The concept of buying citizenship for cash have existed in ancient times. Roughly two thousand years ago , Roman citizenship was sold to rich and wealthy for money. In the book of Acts, Paul has a discussion with a Roman Centurion who claims he bought his citizenship “for a lot of money”.

 

Roman citizenship gave its citizens, right for unimpeded travel across the empire (modern day schengen area), given right to vote and given immunity against torture and death sentence (unless for treason).

 

History of Past Economic Citizenship by Investment Programs which operated since 18th century and in the 1980’s. Many of these citizenship for sale schemes in the Pacific existed officially closed after 9/11 due to concerns of abuse.

1. Europe

Country Period Investment
Roman Era  212 AD
Scotland 18th century  £83
Ireland 1984-1994 £1m (Shares in Royal bank of Scotland)
Montenegro 2008-2010 €500,000

 

2. Caribbean

Period
St Kitts and Nevis 1984 $150,000 (real estate) or $200,000 (Government debts/ bonds)
Dominica 1993 $50,000
Belize 1985-2001 $40,000 (closed in 2001)
Grenada 1007-2001 $40,000

 

3. Pacific Islands

 

Pacific Island Tax Havens in 1990’s apparently sold 13,950 passports raising a minimum of $153,450,000 (about $11,000 each). Wealthy purchasers, mostly ethnic Chinese, consider the price (up to $50,000 per head of a household) reasonable.

These economic citizenship programs in the pacific operated unofficially, with average family citizenship costing $50,000.

 

Country Period Investment Revenues
Nauru 1998-2002 $50,000 $92 million (6.5% of GDP)
Tonga 1982-1996 $50,000 $24 million (2% of GDP)
Vanuatu 1996-1997 $50,000 $3.3 million (1.5% of GDP)
Marshall Islands 1995-1996 $50,000 $22 million (11% of GDP)
Samoa 1991-1997 $50,000 $24m (2% of GDP)

 

Active Citizenship by Investment in 2019

 

Today there are about 14 citizenship by investment schemes actively running and more countries as of 2019, more countries expected to introduce a CIP in the future.

 

Country Origin / Start Investment required Visa free countries (2018) HPI Passport time
1. St Kitts and Nevis 1984 $150,000 151 4-6 months
2. Dominica 1993 $100,000 137 4-6 months
3. Cambodia 1996 $250,000 54
4. Antigua and Barbuda 2013 $100,000 150 4-6 months
5. Cyprus 2013 €2 million 173 7 months
6. Grenada 2013 $150,000 144 4-6 months
7. Malta 2014 $1 million 183 12-15 months
8. Vanuatu 2015 $160,000 129 4-6 months
9. Saint Lucia 2015 $100,000 146 4-6 months
10. Turkey 2017 $250,000  111 3-5 months
11. Samoa 2017 $1.5 million 129 36 months
12.  Moldova 2018 €100,000 122 3 months
13. Montenegro 2018 €350,000 123 3 months
14. Bulgaria 2009 €1 million 169 12-15 months