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Top 9 Passports by Investment Programs For 2024

In an increasingly globalized world, the concept of citizenship stretches beyond the confines of birth and heritage, morphing into a strategic choice for those seeking expanded global mobility, enhanced business opportunities, and a secure future for their families. Citizenship by investment (CBI) programs, a phenomenon that has garnered significant attention in recent years, offer a unique pathway to acquiring a second passport through financial investments. These programs are particularly appealing to high-net-worth individuals who value the freedom of movement, access to global markets, and improved lifestyle and security options they afford.

The allure of CBI programs isn’t just in the tangible benefits they offer; they also serve as a testament to the changing face of global citizenship, where national identity is increasingly seen as a valuable asset that can be acquired, much like any other high-value commodity. In 2024, several countries stand out for their attractive citizenship by investment programs, each offering its unique blend of benefits, investment requirements, and opportunities. From the sun-kissed beaches of the Caribbean to the historic charm of European nations, these programs not only promise a powerful passport but also open doors to a world of possibilities.

As we delve into the nuances of each program, it’s essential to recognize that choosing the right CBI program is a deeply personal decision, influenced by a myriad of factors including personal and business aspirations, family needs, financial capabilities, and long-term goals. Let’s explore these programs in detail, uncovering what makes each one a coveted choice for those seeking to broaden their horizons through investment-based citizenship.

1. Malta Citizenship by Investment


The Malta Citizenship by Investment program, renowned for its comprehensive and strategic approach, offers individuals the unique opportunity to gain a powerful European passport. To qualify, applicants must make substantial financial investments across several areas. This includes a minimum contribution of €600,000 to the state, which increases to €750,000 for those opting for a shortened residency requirement of one year, as opposed to the standard three years. Additionally, applicants are required to either purchase property with a minimum value of €700,000 or lease a property with an annual rent of at least €16,000, maintaining this commitment for five years.

A distinctive aspect of Malta’s program is the mandatory philanthropic donation of €10,000 to a Maltese organization. This element underscores the program’s commitment to social responsibility. Upon fulfilling these requirements, applicants gain access to a passport that unlocks visa-free travel to over 180 countries, including the USA, the UK, and the entire Schengen area. The program not only offers global mobility but also the right to live, work, and study in the EU, making it particularly attractive for those seeking to expand their global footprint or secure a future in Europe.

2. Cyprus Investment Program


The Cyprus Investment Program, although currently closed in 2024, offers a pathway to citizenship through a combination of real estate investment and charitable contributions. Applicants are required to invest a minimum of €2,000,000 in real estate, which can be in one property or a collection of properties adding up to the minimum investment sum. This investment must be maintained for a minimum of five years. In addition to real estate, the program mandates a donation of €100,000 each to the Cypriot Government Research and Development Fund and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation, totaling €200,000 in charitable contributions.

Alongside financial commitments, applicants must meet several other criteria. They need to have a clean criminal record and provide proof that their investment funds are from legal sources. The program also includes a residence requirement, wherein applicants must declare residency in Cyprus for at least six months prior to their application. However, physical presence during this period is not mandatory, as there are no obligations to live in Cyprus before submitting the citizenship application. Upon meeting these requirements, applicants can become Cypriot citizens, typically within six to eight months, making this one of the fastest citizenship by investment programs available.

3. Portugal Golden Visa


In 2024, the Portugal Golden Visa program has undergone significant changes. It no longer includes the popular real estate investment route and focuses instead on other types of investments. The program offers residency by investment to non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, with the opportunity to apply for citizenship after five years of residency.

The program now focuses on investment options that contribute more directly to the Portuguese economy and society. These options include creating at least 10 new permanent jobs in Portugal, which doesn’t have a specified minimum investment amount. Another route is the investment of €500,000 or more in scientific research activities. Additionally, applicants can invest €500,000 in Portuguese funds, particularly those not focused on real estate. For those interested in supporting arts and culture, an investment of €250,000 in projects that support artistic production or the preservation of national heritage is available.

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There’s also the option to incorporate a commercial company in Portugal with a capital transfer of at least €500,000 and the creation of 5 permanent jobs. These new routes reflect a shift in focus towards investments that directly impact the Portuguese economy and society.

The program maintains its appeal due to its low physical stay requirements, requiring only an average of 7 days per year in Portugal. Applicants must have a clean criminal record and demonstrate the legal source of their investment funds. Family members can be included in the application, allowing them access to Portugal’s healthcare and education systems, as well as visa-free travel within the Schengen Area.

4. Grenada Citizenship by Investment


The Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program in 2024 offers two main routes for applicants seeking citizenship. The first option is a non-refundable contribution to the National Transformation Fund (NTF), starting at a minimum investment of $150,000. This fund is a government-operated entity that finances various projects aimed at Grenada’s economic diversification and resilience. The second option involves investing in government-approved real estate projects, with a minimum investment of $220,000. This real estate must be held for at least five years.

The program is known for its efficient and streamlined process, typically concluding within three to four months. One of the key benefits of Grenadian citizenship is visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 140 destinations worldwide, including China, the UK, and the Schengen Area in Europe. Grenada also holds an E-2 Investor Visa Treaty with the USA, allowing its citizens to apply for a non-immigrant visa and reside in the US.

Grenada allows dual citizenship and does not impose residency requirements, meaning applicants don’t need to live in Grenada before, during, or after the application process. Additionally, the tax system in Grenada is attractive, with no taxes on worldwide income, wealth, gift, inheritance, or capital gains. The program includes family members, such as a spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents, in the application.

5. St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment

St. Kitts and Nevis

The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program, established in 1984, is one of the world’s oldest and most reputable programs of its kind. In 2024, investors seeking citizenship can choose from various investment options. The Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC) requires a minimum contribution starting at $250,000 for a single applicant, with increased amounts for larger family units. Alternatively, applicants may invest in real estate, with options including a minimum investment of $400,000 in approved development projects or private homes, which must be held for a specified period.

St. Kitts and Nevis also offer the Public Benefit Project investment option, requiring a minimum investment of $250,000. This option is geared towards projects that bring substantial benefits to the islands. The program provides numerous advantages such as visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 150 countries, no residency requirements, and the allowance of dual citizenship. The application process is efficient, usually taking up to 120 days, and includes a mandatory interview. It also allows for the inclusion of family members under certain conditions. The investments made through this program are used to fund community-focused projects that contribute to the economic growth of St. Kitts and Nevis.

6. Vanuatu Citizenship Program


As of 2024, the Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program, is a streamlined process offering citizenship to eligible applicants through a non-refundable investment. The main applicant must be over 18 and under 65 years old, have a clean criminal record, and possess net assets of at least $500,000, with at least $250,000 in banking assets.

The program requires a minimum non-refundable investment of $130,000 for a single applicant. For a married couple, the investment is $150,000, and for a family of four, it is $180,000. Additional dependents can be added for an extra fee of $15,000 each. The application process typically takes around 45 days, and applicants can expect to receive their passports within two months of submitting their application.

Vanuatu’s program is notable for its fast processing time and its attractive tax benefits, including no personal income or corporate tax, no withholding or capital gains tax, and no estate, gift, or wealth taxes. The country also offers a VAT rate of only 12.5%.

It’s important to note that the program is not open to nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, or Yemen, unless they have a permanent residence outside these countries and have lived outside for more than five consecutive years. The Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program is an appealing option for those seeking a second citizenship in a tax-friendly environment with a fast processing time​.

7. Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment


The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program offers a pathway to citizenship through various investment options, with the process typically taking about 3 to 4 months. Applicants must be over 18 years old, of outstanding character, and possess a high personal net worth. The program is noted for its minimal residency requirement, necessitating only a five-day stay in Antigua and Barbuda over a five-year period.

Investment options include a contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF). For a family of up to four, the minimum donation starts at $100,000. For larger families, the donation increases to $125,000, with additional contributions required for extra dependents. Alternatively, real estate investment is another route, requiring a minimum investment of $200,000. This investment must be maintained for at least five years, offering a potential revenue stream if the property is rented out.

For those inclined towards business investments, the program also provides an option requiring a more substantial financial commitment but with the potential for significant economic activity and job creation within Antigua and Barbuda. This option involves a solo investment of $1.5 million into an eligible business or a joint investment with a total of at least $5 million, with each person contributing no less than $400,000.

Antigua and Barbuda’s program stands out for its cost-effectiveness for larger families and its diverse investment choices, offering opportunities for luxury living, commercial endeavors, and tourism potential.

8. St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment


The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program in 2024 provides an opportunity for individuals to acquire citizenship through investment. Applicants have the option to invest in real estate, with a minimum value requirement of USD 200,000, from an approved development project. This investment must be held for a minimum period of five years. Another option is to participate in an approved enterprise project, with a minimum contribution of USD 3.5 million and the creation of no less than three permanent jobs. Alternatively, a joint contribution of USD 6 million, with each applicant committing a minimum of USD 1 million, is also viable, provided it creates no fewer than six permanent jobs.

The program also allows a non-refundable contribution to the National Economic Fund of USD 100,000 for a single applicant. For a main applicant with a spouse, the contribution is USD 140,000, and USD 150,000 for a main applicant, spouse, and up to two qualifying dependents. Each additional dependent involves further contributions.

Investment in non-interest-bearing government bonds is another pathway, requiring a minimum value of USD 300,000, held for a minimum of five years. The program includes various dependents such as a spouse, children under thirty-one, siblings under eighteen, and parents aged fifty-five and over. Applicants must undergo a stringent application process and due diligence checks to ensure their eligibility.

9. Hungary’s Golden Visa Program


Hungary’s Golden Visa Program, relaunching in 2024 offers a unique opportunity for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals to obtain Hungarian residency and potentially citizenship.

The program initially required applicants to make a significant investment in Hungarian government bonds, with the minimum investment amount set at €300,000. However, in 2024, the same status can be obtained by an investor buying a Hungarian real-estate fund share worth 250,000 euros or real estate worth at least 500,000 euros in Hungary.

One of the program’s notable features is its relatively short processing time, with applicants often obtaining residency within a few months. The program does not impose strict residency requirements, allowing investors to visit Hungary as needed without the necessity of residing in the country full-time.

Hungary’s Residency Bond Program provides a range of benefits, including visa-free travel within the Schengen Area, access to Hungary’s excellent education and healthcare systems, and the potential for future citizenship. However, it’s important to note that while the program offers a pathway to residency, obtaining Hungarian citizenship may require additional steps and adherence to specific legal requirements.

In Summary

In the dynamic landscape of citizenship by investment programs, the world becomes a canvas upon which individuals can paint their aspirations for a brighter, more globally connected future. These programs offer a diverse range of opportunities, each with its unique appeal and advantages.

From the allure of the Mediterranean shores in Malta to the tropical charms of the Caribbean in Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis, investors can find their ideal path to a second citizenship. Europe beckons with the promise of EU access, whether through the flexibility of Portugal’s Golden Visa or the fast track of Cyprus.

In the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda’s minimal residency requirement opens doors for those with global commitments, while St. Lucia combines affordability and flexibility. Meanwhile, Vanuatu’s streamlined approach offers an efficient path to Pacific Island citizenship.

These programs are more than legal pathways to new citizenship; they are gateways to a world of possibilities. They empower individuals to explore new horizons, access global opportunities, and secure their future. Whether one seeks business prospects, world-class education, healthcare, or the joy of international travel, these programs provide a means for personal and professional growth.

As global citizens navigate an ever-changing landscape, the choice is in the hands of those who dare to invest in their dreams, seize the potential of global citizenship, and embrace a future filled with promise and opportunity. Let our experts help guide you through the intricacies of the many CBI programs that are available to you. Contact us today!

Charlotte TweedDan is passionate about creating stories that help people discover and navigate unique perspectives and better understand the world around them. Aside from writing, Dan is an avid amateur marathon runner.
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