What is happening with CBI and Golden Visa market? The Investor migration program market is a constantly evolving market with the landscape undergoing notable shifts. Governments are implementing key policy changes and updates, shaping the attractiveness of their citizenship offerings.
Citizenship by Investment (CBI) schemes have been running for a decade grant immediate citizenship for investing, whereas Golden visas (GV) grant long term residency for investments. The most preferred investment routes are real estate and donation. The two sectors has created a new investment immigration industry is $50 billion annual market in Americas, Middle East, Caribbean and Europe and is expected to touch $100 billion in the next decade.
Golden Passports have become a new safe haven asset class offering life insurance and asset protection for families as a very good future investment. A second passport giving dual citizenship status is a must for any HNW investor in their investment portfolio to cover against global crisis and uncertainties. A significant number of wealthy families think about citizenship and residence planning abroad for the future. A Plan B citizenship or residency has become quintessential for the post pandemic war-torn and chaotic world, with unexpected consequences.
Here are the some quick summary of the events unfolded this year
- Montenegro CBI is closed effective from Jan 1, 2023
- United Kingdom has rescinded visa free access to Dominica and Vanuatu.
- Portugal Golden visa real estate route is closed Oct 7, 2023. Other investment options available starting from €500K investment fund available. Newly established AIMA agency will process all golden visa applications replacing SEF borders service.
- Spain golden visa scheme is active and running with 500,000 euro property investment. The Government is considering whether to scrap this scheme soon or double the minimum investment.
- Hungary has announced opening of real estate golden visa for 250,000 euros.
- Latvia has proposed to end Golden visa program for investment.
- Netherlands GV program is scheduled for closing in Jan 1, 2024.
- Dominica was slapped with visa requirement by United Kingdom citing poor vetting for handing over passports to unqualified persons.
- Caribbean – All Caribbean CBI nations have implemented mandatory interviews tightening checks. Canada has approved conditional visa waiver to three countries: Saint Lucia, St.Kitts & Nevis and Antigua.
- Vanuatu – United Kingdom and European Union (EU) imposed suspension of visa waiver agreement for Vanuatu nationals visiting the UK schengen area.
- St.Kitts & Nevis has announced huge changes to CBI increasing the minimum donation to USD 250,000 and real estate to USD 400,000. Mandatory interviews imposed.
- Saint Lucia extends CIP Bond offer for USD 300,000 replacing Covid relief bonds. New amendments to CIP regulations announced for 2023. Saint Lucia also reduced real estate investment to USD 200,000.
- Ireland has terminated the immigrant investor scheme from Feb 15, 2023.
- United Kingdom have canceled their golden visa program (tier1 investor route) in 2020
- Greece has announced doubling the minimum investment to 500,000 euros in certain regions of Greece (athens, Mykonos, Thessaloniki, Santorini) from Aug 1, 2023. Other areas the investment will remain the same 250,000 euros.
- Bulgaria‘s citizenship by investment program is permanently canceled by government.
- Canada Quebec immigrant investor scheme reopening in 2024.
- Turkey has restricted foreigners buying land for citizenship purpose. Likely will increase minimum property investment for citizenship by investment to USD 600,000 in 2024.
- New Zealand has made changes to Investor plus program requiring $5 million investment.
- El Salvador grants freedom passport to Bitcoin state donations of US$ 1 million in Bitcoin or USD tether.
- Mandatory interviews implemented for all five caribbean citizenship by investment schemes.
- St.Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda and Saint Lucia have been approved for eTA visa waiver with Canada by meeting certain conditions.
- Rules for real estate have been tightened, no financing or illegal discounts schemes won’t be eligible for citizenship.
Let us take a quick look into these schemes running in over 20 countries worldwide.
Top CBI Programs
We ranked three programs best citizenship by investment programs for three years
- Grenada – 2020 Winner
- St Lucia – 2021 Winner
- Dominica – 2022 Winner
- St Kitts & Nevis – 2023 Winner
Top Golden Visas
- Portugal (2021 Winner)
- Ireland (2020 winner)
- Greece (2019 Winner)
St.Kitts & Nevis
We have Ranked SKN as No.1 CBI for 2023. The Government has announced major reforms to the program in 2023. The St.Kitts & Nevis Government completely revamped the CBI programme introducing significant changes from Jul 27, 2023
- Single applicant – US$ 250,000
- Main applicant and a spouse – US$300,000
- Main applicant, spouse and two dependants – US$350,000
- Each additional dependant under 18 – US$50,000
- Each additional dependant over 18 – US$75,000
Further all SGF applications automatically qualify for processing will be expedited to 120 days (instead of 90 days) without no additional fee.
Hotel shares – USD 400,000
Villas and Family homes – USD 800,000
The property must be held for 7 years.
Movie Production – USD 400,000
The St Kitts Govt has undertaken major initiative in signing more visa waivers to strengthen the travel freedom of SKN passport. St Kitts will also implementing mandatory biometrics for CBI applicants from 2020.
Canada has granted conditional visa waiver to all Saint Kitts citizens. They can apply for ETA (instead of visa), if they have already held canada visa in the past 10 years or held US non-immigrant visa.
Saint Lucia is a globally respected citizenship program offering a flagship CIP product. It remains the cheapest golden passport program till date. Recent CIP Saint Lucia has rolled out e-payments platform to process virtual citizenship applications, making the CIP faster and efficient. This cuts processing times to 56 days making Saint Lucia fastest CIP in the Caribbean. Saint Lucia is the No.1 CIP in the World, taking first spot in Best CBI rankings for 2021. It is undoubtedly a super-interesting and top class citizenship by investment program in the world. The following investment options are available to get instant citizenship in Saint Lucia. Be sure to know the actual citizenship costs before you apply.
- USD 100,000 Donation to National Fund
- USD 200,000 Real Estate Investment
- USD 300,000 National Action Government Bonds (Refundable)
- USD 500,000 Government Bonds (Refundable)
- USD 1.5 million (Business enterprise investment
Saint Lucia has announced key changes in CIP Amendments 2023. The category of ‘qualifying dependant’ has been expanded and now includes the option to “add-on” qualifying dependants in all investment options for the granting of citizenship. Besides your spouse, you can now include children up to the age of 30 as well as parents over 55 if they are fully supported by you. An unmarried sister or brother who is under 18 can also be included in your application.
Saint Lucia passport program is getting more popular with americans and nigerians, especially the caribbean country is renowned for exotic holidays and honeymoon destinations. More than a million tourists visit St Lucia every year. So far two real estate resorts have been approved: Canelles resort and Alpina hotel. Only investing in these projects will qualify foreign investors for passport under CIP regulations. Despite all this, the St Lucia CIP scheme for passport remains cheapest for single persons for just $109,500 plus lawyer fee. It is also possible to invest $200,000 in two approved CIP hotels (Canelles resort and Alpina hotel) for St Lucia citizenship. You can sell the real estate shares after 5 years.
The Government Bonds is a very popular route for St Lucia citizenship investing $300,000 fully refunded after 5 years (citizenship is not lost) guaranteed by government without interest. A family with unlimited dependents can apply for citizenship without increasing the bond sum.
The Zero coupon treasury bonds issued by Government for are risk free investments. Since the entire bond sum is fully refunded by government without interest, the net costs for citizenship is less than $50,000 There is also a possibility for family of five to apply for $300,000 bonds without increasing the bond sum. St Lucia is the only caribbean national that offers citizenship by investment against buying zero coupon government bonds (a low risk investment). The Bond investment option introduced special government bonds for $300,000 under limited time offer, this investment now reduced by 50% with slashing of fees. A family of 5 can apply paying $300,000 for bonds with no additional costs. Considering the entire bond sum is refunded back by government, the net costs for citizenship remains less than $60,000. That is even $12,000 per family member. This makes St Lucia one of the cheapest CBI programs in the world. This bond option is available until end of Dec 2022.
So far, there are only ONE approved CIP real estate projects approved by government: A world class Canelles resort development funded by citizenship by investment scheme. Those investing $200K or more in this development (share in the resort) will receive passport for family. Saint Lucia is a globally respected complete CBI program offering full citizen rights to investors (right to vote, public offices and right to enter politics)
Canada has granted conditional visa waiver to all Saint Lucia citizens. They can apply for ETA (instead of visa), if they have already held canada visa in the past 10 years or held US non-immigrant visa.
Portugal has the most successful and well managed efficiently golden visa scheme in Europe. Th PGV is not closed (only real estate is removed), other investment options available.
Note: PGV is closed for real estate. We now offer Cultural donation, Artistic investment, investment funds (fully refundable after 7 years plus 4-5% returns annually)
Portugal is the No.1 Golden visa program for 2021. With the real estate option is 90% popular among britons, americans, chinese, russians and brazilians.
The current golden visa processing times have stretched to more than 10 months because of the backlog.
Portugal offers 20% discount for golden visa investments in artistic, cultural projects with minimum 250,000 euros. Portugal GV is unique, and very attractive program in many ways, and there is a reason being so popular, standing out from the rest of the crowd. The geographic location of portugal with proximity to mainland of US, UK and Latin America with excellent flight connections attracts large number of property buyers. Portugal is the only golden visa program that offers citizenship without even living after 5 years with just 14 days of visits annual. No other golden visa program has this perk. All other programs require continuously live in the country before filing citizenship. If your goal is to become EU citizen, Portugal is way to go!
Portugal made amendments to nationality law granting citizenship to children of migrants after just one year of legally living in Portugal. Golden visa applications can still be filed online but appointments will be assigned only from July 1 in chronological order given equal treatment. The Portuguese passport is also the best travel documents in the world with visa free access to United States, Canada and over 160+ countries. Portugal also offers a special non-habitual tax residency (NHR) scheme for golden visa investors (likely close in 2024). EU/EEE nationals cannot apply for PGV, although they qualify for NHR. From Jan 2021, Portugal golden visa scheme will be open for UK nationals to apply, as a result of Brexit giving Britons a third country national status.
Hungary is re-opening its golden visa program in 2024 under the name “guest invest visa” to foreigners investing in properties in Hungary. The minimum required investment is
- EUR 250,000 in real estate investment fund (share certificate only)
- EUR 500,000 in residential and commercial properties.
- EUR 1 million donation to public foundation supporting art, research and scientific activities.
The long term residence permit will be initially issued for 10 years and is renewed indefinitely. Family members also qualify for residence permits under family unification. No requirement to spend minimum time in Hungary. First applications will be accepted from June 2024.
Grenada as the No.1 citizenship by investment program in the world for 2020 for its low pricing, passport power, family friendliness and to pursue E-2 investor visa to gain entry into United States under non-immigrant status. Those who come from countries with non-e2 treaty can secondary benefit from Grenada passport. This is one of the best and exciting citizenship by investment schemes in the Caribbean. The donation and real estate options are both popular. Having said this the Grenada CBI can be slightly expensive for families. Be sure to evaluate all the costs before you apply.
- USD 150,000 Donation to National Fund
- USD 220,000 in Real Estate Development
Grenada has greatly simplified application requirements for the citizenship by investment scheme making it easier and faster for clients to apply. The validity of documents such as medical, police certificates etc. have been increased. For the first time applications for real estate surpassed the donation option from investors applying for passports. Grenada is basically family citizenship by investment program with interest originating mainly from Chinese families.
As of today, it remains the best family friendly program accepting upto four generations of family members including siblings, parents, grandparents etc..
Grenada and E-2 Visa – USCIS has tightened the rules for acquiring E-2 visas for citizenship by investment. Effective from Dec 23, 2022, applicants require proof of 3 years residency, before becoming eligible.
There are many great real estate projects available for investing in Grenada . Investors can buy a share in this development for $220,000 and if they want passports for family, they can expect the total costs to reach $300,000 plus
Antigua & Barbuda
Antigua permanently has not made significant changes to the CIP as of 2023. As of today, it remains the best family friendly program accepting upto four generations of family members.
Canada has granted conditional visa waiver to all Antigua citizens. They can apply for ETA (instead of visa), if they have already held canada visa in the past 10 years or held US non-immigrant visa.
Antigua has reinstated 5 day residence requirement to visit Antigua as a condition for renewal passport after expiry. Another important change announced is Oaths can now taken at Antigua consulates worldwide online. Another important change made is children and dependents can now be added separately for just paying $10,000. Antigua Cabinet has also temporarily suspended the 5 day visit requirements due to Covid-19. As of Nov 2020, Antigua cabinet has further announced expansion of scope of dependants resulting in price cuts for families. Post citizenship additions for family members.
Antigua has introduced UWI fund for $150,000 (inclusive of processing fee) as an additional investment route. Only large families (6 or more) can apply. This option is cheaper than NDF for big families with six or more..
Antigua currently remains as cheapest citizenship by investment scheme for families, what differentiates from other schemes is a family of four (husband, spouse, 2 children under 18) can get passports by paying just $125,000 compared to other CBI schemes. Antigua CIU has published statistics on the CBI program from its inception to 2019. Antigua CIP has relaxed country restrictions (eg. Iraq and other countries). Antigua does accept stateless people amending its citizenship by investment 2013 legislation to allow wealthy stateless people born in these countries (UAE, Brunei, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia) to obtain passports. Antigua has also launched Nomad residence scheme in 2020, similar to Barbados.
Canada is a dream country for many wealthy families. The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, which allows investors to obtain Canadian permanent residence with a $1.2 million investment, will reopen in Jan 1, 2024 according to latest announcement. The QIIP will have new conditions such as:
- Must have C$ 2 million in net assets.
- Must commit C$1 million in government guaranteed IQ Immigrants Investisseurs inc.
- Must make $200,000 contribution
- Must live in Canada for 6 months or more.
- Must intend to settle in Quebec permanently.
The Golden Visa program in Cyprus for 300,000 euro property investment is still open, with a stricter conditions.
A New Golden visa scheme replacing the CIP is currently open issuing immigration residence permit for 300,000 euro property investment. The amended legislation was approved on 2020 expanding the golden visa. Cyprus citizenship by investment program is being abolished from Nov 1, 2020 according to a decision by council of ministers due to widespread abuse of the program. Citizenship regulations is now tightened.
Cyprus has tightened AML regulations for investor citizenship scheme subjecting all applicants and their family members to strict background and enhanced due diligence checks, after allegations of passports being issued for high risk clients reported by international media. The new rules will also empower cabinet to denaturalize passport investors who break rules. Cyprus has launched proceedings have been initiated on 26 persons to revoke citizenship, obtained by investment.
Malta has launched new citizenship by investment program. This scheme is known as exceptional citizenship for direct investments was published in gazette under Legal notice LN 434 of 2020. It is the last officially running investor citizenship scheme in the EU.
Here are quick summary of the new program
Malta Citizenship by Exception
- Investment increased to 750,000 € one time contribution to Govt for citizenship after 12 months. Another option is invest 600,000€ and apply for citizenship after 36 months.
- Must rent a home for 16,000€ euro per year OR buy a real estate for 700,000 € as permanent home.
- Applicants must live in Malta for one year (no citizenship without living)
- Limited quota of 400 investors naturalized for direct investments every year. A total limit of 1500 investors apply
- IIP Agency will be closed and replaced by creation of new agency known as “Community Malta” which will process all investment applications.
Malta has very strict background checks. The refusal rate for citizenship applications stands at 25% to 33% over the years. Malta has so far revoked citizenship for one applicant. The interest in Maltese citizenship scheme has been on decline due to negative media publicity and names of citizens published every year to general public. Malta participates in US Visa waiver program (VWP). As a result of newly imposed travel ban by US government, nationals of these countries not eligible apply for Malta citizenship and residency program.
Malta has announced important changes to Golden visa program. A New Malta Permanent Residency Program (MPRP) will open on March 29 2021 replacing previous Malta Residency Visa Program (MRVP). This is purely a permanent residence scheme granting indefinite rights to live in Malta and free movement in schengen area. Citizenship path is not possible under this scheme.
Donation – EUR 100,000 (non-recoverable)
Real Estate – EUR 300,000 (Recoverable)
All applicants are required to meet 500,000 euro net assets of which 150,000 euro liquid asset requirement to become eligible. No citizenship
The Maltese golden visa program remains the cheapest golden visa program in Europe offering permanent residency in the schengen area. Malta’s golden visa scheme has grown into popularity, so far attracting 1500 families have acquired permanent residency in the schengen area.
The Golden visa program in spain remains popular with chinese and russians buying properties in spain above 500,000 EUR. Investors get 2 year residence permit with the path of applying for nationality after 10 years, reduced to 3 years for Ibero countries.
- Real estate – 500,000 EUR
- Bonds or Securities – EUR 2 million
- Bank deposit – EUR 2 million
Spain also golden visa for highly qualified professionals and intra-company transfer employees. The visa decisions for residence permits are taken within 10 days also one of the fastest. In 2019, more than 2000 investors were issued golden visas for real estate investment in Spain.
The Turkish citizenship by investment (TCBI) scheme has surprisingly become the most popular and successful scheme in the world. As of 2020, close to 7000 foreign investors mostly from the Arab countries world have purchased properties in Turkey for citizenship.
New amendments to Turkish investment law from 2022, now requires investors to purchase USD 400,000 in properties converting to Turkish lira instead of foreign currency due to devaluation. Effective from Dec 12, 2024, foreigners will be barred from buying land, only will be allowed to buy apartments with building.
The following investments qualify for immediate citizenship in Turkey which includes residence permit, citizenship and passport. You can also apply for CBI program from Turkish consulates abroad.
- USD 400,000 Real estate (3 years investment in residential, commercial, we offer buyback refundable)
- USD 500,000 Government securities or Bonds (fully refundable with interest)
- USD 500,000 in Bank deposits. (fully refundable with interest)
New changes to the scheme allows bank account opening and buying properties done through proxy or power of attorney. It is also possible to register as citizen at embassies worldwide without visiting Turkey.
Despite having a weak passport, the TCBI scheme has been most appealing to arab investors because of proximity to the arab world, a trillion economy with the biggest real estate market. Turkish nationals also qualify for E-1/E-2 visas to enter United States, which is another major advantage. According to one real estate developer, there is a possibility that Turkey may raise the real estate requirement to $500,000 (from $250K) due to the demand in the market.
As of latest figures released by Ministry of Interior, Turkey has become new haven for citizenship by investment, reaching new heights.
- $2.7 billion invested
- 5,111 citizenship’s granted
- 9000 applications in processing
El Salvador has opened World’s first citizenship by investment program officially accepting Bitcoin as legal tender. The Freedom passport can be acquired in Just 6 Weeks with $1 Million in USD Tether or Bitcoin, donated once to the development of the nation. This exclusive opportunity available only to 1000 investors per year.
North Macedonia has opened a brand new investor citizenship scheme in Europe. It is a very good passport with visa free access to 124 countries and territories including Schengen, Japan, Ukraine etc..
North Macedonia is a candidate country to join EU in the future and has both E-1 and E-2 treaty with United States. North Macedonia launched citizenship for investment initiative pursuant to laws in 2017. The following investment options are available
- Private Investment Fund – €200,000 euro invested for a period of 2 years
- Direct investment Fund– €5,000,000 euro attracting atleast 20 foreigners
Under the CIP regulations, you are required to invest €200,000 euro in a Government donation fund (taken back after 2 years) and €5,000,000 euro in Business projects creating 10 jobs or in securities and shares. According to Investment law of Macedonia, only main investors can receive citizenship. Family members do not receive citizenship under this scheme. This program may be advantageous mainly to single applicants (with no family). It is a generous CBI scheme limited to 1000 investors and a much cheaper program than Montenegro. This program could be pretty interesting for those who like to acquire a discrete citizenship in Europe.
Greece golden visa property investments will double from Aug 1, 2023 for 400,000 euros. The 250,000 euros is still be available for investors who will buy property inner regions.
- Real Estate – 400,000 euro (Athens and surrounding municipalities) or EUR 250,000 (inner regions)
- Bank Deposit – 400,000 euro (one year deposit)
- Securities – 400,000 euro (fully refundable)
The Golden visa (GV) scheme in Greece has become No.1 spot in Europe attracting property investors worldwide. The minimum property investment required 250,000 EUR is one of the lowest in Europe at a time Greece with low prevailing property prices among EU member states. Most importantly a permanent residence card valid for 5 years with unlimited extensions are issued for GV investors in Greece. Greece made legislative amendments to Golden visa scheme from Dec 23, 2020. Greece is relaxing golden visa rules to restart its economy and reducing bureaucratic hurdles for investors buying golden visas. New changes allows foreign investors to invest in real estate, without setting foot in Greece through proxy giving power of attorney to authorized persons. Chinese, Turks, and Arab investors are the biggest consumer market for Greek golden visas. The Government has announced a number of incentives for property including VAT and tax cuts to drive investments. The Golden visa scheme also allows more additional diversified options such as Government bonds, Bank deposits and investment funds.
Greece is the only country in Europe that officially offers golden visas for 400K euro cash deposits in Greek banks or Government bonds. It is also possible to get 10 year residence permit for investing in strategic investment in Greece. Citizenship in Greece is possible after 7 years of legally living in Greece. Greek passport is also a very powerful european travel document in terms of travel freedom. Remember Greece has mandatory military service to all citizens.
Italy opened investor visa scheme in 2017, since then the investment scheme is still in infancy. Italy still offers residence visas for 500K in startups and 1M EUR in buying italian government debt.
Startups – EUR 250,000
Securities / Bonds – EUR 1 million
Property investments do not qualify. The residence permits are granted for 2 years.
One advantage of italian scheme is the special tax residency option offering a flat 100,000 EUR lump sum tax for millionaires or HNW individuals. Family members pay additional 25,000 EUR.
The Italian investor residence scheme still remains unpopular and there is no record of any applications processed. Italy has the second most powerful passport in the world.
The Dutch Golden Visa Closing in Jan 1, 2024 as per government announcement.
The Netherlands is one of the best countries to live, work and do business for HNW persons. Netherlands offers residence by investment scheme to foreign investors who invest EUR 1,250,000 in startups or investment funds in dutch companies. There are no additional requirements and the application process is quite simple. This scheme never took off and very few investor applications processed as of today! Netherlands citizenship after five years of legally living and remember Netherlands still has limitations on holding dual citizenship
Australia has attracted billionaires from Asia since the launch of significant investor visa (SIV) program in 2012 and the scheme has generated excess of $11 billion dollars in investment. Very wealthy chinese have invested over A$2.5 million dollars in this scheme.
- Business Innovation – AUD 750,000
- Investor stream – AUD 2.5 million
- Significant investor – AUD 5 million.
Australian Citizenship is granted after 5 years. After 4 years of lawful residence and 12 months as a permanent resident immediately before submitting an application. Absence Australia for a total of no more than 12 months in the last four years, including no more than 90 days in the previous year.
Australia over the years has emerged as prime investment and immigration destination for wealthy millionaires due to stable political climate, geographically not far away from mainland china, excellent education system with best universities in the world, highest standards of living and biggest property market.
Dominica remains the fastest growing economy in the Caribbean for 2020 driven by CBI revenues and tourism. Dominica is ranked Best Citizenship by investment program for 2022 for these solid reasons.
Dominica lost visa free access to United Kingdom as of 19 Jul 2023.
- Low cost and affordable Cbi program for families –
- New Visa waiver to China –
- Upgrading to Biometric passport strengthening security standards –
- Very good property market attractive to invest in hotels. –
- Very good use of CBI funds in sustainable development –
- Very good consulate assistance abroad for its citizens
Dominica signed mutual visa waiver agreement with China on Nov 22, 2021.
Post citizenship additions also possible for family members (parents, new born child and spouse). Be sure to know and understand the True costs of Dominica CBI. Dominica has relaxed CBI regulations for family members by making important changes to the definition of dependant This makes it easier for family members to apply (eg. adult children upto 30 years without enrolled in educational institution, grandparents above 55 not required to live with applicant, provision to include physically and mentally challenged family members etc)
The Commonwealth of Dominica opened in New embassy opened in United Arab Emirates (UAE) to strengthen diplomatic relations and provides very good consular assistance to diaspora population and CBI citizens in UAE. Dominica CBI scheme contributes to 52% of GDP of the island.
Vanuatu is a unique citizenship by investment scheme, in the pacific. It is the fastest passport by investment program in the world, and Vanuatu passport can be issued in 60 days if all documents are in order. Stateless people can apply for citizenship by investing.
Please Note: Vanuatu has lost visa free access to United Kingdom and Schengen Area as of 2023.
Vanuatu remains the easiest citizenship by investment program apply in terms of difficult in application and paper work. Be sure to understand the true costs of Vanuatu citizenship program under the following routes.
- USD 130,000 Donation to Development Support Program (DSP) Fund (All countries)
- USD 130,000 Donation to Vanuatu Contribution Program Fund (VCP) (Limited to China and HK market)
- USD 175,000 Real Estate investment
- AUD 150,000 Government bonds (launched in 2023 )
Government Bonds (IGBO)
No interest paid to investors. Additional processing fee apply. (Issue of Bonds are on hold)
- Bond maturing in 36 months- AUD I50,000
- Bond maturing in 30 months- AUD 170,000; and
- Bond maturing in 24 months- AUD 180,000; and
Processing fee – USD 15,000
Due diligence fee – USD 5000
Application fee – USD 2000
Vanuatu Real Estate
Vanuatu has opened brand new Real Estate Option (REO) program as a third option for citizenship by investment. The regulations amending the citizenship passed in parliament and published in gazette. Investing atleast USD 175,000 in Government approved properties will qualify investors for citizenship.
The Vanuatu citizenship commission now accepts Oaths taken through video conferencing. Vanuatu has become the best citizenship by investment scheme for 2020 for its speed of processing applications and easy filing procedure. The program has become cheaper with government setting minimum pricing to $130,000. To apply for Vanuatu CIP, you also have show additional proof of $250,000 in net assets or bank account to apply for Vanuatu DSP program. Vanuatu has also fastest passport processing times for investment applicants. The decisions are taken within 30 days, much faster than caribbean passport schemes. The application process of submitting documents is straightforward, less complicated. Vanuatu does not accept bitcoin officially, but there is a way you can pay using bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are accepted as proof for total assets requirement.
7. Pure tax free country (no personal, wealth or inheritance tax).
8. Highly discrete and confidential CBI for maximum privacy.
Vanuatu competes with Grenada, St Kitts to attract CIP clients for investments in $130K range and probably passport investors may find it very attractive. Vanuatu announced economic citizens who apply through DSP and VCP schemes do not have right to vote, hold public offices or participate in politics.
US has implemented modernization of EB-5 immigrant investor program operating since 1992. The most important change was minimum prices have been doubled to $1,00,000 ($800,000 in TEA). Other problems with EB-5 include long waiting times especially for chinese and fraud.
|Petition Filing Date
|Minimum Investment Amount
|Targeted Employment Area Investment Amount
|High-Employment Area Investment Amount
|On or After 3/15/2022
|$800,000 (includes infrastructure projects)
Since the announcement of new investment rules, the demand for EB-5 have slightly fallen, instead many investors especially from India, China prefer Grenada + E-2 investor route, as it is cheaper and much faster than waiting for years. Since then searches in google tends show reduced interest to EB-5 compared to CBI and golden visa schemes.
EB-5 processing of applications will become much faster from March, since USCIS will be changing its approach based on visa availability instead of first-in-first-out policy. US also implemented visa restrictions for 13 countries. The United States is still the most popular destination for wealthy immigrants to pursue business interests and investment.
Egypt has opened a new citizenship for investment scheme in 2019. Recent amendments to the law, has enabled foreigners donating to state $250,000 or buying a property for $350,000 will be given fast tracked citizenship.
Egypt directly competes with Turkey CBI for investments. Egypt despite having a weak passport power is attractive to many arab investors because it is a trillion dollar economy, have E-2 treaty with United States.
The Bulgaria CBI program is permanently closed from April 2022. The Bulgarian Golden Visa program is still open for investment.
Bulgaria still runs a immigrant investor scheme that grants fast track citizenship in two years and it is not closed yet. Don’t forget Bulgaria is a full EU member state and has visa free access to Canada. Bulgaria is a candidate country for joining schengen area and visa waiver program with US may happen in the future.
Bulgaria has modified its citizenship by investment scheme making amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship act from March 2021. There is also a golden visa scheme in Bulgaria that attracts investors who want just residency.
The problem is you have to maintain citizenship for 5 years and this includes two years after receiving your citizenship. If you dont maintain investments, citizenship would be stripped and several investors have been revoked of investment citizenship for not maintaining investments last year.
Latvia does have one of the oldest golden visa schemes actively running, quite popular with russian investors. The scheme has low investment conditions such as
- Company share – EUR 100,000 EUR (business) or
- Real Estate – EUR 250,000 (real estate) or
- Treasury Securities– EUR 250,000 State securities or bonds.
The scheme golden visa scheme due to new strict regulations introduced in 2015 and high application costs close to 30,000 euros per application. Latvia passport remains 19th powerful and strongest passport in the world, tied with Cyprus in our passport rankings for 2020.
Naturalizing for citizenship takes lengthy 10 years and there is no chinese interest in latvian scheme. Latvia also has implemented national service for all citizens.
Singapore is expanding the Global investor program (GIP) rules. From March 2020, family offices, successful startups and companies can invest in Singapore and seek permanent residence by investing S$2.5m ($1.8m). Singapore is No.1 country in the world for education, healthcare, ease of doing business and strong passport. There are also disadvantages with Singapore golden visa program. Note that
- Singapore does not allow dual citizenship (requires you to renounce previous citizenship if you become singapore citizen)
- Conscription/national service is required for permanent residents and citizens above 16.5 years and must be enrolled.
Mauritius has reduced golden visa investment to USD 350,000 (from $500K) to acquire permanent residency through real estate investment in the island. The validity of permanent residence cards extended to 20 years (from 10 years). These important changes were announced in the Budget 2020 speech.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The UAE Golden visa program is very popular among foreigners who seek to become residents through buying a property.
Real estate – AED 2 million (or)
Federal Tax – AED 250,000 per year (or)
Investment fund – AED 2 million
- an entry visa for six months with multiple entries to proceed with residence issuance
- a long-term, renewable residence visa valid for 5 or 10 years
- the privilege of not needing a sponsor
- the ability to stay outside the UAE for more than the usual period of six months in order to keep their residence visa valid.
The UAE Government has announced, for the first time in history, the emirati citizenship will be granted to foreigners, investors and expats. Amendments to law adopted that allow granting the UAE citizenship to investors, specialized talents & professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families. The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our development journey. The law allows receivers of the UAE passport to keep their existing citizenship. UAE will be legalizing dual citizenship for the first time to expats.
The Seychelles investment board announced opening of new citizenship by investment program in this small african island for $1 million investment. The Conditions for citizenship include 11 years of living, no criminal record and taking citizenship test. A Permanent residency program or Golden visa is also granted to investors who invest alteast $1 million in Seychelles.
Seychelles passport remains one of the powerful passports in the world. This country has visa free travel to close to 150 countries and territories. This country is one of the few countries in the world that has visa waivers with Russia, China, UK, EU schengen countries (others are Brunei, Grenada, Mauritius)
El Salvador has become the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. The Government has approved new immediate permanent residency program for crypto investors investing BTC 3 or more. There are also no taxes on capital gains from crypto investments.
Sri Lanka has been facing tough financial crisis aftermath of covid. To revive the economy this asian country has introduced Golden paradise visa program in 2022. It is now possible for foreigners to invest in property, bonds, bank deposit and business to receive a 10 year golden visa. Investments start from USD 100,000 onwards.
New Zealand has made changes to golden visa creating a “Investor plus” new route, replacing Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories to attract skilled and experienced high-value investors to New Zealand to encourage economic growth. Benefits include live, work, study in NZ, Investors will need to spend at least 117 days, or around a month a year, in New Zealand over the four-year investment period. Direct investments in properties are not allowed, closed to foreign investors.
- NZD $5 million (direct investment)
- NZD $15 million (indirect investment)
What’s new in 2023?
The Global demand and interest remains high for citizenship and residency programs. Rules have been simplified to include family members upto third generation. Streamlined Processing times have been reduced due to digital processing of applications.
What are the processing times?
All countries require exhaustive documentation. Approvals are issued within 3-4 months.
What documents are required?
Application forms, certified government issued documents (eg. passport, police certificate, birth certificate, marriage/divorce certificate. etc). Additional documents require proving source of funds and bank references.
What are the most popular Golden visa programs?
Portugal and Greece are the most popular golden visa programs at the moment.
How to get EU citizenship investing in real estate?
Pick Portugal, Spain or Greece. These countries will guarantee you a citizenship path for investing in properties.
Who cannot apply?
Nationals of countries under international sanctions (Russia, Belarus, Iran) cannot apply for Golden citizenship and residence programs.
What are the current processing times?
The Processing times for CBI is about 3-4 months. For Golden visa programs, you should allow 6-8 months to complete. For some programs, you are required to take a trip within one year for providing biometrics to receive your residence permit.
How to apply ?
First contact us for a consultation. We will assign you a lawyer or licensed agent free of charge.