Considering the growth in the CBI Programs and with interests of investors being at its peak, here are some quick snapshots of the most popular programmes.
Antigua and Barbuda – The lush tropical island nation requires a minimum investment of $100,000. There are other options that investors can explore too. Once citizenship is granted within four to six months, they are granted visa-free travel access to 150 countries.
Dominica – To qualify for citizenship, a sole applicant will have to donate $100,000 or invest in real estate with the minimum value being $200,000. Once application is sent it can take three to nine months to obtain citizenship, giving visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 137 countries.
Grenada – One of the many countries with a well-established CBI programme that opened in 1997. More importantly the E-2 visa is available through Grenada. As for citizenship, there are 2 options: National Transformation Fund of $150,000 or real estate investment of $350,000. It is a fast track process taking on between two to three months to gain the second passport, granting visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 143 countries.
St. Kitts and Nevis – To qualify for citizenship, a sole applicant will have to donate $150,000 or invest in real estate with the minimum value being $400,000. Once application is sent, it can take four to six months to obtain citizenship, granting visa-free access to 152 countries.
Saint Lucia – To qualify, applicants must make a National Economic Fund donation of $100,000 or a real estate investment of $300,000 minimum. Applicants also have the option to invest in Enterprise projects or purchase Government Bonds. The timeframe for the application is usually between three to four months, granting visa-free access to 146 countries.
Cyprus – The government recently redesigned the Cyprus Investment Programme. It offers flexibility so that applicants can choose among a number of approved investments. One of those options are real estate, investing at least €500,000. Once the application is approved and provided that the applicant holds a permanent residence permit for a period of at least six months, the procedure of the application for Cyprus Citizenship is finished. A Cypriot passport gives visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 173 countries.
Malta – The Malta IIP was designed for ultra-high net-worth individuals wishing to obtain full rights of citizenship in an EU country. To qualify for citizenship and obtain a Maltese passport, a sole applicant will have to invest €650,000 along with €150,000 in government bonds (to be kept for 5 years) and €350,000 with purchase of property. To qualify for residency, a sole applicant will need to make a contribution of €30,000, with €250,000 (in government bonds for 5 years) and a minimum of €270,000 in a property or €10,000 in renting a property. Timeframe would be 12 months and visa-free access is granted for 182 countries.
Montenegro – One of the fastest growing economies in its region and one of the newest Citizenship Investment Programmes, launched in January 2019 and currently limited to 2,000 applicants. Montenegro’s minimum requirements are a donation of €100,000 together with a real estate investment of either €250,000 in the North or Central regions or €450,000 in the coastal region. Citizenship and passport will be granted within six months for investors, granting access to 124 countries.
Latvia – The most popular option for Latvia Residency is the real estate investment with a minimum investment €250,000. However there are other options including Business Capital Investment (minimum €100,000), Bank Investment (€280,000) and government bonds (€250,000). Acquiring residency can take less than 3 months and it has visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to 180 countries.
Portugal – One of the most popular options for South Africans. There are several investment options in order to obtain residency in Portugal, with the best option being a minimum investment of €350,000. After five years of residency, applicants can apply for permanent residency, then citizenship. Portugal has visa-free access and visa-on arrival to 185 countries.
UK – One of the biggest cities and largest Business Hub. With the recent changes to the Tier 1 Visa, the Innovator Visa requires applicant to show a minimum of £50,000 investment funds and meet other requirements of the application to obtain residency. Residents can extend their visa every three years. If applicants wish to settle, there are different rates and they can eventually obtain a British passport, after being a resident for 5 years. It has access to 185 countries.
Australia – Applicants would have to qualify for a residency permit first, usually under the option of Business Investment or Business Innovator Visa. The popular program of Business 888 visa requires a $600,000 investment. After 4 years of residency applicants can obtain citizenship to obtain Australian passport. Australia has visa-free access and visa-on-arrival to over 180 countries.
Canada – For business HNWIs who wish to secure a second passport and invest in one of the most stable and immigrant-friendly countries in the world, they can consider investing in Quebec through the Quebec Immigration Investment Program (QIIP) which re-opens in August 2019. With a Canadian passport, HNWIs can freely live and work anywhere in Canada with visa-free access and visa-on-arrival to 184 countries. The minimum investment required is CAD $1,200,000 and the applicant needs to reside in Canada for three years before being able to apply for citizenship. There are also several other less expensive immigration options available such as the provincial nominee programmes provided by other provinces and territories for applying for work-based residency within each specific province.
Mauritius – The exotic country also described as a paradise introduced the Citizenship by Investment program with the minimum investment requirement being $500,000 and if you want to obtain citizenship as soon as possible, it will be an investment of $1million. It is a tax haven, with only 3% corporation tax. A Mauritius passport gives visa-free access to 145 countries.
USA – The land of dreams, where the EB-5 Programme allows access to the opportunities to get a green card for HNWIs and their families. The minimum capital investment in the US (within a rural area and Targeted Employment Area) is $500,000, however there are other options and requirements. It will take approximately two and a half years to get a green card, granting visa-free access and visa-on-arrival to 184 countries.