Citizenship by Investment Overview

The term “Citizenship by Investment” often refers to the process of obtaining a second citizenship in exchange for a financial contribution to the country where the applicant obtains the citizenship. This investment can be used within the country’s economy and infrastructure.

However, there’s a slight difference between obtaining citizenship and a passport from a second country. Citizenship is a legal relationship between the applicant and the country that grants responsibilities and rights to that individual, while the passport is a travel document that allows them to travel freely between countries.

These concepts are different, so you should be well-informed before applying for a certain CBI program. For that purpose, here is some relevant information pertaining to the best CBI programs this year from countries that allow applying for a second passport through a real estate investment. Alternative investment options are also discussed, so you get an insight into several possibilities for obtaining a second citizenship.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Citizenship by Investment Programs for 2023.

St. Kitts and Nevis Program

St. Kitts and Nevis Program is “the grandmother” of all CBI programs worldwide. The concept of “citizenship by investment” was developed in the Caribbean countries, more specifically, St. Kitts and Nevis.

The program was launched in 1984 and, ever since, has been working closely with applicants in obtaining dual citizenship. Currently, it’s the most powerful program that makes a substantial contribution to the country’s development and attracts foreign investors who can directly qualify for citizenship through investment.

However, you need legal and proper guidance throughout the process, so make sure to contact an authorized agency to take care of the application process. NTL Trust is a reputable agency that will sort out the documents and guide you through the process. With the help of these professionals, you can enjoy an easy and successful application process.

The Investment Options

The investment options for St. Kitts and Nevis program include real estate investment which is the most commonly chosen by applicants, however, there are alternative options available too. These include:

Real Estate

  • Minimum investment of $200,000 in real estate and held the property for at least 7 years after purchase;
  • Minimum investment of $400,000 in real estate and held the property for at least 5 years after purchase;

Upon the approval of the application, additional government fees will apply, such as $35,000 for the main applicant, an additional $20,000 for the spouse of the main applicant, and an additional $10,000 for any other co-dependent in the application.

This type of investment can be fully refundable if the shares are sold back to the same developer.

Sustainable Growth Fund

The minimum amount for investing in citizenship through the growth fund investment, is $125,000, including government fees. If a family of four applies for St. Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship, the amount would be $170,000.

The New Rules

According to the new rules for 2023, the applicant must fulfill the following conditions in case they want to add co-dependent applicants in the process, like siblings or other family members:

  • Must be financially independent;
  • Be less than 30 years old;
  • Be unmarried and have no children;

Antigua and Barbuda

Another CBI program where you can obtain your dual citizenship through real estate investment is Antigua and Barbuda. It offers affordable prices for purchasing a government-approved property and securing a second passport.

The Investment Options

The investment options are several and include a real estate purchase.

Real Estate

To qualify for Antigua and Barbuda passport, the applicant must invest a minimum amount of $200,000 in real estate and hold the estate for five years after the purchase. There is an additional $30,000 in government processing fees.

Furthermore, if the applicant invests in business ventures like resorts, spas, or hotels, an additional fee of $50,000 will apply.

National Development Fund

A single contribution of $100,000 to the National Development Fund is another alternative for getting a second passport. Or $125,000 if you apply as a family of four.

The University of West Indies

Antigua and Barbuda allows foreign investors to invest in the UWI a one-time contribution of $150,000.

The New Rules

The new rules for 2023 for the Antigua and Barbuda CBI program include:

  • A spouse or a future child of a dependent child can be added to the application for the fee of $10,000 for children under 6 and $20,000 for children ranging from 6 to 17 years of age;

St. Lucia

St. Lucia is another Caribbean country that offers real estate investment options, pretty affordable for families and single applicants.

The Investment Options

The CBI route is much cheaper for families and single applicants through the various investment options.

Real Estate

A minimum amount of $200,000 is required to be invested in real estate hotels for a 5-year timeframe. It can be fully titled property or shares. The financing will be arranged through the local banks and there are several government-approved properties to invest in.

Government Bonds

This Caribbean country allows foreign investors to invest in zero-coupon government bonds for an investment of $300,000 and a $50,000 administrative fee as of January 1, 2023. The bonds need to be held for 5 years or more.

National Economic Fund

A single investment of $100,000 as a single applicant or $165,000 for applying with a spouse will get you qualified for second citizenship in St. Lucia. Additional fees of $15,000 might apply if a spouse is included in the application process.

The New Rules

  • The real estate investment was reduced to $200,000 for investing in shares in a resort;
  • The country issues biometric passports;
  • A newborn child can be added to the application process for a fee of $5000;
  • The application process is reduced to 56 days;

What are the Benefits?

A second passport include  may offer entrepreneurs certain benefits, especially small company owner/operators working in technology and enjoying the flexibility of being able to work from any location:

  • Visa-free traveling to more than 100 countries;
  • Protection and safety in a second country in case of civil unrest, political or economic instability, or in the worst-case scenario, a war;
  • A world-class education for children at the best universities abroad;
  • Optimized taxes on capital gains, inheritance, or wealth;
  • The passport itself is an insurance policy nowadays;
  • A sea of business opportunities worldwide to take advantage of;
  • Protecting the wealth offshore with a strong currency;
  • Owning property in a foreign country – thus, profiting out of if you decide to rent it;

About Scale Finance

Scale Finance LLC (www.scalefinance.com) provides contract CFO services, Controller solutions, and support in raising capital, or executing M&A transactions, to entrepreneurial companies. The firm specializes in cost-effective financial reporting, budgeting & forecasting, implementing controls, complex modeling, business valuations, and other financial management, and provides strategic help for companies raising growth capital or considering M&A/recapitalization opportunities. Most of the firm’s clients are growing technology, healthcare, business services, consumer, and industrial companies at various stages of development from start-up to tens of millions in annual revenue. Scale Finance has multiple offices in the Carolinas including Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Greensboro, and Wilmington with a team of more than 45 professionals serving more than 130 companies throughout the region.