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10 countries offering Сitizenship for investment

In order to take care of a secure future, many investors choose countries with Citizenship by Investment programmes to obtain a European passport. Obtaining citizenship through such programmes opens u...

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In order to take care of a secure future, many investors choose countries with Citizenship by Investment programmes to obtain a European passport. Obtaining citizenship through such programmes opens up a host of new opportunities for investors and their families. The most popular and sought-after programmes exist in European and EU countries as well as in the Caribbean islands. All investment programmes aim to make it easier for foreign investors to obtain a "second" citizenship, but each has its own peculiarities. Virtually all citizenship by investment programmes offer two options: refundable investment - the purchase of real estate under certain conditions, and non-refundable investment - contributions to public funds, and this option is usually cheaper. Many investors and their relatives dream of obtaining the EU citizenship: doing business in any EU country, better education, security, high standard of living and medicine, visa-free entry to most countries and free movement between Schengen countries - there are many advantages in getting an EU passport, but the conditions are more complicated and more expensive. There are not many countries offering economic citizenship in Europe; apart from well-known Turkish and Maltese programs, citizenship for investment can be obtained in fast-growing Montenegro, the more so because the program is only valid until the end of 2021 and those who are interested in it need to hurry. Also, many investors are looking at investment programmes which allow them to obtain a passport from one of the Caribbean countries. Most Caribbean programmes have very favourable conditions for foreign investors and minimal requirements, but offer many tax benefits and freedom of movement in the form of visa-free entry to most countries in the world.
We have selected the 10 most popular countries with active programmes, which we describe below.

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United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
British citizenship for investment

UK citizenship can be obtained by entrepreneurial investors and their family members by first applying for a Tier1 visa (Investor Visa). The Investor Visa is issued for a period of 3 years and 4 months, after which the investor is entitled to an extension and the right to obtain permanent residence and citizenship.

There are 3 options under UK law to invest in citizenship. They differ in the minimum amount of investment on which the period of application for permanent residence and citizenship depends.

Program 1: an investment of £2,000,000 - permanent residence in 5 years, UK citizenship in the 6th year.
Programme 2: investment of £5,000,000 - permanent residence after 3 years and UK citizenship in the 5th year.
Programme 3: Investment of £10,000,000, Permanent Residence after 2 years and British citizenship in the 5th year.

In what to invest:
- in securities of UK companies
- own company
- UK Government Bonds.

Who can participate in the programme and obtain Investor Visa, Residence Permit and Citizenship:
- Investor able to prove legal income, with at least £2m in personal assets with a UK bank account
- Investor family: children under the age of 18 or dependent adult children who are already living in the UK and their spouse.

The cost of applying for the Investor Visa will be approximately £4,000 per person.

Important points:
- You must apply for the Investor Visa at least 3 months before travelling to the UK
- you must have at least £2m in your account for at least three months before applying for the Investor Visa
- The investor can only apply for permanent residence once the Investor Visa has been issued and all conditions have been met.
- An investor can apply for citizenship after fulfilling the conditions under one of the programmes listed above and can spend no more than 450 days outside the UK in the 5-year period and no more than 90 days in the year before applying for citizenship.
The process of applying for UK citizenship takes about 6 months.

From 2 000 000 GBP
Malta
Maltese citizenship under the MEIN investment programme

The updated Maltese citizenship programme came into effect in November 2020 and is currently the only economic citizenship for investment programme that operates in the European Union.
Maltese citizenship provides many benefits to foreign investors: visa-free entry to 186 countries worldwide, including the USA, Canada and the UK; seamless travel to EU countries; the ability to reside in Schengen countries that are not part of the EU (Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein); the conduct of international business in any EU country, high level of medicine and education, etc.

Obtaining Maltese citizenship under the MEIN programme.

Registration of Maltese citizenship is held in several stages: obtaining a residence permit in Malta (takes about 1 month), staying in the status of residence permit not less than 12 months, the application for citizenship of Malta.

It is possible to obtain citizenship for the whole family. Spouse, children under 29 years of age, parents and grandparents who are dependent on the investor can be included in the application together with the investor.

The government offers two citizenship by investment programmes (the law provides for fulfilling 3 investment conditions simultaneously):

1. A non-refundable contribution of €750,000 to a public fund
+
the purchase of a residential property for €700,000 (repayable investment with a minimum tenure of 5 years) or a 6-year lease starting at €96,000 (at a rate from €16,000/year)
+ a non-refundable contribution to the Malta Charity Fund for €10,000. You get citizenship in 12 months after obtaining residence permit.
2. Non-refundable contribution to the state fund in the amount of €600,000
+ the purchase of a residence property for € 700,000 (repayable investment, with a minimum tenure of 5 years) or a lease for 8 years - from € 128,000 (at the rate from € 16,000/year) + a non-refundable contribution to the Malta Charity Fund in the amount of € 10,000. You get citizenship 36 months after the registration of residence permit.

In the process of enrolling in the Malta programme, the prescribed government fees have to be paid, including for the due diligence procedure - this is €15,000 for the main applicant, €10,000 for each dependent family member aged 13+ years.

From 600 000 EUR
Bulgaria
Investment programmes for Bulgarian citizenship

The Bulgarian investment programme offers a way for the whole family to acquire EU citizenship - the opportunity to live, work and study freely in any of the 28 EU countries, without having to reside in the country permanently.

By becoming a Bulgarian citizen you will receive:
- EU passport
- opportunity to live, work or study in any country of EU and visa free entry to 169 countries including Great Britain, Canada and Australia.
- citizenship for the whole family
- dual citizenship is possible.
There is an important requirement for participation in the Bulgarian citizenship investment programme - the absence of other EU citizenship.

Bulgarian Citizenship by Investment Programme:
1) Standard. Investment amount of € 511 292 (1 000 000 BGN).
Duration of the investment is 5 years.
2) Accelerated. Investment of €1,022,584 (2,000,000 BGN).
Investment period of 4 years (2 years before obtaining the passport and 2 years afterwards, it is necessary to maintain the investment).
Possession of permanent residence status for at least 1 year.

Under any programme it is necessary to invest in local currency.

Where to invest:
- Shares traded in Bulgaria
- Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with a focus on Bulgaria.
- Alternative investment funds, some of which have a Bulgarian focus
- Participation in a Bulgarian company which has a Certified Priority Investment Project
- Investment in a Bulgarian company with 10 or more Bulgarian nationals
- Investment in a Bulgarian privately owned company, which invests in any sector of the economy in any part of Bulgaria
- Investment in a certified investment project

Investment Program in Bulgaria allows you to quickly get a residence permit in 6 months and afterwards you will get the status of Bulgarian citizen in 2 years or 6 years depending on the chosen program.

From 512 000 EUR