There are many great reasons to invest in second citizenship. The exact drivers for investing in a citizenship by investment programme differ greatly from person to person. For some it is all about lifestyle factors. Second citizenship can offer citizens of less economically or politically stable countries an insurance policy against unrest and uncertainty in their home country, for example.
This is particularly prudent right now with global forced displacement at the highest it’s been for decades.
Then there is the question of mobility. Some passports can be very restrictive regarding global mobility, which can be a real hindrance for anyone who enjoys – or relies on – international travel. The ability to travel freely around the world is an issue of both personal and professional freedom. After all, your passport dictates where you are able to holiday and take business meetings and your ability to travel without lengthy visa delays and restrictions.
The business benefits of dual citizenship are also a key driver, as restrictions in global mobility often also translate to restrictions in trade and investment. There may also be greater tax efficiencies to be found through citizenship by investment – many countries that offer citizenship programmes also boast a 0% corporate tax rate.
But while their reasons for applying may be different, many investors share a common goal – searching for the cheapest citizenship by investment programme on the market. This is a business decision after all, and price is always going to be a key factor.
Who offers the cheapest citizenship by investment programme?
Obtaining second citizenship through investment is often thought to be a luxury only available to millionaires, however, there are in fact many affordable citizenship and visa programmes available.
Dominica: The Dominica Economic Citizenship Programme offers two methods of investment, both of which are more affordable than you might think. The non-refundable donation investment starts from USD 100,000 for a single applicant, or USD 175,000 for the applicant and a spouse, or USD 200,000 for a family of four. The other option requires a minimum USD 200,000 investment into real estate, plus government fees depending on the number of applicants – starting at USD 25,000 for a single applicant, or USD 35,000 for the applicant and a spouse, or a family of four. One of the main benefits of Dominican citizenship is increased global mobility – Dominican passport holders can travel to 120 countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms.
The Dominica Economic Citizenship Programme offers two methods of investment, both of which are more affordable than you might think.
Antigua and Barbuda: The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment programme offers three investment options. The non-refundable donation starts from USD 100,000 plus USD 25,000 processing fees. That includes a family of four, making this the most affordable option available for families. The real estate investment has recently been reduced and now starts at USD 200,000 plus processing fees of USD 50,000, once again this includes applications for a family of four. Finally there is a business investment option, however it is not what most people would consider affordable. Total investment here must be USD 1.5m as a sole investor. Alternatively, there can be a joint investment totalling at least USD 5m, with each investor contributing at least USD 400,000. Once a citizen, you can you can travel to 129 countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms. Plus, like many of its Caribbean neighbours, Antigua and Barbuda is also a world-renowned tax haven.
Saint Lucia: Saint Lucia goes one further and offers four investment options. The non-refundable donation investment starts from USD 100,000 for a single applicant, plus fees. An additional USD 65,000 adds your spouse, or a total USD 190,000 secures citizenship for a family of four. Alternatively, real estate investment starts at USD 300,000. The third option is an investment into enterprise projects, however again this is not the most affordable option. Investment starts from USD 3.5m for a sole applicant, or USD 1m as part of a total joint venture of USD 6m. Finally, investors can secure citizenship with an investment of USD 500,000 into non-interest-bearing government bonds that must be held for at least five years. As the holder of a Saint Lucian passport you can travel to 126 countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms. You’ll also see tax benefits, with corporation tax at 30%, VAT at 15% (or 8% within the hotel industry) and zero capital gains.
You’ll also see tax benefits, with corporation tax at 30%, VAT at 15% (or 8% within the hotel industry) and zero capital gains.
If you don’t wish to invest in the Caribbean there are two other options that fall into the category of affordable – one in Europe and one in the Pacific.
Vanuatu: Second citizenship in Vanuatu is achieved through the Development Support Program; a fully legitimate and state-backed agreement. Single applicant fees are EUR 140,000 or EUR 190,000 for a family of four. Payment is also uniquely available through cryptocurrency. As a citizen of Vanuatu, a member of the British Commonwealth, you’ll be able to travel to 125 countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms, including Russia, the UK, Hong Kong and all of Europe.
Malta: The Maltese programme is certainly more expensive than those in the Caribbean, however if it is European citizenship that you’re after, it takes some beating. Investments into the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) start at EUR 650,000 for the main applicant, then an additional EUR 25,000 for a spouse, and the same again for any dependants under 18. This investment only secures residency. After five years residency can be converted into full citizenship, however at this stage you will be required to make a further significant investment. Maltese citizenship offers free travel to 157 countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms – and as Malta is an EU country, you’ll also be able to live, travel or work easily anywhere else in the European Union.
The Maltese programme is certainly more expensive than those in the Caribbean, however if it is European citizenship that you’re after, it takes some beating.
Ready to apply for second citizenship?
The rise of globalisation has increased the need to travel and communicate freely throughout the world. For many, this is no issue at all. For others it is a major sticking point: the world’s strongest passports unlock unrestricted travel to over 150 countries, for others this number can be less than 30.
The modern citizen doesn’t have to stay stuck, however, thanks to citizenship by investment.
And global mobility is just the tip of the iceberg. Citizenship by investment unlocks a wealth of personal and business benefits, from greater security and quality of life through to increased trading opportunities and tax efficiency. Don’t feel trapped by your travel document, become a truly global citizen with citizenship by investment.
Next Generation Equity specialises in dual citizenship-by-investment and residency-by-investment programmes around the world. To schedule a no obligation consultation