When deciding where to apply for second citizenship, many factors come to mind – location, the standard of living, time to citizenship, and more. For those who can afford it, Citizenship by Investment often presents itself as an ideal solution. It promises citizenship of a beautiful, safe country shortly after the making of a qualifying investment.
What does it take to afford Citizenship by Investment?
The answer varies according to the number of people who are being included in an application.
For a single applicant, the answer is straightforward. Dominica and St Lucia both offer the world’s most competitive investment thresholds, with applicants receiving economic citizenship in return for a US$100,000 contribution to the relevant government.
In Antigua and Barbuda, despite there being the same minimum contribution requirement, a US$30,000 fee must also be added, bringing the total to US$130,000. This same amount is also required in Vanuatu, a small island nation in Oceania and the only country to match the Caribbean for affordability. Antigua and Barbuda offers the same price for nuclear families of four, making it the most affordable option for small families. Vanuatu, instead, increases its minimum threshold to US$180,000.
Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis both come at a slightly higher cost – US$150,000 for a single applicant. St Kitts and Nevis prides itself on presenting a premium price for applicants to the Caribbean – something it closely associates with its reputation as the ‘platinum standard’ of the industry. Until January 15th, 2020 however, the dual island federation is operating a US$150,000 limited time offer on nuclear families – a discount on the more typical price of US$195,000. St Lucia also matches the US$150,000 family threshold. Grenada remains more expensive, at US$200,000 for families.
At the other end of the spectrum are European countries such as Malta, where the minimum investment is €880,000, and Cyprus, where applicants are expected to invest a whopping €2,200,000, of which €500,000 must be committed to holding local real estate indefinitely. In Malta, the price grows even further with the addition of family members, with a spouse and two minor children adding an extra €75,000 to the total.
Montenegro, Europe’s newest country to launch a Citizenship by Investment Programme, requires applicants to part with at least €350,000 (if they invest in the country’s northern, less touristic, regions) plus a hefty €15,000 fee. This fee increases when family members are added to an application by €10,000 for each additional family member.
When it comes to affordability, it is, therefore, the Caribbean that becomes most accessible, not only to the ultra-high net worth individual but also to the professional and businessperson seeking second citizenship as a single applicant or with a family.