The Indian economy is booming at a pace higher than ever before. Despite this economic prosperity, the urge to relocate to other countries for better healthcare, political stability and advanced facilities continues among the high-net-worth citizens of the country.
Wealthy Indians are looking for paths beyond obtaining different visas, and instead seeking more straightforward routes to mobility and stability. In such situations, the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme comes as a great opportunity.
It’s worth noting that many affluent Indians wish to maintain ties to their home country, whether it’s because of family connections or business obligations. This condition makes them more connected to countries that are near India or share great ties with their country.
Beyond familial and cultural connections, business interests play a pivotal role in the decision-making process.
Many Indian CBI aspirants include entrepreneurs and investors who wish to expand their business to other countries. Obtaining citizenship or residency in some nations can offer them added convenience in managing and growing their enterprises.
Top 5 Citizenship by Investment Programmes for Indians
1. St Kitts and Nevis
The smallest country in the Western Hemisphere, St Kitts and Nevis is a great choice for Indians looking for CBI programmes. This country which comprises two islands has a decent population of the Indian diaspora that includes diamond merchants, and several other business owners.
With a minimum investment of US$250,000 into the Sustainable Island State Contribution, a qualifying individual can get lifetime citizenship.
Another Caribbean country, the Commonwealth of Dominica, shares strong ties with India. Both countries share good relations, so much so that Dominica was one the first few countries that receive COVID-19 vaccines from India when the doses were not readily available.
Situated on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, Dominica is also a good option for Indian investors. The low-investment portfolio makes it even more suitable. With an investment of US$100,000 a successful applicant can obtain citizenship of this beautiful country.
Anybody looking for a European passport can consider the Malta Golden Visa. The investment starts from €690,000 onwards, with a requirement of a minimum of 12 months of residency.
With its strategic location in Europe and a strong economy, Malta offers an appealing CBI programme for Indians. By investing in government bonds and real estate, individuals can obtain citizenship and enjoy the benefits of European Union membership.
Malta also provides a high standard of living, excellent healthcare, and a favorable tax regime.
However, Malta has a cap and not more than 400 main applicants are accepted each year.
Many Indian investors, who seek to get the US E2 visa tend to choose Grenada as one of the countries with which the United States shares the treaty of the particular visa category.
One of the most cost-effective options for Indians seeking a second citizenship is Grenada. Through its CBI programme, individuals can obtain Grenadian citizenship by investing in real estate or the National Transformation Fund.
The minimum investment required for the Grenada CBI Programme is US$150,000 and applications are processed in 90 days.
Launched in 2012, Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme is also a great option for Indians. The Southern European country offers a mild climate, and great culture for Indians looking to relocate. The minimum investment is €250,000 but permanent residency is granted after 5 years.
The Indian constitution does not allow its citizens to obtain “dual citizenship”. But, if anybody wants to get citizenship from another country, then they must renounce their “Indian Citizenship”.
To address the needs of individuals who wish to maintain a strong connection to India while acquiring citizenship in another nation, the government introduced the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card.
The OCI card allows them to perform all the regular duties as an Indian citizen except for the right to vote, or the right to purchase agricultural land. However, such people can still inherit their ancestral agricultural land without any restrictions.
It serves as a middle ground, allowing OCI cardholders to retain their Indian identity and enjoy various privileges, despite not holding full-fledged Indian citizenship.
CBI programmes have opened up new horizons for Indians seeking to broaden their global footprint.
From Europe to the Caribbean, there are several attractive options available. However, it is imperative to approach these programmes with caution and make informed decisions to ensure a successful and fulfilling investment journey.