Citizenship by investment (CBI) schemes have restrictions on certain nationalities, but every country is different set of conditions.

In most cases, if you are from a country subjected to US/EU embargo or sanctions, you cannot apply for CBI schemes. If  due diligence checks cannot be made on the applicant in a country, then it is not possible to apply for CBI schemes.

Stateless persons are also accepted by some countries.

Here are the list of banned or restricted countries for citizenship by investment schemes.

1. Vanuatu

These nationals cannot apply for Vanuatu DSP/VCP citizenship by investment scheme

  • Yemen
  • Syria
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • North Korea.

Vanuatu may accept nationals from restricted country if they have not resided in restricted countries for 5 years and can provide evidence of permanent residence abroad.

Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) from time to time may restrict countries subjected to UN sanctions. Stateless persons can also apply for Vanuatu

2. Antigua and Barbuda

Citizens of these countries will not be able to apply for Antigua citizenship by investment scheme.

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Yemen
  • Sudan

Exception: Nationals of the countries listed are eligible to apply for citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda under the Citizenship by Investment Program after having met the following criteria:

  • Individuals born in these restricted countries but who migrated before the age of majority and/or have maintained permanent residence in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for a period of not less than 10 years and maintain no economic ties to any restricted country.

In addition, all applicants will be required to fully comply with the Programme’s due diligence requirements.

3. Dominica

Cases decided on individual basis. Stateless persons can also apply

  • Iran,
  • North Korea and
  • Sudan


(1) have not lived in these countries for the last 10 years,

(2) have no substantial assets there, and

(3) are not performing and have not performed any business or similar activity, in whole or in part, in or with these countries.

(4) Subjected to Enhanced due diligence checks.

4. Grenada

There are no specific country restrictions, but cases decided on individual basis. However it is important to note that Grenada automatically rejects applications refused by other CBI countries.

5. St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts does not accept countries on the OFAC Sanctioned List are under CIP rules.

  • Afghanistan,
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • North Korea

These nationals cannot apply for SKN citizenship regardless of where they live.

Other blacklisted countries are decided on case basis and due diligence performance.

6. St Lucia

These nationals cannot apply for St Lucia citizenship by investment, due to due diligence checks cannot be effectively performed in these countries.

  • Iran

All other nationalities are eligible to apply

7. Malta

The policy of the Maltese Government excludes or restricts these nationals from applying for Individual investor program (IIP). This also includes non-nationals but reside, do business, have significant ties with, or connections to these countries. Citizens from countries included on the US Travel Ban also cannot apply.

  • Afghanistan
  • North Korea
  • Iran
  • Congo
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Syrian
  • Yemen
  • Venezuela

8. Cyprus

Individuals and legal entities subjected to sanctions cannot apply for Cyprus investment scheme.  Note Cyprus has closed the passport scheme in 2020

  • EU sanctions
  • UN sanctions
  • Sanctions imposed by third countries such as United States, Russia, Ukraine
  • Politically exposed person holding office for atleast 5 years

9. Bulgaria

No restrictions apply

10. Turkey

No restrictions currently apply, however nationals of certain countries subjected to sanctions (eg. Iran) may have difficulty in opening bank account or make payment transactions in Turkey to buy real estate under citizenship by investment scheme

11. Montenegro

No restrictions apply, however some applications are considered on specific case basis.

12. Stateless

These countries accept stateless persons or families

  • Dominica
  • Vanuatu
  • Turkey
  • Cyprus
  • Antigua and Barbuda (stateless people born in —Brunei, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia)


You can also download this blacklist information in pdf format