offered for a limited time only and was set to expire at the end of 2021. They have since extended the program, which is now set to expire 31 December 2022.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis is at the northern tip of the West Indies in the Caribbean. St. Kitts is more developed, while Nevis has remained more natural. Its economy is based on tourism, offshore banking, and some light industry.
A passport from St. Kitts and Nevis allows for either visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 153 counties. Citizenship can be passed down to children and grandchildren. St. Kitts and Nevis is a part of the Commonwealth of Nations. This gives certain privileges in the U.K. and other member countries.
There are a number of flights available to Europe and North America from St. Kitts and Nevis as well. They allow for dual citizenship. Moreover, there is no minimum amount of time that you must stay in the country to obtain either a passport or citizenship.
They offer two options to obtain a passport by investment:
- You can buy a piece of government-approved land. You can invest at least US$400,000 in a property and hold it for at least five year or you can invest at least US$200,000 in a property and hold it for at least seven years. You also need to pay government fees for your passport. They are US$25,000 for the initial applicant, US$25,000 for a spouse and dependents under 18, and US$50,000 for dependents over 18.
- You can make donations to the country’s Sustainable Growth Fund. The donation amount starts at US$150,000 for the main applicant, plus US$25,000 for a spouse, and US$10,000 for each additional dependent.
It can take up to six months to go through the application process.
Saint Lucia is a scenic island destination in the Caribbean that’s known for its two volcanic mountain peaks, the Pitons. Known for its beaches and dramatic scenery, Saint Lucia is often a destination for cruise ships and yachts.
A passport from Saint Lucia lets you travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival to 146 nations. There is no residence or visitation requirement for a passport from Saint Lucia.
Saint Lucia allows for dual citizenship for those who are pursuing it. Applicants can include a spouse, siblings under 18, dependents under 31, and parents 56 and older in their citizenship application.
Saint Lucia boasts four different options when it comes to securing a passport-through-investment:
- You can donate to the National Economic Fund. The requested amounts for donation are US$100,000 for an applicant, US$140,000 for an applicant with a spouse, and US$150,000 for a spouse plus two dependents that qualify.
- You can invest in real estate. There aren’t many requirements other than investing a minimum of US$300,000 in real estate that must be held for at least five years.
- There’s an enterprise project option that requires approval for your business plan. This option needs a hefty investment of at least US$3.5 million for a single applicant. For joint applications, every applicant must contribute at least US$1 million in investments. Your choices for the enterprise project option are specialty restaurants, cruise ports and marinas, offshore universities, agro processing plants, research institutions and facilities, pharmaceutical products, roads and highways, port, and/or bridges.
- You can invest in a bond. You must hold onto the bond for at least five years and the bond does not pay interest. If you are a single applicant, the investment must be at least US$500,000. If you are married, you need to purchase at least US$535,000 in bonds. For a spouse and up to two qualifying dependents, you need to invest at least US$550,000 in bonds.
Vanuatu is a group of volcanic islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It’s located north of New Zealand, west of Fiji and east of Australia. It’s a popular destination for divers, with beautiful reefs and several notable shipwrecks on its shores. Its main economy centers on tourism, fishing, and cattle ranching.
Vanuatu’s passport-through-investment program, called the Development Support Program, only offers a donation program. A single applicant must donate at least US$130,000.
An applicant with a spouse must donate at least US$150,000. If you have a spouse and one child, you can expect to donate US$165,000, US$180,000 for a couple with two children, and US$25,000 for every additional dependent.
What sets Vanuatu apart from other passport through investment options is that it takes about a month until approval, once the documents have been submitted.
This is the fastest passport through investment program in the world. Vanuatu also doesn’t impose taxes on wealth, income, or inheritance, making it a great choice.
Vanuatu’s passport-through-investment program is capped at 600 per year, though it has yet to hit that cap. You can visit 136 countries with a passport in Vanuatu.
Now, on to You
There are many great choices throughout the world to obtain a second passport-through-investment. There are so many countries with so many different options to offer.
Some places have cost-effective options for families. Others give access to a number of countries with one passport, while others offer quick turnaround times.
The best thing to do is simply get advice from a professional to help you determine which of these passport-through-investment programs is right for you.