Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programs have become quite popular since the last decade. There are many countries, especially in Europe and the Americas that offer several such programs as part of their goals to boost the economy and attract foreign investments. Essentially, these programs require the applicants to invest a certain amount in certain areas in exchange for which they are extended permanent residence and ultimately citizenship (if applied for).
Top Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programs
Top Citizenship by Investment Programs 2022
|COUNTRY||MINIMUM INVESTMENT||PROCESS TIME||KEY ADVANTAGE|
|Antigua and Barbuda||USD 100,000||3-4 months||Visa waiver to over 150 countries|
|Dominica||USD 100,000||4-6 months||Visa waiver to over 140 countries|
|Grenada||USD 150,000||4-6 months||Visa waiver to over 130 countries|
E-2 Treaty with the US
|Malta||EUR 750,000||16 months||Visa waiver to over 180 countries, including US|
|Montenegro||EUR 450,000||8-12 months||Visa waiver to over 120 countries|
E-2 Treaty with the US
|Saint Kitts & Nevis||USD 150,000||3-6 months||Visa waiver to over 150 countries|
|Saint Lucia||USD 100,000||4-6 months||Visa waiver to over 140 countries|
|Turkey||USD 250,000||120 days from submission||Visa waiver to over 120 countries|
Top Residence by Investment Programs, 2022
|COUNTRY||MINIMUM INVESTMENT||TIME TO RESIDENCY||KEY ADVANTAGE|
|Australia||AUD 5,000,000||60 months||Right to live for an unlimited period of time|
|Bahamas||USD 500,000||4-6 months||No taxes on income, inheritance, gifts, or capital gains|
|Cayman Islands||USD 2.4 million||4-6 months||No income, property, estate, or corporate taxes|
|Curacao||USD 280,000||3-6 months||Favorable tax program|
|Ireland||EUR 1,000,000||12 months||Pathway to EU citizenship|
|Italy||EUR 250,000||3-4 months||The right to live, work, and study in Italy; favorable tax status|
|Singapore||SGD 2.5 million||9-12 months||High quality of life destination; favorable tax status|
|United States||USD 800,000||18-24 months||Opportunity to live, work, and study anywhere in US and benefit from lower tuitions|
|Uruguay||USD 370,000||6 months||Tax-free resident for 11 years (tax-holiday program)|
|Greece||EUR 250,000||1 to 2 months||Pathway to EU citizenship|
|Austria||$50,000||1 to 3 months|
|Canada (Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP))||$950,000||48–56 months|
|Latvia||$60,000||1 to 2 months|
|Malta||$200,000||4 to 6 months|
|Mauritius||$375,000||2 to 6 months|
|New Zealand||$2,000,000||5 to 6 months|
|Panama||$100,000||5 to 6 months|
|South Korea||$300,000||2 months|
But, the real question comes from the point of view of investors: Why should they invest in the first place? Nobody wants to put their money in places where there are no significant returns or rewards. Now, you should know that these programs are called ‘Golden’ visas for reasons, and I will enumerate a few of them.
Visa-Free Travel: Investors keep looking for opportunities to invest and keep their money growing. There are, however, countries that may not be readily accessible. Countries that offer these programs often offer visa-free travel to certain locations. For example, the Portuguese and the Spanish Golden Visa Programs allow visa-free access to EU and Schengen Area countries. There are programs that allow access to countries otherwise difficult to readily access such as Russia and China. Of course, the investment may not be the sole reason why you want a visa-free access but is surely one to consider.
Benefits to Family members: Generally speaking, Golden Visa Schemes extend the benefits not only to the successful applicant but also his family members. This is arguably one of the biggest perks of these programs as you can tag along with your family members who are guaranteed access to services and privileges to which you are. One thing, however, you should note is that coverage of family members is usually limited to your spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents. Their antecedents are under inspection just like yours during the application process.
A portfolio of passports: Not many understand the power of holding multiple passports. There are countries that have the strongest passports and the ones with the weakest. Many investors go for either the stronger ones or a mix of both because a portfolio of passports can actually enhance their investment potential, allow them to experience a diversification of lifestyles, and engage in smooth and readily available socio-cultural exchanges. For example, Austria and Malta have strong passports and their citizenship can throw open doors to so many opportunities.
Access to public services: With the residence permit or citizenship, you become entitled to receive access to public services. These public services include public healthcare, education, and work opportunities. Understandably, however, there will be differences in the benefits offered to a resident and a citizen; for example, a citizen has the right to work whereas a resident does not. If you hold a passport of a highly developed country, you will be entitled to receive high-quality, reliable public services. Many applicants of these programs have a long-term goal of settling down with their families in the country because they will be able to enjoy a better, more secure, and more peaceful lifestyle.
Tax Benefits: Many countries, in order to attract investments, make very investor-friendly citizenship by investment programs. They understand that they must propose an offer not easy to refuse, and tax benefits are quite a dazzling aspect of these programs. You will often find that countries such as Antigua and Barbuda and many others in the Caribbean region do not tax personal income. Wealthy investors are drawn towards these countries as they have a better chance at managing their wealth here.