Second citizenship and a second passport: Everything you have to know about economic citizenship acquisition

Feb 9th, 2021

No matter where you live and work, there are always bigger and broader opportunities to increase your wealth if you continue to expand your business horizons in foreign nations. The trouble is that many nations have restrictions on foreign investment and prioritize entrepreneurship by citizens of their own countries. Many countries, however, are more than happy to attract foreign investors so long as those investors can make a long-term commitment to growth and development inside their borders. For this reason, seeking second citizenship status in a foreign nation where you’re looking to invest can significantly enhance your money-making opportunities while making the development of your new business endeavour easier.

Obtaining a second citizenship might sound like a difficult task. Still, numerous countries offer wealthy investors a warm welcome, even fast-tracking their applications for citizenship if they are willing to make certain commitments that help meet the nation’s economic development goals. Suppose you’re seeking permanent residency in a foreign country. In that case, your investment dollars will go a long way to securing your dual citizenship and the second passport giving you the power to not only reside in your new home but also to enjoy visa-free travel to many parts of the world. Let’s take a look at economic citizenship, the programs that make it possible for you, and some of the hottest destinations for investors seeking dual citizenship.

What Does Economic Citizenship Mean?

Economic citizenship is an incentive offered by another country whose government is trying to raise money for economic development inside their borders. These nations will allow you to obtain citizenship for meeting a predetermined set of government-approved investment criteria which grants you all the benefits and rights that a naturalized citizen of their country would enjoy just from being born there.

These programs are typically aimed at accelerating growth in areas where a given nation excels in its economic output or is lacking in its national infrastructure. For example, a nation’s government may be seeking to fund new schools or hospitals to improve the quality of life for its citizens. Alternatively, they may also be looking to expand business services within their highest-output sectors, as is the case with many Caribbean nations seeking to bolster their tourism industries. In either of these cases, high net-worth investors are a key asset for the nation, but seeking investment dollars from overseas investors carries a great deal of risk. Instead of trying to work with entrepreneurs and investors in another land, these countries entice foreign investors to become local investors through the promise of citizenship benefits in exchange for a commitment to economic development.

Obtaining Economic Citizenship Through Citizenship-by-Investment Programs

Depending on your destination nation, obtaining economic citizenship through these programs can be surprisingly easy. As you can imagine, the sorts of projects that government agencies aim to fund are essential to their national development. Still, they’re capital-intensive, and they aren’t always the most attractive or interesting projects for investors to undertake. In many of these cases, too, there is a lack of local availability of high net-worth individuals who are suitable for these projects. That’s where your investment funds come into play.

First things first– in order to secure dual citizenship in the nation of your choice, you’ll need to thoroughly study that country’s national economic landscape and learn about their citizenship-by-investment needs. Countries offering economic citizenship often establish entire government agencies to manage their CBI programs. So you can find a wealth of information on their very own websites detailing the nation’s needs and requirements for obtaining dual citizenship.

It’s also important to note that a few nations around the world simply don’t recognize dual citizenship. If you’re an investor from one of these countries, you’ll need to think long and hard before committing to an economic citizenship program, as doing so would mean denouncing your original country of citizenship which may come with irreversible challenges. The following nations do not recognize dual citizenship:

  • Andorra
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Bhutan
  • Botswana
  • China
  • Congo
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Monaco
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudia Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Zimbabwe

Notice that many countries, both large and small, have restrictions on citizenship that forbid you to carry dual citizenship with them. In a few of these cases, you may still be granted dual citizenship if you work closely with your national government of origin, so don’t hesitate to reach out to local officials to start the discussion if you’re interested in economic citizenship opportunities but live in one of these nations.

Different Investment Paths to Economic Citizenship

After you’ve determined you’re eligible for dual citizenship, you’ll have some choices to make regarding the types of investments you want to make. In some nations offering economic citizenship, you can quite simply buy your way into dual citizenship by way of donation and the purchase of the high-dollar real estate. For example, in St. Kitts and Nevis, you can obtain second citizenship by simply contributing a significant donation to the nation’s Sustainable Growth Fund and purchasing real estate worth at least $200,000. While there are ongoing requirements such as holding the real estate property for a minimum of 7 years, these sorts of programs make it incredibly simple to start the process of obtaining dual citizenship and getting your second passport.

Many other nations offer this simple path to economic citizenship. Still, there are also paths requiring a more profound commitment to foreign investment, but these paths may offer ongoing financial returns– after all, that’s the point of investment, right? For example, in Antigua and Barbuda, an entrepreneur may invest in one of many government-approved businesses. You can invest in existing businesses, particularly those in the tourism industry. Educational institutions are also popular entities for investment. In some cases, national infrastructure projects like building roads or environmental services are also reliable sources of investment growth.

Some countries will even allow you to bring your startup business inside their borders. While these projects are also subject to government approval, this option gives you the opportunity to run your own business operation from the ground up just like you would back home. Still, you get the added benefit of dual citizenship and a second passport. Not only does this bring the promise of increased business activity for your new homeland, but it offers the advantage of employment opportunities for residents of that nation, as well.

Requirements and Qualifications for Economic Citizenship

Each nation offering citizenship-by-investment programs has its own unique set of criteria for foreign investors seeking dual citizenship, but there are a few requirements that are typical in almost all of these countries.

Firstly, an investor must be at least 18 years old to apply. While investors may include family members who are minors in their applications, the applicant themselves must be an adult.

The source of investment funds must not only be legal, but it must be transparent. In almost all cases, you’ll be required to provide sufficient documentation of the source of your investment funds in order to prove not only that your funding is legally sound, but that you are the owner of these funds, or that you are at least the owner of the business entity which will disburse the funds. You’re generally unable to use borrowed funds to invest in economic citizenship.

Additionally, criminals need not apply. Each country seeking foreign investment will conduct a thorough international background check in order to ensure that investors entering their country are not a risk to their politics or their peoples. While some nations offer some leeway, allowing for a mild criminal history so long as you have a sufficiently clean recent history, in most cases, you’ll be barred from economic citizenship opportunities if you’ve served significant prison time.

In many places, the criminal history requirement is quite stringent. Even individuals who are currently under investigation by international authorities, despite not having been convicted of a crime, will typically be denied dual citizenship and a second passport. If your assets are frozen due to a financial investigation, your application will be denied since the nation of consideration has no assurance that your investment funds will ultimately be available should they grant you approval.

Many nations will also require health screenings to ensure that investors will live long enough to satisfy their end of the bargain and to protect their populace from foreign illnesses they’re unequipped to fight. You’ll usually also be required to swear an oath of allegiance before high government authorities to demonstrate your commitment to the principles of your new home. This often, but not always, means that you’ll have to make a special trip to the country before your second citizenship is fully authorized, so you must already be capable of international travel in order to fulfil your obligations.

If you’re unable to satisfy all of these basic requirements, then regrettably, economic investment opportunities for you may be quite limited if not outright unavailable. Bluemina’s CBI experts can help you better understand each nation’s requirements and help you apply for citizenship only if you meet all of the necessary criteria. This will help you save tons of time and money by mitigating the risk of having your application declined (thus sacrificing your expensive non-refundable application fees).

Top Three Destinations Offering Economic Citizenship

While many nations around the world allow you to apply for citizenship and visa-free travel with a second passport, there are a few countries that make this process faster and easier than others. While some nations have lengthy “probationary periods” of three years to five years or more, Bluemina specializes in programs that will put a visa-free second passport in your hands in under two years. Here are just a few of the economic investment destination countries you can choose from to fast-track your visa-free travel passport.

Saint Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts & Nevis is one of the pioneering countries of economic citizenship programs having started its CBI program in 1984. It’s easy to apply for citizenship in this Caribbean nation by way of a donation to their Sustainable Growth Fund or simply investing in significant real estate property.

A St. Kitts & Nevis passport grants visa-free travel to over 160 nations and is typically issued in under two years, oftentimes as little as 4-6 months. You’re also not required to satisfy any physical residency requirements, so unlike other nations, you’ll be able to perform your business operations remotely without making expensive trips to and from the island.

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is another nation that fast-tracks second passport opportunities for foreign investors. Like St. Kitts & Nevis, you’ll usually have your second passport from this country in-hand within 4-6 months so long as you satisfy your investment requirements. You can do so easily by contributing to the National Development Fund or by making a long-term investment in real estate property.

Antigua and Barbuda offers highly-favourable tax conditions, substantial educational and business opportunities, and a passport that grants you access to over 130 countries around the world.

Turkey

As one of the most attractive nations for CBI investors, Turkey’s economic investment program is very new and offers you access to one of the most desirable destinations in Europe. While it takes a higher up-front investment than some smaller nations, you can obtain dual Turkish citizenship by merely holding a deposit of at least $500,000 in a Turkish bank for three to five years. You can also invest in real estate, government bonds, fixed capital, or simply stimulate the creation of at least 50 jobs inside the country’s borders.

Contact Bluemina for a Free Consultation

Bluemina is proud to partner with many countries to act as your authorized agent for economic citizenship. Become a global citizen in two years or less and obtain a second passport for visa-free travel by working with our immigration experts. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn why foreign investors have turned to Bluemina time and time again to facilitate their economic citizenship applications and find a beautiful new home for you and your family.

Author : Nadine Daoud
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