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February 11, 2021

Citizenship-by-investment programmes in 2021

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Author:

Neil Petch

Chairman of Virtugroup

With benefits such as enhanced freedom to travel, future security, economic stability, tax incentives and increased business opportunities, Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) has become a necessity for individuals and families who want to overcome the restrictions of their current passports, as well as have a Plan B to rely on during challenging times.

In comparison with traditional immigration, Citizenship-by-investment (CBI) provides a fast-track access to a legal second citizenship, due to its convenient and straightforward application process. Most CBI programmes grant citizenship to investors within only 3 to 4 months.

Since the first CBI programme was introduced by Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1984, other nations in the Caribbean and Europe have followed suit and developed their own second citizenship programmes, such as:

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Dominica

  • Grenada

  • Montenegro

  • Saint Lucia

  • Turkey

  • Vanuatu

Here are some of the most sought-after citizenship-by-investment programmes in the world today:

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda launched their programme in 2013. The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship-by-investment programme requires a minimum investment of USD 100,000 for the main applicant or a family of up to 4.

Citizenship can be granted within only 4 months, and a minimum residency requirement of 5 days during the first five years of citizenship must be met. 

However, if investors and their families wish to live in the island, Antigua and Barbuda will offer them a safe life and secure future, as the country provides a high-quality of living, as well as a stable economic and political environment. 

Antigua and Barbuda passport holders also benefit from visa-free access to over 140 countries, including the United Kingdom, Schengen states and major countries in North America, Latin America and Asia. Additionally, the country has 0% tax on foreign income, capital gains and estate. 

Dominica

Known as one of the happiest nations in the world, Dominica is also renowned for having one of the strongest and most affordable citizenship-by-investment programmes. 

Dominican passport holders can travel visa-free to over 130 countries, including the United Kingdom, Schengen states and most British Commonwealth member countries. Additionally, the country offers attractive tax benefits, such as 0% tax on personal income, foreign income and capital gains. 

Furthermore, they also enjoy generous incentive packages, such as corporate tax benefits, full exemption from import duties, tax relief and export allowance.

Another key benefit of Dominica’s CBI programme is that it does not require applicants to renounce their existing citizenship. The application to obtain the Dominican passport can take up to 3 to 4 months and physical residency in Dominica is not required. 

Dominica’s CBI programme requires a minimum investment of USD 100,000.

Grenada

Grenada is also a popular choice among CBI investors, as the beautiful Caribbean country grants citizenship without requiring applicants to travel to or live in Grenada to complete the application. 

A significant and popular advantage of Grenada’s CBI programme is gaining the eligibility to easily apply for the United States E-2 non-immigrant visa. This visa enables individuals and their families to live and work freely in the US. 

Furthermore, Grenada passport holders can travel to over 140 countries, including all Schengen states, the United Kingdom and major economic hubs in Asia, such as Hong Kong and Singapore. 

Another reason that Grenada has become a popular option among families is that the children of Grenadian passport holders can benefit from a 90% reduction in tuition fees to Saint George’s University, an internationally renowned university specialising in medical programmes.

Moreover, investors can include their spouse, dependent children, parents and siblings in their citizenship application.

Residency-by-Investment Programmes

Investors looking for an alternative to Citizenship-by-investment can consider residency-by-investment. This option enables individuals to legally and permanently reside elsewhere. 

Similar to citizenship-by-investment, residency-by-investment programmes require applicants to invest in real estate or government bonds to secure permanent residency. 

Most residency-by-investment programmes are offered by European countries, thus allowing applicants to enjoy benefits typically accessible to European residents. 

Here are some of the top residency-by-investment programmes in Europe today: 

Portugal

Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme is a popular option that offers European residency to investors. This programme gives residency permit holders the opportunity to travel visa-free across all Schengen states, as well as access to attractive tax policies. The application is straightforward and fast, with a processing time of only 6 to 12 months. A Portuguese resident can also apply for Portuguese citizenship after five years. 

Malta

The Republic of Malta is a Southern European island country consisting of 3 inhabited islands (Malta, Comino and Gozo), as well as a number of uninhabited islands, known for their sunny weather and attractive beaches.

The Maltese Permanent Residency Programme (MPRP) offers a lifetime residency certificate, which permits investors and their families to reside and live in Malta indefinitely. It also grants visa-free access to all Schengen states, Monaco, the Vatican and San Marino. 

Additionally, Maltese residency permit holders have the right to apply for the European Union Long-Term Residency, which grants many of the same benefits as a Maltese citizenship, provided that they physically reside in Malta for 5 years.

Overall, the demand for citizenship-by-investment programmes is expected to further increase in the coming year.

Janice Williamson, General Manager of Next Generation Equity, says, “2020 has been a great year for us and the investment immigration industry. We’ve seen a spike in the interest for second citizenship with a significant increase in inquiries and applications for Caribbean programmes such as Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda. European residency-by-investment programmes have also equally gained traction. Hence, we are positively expecting more success stories for 2021.” 

Global circumstances may be dynamic and swiftly changing. However, the desire to enjoy a better quality of life and secure a stable future will remain constant for everyone. Second citizenship is a worthwhile option to attain that and more.

To learn more about the suitable citizenship-by-investment programmes for you and your family, book a free consultation with our experts by filling out the form below.  

About Next Generation Equity: 

Next Generation Equity is a government-approved facilitator of residency and citizenship-by-investment applications from select countries across the Caribbean and Europe.

Since its establishment in 2014, Next Generation Equity has facilitated investment applications worth over USD 250 million.

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