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  • Writer's pictureImran Mirani

What Is Citizenship By Investment And How Can I Have One?

CBI “Citizenship by Investment” program allows foreign investors and their families to obtain alternate citizenship and passport(s) by contributing to the economy of the host country. To opt it there are several instruments such as contributions/donations in the countries-approved national fund, investing in a government-approved real estate option, or investing in a government-approved bond. CBI “Citizenship by Investment” programs are not a new concept rather been existing since 1984 by one of the Caribbean islands named St. Kitts & Nevis.


High net-worth individuals can opt to choose between Dual Citizenship (where the countries of citizenship by birth established a bilateral agreement with the country of your new Citizenship by Investment, and by means of which person has a legitimate status of a dual citizen in both countries) or Second Citizenship (when there is no bilateral agreement on dual citizenship and each state considers a person to be only citizen). As of today, over 100 countries in the world have some form of investment migration legislation in place, however, a few offers Citizenship by Investment (i.e., Antigua & Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, Türkiye, Vanuatu etc.)


​The lowest possible contribution/investment starts with a one-time non-refundable contribution of USD 100,000 for a single applicant plus other related fees in a government-approved fund of the concerned country, and if someone wanted to purchase the property and opt his/her citizenship then it will start with USD 200,000 with a property that has ROI of 2% and more depending on the project, some of these real estate investments are 100% buy back options after a holding period.


Who Is Eligible To Apply For Citizenship By Investment?


To qualify for Citizenship, main applicant must meet the following criteria.


  • Be of outstanding character.

  • 18 years or above of age

  • Hold no criminal record.

  • Have excellent health.

  • Have a high personal net worth.


How Long Does It Take To Obtain Citizenship In Caribbean, And Do I Have To Renounce My Current Citizenship?


From the date that your application has been accepted by CBIU ‘Citizenship by Investment Unit’ for processing, it will take approximately ninety (90) days to the grant of citizenship. However, depending on an applicant (i.e his original country of birth, source of funds, family size, their previous history or political exposure) may result further delays, in this situation your Authorized Agent will be informed, and he/she will get in touch with you. As of the second part of the question is concern the answer can be YES and NO, most of the countries allows dual citizenship / second passport and you are not required to renounce your citizenships. However, depending on the country of your current citizenship it is advisable to contact one of the Expert Investment Migration Advisor prior to initiating the process.


What Are The Benefits Of Having A Second Citizenship?


There are several benefits of having Citizenship by Investment, such as global mobility that allows passport holders to travel visa-free to over 145 countries and jurisdictions that includes Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and the Schengen Area (Russia and China depending on the country offering Citizenship by Investment). Citizenship by Investment is considered to be an insurance policy or a perfect plan B for many individuals from underdeveloped countries to avoid any political unrest and for the security of their loved ones and their investments.


Most of the Caribbean countries offering Citizenship by Investment are home to the best United States offshore universities (Grenada for instance is home to St George’s University that is one of the finest medical, veterinary, and arts and sciences schools, and graduates train in some of the top hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom and is internationally accredited) and provides countless opportunities to extend your business in different jurisdictions, and it provides a better-quality life, with complete assets protection and tax planning.


How Can I Apply For Citizenship By Investment?


To apply for Citizenship by Investment you need to contact the contact a licensed agent (one cannot apply directly), a licensed agent / authorized agent can only apply for Citizenship by Investment on behalf of the investors. CBI “Citizenship by Investment law” prohibits applicants from applying by themselves.


Licensed agent is a person authorised by the Government to act on your behalf. Initial step will be to find a suitable authorized agent such as Vazir Investments who will review your application, do a primary due diligence to evaluate if there is any risk involved, our migration experts will then propose you the investment option that suits your investment goal and budget, will assist you in arranging list of required documents, filling in the forms and supporting legalizing the document etc, complete application with legalized documents is submitted with the concern CIU “Citizenship by Investment Unit” (in case of Antigua & Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, or St Lucia etc) or Government agency responsible for migration (in case of Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, or Türkiye etc), upon clarence of the Due Diligence, the Government approves the application, and you are advised to proceed with required contribution or the investment as per selected investment route (except in Europe and Turkey where you need to make the investment prior to submission).


Once funds transfer, the naturalization certificates and the passport(s) are issued, and you become a global citizen in about 3 to 6 months and the best part in Caribbean is that the applicant and their qualified dependents are not required to travel to Caribbean or Turkey during the application process. However, the applicant(s) must visit Antigua & Barbuda “Caribbean jurisdiction” and live there for five days during the initial five years.


Feel free to book a meeting with one of our expert advisors or to reach the author that will help you answer all your queries and assist you take the next step towards global residency / citizenship.


About The Author

Head of RCBI / Business Migration


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