Written by 3:29 pm Blog

Can You Buy Your Way to Citizenship? (Answered)

People find additional citizenship alluring for a variety of reasons. It can enhance global mobility, safeguard assets, and offer tax optimisation opportunities.

Citizenship by investment (CBI) programs are offered across Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Oceania. The requirements for eligibility vary, with options ranging from real estate to government bonds.

Turkey

When it comes to passport by investment programs, Turkey is one of the most popular choices in the world. Its fast and easy process, combined with minimal requirements like due diligence and a clean criminal record, has made it an extremely attractive option.

The Turkish citizenship by investment program allows investors to purchase residential, commercial, or land property worth at least 400,000 dollars. It does not matter whether the property is new or second-hand, and it can even be an apartment complex that has already been completed. The investment must be held for three years, and the investor must have been a legal resident of Turkey for at least three years before they can apply for citizenship.

Real estate investments are the most common way to obtain Turkish citizenship, and they’re also a great way to diversify your asset portfolio. Since properties are typically priced in USD, a drop in the Turkish Lira can actually make your investment grow, thanks to the traditional correlation between currency and real estate prices.

As a member of the G20 and NATO, Turkey is a strong regional economic powerhouse. Its large market and high GDP rate also mean that it has many opportunities for foreign investors.

However, the country’s political instability, the troubling situation in war-torn Syria, its hostile relations with Armenia, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dictatorial aspirations are still major concerns for many investors. As a result, it’s important to carefully research and evaluate any investment opportunity in Turkey before investing. For the most peace of mind, consider working with an expert to help you navigate the country’s citizenship by investment program. They’ll be able to recommend the best options and provide you with the support you need throughout the process.

Vanuatu

Similar to how unique the investment options for the golden visa in Portugal are, the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu is home to a unique citizenship by investment program that allows foreign investors and their families to become citizens in exchange for a significant donation to the government. The program is marketed as one of the fastest, cheapest and lax golden passport schemes in the world, offering unfettered visa-free access to 130 countries and tax benefits that are particularly attractive for international businesspeople.

Known for its breathtaking beaches, mountainous rainforests and turquoise blue waters, Vanuatu is a paradise for those seeking a second residence. The country’s pristine nature and warm, welcoming locals make it an ideal place to settle down and build a new life.

Its economy is largely based on tourism, which accounts for 80% of its export revenues. The government has a long-standing commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection. Its laws are based on the principles of sustainability, community participation and equality.

Vanuatu’s investment-based immigration program offers two options: the Development Support Program and the Contribution Program. The former is a fast-track option that requires a one-time, non-refundable donation of at least $130,000 per applicant, and the latter offers an even more affordable investment threshold for a family of four.

Both programs require applicants to pass a due diligence clearance with the Financial Intelligence Unit, which will verify their identity and source of funds before they are approved for citizenship. In addition, the government requires applicants to personally take an oath of allegiance in person. While some may find this requirement excessive, the country’s remote location makes it an appealing option for those looking to gain a second passport.


Dominica

Dominica’s economic citizenship program offers a second passport for the entire family at a relatively low cost. In fact, it’s considered one of the cheapest and most efficient second citizenship programs in the Caribbean, particularly for a single applicant. Its low investment sum makes it the best value for your money among other CBI countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia.

You can qualify for Dominican citizenship through either of two routes: an initial non-refundable contribution to the country’s special fund or purchasing government-approved real estate. Both options require you to purchase authorized property in the country that you will hold for at least three years. Additional government fees must also be paid, the amount of which depends on the number of family members included in your application.

The country has recently reduced its government processing fees in the wake of hurricane damage, but this is likely only a temporary measure. Currently, a single applicant who chooses the real estate option pays $35 thousand in government fees instead of $50 thousand, and a family of four who opts for this route now pays $275,000 in total (investment plus fees).

Dominican citizenship grants visa-free travel to 110 countries and territories worldwide. Additionally, the nation is highly regarded for its commitment to eco-tourism and sustainability, with a focus on natural preservation and conservation.

You can include as many family members in your application as you like, providing they are financially supported by the principal investor. Those who choose to apply via the fund or real estate investment route will need to submit documents that demonstrate this, including an affidavit and verified copies of bank statements.

Austria

Getting a second passport and a new life in another country is a goal that many people are willing to pursue. The process is complex, requiring significant financial investment and the guidance of a reputable citizenship consultant. Austria offers a residence by investment programme for high net worth individuals that allows them to acquire citizenship. The scheme is based on Article 10 of the Citizenship Act, which states that the government may grant citizenship to foreign nationals who have “extraordinary merit” on a case-by-case basis. Such merit may include a substantial contribution to the economy, such as an active business that creates jobs and generates taxable sales. Alternatively, it may also include a significant donation to the government development fund.

In addition to a clean criminal record and an active role in the business, applicants must have substantial assets. The minimum investment is typically EUR10 million if it is invested directly in an Austrian company, or EUR3 million if it is donated to the government development fund. Unlike some other European golden visa programmes, the Austrian programme does not offer residency rights for passive investment.

Applicants must have a strong connection to Austria and a desire to contribute to the economy. They must be able to demonstrate exceptional achievements in the field of sports, culture, science, or business, or bring innovations that will help boost economic growth. In addition, applicants must be able to speak German at least at A1 level or have proof of having completed a German course.

New Zealand

New Zealand is a popular choice for investors seeking to diversify their citizenship options. Not only does the country allow you to access a variety of countries without the need for visas, but it also offers several other benefits including financial assistance and access to education. In addition, the country has a relatively streamlined process for granting citizenship by investment.

The New Zealand government has a number of different investment-based immigration programs that can lead to citizenship, but the Active Investor Plus Visa is the most popular. This program requires an investment of NZ$5 million or more and is designed to help the economy grow by attracting foreign capital. As a bonus, the program also allows you to bring your family to live with you in New Zealand.

In addition to investing the required amount, you must spend a minimum of 117 days in New Zealand over the course of a four-year conditional visa period. You will also need to demonstrate that you are a fit and proper person by showing that you have complied with immigration, employment, and tax laws. The Department of Internal Affairs may also ask you to provide police clearance forms from other countries that you have lived in.

While there are a few famous New Zealand citizens, such as Russell Crowe and Peter Jackson, most people who acquire citizenship through investment follow the same steps. Naturalization typically takes five years, and you must reside in the country for at least three of those years. If you travel for more than four months during one year, that year won’t count towards naturalization. The country has signed Double Tax Agreements with 39 other countries, which means that you won’t be taxed twice on the income you earn in New Zealand.

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