Citizenship by Investment is the process of obtaining a second citizenship and passport by investing in the economy of the host country.
Citizenship by Investment programs legally confer citizenship status faster than traditional immigration processes and do so without requiring investors to put their lives on hold.
Many countries offer Citizenship by Investment programs in order to attract much-needed foreign direct investment. Countries can then use these funds to invest in their own projects, such as real estate development, business development and job creation.
The investment cost ranges from as low as USD 100,000 to as much as USD 5 million. Investment options include everything from nonrefundable cash donations to investments in real estate, business, or government bonds.
Interest in these programs has accelerated in recent years thanks to a combination of factors including improved visa-free travel in many CBI countries, the introduction of FATCA in the US, and cuts in prices to the Caribbean CBI programs as they seek to attract more investors and increase their funds to rebuild after the 2017 hurricane season.
The majority of economic citizenship investors come from emerging market economies like China, Russia, India, Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, and various countries in the Middle East. However, there is a growing demand for economic citizenship in the developed world as well.
Why do People Invest in a Second Citizenship?
There are many reasons to invest in a second citizenship, from personal safety to increased global mobility. Applications can be approved in as little as three months, resulting in citizenship for life, a valid passport, visa-free travel and more. Economic citizenship opens up a world of possibilities to high net worth investors.
A second passport from a stable, peaceful country can be life-saving in the event of any kind of political unrest in one’s home country. This type of insurance is priceless for investors and their families.
Many passports are quite restrictive in their visa-free mobility, forcing citizens to obtain visas whenever they need to travel abroad. A second passport can offer individuals from these countries increased global mobility. For example, the passport of Pakistan allows visa-free entry into only 26 countries, whereas the passport of Cyprus allows visa-free entry to 145 countries. The difference in global mobility equals an incredible amount of time saved filing visa applications and is priceless to businesspeople the world over.
New business opportunities open up to participants in Citizenship by Investment programs as they can now do business in the host country as well as travel abroad more freely.
Dual citizenship may prove advantageous for tax optimization purposes. For example, some countries only tax income earned from that country and do not subject capital gains to taxes either. This allows investors to manage their wealth more efficiently and effectively.
Most Citizenship by Investment programs are available to the family members of the main applicant. This means that investors can secure a better future for their spouse and children. Second citizenships offer access to world-class health care, education and an improved lifestyle.
Education is the foundation of a successful life as a global citizen. Investing in a second citizenship can open up access to the best schools in the world for applicants and their children by qualifying them for domestic rather than international tuition fees.