Due to the recent financial crisis in the country, the idea of becoming an expat is getting popular again. People are looking for ways to settle in other countries and there is one way that has gained a lot of traction recently: citizenship by investment.
However, these investment programs are designed for affluent foreigners as they allow them to pursue opportunities abroad that weren’t available before. If you’re looking to get a second passport through investment, there are a few things you should know about first.
Graana.com, Pakistan’s smartest property portal, has listed the countries that are offering citizenship by investment.
Citizenship by Investment Programs
This investment migration isn’t a new concept as many countries are offering this alternative option to legally acquire citizenship for quite some time.
These allow anyone to buy a property or make any sort of investment in the country and, in return, the country grants citizenship to the investor. These programs are beneficial for countries seeking foreign investment.
Moreover, these programs provide benefits to the investors as well, which are mentioned below.
- More investment opportunities to diversify the portfolio
- Access to better medical, educational, and some other basic facilities
- Visa-free travel to various destinations across the world
List of Countries Offering Citizenship by Investment
There are several countries in the world that are offering this opportunity to investors. Some of them are in Europe and some are in the Caribbean.
For your convenience, we will share the details about some of the cheapest citizenship by investment options available right now.
Türkiye is considered one of the important countries in the region due to its geographical location – it is bordered by three seas and has access to both European and Asian markets.
Apart from its strategic importance, Türkiye has become one of the most-visited tourist destinations, with Istanbul becoming a major hub for tourism and other commercial activities.
In order to attract foreign direct investment in the country, the Türkiye government launched the investment program in 2017, through which investors can buy real estate in the country, which will make them official citizens.
Benefits of Türkiye Citizenship by Investment Program
Following are some of the benefits of this program for applicants.
- Visa-free travel or visa-on-arrival facility to over 110 destinations across the world, including countries like Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore
- Full citizenship to the applicant and his/her family members
- Eligible to apply for the E-2 investor visa in the US for a 5-year renewable period
- Easy access to countries in Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East
- High standard of living and access to all basic facilities
Requirements for Citizenship
In order to apply for citizenship in Türkiye, the applicant has to meet one of the following requirements.
- Acquire a real estate property that is worth at least $400,000
- Make a minimum of $500,000 fixed capital contribution
- Deposit a minimum of $500,000 or equivalent Turkish Lira into a Turkish bank account
- Invest at least $500,000 or equivalent Turkish Lira in government bonds
- Commit a minimum of $500,000 or equivalent Turkish Lira in real estate investment funds or venture capital investment funds
- Commit at least $500,000 in the private pension system for a minimum holding period of 3 years
After selecting the desired investment option, the residence permit application will be made on behalf of the family. The primary applicant will have to open a bank account in Türkiye as well. The applicant has to make an investment and prepare the required documents.
After receiving the application, the government will start the review process. This process will be completed in 120 days, after which the citizenship documents will be issued to the applicant.
Spain is another country offering permanent residency to those making investments in the country’s real estate (and other) sectors.
One of the most popular countries for tourism in the world, Spain launched its golden visa program in 2013. With this investment program, anyone living outside the EU will be able to get a permanent residency for 5 years.
Benefits of Golden Visa
There are certain benefits that you get through Spanish citizenship by investment. We have mentioned some of them below.
- Travelling without a visa to all Schengen countries
- Permit residence for the applicant and his/her family member on the basis of a single investment
- High-quality living with access to all world-class facilities
Requirements for Golden Visa
To apply for the golden visa, the applicant has to meet one of the following requirements.
- Investment of a minimum of €500,000 in real estate (the applicant can buy more than one real estate property)
- Deposit €1 million in any bank in Spain
- Invest €1 million in the stock of any business in Spain
- Commit €2 million in government bonds
- Start a business that results in the generation of employment in the country.
Following is the complete procedure for getting a second passport by investment.
- The client first chooses the investment option and submits an application for a Schengen visa.
- After submitting the application, the client has to travel to Spain for biometric verification.
- Once the verification is completed, the Spanish authority will review the application and approve it if there aren’t any discrepancies.
- You have to renew the visa after every two years and you will be able to apply for citizenship after 10 years of permanent residency.
Portugal introduced the golden visa program in 2012 with the purpose of attracting foreign investments to the country. It is one of the most popular programs among investors due to the availability of a wide range of affordable investment options.
With the help of this program, anyone with a clean criminal record living outside the EU can apply for citizenship.
Benefits of Portugal Investment Program
Following are some of the advantages of applying for this citizenship program.
- Visa-free travel to all Schengen countries
- Able to apply for citizenship after 5 years of permanent residency
- Easy, hassle-free way to get European citizenship
Requirements for the Investment Program
To qualify for this program, the applicant has to fulfill one of the following requirements.
- Transferring capital of at least €1.5 million to a bank in Portugal
- Creating 10 new full-time jobs in a single-member limited company in Portugal
- Making a minimum investment of €500,000 in the real estate of high-density areas and €400,000 in low-density areas
- Buying a commercial property worth €500,000 located in populated areas and €400,00 in less populated areas
- Investing at least €250,000 in the conservation of Portuguese national heritage
- Committing to the investment of €500,000 in the existing Portuguese company
Greece is located in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula, which is famous for its ancient history and beaches. It is another European country that offers citizenship by investment, which it introduced in 2013 for non-European countries.
Through this program, any person (aged above 18) from a non-EU country with a clean criminal record can apply for citizenship in Greece.
Benefits of Greece’s Golden Visa
Following are some of the benefits of becoming a resident of Greece.
- Visa-free travel to all Schengen countries
- Resident permit for all immediate family members such as a spouse, children under 21, parents and parents-in-law
- No minimum stay requirement
- Access to a high standard of living
Investment Options for Golden Visa
To apply for the golden visa, you have to choose one of the following investment options.
- Buy real estate worth at least €250,000 with a lease agreement of 10 years. The property should be a hotel or a place of residence in any tourist destination.
- Invest a minimum of €400,000 in Greek government bonds.
- Invest at least €400,000 in the venture capital fund, private equity fund or mutual fund that is based in Greece.
- Deposit a minimum of €400,000 capital in any bank in Greece.
- Invest at least €800,000 in shares, and corporate or treasury bonds listed in the Greek trading facilities.
The application is really simple and hassle-free. First, the applicant has to select the preferred investment option and then open a bank account in Greece. After making the payment for the desired investment option, he/she has to submit the application with the required documents.
One has to visit Greece for biometric verification. After the verification, the golden visa will be approved, and it has to be renewed every five years. The golden visa holders can apply for citizenship after seven years of permanent residency.
Australia is granting citizenship to high-net-worth individuals only. These individuals have to make a significant investment in the economy with the condition of minimum stay in the country.
The citizenship is given to the investor and his/her family after 4 years of permanent residency in Australia.
Benefits of Australian Citizenship
The following are some benefits of getting citizenship in Australia.
- Travelling to 181 countries without obtaining a visa (US, Canada, and Schengen countries are included in the list)
- Favourable tax system for the residents
- High standard of living with access to all basic facilities
- Access to international markets
Investment Options for Acquiring Citizenship
There are different investment options available for obtaining citizenship in Australia. Some of them are mentioned in the table below.
|Investment Amount||No minimum capital requirement||AUD 5,000,000|
|Goals||Business Development||Investing in startups and private companies||Investing in real estate and private companies|
|Conditions||Proof of business management with an annual turnover of AUD 500,000 and proof of AUD 800,000 in personal assets||Retaining investment for at least 4 years||Retention of investment during the validity of investor visa|
Requirements for Business Immigration in Australia
To qualify for business immigration, one has to meet certain requirements.
- No criminal record
- Age up to 55 years
- Proficiency in the English language
- Legal source of income
- Availability of funds for starting or investing in a business
- Relevant business experience
Procedure for Obtaining Australian Citizenship
Following is the complete process to acquire citizenship through investment.
- First, choose the preferred investment option and submit the required capital and documents to authorities.
- After the submission, the government will verify all the information.
- Once the due diligence check is completed, apply for the temporary visa.
- After getting the visa, you will receive a permit for residence.
- The applicant will be able to apply for citizenship after 4 years of temporary residency.
Canada is considered a great country to live in, with access to some of the best education and healthcare facilities. It is a developed country and has a reputation for ethnic and racial tolerance, making it a great place for immigration.
Canada also offers citizenship by investment, however, this program only allows the applicant to get permanent residence in Quebec, one of the largest provinces in Canada by area and second-largest by population.
There are various advantages of getting Canadian citizenship, which include:
- Visa-free travel to 180 countries including the USA, Japan, Australia etc.
- Facility for holding dual citizenship
- Free health insurance
- Low taxes and zero tax on income that is earned in another country
- Quality lifestyle and attractive benefits like pension
Business Immigration to Canada
To apply for Canadian citizenship by investment, you have to invest at least CAD 1,200,00 in Quebec. This investment should be made for starting a new business or buying an existing business.
The applicant must have two years of experience in the respective field of business. In addition to these requirements, the applicant must be proficient in English and French.
The applicant should not have any criminal record and diseases like HIV. Any person applying for the program must have assets worth CAD 2,000,000 as well.
The process for obtaining Canadian citizenship is fairly simple. The applicant must submit the required documents to the Quebec government. After submitting those, the applicant has to transfer the funds mentioned in the investment program. The Canadian government will issue an entry visa and resident permit that is valid for 12 months.
The applicant has to apply for citizenship during these 12 months. If the application is approved, the individual has to pass different tests. Once the immigration officials rule in the favour of the applicant, citizenship is granted to the applicant.
Currently, the Canadian government has suspended this program until April 2023, and there is no news on whether the program will be continued or not.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is another island offering citizenship to anyone who invests in the country. This program was designed for attracting foreign direct investment.
The government started the program in 2012 and offered foreign investors the chance to buy properties in the area or to make contributions to the “National Development Fund”.
Benefits of Citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda
There are different benefits you get with the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, and some of them are mentioned below.
- Visa-free travel or visa on arrival to 150 countries worldwide including countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK etc.
- Citizenship for immediate family members, including spouse, children (under 31), parents and grandparents (aged 55 and above).
- Certain privileges for citizens in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth states.
Investment Options for Citizenship
In order to qualify for this investment program, the applicant must be over 18 years of age and has to make investments in one of the following options.
- Buy real estate of at least $200,000 in the country. The applicant must hold the real estate for a minimum of 5 years.
- Invest a non-refundable amount of $100,000 in the National Development Fund.
- Make a donation of a minimum of $150,000 to the University of West Indies.
- Purchase any existing business directly by investing at least $1.5 million.
Antigua and Barbuda have a Citizenship Investment Unit (CIU) that reviews all applications and issues the passport after completing all the due diligence checks. It takes around three to four months for the applicant to get a passport to this Caribbean island.
The applicant submits the required documents with all the details of the investment. After the payment is made, the unit reviews the application and completes the verification process. The unit decides whether to issue citizenship to the applicant or not.
It is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean that is known for its beaches and resorts. This former British colony launched the citizenship program in 1993 to boost investments in the area. Unlike the process of citizenship in European countries, Dominica has an easy and straightforward process.
For your convenience, we have shared the requirements for getting official citizenship in Dominica.
- Making a non-refundable contribution of $100,000 to the Economic Development Fund
- Investing at least $200,000 in any real estate
Benefits of Dominica Citizenship
Following are some of the benefits of getting citizenship in Dominica.
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival facility to 144 destinations in the world
- No requirement for a minimum stay and restrictions on dual citizenship in Dominica
- Ability to work, study and live in Dominica
To apply for residence in the country, the applicant and his/her family have to take an oath of allegiance in front of the commissioner of oaths. Once the applicant has pledged allegiance to the country, the certificate of citizenship will be issued.
These are some of the countries that are offering citizenship by investment. If you want to know more about such programs in other countries, visit the Graana blog.