Nevertheless, more and more countries are coming up with these offers and some of them can be particularly lucrative for foreigners and immigrants wishing to settle, explore, build a vacation house or just do business in another country. For those that are not aware how this works, the basic idea is that the interested person will be able to get a citizenship in a particular country by making financial contributions to the nation in question.
Depending on which nation we are talking about here, the concerned citizen may or may not have to stay in the country before the naturalisation process is approved. Let’s now take a look at some of the countries that have the best Citizenship by Investment programme going on right now.
The costs are huge at GBP 2 million for permanent residency and subsequent citizenship in the United Kingdom, but there are additional requirements that you must fulfil even if you can pay the investment amount. The applicant or applicants must live for at least 5 years in the UK before their citizenship is granted and during that period, they will have to stay for at least 9 months each year in the country. The application should take anywhere between 2 – 3 months before going through. Keep in mind that UK citizenship investment plans are more ideal for enterprises looking to do business there.
Malta has one of the most coveted citizenship programs for sale in the whole of Europe because of the high ROI it offers to everyone. You can either opt for the Malta IIP which costs somewhere around the EUR 900,000 mark, or the Malta Residency Program, which should come at around EUR 275,000. Under the residency program, you will have to buy or rent property on the island nation and stay there for at least 12 months. Once you manage to get the citizenship, a Malta passport will allow you to travel, work, study and live in around 26 European nations including the likes of Switzerland, Germany and France.
You won’t have to return to Malta in order to retain your citizenship. Moreover, once you have a Maltese passport, you won’t need to apply for a visa when travelling to about 160 nations across the world, which includes the US, the UK and Canada to name a few. Keep in mind though that the Malta IIP can only be availed by residents of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA).
Getting a citizenship in Cyprus through investment is not cheap (EUR 2,000,000 for a passport and EUR 300,000 for a Golden Visa), but it’s a fast process which has no residency requirements and one can get a Cypriot passport in 6 months or less. However, the lack of naturalisation requirements is compensated by the government through a mandatory property investment which should at least cost EUR 500,000. Similar to a Maltese citizenship, a Cypriot passport will also allow the new citizen to travel, work, study and live across the European Union (all the 28 states). The rate of approval is encouragingly high, given that there are no specific skills or experience necessary for applying. In fact, you can apply for the Cypriot Citizenship by Investment programme from almost any country in the world.
The Netherlands is a beautiful place to live in and the Dutch have a single, fairly straightforward Citizenship by Investment policy for all those who are interested. You will need to pay EUR 1,250,000 for a Dutch Golden Visa and after that, you will need to stay in the country for at least 5 years to get a permanent residency status. Once you get the passport though, the only requirement is that you visit the Netherlands and stay there for at least a few days every year. Just like Malta, you will have full access to all the 26 nations in the Schengen zone for visa free travel, study, work, etc.
St Kitts & Nevis
This is where it all started back in 1984 because St Kitts & Nevis is the first country in modern history to start a Citizenship by Investment programme. You can choose any of the following three methods, as is convenient for you.
– USD 150,000 to the Hurricane Relief Fund
– USD 250,000 to the Social and Infrastructure Development Fund (SIDF) fund
– USD 400,000 in property investment
In St Kitts & Nevis, you can get your passport given to you in just 3 – 4 months and you don’t even need to sit through an interview. St Kitts citizens can travel visa free to about 120 nations around the globe and there is no need to spend even a single day in the country if you don’t want to. The tax system in the country is extremely lenient since there are no gift, wealth, foreign income, capital gains or inheritance tax whatsoever. If you are not big on your citizenship being published, you would be happy to know that the entire application process is confidential and even after you get your citizenship, it will not be automatically reported to other countries. However, every St Kitts passport must be renewed after 10 years.
There are so many other countries in Europe itself that it would be impossible to discuss the details about them all here. Nevertheless, the ones on this list happen to be some of the best options among countries that offer citizenship for sale. Just be sure to do a bit of research and find the country that would be the perfect match for your requirements.