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Best Citizenships - Quick Countries Comparison

The following are quick comparison list of countries offering "Citizenship-by-investment" vs "Residency-by-investment" programs to third nationals of various countries.

The key difference is "Citizenship-by-investment" programs offer investors direct passport to investors within few months or a year. "Residency-by-investment" aka "Golden visa" or "Investor visa" programs initially offer residency to investors, and then after certain number of years of living, it is possible to apply for the Citizenship and passport (indirect route) through naturalisation. The common route is residence permit converted to PR then PR later converted to citizenship.

Note: UK is not a schengen member country. The visas and residence permits issued by schengen countries to non-EU citizens, is not valid to travel to UK. Therefore a separate UK visa needed. Only EU citizens and EU passport holders can visit UK without visa.

Country Passport Minimum Investment Program Name
Processing Time
Residency by Investment
Real Estate Investment Business Investment Minimum Stay Requirements
Permanent Residency (PR) Naturalisation Time for Citizenship
EU Schengen Member
 UK visa needed
 USA visa needed
Double Citizenship Visa free travel countries* Passport Reputation (out of 10)
Austria € 10 million Citizenship by investment (defunct)
12 months
no no no limit
-
After 5 years
10 years
yes
no
no
no
169
9.5
Australia
A$ 1.5 million
Investor stream
4 months
yes

yes
40 days per year
After 4 years
PR + 4 years
no
no
no
yes
168
9.4
Antigua Barbuda $ 200,000 Citizenship by investment
3 months
no yes (minimum $400,000)
$1.5 million
no requirement
-
-
no
no
yes
yes
133
8.5
Bahamas
$500,000
Economic Investment PR
4 months
yes
yes
yes

Immediate PR
10 years
no
no
yes
no
139
8.4
Belgium € 400,000 Belgium Business  Residence Program (BBRB
3-4 months
yes no yes no requirement
5 years
5 years
yes
no
no
yes
170
9.5
Bulgaria € 512,000 Investor visa
7 months
 yes no
yes
-
Immediate
After 5 years
pending
no
yes
yes
150
9.0
Canada (Quebec)
CAD 800,000
Quebec Immigrant Investor Program


8-10 months
yes no possible
yes
3 years
5 years in total
no
no
no
yes
170
9.5
Czech Republic
no program exists






5 years
10 years
yes
no
no
yes
164
9.4
Costa Rica
no program exists














Croatia
no program exists






5 years
10 years
pending
no
yes
yes
142
9.0
Cyprus € 2.5 million (real estate) Cypriot (EU) Citizenship by Investment
3 months (Immediate passport)
no yes
€ 5 million
none
5 years
8 years
no
no
yes
yes
158
9.0
Denmark
no program exists








yes
no
no
yes
171
9.6
Dominica $ 100,000 Citizenship by investment 8-10 months
no $200,000
- none


no
no
yes
yes
113
7.5
Estonia
no program exists






5 years
8 years
yes
no
no
no
159
9.2
France
no program exists






5 years
10 years
yes
no
no
yes
171
9.6
Finland
no program exists






4 years
5 years
yes
no
no
yes
172
9.6
Germany
no program exists
no
4 months
no

€ 250,000

5 years
8 years
yes
no
no
yes
173
9.8
Grenada $ 250,000 Citizenship by investment 3 months
no $350,000 no


no
no
yes
yes
117
7.8
Greece € 250,000 (real estate) Greece Golden visa
3-4 months
Immediate Residency yes no none
Immediate PR granted
7 years
yes
no
no
yes
167
9.3
Hungary € 300,000 (Government bonds) Hungarian Investment Immigration Program
4-5 months
Immediate Residency no no none
Immediate PR
8 years
yes
no
no
yes
163
9.2
Hong Kong HK$ 10 million Capital Investment Scheme (suspended)
3-5 months
Immediate Residency no yes yes
After 7 years

no
no
yes
no
152
9.1
Iceland No such program exists







7 years
yes
no
no
yes
164
9.2
Ireland
Irish Immigrant Investor Program
€ 2 million (Bonds)
3 months
Immediate Residency
possible
€ 1 million

5 years
5 years
yes
no
no
yes
169
9.5
Italy
no program exists






5 years
10 years
yes
no
no
yes
171
9.5
Japan
no program exiss






10 years
5 years
no
no
no
yes
171
9.4
Malta
Approx € 900,000

European Citizenship by Investment
Malta Individual Investor Program (MIIP)
3 months
no
€ 350,000 (optional)
no
none


yes
no
no
yes
167
9.5
Monaco (Monte Carlo)
€ 1 million Investor visa
3 months
Immediate Residency
optional
no limit
6 months per year
5 years
10 years
yes
no
no
no
151
9.9
Netherlands
€ 1.25 million
Dutch Investor visa
3 months
Immediate Residency

yes
yes
5 years
5 years
yes
no
no
no
171
9.6
Poland
no program exists






5 years
8 years
yes
no
yes
yes
158
9.2
Portugal € 500,000
Portugal Golden visa
3-4 months
yes
yes € 1 million
7 days per year After 5 years
6 years
yes
no
no
yes
170
9.6
Romania
no program exists






5 years
8 years
pending
no
no
yes
149
9.0
Russia
$ 300,000
pending

yes

yes
3 years
1 year
3-5 years
no
no
no
yes
102
7.0
Spain € 500,000 (real estate) Spanish Golden visa
3-4 months
yes
yes no none
After 5 years
10 years
yes
no
no
only with spanish speaking countries
169
9.5
Switzerland CHF 200,00 per year
Swiss Lump Sum Taxation
3 months
yes
no CHF 1 million turnover
yes
10 years
12 years
yes
no
no
yes
169
9.8
St Lucia
$200,000 Starts Jan 2016
Citizenship by investment 2-3 months
no
$300,000
$3.5 million
none


no
no
yes
yes
121
7.9
Saint Kitts and Nevis $ 250,000 Citizenship by investment 8 months
no $400,000

none


no
no
yes
yes
131
8.3
Slovenia
no program exists






5 years
10 years
yes
no
no
yes
161

Slovakia
no program exists





5 years
13 years
yes
no
no
yes
162

United Kingdom (UK)
GBP 2 million
UK Investor visa

2 months
yes no yes 9 months per year for UK passport
5 years
6 years
no
no
no
yes
173
9.8
United States (U.S.A)
$ 500,000 - 1 million 
EB-5 Investor visa
10 months
yes no yes 50% of time in US (2.5 out of 5 yrs)
Immediate
5 years
no
no
no
yes
172
9.7
Liechtenstein
no program exists






5 years
30 years
yes
no
no
yes
161
9.9
Latvia € 250,000
Latvia Investor visa (PR)
4 months
yes yes
€ 150,000

5 years
10 years
yes
no
no
yes
170
9.4
Lithuania
no program exists






5 years
10 years
yes
no
no

159
9.3
Luxembourg
no program exists






5 years
7 years
yes
no
no
yes
171
9.5
New Zealand
NZ$ 1.5 million
Business Investor Visa
3-4 months
Immediate Residency
Possible
yes
146 days per year
2 years
5 years
no
no
no
yes
170
9.6
Norway
no program exists





3 years
7 years
yes
no
no
no
171
9.6
Poland
no program exists





5 years
10 years
yes
no
yes
yes
158
9.4
Panama
$300,000
Real Estate

Immediate Residency (PR)
yes
yes


5 years
no
no
yes

125
7.9
Serbia
no program exists





5 years

no
no
yes
yes
110
8.6
Sweden
no program exists





5 years
5 years
yes
no
no
yes
172
9.8
South Korea

F5 PR

yes

no limit


5 years
no
no
no
yes
171
9.2
Singapore SG$ 2.5 million (approx US$ 2 million) Global Investor Program (GIP)

yes no yes
Immediate Permanent Residency
2-6 years with PR
no
no
yes
no
169
9.2

The table was prepared assuming you are Non-EU/EEA foreign national who wish to immigrate. Please note that most european country passports require electronic registration prior to visiting USA. Please check with the US embassy. Naturalisation time is total number of years spent living (inclusiv of PR). Some countries require PR status before applying for Citizenship through naturalisation.

Which is the Best Passport?

Well! the answer depends on the reputation of country issuing passport, safety and number of countries one can travel without visa. Take a look below, a quick survey was done using the following factors. You can also download best passport ratings chart (pdf)


Top 5 Results

  1.     Monaco
  2.      Liechtenstein
  3.     Switzerland
  4.     Luxembourg
  5.     Austria

* Disclaimer: The information contained herein is just for general information. Visa requirements to countries are subjected to change from time to time with changing governments and international rules. We highly recommend you to check with embassy each time before travelling. We disclaim accepting any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omissions.