The Best Second Citizenship Options for Syrians

The Syrian passport ranks low globally, and many Syrians are looking to obtain a second citizenship – and passport – to travel more freely and capitalise on opportunities worldwide.


The Syrian civil war, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and uprooted almost half its population, will enter its 10th year in March 2021. With a crackdown on refugees crossing into Europe, Syrians are left with fewer options to escape the region’s conflict. However, for those still able to invest, one option remains open.

Why do Syrians need a second passport?

With a Syrian passport, one can only travel visa-free to approximately 28 countries and territories. The Syrian passport ranks low globally, and many Syrians are looking to obtain a second citizenship – and passport – to travel more freely and capitalise on opportunities worldwide.

Obtaining a second citizenship can also mean securing your family’s future in a politically stable and safe country. As a citizen of your new country, you are entitled to work and live in the country and often have certain rights to education and healthcare.

Many people from Syria have turned to the Caribbean and European Citizenship by Investment Programmes to obtain a second citizenship. These programmes offer citizenship or residency for foreign nationals in exchange for a direct contribution or property purchase.

These are some of the most popular citizenship by investment programmes for Syrian nationals:

St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programme is one of the best Caribbean citizenship programmes offering visa-free travel to 156 countries. The most popular paths to obtain St Kitts and Nevis citizenship is a direct contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund, starting at US$150,000.

Some of the many advantages of St Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship include:

  • Visa-free access to 156 countries
  • Government drive to strengthen international relations, for example by the creation of more visa-free agreements
  • No requirement to reside or visit the country
  • Family can obtain citizenship (dependent children under 30 and elderly parents and grandparents over age 55, subject to some restrictions)
  • Citizenship can be passed on through generations by descent
  • Stable economy
  • A beautiful place to live

Antigua and Barbuda

Under Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, investors can gain second citizenship along with visa-free travel to over 150 countries. There are several investment options, but the most cost-effective path is the country’s national fund in which investors can contribute US$100,000 for a family of up to 4 members (although Government Fees also apply, bringing the price up to US$130,000). Applicants must be of outstanding character, in good health and with no criminal record.

Some of the many advantages of Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship include:

  • Most cost-effective Caribbean solution for a full family
  • No requirement for an interview
  • No need to travel to the country to complete the application. However, there is a requirement to reside in the nation for a minimum of 5 days during the first five years of the investment and to take the Oath of Allegiance
  • Children and dependents up to age 30 can be included. Likewise, dependent parents over age 55 can also be included. Both groups must also show financial dependence on the main applicant.

Montenegro

The Citizenship by Investment Programme of Montenegro was announced on Oct 1, 2018, and will only offer investment citizenship to 2,000 foreign investors for three years, beginning in 2019 and ending on December 31, 2021. The Programme requires two investments that will contribute to the economic development of Montenegro: a €100,000 contribution and a real estate investment to be held for five years. Montenegro is a future candidate for EU membership and is forecasted to join the Schengen area by 2025.

Some of the many advantages of Montenegro’s citizenship include:

  • No physical residence requirements
  • The application only takes an average of 3 months to be processed
  • Visa-free travel to over 124 destinations worldwide
  • Minimum Investment is €350,000
  • The main applicant can include their spouse and dependent children up to the age of 18 years old under one family application.

Dominica

The Commonwealth of Dominica has been operating its Citizenship by Investment Programme since 1993, making it one of the oldest citizenship programmes on the market. The island is famous for hosting over 365 rivers flowing through unique rainforests and mountainous terrain. Investors may qualify for citizenship through a contribution to the government or investment in real estate. Citizens from Syria are not banned from applying for Dominican citizenship but enhanced due diligence applies, with the applicant paying for the cost. Furthermore, the National Bank of Dominica does not accept payments from citizens of Syria residing there.

Some of the many advantages of Dominica’s citizenship include:

  • No physical residence requirements
  • The application only takes an average of 3 months to be processed
  • Visa-free travel to over 140 destinations worldwide
  • Minimum investment of U$150,000 for a family of up to four

Several other countries also allow Syrians to apply for citizenship by investment

St Lucia

Although Syrians can apply for citizenship in St Lucia, its Citizenship by Investment Unit has said that applications from Syria “will likely experience unusually long delays in processing times at best. At worst, the Unit may be unable to process [them] […] due to fees not being accepted by our bank or due diligence not being completed by our service providers.”

Turkey

Turkey is the closest nation to Syria that offers Citizenship by Investment. However, Syrian citizens cannot buy real estate, the most popular investment route, in Turkey but can take a different investment path.

Jurisdictions that do not allow Syrian to apply citizens for citizenship by investment:

Vanuatu

Citizens of Syria are ineligible for citizenship by investment in Vanuatu.

Syrian Laws on Dual citizenship

Although Syrian law recognises dual citizenship, it also states that a Syrian citizen with dual citizenship is considered a Syrian first.

Have questions?

Choosing the right citizenship by investment programme is vital and requires careful consideration by the individual regarding what they want from their investment. We recommend speaking to an expert at CS Global Partners before starting your journey to a second citizenship.