The citizenship-by-investment market is booming. From 2009 to 2014, citizenship sales grew from 100 million USD to 1 billion USD. In the first quarter of 2015 alone, citizenship by investment programs raised more than 300 million USD worldwide.
This increase in demand for citizenship has been accompanied by an increase in the supply of citizenship programs. Such programs exist in countries like Portugal, Turkey, Ireland, Hungary, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda and Malta, to name a few.
The Caribbean islands of St. Kitts-Nevis are one of the latest countries to enter into citizenship by investment in 2014 with their SKN citizenship program. However, citizenship by investment is nothing new to St. Kitts-Nevis since they have offered citizenship to those who meet certain requirements for citizenship since 1988.
Although citizenship by investment is a form of migration and the term citizenship itself does not fully cover what these programs offer, citizenship by investment seems to be more accurate, as it offers so much more than just a great property opportunity.
In general, citizenship by investment citizenship is a great opportunity for those who want to acquire citizenship in light of the fact that it results in citizenship on top of residency. This citizenship can then be renewed upon meeting certain conditions and citizenship without any restriction or obligation.
Turkey is another country that does this. One of the citizenship by investment programs that Turkey offers is citizenship for a period of 3 years, with no citizenship fee. However, this citizenship can be extended to citizenship without any citizenship fee and obligation.
In other countries like Panama, one can obtain citizenship after paying a citizenship fee. After ten years, you may become a citizen without any conditions or obligations, making Panama another great place to invest.
When looking at citizenship by investment programs, you need to look at the citizenship fee charged for citizenship. Some countries charge a high citizenship fee which may put off potential investors.
The citizenship programs differ from one country to another, making it difficult for those who are new to this type of investing. Fees can range from 250K to 2Million GBP depending on the citizenship program and citizenship status desired. In general, citizenship by investment fees is much less than citizenship programs where you need to reside in a country for several years.
One of the cheapest citizenship programs in Malta charges a 250K citizenship fee for the citizenship grant. Getting citizenship in Malta requires citizenship by investment, and the citizenship applicant has to prove they have a net worth of a 2.25Million GBP or more, which means they have a 250K citizenship fee at their disposal. (The citizenship applicant can borrow money from banks based on their citizenship application).
In Malta, you can also obtain citizenship through birth or marriage, but this is more complicated to achieve. With the standard citizenship by investment program, an applicant has to rent or own property and stay for at least 183 days there. Citizenship by investment in Malta gives you citizenship of the EU and also visa-free travel.
In any case, before you decide to apply for a citizenship by investment program, it is always best to speak with a team of investment and immigration experts such as those at Mortimers International in the UK. They will be able to guide you in the right direction regarding what options are available to you when the time is right.