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Citizenship by Investment Programs Guide

The world is a global village, and more and more countries are attempting to attract wealthy investors from all over the world. Citizenship by investment programs has become extremely popular in recent years as a way for states to reduce their populations of non-citizens as well as to make additional income from those who can afford it.

Citizenship by investment programs is used by countries, territories, and even cities that seek to attract foreign nationals who would like to obtain citizenship via the purchase of property or investment in businesses within their territory.

How do Citizenship by Investment Programs Work?

Citizenship by investment programs (also called “CIPs”) are a popular way for individuals to obtain citizenship in another country.

The first program was launched in 1984 as an experiment by the government of St. Kitts and Nevis. The idea was to attract foreign capital and to promote tourism on the two islands, which were poor and facing economic difficulties. Today, there are more than 20 CIPs around the world, and they provide a fast-track to permanent residency or citizenship for those who invest large sums of money into the economy of the host country.

The number of people applying for citizenship by investment programs has been increasing at a steady rate, and it’s easy to see why. For most countries, the process is straightforward and inexpensive – costing far less than what you would pay in legal fees and immigration costs. To give you an idea:

Cyprus: $250K contribution to the country’s development fund and government bond purchase program; $1M personal bank guarantee; $5K-$10K for legal fees

Cayman Islands: $400K real estate investment, $200K per dependent child

Portugal: Investing $500K in real estate will secure a family residency permit. The golden visa can be renewed every two years, and the applicant must spend two weeks in Portugal every two years to qualify.

St. Kitts and Nevis: It requires either a donation to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) of $150K, or an investment in real estate plus related government fees which would sum up to at least $400K.

Dominica: The first option is to make a donation to the country under the investor visa program Single Applicant for $100K. The second option available is through a real estate investment for $200K minimum.

Turkey: Turkey’s Economic Citizenship program offers both real estate and bank deposit options. The real estate route is particularly attractive for investors, through a property purchase of a minimum of $250K, making Turkey one of the lowest costs for citizenship by investment programs on the market. Turkey has many global connections: it has an E-2 Visa treaty with the United States, which makes Turkish citizens eligible for US residency. 

Grenada: Applicants must invest $150K in real estate or make a donation of $220K to the government. They must also hold on to these investments for 5 years.

Spain: Investing $500K in a property can gain the investor its residency. The Spanish investor visa is renewable every two years. After five years it is possible to gain permanent residency and after ten years: citizenship. It is not necessary to live in Spain in order to obtain and renew the residency visa permit.

Antigua and Barbuda: There are several options for investment to gaining citizenship in Antigua. The National Development Fund contribution is of $100K. Establishing a business costs $1.5m ($5m for two or more investors). Individuals can invest $400Kin real estate ($200K for connected individuals).


There are many different types of citizenship by investment programs, each with its own unique set of requirements. If you are interested in becoming a citizen through investment, it is important to consult with an expert first to ensure you meet all the necessary criteria.


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