Second Citizenship By Investment
Citizenship essentially qualifies the relationship between an individual with a country. It has typically been the connection that an individual forges with a particular country on grounds of birth, descent and even prolonged period of residence. Citizenship endows an individual with civil rights which are integral to their welfare and prosperity. Citizenship also incorporates an individual into the ambit of the laws of the land and brings together different individuals under one unique identity.
For easy access to the public services offered by a country, such as education, health care, and infrastructural development citizenship plays an important role. Citizenship provides entitlement to the rights of a given nation, but also requires allegiance to laws of that nation. Citizenship also plays an important role in the prospects of an individual in the international context. Citizens of some countries are known to have better access to the world resources than others. The usual process of acquiring a citizenship includes citizenship by birth, citizenship of the parents passed onto the child, citizenship by marriage or citizenship by naturalization which through which individuals can acquire the citizenship of a country by residing and working in that country for a prolonged period of time. Citizenship of a country also provides an individual with a passport which in turn becomes the keystone for any transborder travel.
While citizenship of a particular nation avails an individual of a certain set of privileges, at the same time, it deprives them of others, depending on the nation’s international prowess and influence. Therefore, often to overcome the limitations, more and more individuals are finding the prospect of a second citizenship highly compelling and helpful for enhancing personal and professional growth.
Why Pursue A Second Citizenship By Investment?
A second citizenship offers individuals a chance of having a second home, helping them on sentimental, personal liberty or even important career-related grounds. With the advent of globalization, almost every market has attained an international character. International travel has become desirable for the process of creation and preservation of wealth. Moreover, given that certain countries offer better career and educational opportunities than the others, there has been an emerging trend of shifting bases across the borders. There are also instances of forced migration due to political instability, ongoing conflicts or inclement weather. Also, the affluent classes often tend to retreat to quieter and more suitable destinations in pursuit of an upgraded and luxurious lifestyle. Whatever may be the reason behind the movement, countries foster different degrees of flexibility in terms of permitting entry within their territory.
Passport index and global rankings play an essential role in facilitating global mobility as they aid individuals in identifying which countries are best for seeking a second citizenship from. Visa waivers or favorable visa policies enhance access to different countries, and it has been observed passports with higher rankings have an advantage over lower-ranking passports based on the access allowed to different countries. Another aspect of globalized economies is that often, the essential stakeholders and high network individuals are required to maintain parallel bases in more than one country. This leads people to seek out secondary citizenships, and an influential passport goes a long way in addressing such requirements.
Global mobility is one of the most relevant driving forces in today’s fast transforming socio-political climate. The world has largely transcended geographical barriers and accessibility to almost every corner of the world has improved greatly. In that regard, there is a high demand for international travel, be it for business or recreational purposes. Almost everyone faces the need to travel across borders since financial, diplomatic, academic and lifestyle opportunities have become largely cosmopolitan in nature. Despite the visible progress in this field, administrative regulations on trans-national travel continue to limit the scope of global mobility. As a result, the prospect of visa-free travel is becoming extraordinarily appealing, and in that context, a passport with a robust global index has emerged as a highly coveted and valued possession. Moreover, a judicious choice of country for a second citizenship can enable the applicants to optimize their tax payments while at the same time gaining a second home for their family. Educational opportunities are also likely to be enhanced by obtaining a second citizenship.
Second citizenship by investment in most cases goes a long way in expanding an individual’s business by granting the individual access to different markets and resources.
In recent times, several countries have opened the doors for citizenship to non-natives through unique citizenship by investment programs. It has emerged as a very opportune method of acquiring citizenship and consequently, the passport of a particular country by financially investing in that country.
What is Citizenship by Investment?
In the contemporary context, reaping the benefits of a powerful passport is a considerable asset for personal and professional development. This is primarily because, with the expanse of information and communication technology, individual needs are becoming increasingly international. For enhancing careers or educational pursuits or a lifestyle upgrade or even for leisure, people are no longer satisfied to be restricted by the political boundaries. Hence, a passport that enables people to venture far and wide, along with the convenience of visa-free or visa on arrival travel, is a highly treasured possession in today’s world.
Amongst the most popular and inclusive modes of acquiring citizenships of other countries is through citizenship by investment programs. An increasing number of countries are participating in this ingenious scheme through which individuals from different corners of the world can avail of the citizenship of a particular country in exchange for a certain amount of investment. Businessmen, students, travellers, diplomats and even retired professionals are increasingly getting attracted to this mode of obtaining citizenship for a variety of reasons.
On the other hand, citizenship by investment countries stand to make a substantial financial gain as well as diversify their culture and society by including people from different parts of the world and different experiences within their fold. This mutually profitable program has therefore tasted widespread success, and the number of participating countries is increasing rapidly. With more number of countries facilitating such provisions, the applicants can now choose between different countries and choose to apply for the program best suited to their needs. One factor that is worth considering is the passport index of the country in terms of the range of visa-free travel that it enables.
Citizenship by Investment Countries
There are several countries which offer a second citizenship by investment, and the number continues to increase with the popularity of the concept of the program. There are also numerous other countries which offer alternative routes to acquiring a citizenship vis-a-vis residency and Golden Visa programs. The citizenship by investment program lays down a straight-forward and hassle-free roadmap and therefore is the most sought after route for acquiring another citizenship. Under this provision, applicants can avoid sustained periods of stay in a country that is typically required under the terms of the residency programs. Instead, the citizenship by investment accords a faster process of lawfully acquiring a citizenship without disrupting an individual’s life in the country of origin. Many of the citizenship by investment countries are located in close proximity of Europe or are members of the EU. This can extensively broaden the advantages since acquiring a citizenship of any one of the countries will automatically translate into an EU citizenship by investment. Statistically, however, Malta and Cyprus have been the leading names in the list of countries facilitating investment migration.
Located strategically in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a beautiful archipelago known for its pleasant weather and mesmerizing landscapes. Malta is not only a highly sought after tourist destination but also an ideal place to stay, flourish and retire because of its booming economy and efficient governance. As a member of the European Union since 2004, Malta has emerged as a prominent location for citizenship by investment. The Maltese citizenship is one of the most beneficial citizenships to possess due to several perks including a passport ranked fourth worldwide according to the Passport Index.
The Maltese citizenship enables visa-free travel in as many as 124 nations as well as the benefit of visa on arrival in 41 countries. With an advanced infrastructural framework and a stable political climate, Malta enjoys cordial relations with most nations in the world and accordingly has enormous global connectivity, through air and sea links. By virtue of its association with numerous important international organisations like the United Nations, European Union etc., the perception of Malta worldwide has improved significantly, which in turn has boosted its global ranking. Further, the eligibility requirements for Maltese citizenship are fairly straightforward and the processing time is not more than 3-4 months. However, strict due diligence is conducted to ensure only deserving candidates are granted this highly valuable EU citizenship by investment.
There are numerous advantages that come with a Maltese citizenship, making it one of the most sought after countries to seek citizenship of.
- Visa-free travel in 124 countries and access to visa on arrival in 41 countries, including the U.S.
- The Malta citizenship provides a lifelong and permanent EU citizenship, allowing the passport holders to set up an establishment or work in any of the 28 EU countries and Switzerland.
- The applicants are not required to reside permanently in Malta to avail of the citizenship
- No proficiency in local Maltese language is required, nor are there any other related citizenship tests that are compulsory to be eligible for this program
- No mandatory military service is required
- A prompt citizenship application process with the approval taking place within 3-4 months and the completion of the entire citizenship process within a year
- A single application includes the entire family vis-a-vis spouse, children and other dependents
- Maltese Citizenship can be passed on to the descendants of the principal applicant
- Malta Citizenship programs do not require the applicant to pay taxes before six months of residency in Malta and taxes are levied on a remittance basis.
- Malta has a strategic location with excellent air and sea links and global connectivity
- A blissful lifestyle in a stable political climate and prosperous economy
- Maltese citizenship does not obligate an individual to forgo their original citizenship
Another delightful Mediterranean island, Cyprus offers a chance to indulge in a rich sense of history alongside overwhelming scenic beauty. Cyprus abounds in sun bathed white sands and sublime waters, making it perfect for outdoor adventures. Cyprus boasts of a dynamic culture and a thriving economy. By virtue of its location and balanced political climate, Cyprus has emerged as a compelling location for entrepreneurs and investors. The shipping and tourism industries in Cyprus are highly profitable sectors. The ease of doing business, relaxed taxation and immigration policies, are encouraging an increasing number of businessmen and high net-worth individuals to turn to Cyprus to seek out a second home. Cyprus has also been declared the fifth safest place in the world and the education, and facilities such as health care and the law and order are among the best in the world. With the convenience of the citizenship programs at one’s disposal, it is not surprising that the Frank Knight Global Lifestyle Review has ranked Cyprus as 5th in the world’s best countries for relocation.
The possession of a Cypriot citizenship entails several gains. To begin with, Cyprus has a free-market economy with a transparent legal framework which facilitates increased foreign investment and overseas business engagements. The Cypriot passport holds a global ranking of number 9 in terms of passport power, offering visa-free travel to 122 countries and visa on arrival to 39 countries. Being a member of the European Union, Cyprus enables its citizens to stay, study or travel without the hassle of a visa or relevant permits to any of the member states of the EU. This has phenomenal advantages for prospective students and professionals who can then have unrestrained access to a wider range of opportunities. The Cyprus citizenship program is one of the fastest and expedient gateways to acquiring an EU citizenship by investment with relatively fundamental eligibility requirements. Following are some of the benefits of a Cypriot citizenship.
- The Cyprus citizenship application follows a fast-track procedure with the approval of citizenship application occurring within approximately six months
- Visa-free travel to 122 countries and the provision of visa on arrival in 39 countries
- Cyprus accords the candidates a chance to simultaneously submit the residency and citizenship applications.
- No language requirements are to be met to be eligible
- The main applicant can include his/her parents, provided they qualify on the grounds of owning a house valued at €500,000 + VAT or a share of €500,000 in a residential property of the main applicant.
- Individuals in civil unions eligible to submit applications
- The candidates are under no obligation to forgo their current nationality
- Cyprus offers low tax rates and free trade opportunities within the EU
- Cypriot citizens have an unrestricted right to live, work and study anywhere in Europe.
- Cypriot citizens may rightfully own a property or an establishment in any of the member nations of the EU.
- Strategically located at the intersection of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa with direct access to the Mediterranean Sea.
- Among the safest countries in the world with a population below five million
- Superior education system and health care facilities
- A beautiful country, blessed with natural splendors and an agreeable climate all around the year.
Antigua and Barbuda
A picturesque Carribean island, Antigua and Barbuda had been a British colony for a very long time. However, since its independence, it has established itself as one of the key global political stakeholders of the world with prestigious memberships of the United Nations and the British Commonwealth among others. The tourism industry is flourishing with tourists flocking all around the year to witness its spectacular cliffs, cotton fields and soak up the pleasant weather. Antigua and Barbuda has a very powerful passport enabling visa-free travel to 150 destinations including the UK and the Schengen Area. The eligibility requirements are fairly simple and involve investments towards the National Development Fund, a purchase of a real estate asset and an investment in a business enterprise.
St Kitts and Nevis
Another mesmerizing Carribean island, surrounded by serene waters and lush mountains, St. Kitts and Nevis has one of the oldest running EU citizenship by investment programs. The application procedure is smooth and prompt and yields guaranteed results. The applicant is required to invest at least $400,000 or $200,000 in one of the government approved real estate developments or alternatively make a contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation and a non-refundable contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund of St. Kitts and Nevis. The benefits are many as it provides lifelong and permanent citizenship to the applicants and their family members, along with a passport which facilitates visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 152 destinations including all of the EU.
Grenada and Dominica are other popular countries that offer EU citizenship by investment.
The second citizenship by investment trend has recorded tremendous traction in recent years due to the wide range of benefits it confers upon the applicants. The reasons behind applying to such schemes may be plenty, among which greater global connectivity, alliance with strategic international organisations, lifestyle and business upgrade are prominent.
Let the experts at Citizenships.com help guide you on your journey to procure a second passport, identifying the best passport for your needs.