With freedom of mobility having been so deeply affected starting in 2020, the concept of citizenship by investment has been gaining a great deal more attention. Specifically, it is the possibility of acquiring a second passport that has people researching this topic more than ever before. Being a dual national provides a number of benefits, from geopolitical diversification, to continued travel freedom when one’s birth citizenship might otherwise impede movement, due to temporary entry restrictions imposed on it by other countries. Some programs, such as the St Lucia citizenship by investment option, are especially attractive, in that they offer nationality for the applicant and all dependent family members, as part of a relatively easy and cost effective application process.
While it is also possible to obtain a second (and even multiple) citizenships through other means, including traditional immigration and family ancestry, those methods can take years. Even then, it may not possible to immediately include your dependent family members. So one of the main advantages of the investment route is that the nationality acquisition timetable can be shortened to mere months, for the whole family, assuming the main applicants pass basic due diligence.
Another benefit of economic citizenship programs is their egalitarian nature. That is, it does not matter what country you are from or whether you can speak the official language(s) of the nation offering the program. As long as you are a qualified investor with a clean background, you are eligible for application. Many such nations also offer outstanding tax benefits, including zero tax liability, and no residency requirement plus overseas application, making the acquisition process completely remote.
At this point you may be wondering what some of the countries that offer this are, and if being a citizen of such nations is even worth it. Thankfully, the list of economic citizenship nations is quite a glamorous one, featuring Caribbean islands such as: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia. Other options are: Montenegro, Turkey, and even Malta, with the latter offering EU-wide access along with its nationality.
Contribution costs are also quite reasonable, relatively speaking. For example, the St Lucia program has a minimum investment of $100,000 USD and that price is a 100% reduction from the original fee of 200k in the year 2017. There is also a less than 10k application fee however and the investment does increase when adding other family members (e.g. a family of four requires a total contribution of $150,000, so only 50% greater than the single-applicant cost; these numbers are subject to change at any time.) It is important to understand that this contribution is a donation, in that you are investing in the benefits of nationality, rather than in income-generating assets such as real estate; though there are new fund allocation options coming online all the time.
There are also other jurisdictions that do offer a real estate investment option, but very often, this entails buying over-priced property that you may not ever really use, and that may not have strong rental or resale potential. Also, real estate options are generally much higher (e.g. often twice as much) than the donation route, while some countries require a hybrid approach of part-donation and part-property investment.
If you are interested in quickly acquiring a second passport for yourself and family, citizenship by investment is the way to go. Make sure to read all of our program reviews at Travel Unbound, and enjoy our curated selection of educational videos from some of the best application agents in the industry.