What is dual citizenship? And why do investors with high net worth tend to acquire alternative passports? The concept of dual citizenship implies that a person is a national of two countries. This means, that the two countries recognize the person as their citizen.
Traditionally, dual citizenship can be acquired through naturalization, birth, marriage, or ancestry. However, there is a faster and more efficient option – You can obtain second citizenship via investment in several options like real estate, government funds, or establishing a business in a foreign country.
In this extensive guide, we’ll go through the requirements, application process in CBI – Citizenship by Investment programs, and investment options in obtaining second citizenship.
Which Countries Offer Dual Citizenship?
Various countries have CBI programs that run on investments, like the Caribbean countries, some European countries, and Vanuatu. Five Caribbean countries offer citizenship by investment option: St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts, Antigua and Barbuda, and Nevis and Grenada.
All of these countries have similar schemes that grant investors a second passport in exchange for a certain amount to invest. Let’s check the investment options and terms and conditions to apply for second citizenship in some of the countries to get an insight into the cost, application process, and processing time.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St Kitts citizenship by investment program is considered one of the most affordable and popular options for foreign investors who look for a chance to enhance their lifestyle and mobility abroad. The country launched its CBI program in 1984 and is considered the “grandfather” of the rest of the CBI programs.
The investment options include $150,000 in the Sustainable Growth Fund, $200,000 in real estate, or $200,000 in alternative investments.
Antigua and Barbuda
The Antiguan CBI program requires its investors a minimal amount of $200,000 in real estate or $100,000 in the National Development Fund. There is an additional investment option – a minimum of $150,000 to the University of West Indies Fund.
This passport allows you to travel to 150 destinations, visa-free or with a visa on arrival. Plus, there is no tax on capital gains, inheritance, or foreign wealth.
Beautiful Caribbean Grenada is known for its serene lifestyle and lush scenery. The investment options for Grenada include $100,000 to the Government Economic Diversification Fund and $200,000 in real estate. Passport holders can travel to 144 destinations visa-free and are eligible for the US E2 Treaty Visa.
Dual citizenship is obtained when the applicant fulfills the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have no criminal record
- Undergo a background check to obtain transparency regarding your finances and personal information
- Meet health background checks
- Pay government, legal, and processing fees
- Have a net worth within a certain range
- Provide proof of legal source of income for your finances
If you purchase a property in the country, certain rules apply. Some countries require their citizens to own the property for at least 5 years and have no criminal record at the time being.
Benefits of Dual Citizenship
Some people choose to apply for a second passport for the stability and security the other country offers. While others choose CBI programs to expand their business apertures and reach new potential customers. Regardless of the reason, there are many common benefits of dual citizenship:
- Global Mobility – some passports do not allow individuals to travel without a visa, so you can take advantage of the CBI programs and obtain a second passport that allows you to travel visa-free
- Security – in case of civil unrest, political and economic instability, or general turmoil within the country, you can always have a plan B and get you and your family to a secure location
- Business Opportunities – investing in dual citizenship opens the doorway to many business opportunities and expands your business affairs internationally
- Tax Benefits – dual citizenship offers tax optimization; 0 or low taxes on capital gains, inheritance, and foreign wealth
- Improved Lifestyle – one of the main reasons investors get a second passport is the better lifestyle and improved quality of life in terms of education, healthcare, and living standard
The Application Process
The first step in the application process is to find an authorized agent and channel your application through a company that can handle the entire process.
The team can advise you in filling out the relevant paperwork, appointments, and copies of required documents. Then, the application is sent for due diligence check and once the applicant passes the vetting process, the investment can be made.
Want To Learn More?
Dual citizenship is on the rise in the last decade. However, before you start the application process, it’s vital you consult a legal entity to guide you through the process. Visit our blog to learn more about the CBI programs, the application process,