During 18th century, the world’s first special citizenship-by-investment program prevailed in Scotland, a century before St Kitts started the idea, which continued long after the Union with England in the 18th century: a share investment of GBP 83 in the Royal Bank of Scotland allowed a foreign citizen to become a citizen of Scotland and, by extension, the UK.

During the 18th and 19th century in England, there were a large number of mainly German and Italian merchants and wealthy investors, who acquired citizenship for merely economic reasons, and did not necessarily settle in England.

St Kitts and Nevis pioneered the idea of citizenship by investment in 1984 and since then as many as 15 countries officially have active CIPs running  as of 2018.


History of Citizenship by Investment

The economic citizenship programs existed in several countries well before 2010.

  • Scotland 18th century – £83
  • St Kitts and Nevis 1984 for $250,000
  • Dominica 1993 for $50,000
  • Belize 1985-2001 $40,000
  • Cyprus 2007 – EUR 25 million
  • Ireland 1984-1994 for £1million, citizenship scheme closed in 2002 replaced with immigrant investor scheme
  • Grenada 1997-2001 for $50,000 reopened in 2015 for $200,000
  • Montenegro 2010 (EUR 500,000)  reopened in Oct 2018 for EUR 250,000
  • Nauru 1998-2002 for $50,000
  • Tonga 1982-1996 for $50,000
  • Vanuatu 1996-1997 for $50,000 relaunched in 2016 for $200,000
  • Moldova 2018 for EUR 100,000

Here is the infographic

History of CBI



From just two CIPs in 1990’s,  proliferated to 15 countries implementing it and the concept of  citizenship by investment is being widely embraced globally, despite criticisms on due diligence.

It is estimated that CBI-citizenship by investment industry is $3 billion industry and by 2020, the industry is predicted to become $5 billion and more countries expected to offer citizenship through economic investment.


CountryInception Minimum InvestorResidency Requirements Citizenship time
1St Kitts and Nevis1984 $150,000 – 3-6 months
2 Dominica1993$100,000 – 4-6 months
3Cambodia1996$250,0003-6 months
4Bulgaria2009€1 m 1 year15 months
5Cyprus2011€2 m6 months 8 months
6Grenada2013$150,0003-5 months
7Antigua and Barbuda2014$100,000** 5 days4-6 months
8Malta2014€1.15 m1 year15 months
9Saint Lucia2015$100,000 –5-7 months
10Samoa2016$1.65m3 years3 months
11Turkey2017$1munknown3 months
12Vanuatu2017$150,0003-4 months
13Jordan2018$1.5m5 years3 months
14Moldova2018€100,000 – 3 months
15Montenegro2018€350,0003 weeks3 months
16Bulgaria2010€1,000,00018 months3 months

In 2018, Egypt and Mauritius announced opening of economic citizenship program in the future.

  • Egypt ($390,000)
  • Mauritius ($500,000)