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Do you want to know what the top 5 countries for citizenship by investment are? We break down some of the top programmes and weigh up the pros and cons of each programme, in order to help you evaluate which programme is right for you.
St. Kitts & Nevis
The oldest and most popular CBI
St. Kitts & Nevis has the strongest CBI passport in the Caribbean and 2nd strongest overall, with access to over 150 countries worldwide. It was the original CBI programme and has since gained a reputation for being the best citizenship programme. It is by far the most popular citizenship programme, as well as being consistently ranked as one of the top 5 countries for Citizenship by Investment.
By getting a St. Kitts & Nevis passport, not only will it open the door to visa-free travel around the world, but will also allow individuals to take advantage of attractive tax breaks and incentives the country offers. As is the case with other Caribbean CBI programmes, the entire process can be done in a matter of months. With that being said it is the most expensive CBI in the Caribbean, with it normally being priced at $180,000.
The cheapest CBI programme.
Dominica is another popular option for those wishing to get a second passport as it is the cheapest citizenship programme. With a starting cost of just $100,000, Dominica’s CBI programme is the cheapest option for single applicants.
It takes just 3 months to gain citizenship from the country, with the process being quick and efficient. Although this passport will not allow access to as many countries as St. Kitts & Nevis, it still gives access to 143 countries, including the UK, Schengen Area, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Antigua & Barbuda
Best option for families
Antigua & Barbuda is the best and cheapest option for families. Whilst other Caribbean CBI programmes might seem cheaper than this option, such as Dominica and St. Lucia, which both starts at $100,000, their fees for additional applicants are considerably higher. As such, the cheapest way for families to get second citizenship would be through the Antigua & Barbuda citizenship programme.
For an individual with 3 applicants, (i.e. a family of 4), the cheapest option would be for the main applicant to pay a $140,000 one time donation and add any additional family members onto the application. It is worth bearing in mind that this government donation, like that of St. Lucia and Dominica, is non-refundable. As such this money would not be returned after a 5 year holding period, as is the case when investing in government bonds.
Best real estate options
Turkey offers the best route to citizenship via real estate investment. Whilst other programmes offer citizenship by investing in real estate, Turkey offers much greater flexibility in terms of the type and location of the property. To get a Turkish passport, applicants can invest $250,000 in any Turkish property, which must be held for at least 3 years. What’s more, property investors in Turkey can expect to see a handsome return on investment from rental income and with capital gains, whereby buyers can sell their property after a number of years and seek profit on their initial investment.
Whilst a Turkish passport may not be as strong as Caribbean countries offering similar programmes, it still enables holders access to 125 countries visa-free. This includes countries such as the UK, EU, Canada and Australia, making it still considerably strong passport. Turkey is one of only two CBI programmes that grants citizens eligibility for the USA’s E-2 visa. This means citizens are eligible to apply for American residency through the E-2 programme, a much quicker and more cost-effective route than the main US immigration routes, such as the EB5 programme.
Best access to Europe
Although the most expensive programme, Malta’s is unique in that it is the only programme that allows individuals to live and work in the EU. As such, Maltese citizens get to receive all the benefits of an EU citizen. Malta is the strongest passport out of other CBI programmes, offering access to over 180 countries worldwide. If you are looking to settle down, in the EU, you will have access to free universal healthcare and world-class educational institutions.
The structure of Malta’s programme is almost like a fast-tracked permanent residency programme. Applicants need to reside and stay in the country for over a year, continuously. This can prove a hindrance to individuals that do not want to completely uproot their lives.
As you can see, there are many different pros and cons to the different citizenship by investment programmes on offer. As such categorising them as ‘The Top 5 countries for citizenship by investment’ is a difficult task. The ‘best’ programme is entirely dependent on the individual’s personal circumstances. For more information on citizenship by investment programmes, book a free consultation with one of our expert advisors today.