Citizenship by Investment

Several countries now offer second passports and residency to investors

Global citizenship by investment programs have grown extensively in recent years in response to demand from high net worth individuals who have become increasingly mobile and selective about their economic residence. Investors have many reasons for choosing a second residency or citizenship. Ease of travel, more favourable tax jurisdiction,  international business opportunities and a “Plan B” insurance for the family are just a few factors attracting investors to such programs.

There are a number of factors to consider for potential investors deciding on a program as no two countries are the same in their offering. The following is a brief overview of such considerations:

Investment Level

The level of investment is often an indication of the level of benefit derived from the citizenship. That could be timing, commitment, family inclusion or travel access through the issuance of a second passport. EU citizenship for example requires far more investment than some of the Caribbean programs.

Residency Requirement

Some programs such as Cyprus, offer citizenship immediately while others offer residency first that can lead to citizenship at a future date. Spain for example requires 10 years residency before citizenship is applied for. Portugal requires six years but without the need for residency.

Investment Choice

There are several types of investments used by governments in their programs. Some, such as Cyprus accept real estate investment alone. Others such as St. Kitts and Antigua offer a choice of donation or real estate investment. It is possible in some countries such as Bulgaria to invest for citizenship through government bonds. Malta requires a combination of all three, real estate, equity/bond investment and contribution.

Business and Jobs

Any number of countries offer residency and potential citizenship to entrepreneurs who invest in business and create jobs. The USA is the most prominent example of this through its EB5 program. But most countries will offer residency of some sort to serious business investors who create jobs, wealth and contribute to tax revenues.


One of the key decisions for investors is the participation and involvement required in the country. Cyprus for example offers citizenship within 3 months of €2 million being invested in real estate. Aside from retaining investment there is no further commitment. Malta will offer citizenship after total investment of €1.25 million and at least 12 months while the applicant demonstrates “ties” to the country. Most countries require some form of engagement from the investor.


Next Steps

Research the programs

We have extensive information available on our website and we encourage clients to read up and assess all aspects of the programs. The main citizenship by investment programs are:

Portugal   Spain   Greece   Cyprus   Malta   Hungary   Bulgaria   St. Kitts   Antigua   Dominica   Grenada   St. Lucia

Request our guides

Unfortunately we don’t publish everything here. For greater depth use the contact form available and we can forward more detailed information particular to your circumstances.

Consult with our experts

Every client is different in their situation and needs and it is important to get the right advice one to one and tailored for you before proceeding. Book an appointment by phone, skype video call or arrange an appointment at one of our offices.

Apply and visit

When ready you can move to the next stage of application or visit the country in question with our consultants and partners particularly where real estate investment or local attendance is required for the process.

More Information

Complete the form below for details on the citizenship investment programs available.

  • Your contact phone number.