The CBI/RBI industry has seen some dramatic changes residence and citizenship programs during the year 2018/19.

The Citizenship by investment industry is seeing a rapid growth year by year and the demand for second passports just keeps on increasing and the investment migration industry expected to hit $20 billion by 2020. There are over 550 firms serving the RCBI industry.  US , Canada and Australia are the most popular countries for investment among HNW migrants wanting a better education for family and preserving their wealth investing in a stable country offering high standards of living. According to a survey one-third of rich, already have a second citizenship and passport and another one-third are considering it in their investment portfolio.

Wealthy chinese have dominated in 80% in most of the immigrant investor schemes running the world followed by Russians. Wealth is moving across continents through immigrant investor schemes.

 

  • Golden visa schemes offer residence by investment against investing in a property or in government debt, providing a path to future citizenship.
  • Citizenship by investment schemes offer a fast track citizenship and passport by contributing one-time to a government sovereign fund or buying a property or doing a large enterprise investment.

 

The following are the latest updates for 2019 for golden visas and citizenship by investment programs.

 

St Kitts and Nevis introduced Hurricane Relief Fund with contribution requirement of $150,000 as a limited time offer expiring on March 30, 2018. St Kitts and Nevis signed visa waiver agreement with Russia and Indonesia. St Kitts passport tops the Henley 2019 Passport index among other CBI passports in the region with the maximum visa free countries. St Kitts cuts real estate investment to $200,000. St Kitts signs more visa waivers with Serbia, Montenegro, Moldova, Belarus.

Turkey cuts citizenship prices by 75% for its citizenship by investment program which requires $250,000 in real estate and $500,000 in Government bonds or businesses. Invest Turkey sets up special citizenship office, and foreign property buyers qualify for citizenship from president’s office within 6 months. Turkey also eases property purchase regulations.

Antigua and Barbuda slashed its NDF prices by 50% Limited time offer to just $100,000 from $200,000 after Barbuda was destroyed by Hurricane seeking money for recovery efforts. Antigua also lowered the processing fee for the real estate and business investment option for a family of four to US$50, 000. Canada revoked visa waiver agreement of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017, citing its concerns with the CBI programme. Antigua further announced Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies accepted for citizenship by investment scheme including payments in EUR and GDP.

Saint Lucia announced amendment to its CBI program removing limit of applications and lifting the $3 million asset requirement. The qualifying investments for single application under National Economic Fund is $100,000 and $165,000 for Family application.

Dominica EDF contribution remains the same at $100,000, but Dominica announced cut due diligence fee, processing fees, naturalisation fee, and also increased age limits for dependents and grand parents until March 2018, making the process easier. Dominica announced no government discounts for CIP.

Grenada reduced its investment contribution to $150,000 for NTF Single applicant. Grenada also reduced real estate to minimum $220,000 No changes in the family option or real estate. Grenada also increased the age of dependent children (26 to 30) and grand parents (55 to 65) making the application process easier. Grenada also tightened real estate regulations under CBI program. Grenada also signed visa waiver agreements with Russia and UAE

Malta Individual investor program will be extended once the 1800 cap is reached. The IIP scheme requires around EUR 1 million euros investment to get Maltese passport after 1 year. Over 1200 families received Malta passport under the IIP scheme and the Prime Minister has announced the IIP scheme has brought half a billion to Malta. IIP Agency boss IIP risk matrix one of the best due diligence process for screening of applications.

Spain golden visa scheme is becoming increasingly popular. Russians, Chinese and Americans buying properties in spain over 500,000 euros in Catalonia, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Costa del sol.  As of June 2018, Spain issued 13,522 golden visas to foreign investors since 2013.  this represents 35% more than previous year. Foreigners are not required to live in Spain who acquire golden visa

Cyprus  announced new amendments to citizenship investment scheme. The scheme prices raised by EUR 150,000 requiring EUR 2.15 million. Government bonds removed and all applicants must require schengen visa.  Last year the cabinet announced it may cap its citizenship program 700 applications annually and will enforce rules to limit promotion of the program. Cyprus imposed schengen visa requirement for applicants effective from May 2019 and increased the investment by EUR 150,000 euros. The minimum investment for citizenship in cyprus stands at EUR 2.15 million euros. Cyprus also has a golden visa scheme

Moldova opened new citizenship by investment scheme in Nov 2018.  Foreign investors and families eligible for citizenship by contributing $100,000 plus fees to Public Fund.

Vanuatu announced the prices cut prices by 30%, to $160,000. The Government announced no real estate option attached to citizenship by investment scheme and bitcoin will not be accepted by government.

Montenegro will open for applications for economic citizenship program by end of 2019.  Investment conditions are EUR 250,000 real estate investment plus EUR 100,000 state fee plus other fees in underdeveloped areas.

Bulgaria has announced proposals to close citizenship for investment scheme but golden visa scheme may prevail but no citizenships for investment. citizenship by investment and golden visa scheme has become popular ever since Bulgaria qualified for visa waiver with Canada in 2017. Bulgaria requires EUR 500,000 for golden visa and EUR 1 million investment in bonds to acquire citizenship in 18-24 months. In 2019 Bulgaria ministry of justice also tightened citizenship rules for investment activity along with new proposals for closing the citizenship and golden visa scheme. Bulgaria granted 29 fast track citizenships in 2018 for investment.

Anguilla announced opening of a new ARBI residence by investment scheme. The first phase of scheme begins on Nov 1, 2018 and investors who by $750,000 real estate can qualify. Donation option also available.

Italy opens investor visa scheme. The scheme requires EUR 500,000 in startups or 1 million in Government bonds or enterprises

Portugal golden visa scheme investment exceeds EUR 4.4 billion euros in Apr 2019. Property prices rising steadily in Lisbon and surrounding areas.  6687 residence permits issued. Portugal amended law to reduce citizenship time to five years from six (spanish speaking countries)

Greece golden visa scheme soars becomes the biggest and most popular RBI schemes in Europe.  As of 2019, over 4200 residence permits issued for property buyers since 2013 according to migration office. The property prices in Greece remains low attractive for real estate buyers. Piraeus and Athens are the most popular locations to buy property. Greece also plans to introduce EUR 400,000 Government bond and bank deposit options in 2019.

Latvia has the cheapest  EUR 50,000 plus state fee golden visa scheme in Europe. Latvia has issued over 4000 golden visas and half of it went to real estate investment. Government bonds and real estate require EUR 250,000 plus state fee.

Malta has issued less than 1000 citizenships under IIP. The residency visa scheme amended to include stocks and government bonds /securities listed in Malta stock exchange. Investors who buy government or company stocks for EUR 250,000 receive a permanent residence permit in Malta. Over 1000 applications received coming at 50 to 60 per month.

Thailand received record number of applications for its elite visa scheme. It is the cheapest residence program in Asia costs $15,000 to receive a five year visa.

Malaysia received over 1 million applications for its MM2H my home program. The scheme requires $120,000 in liquid assets plus $10,000 income per month to receive residence status in Malaysia

Jordan offers permanent residency to foreigners who buy $250,000 in real estate. Citizenship after five years to those who invest excess of $1 million to Government Securities/Bonds, Bank deposit or Enterprises.

United Kingdom introduced new changes effective from May 29, 2019. The investment requirement remains the same £2m investment but changes include removal of government bonds/securities, investments must be held for 3 years instead of 6 months. Entrepreneur visas replaced with startup and innovator visas starting from  £50,000 investment

Canada increases the investment to $1.2 million for Quebec immigrant investor program with an annual quota of 1900 applications. The total net assets also increased to $2 million. Canada also opens New brunswick entrepreneur scheme for $250,000 requires business investment and job creation. It is not a passive investment

Ireland announces minimum investment for immigrant investor scheme is EUR 1 million and no debt or loans permitted.

United States EB-5 is extended further and the minimum investment remains at $500,000. US EB-5 is the most popular immigrant investor schemes in the world. The wait times for chinese are 12-15 years to receive a green card.  The I-526 petitions declined in 2018 due to fraud and long wait times. Controlled substance users cannot naturalize for citizenship.

New Zealand is the most popular investor destination for very wealthy or UHNW americans and chinese.  NZ attracts ultra high net worth investors through investor visa scheme N$ 3 – N$15 million

in Billions

Golden Visa Investment

  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Latvia
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • Cyprus
  • Malta
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
As of 2018 including family

Golden Visa Residence permits issued

  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Latvia
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom