The path to citizenship and a second passport can be an incredibly long and trying process. In Andorra, for example, it can take up to 20 years for the process to be complete, and in many other countries, it is typically a period of years until that second passport is in hand.
Though many areas have unambiguous residency rules, citizenship can prove a challenge. Thus, Citizenship by Investment is a wildly popular option in many desirable locations. It is a process whereby anyone with financial means can exchange a specific sort of investment or donation for second citizenship in the country in which that investment is made.
Investments typically include real estate investments, but flat donations may be made and are then directed to government funds that address crucial areas such as emergency relief funding, infrastructure, and development.
With Citizenship by Investments, individuals can register their businesses, work and live in an array of locations. In some, the citizenship passes on to generations or other family members. Yet, as is so often the case, no two Citizenship by Investment programs are alike. In this article, we are going to look at the five best of these programs for 2019.
Growth and Demand Leads to New Opportunities
As Global Migrate predicted in early 2019, the year has already seen increased demand and strong growth in the European Citizenship by Investment and Caribbean Citizenship by Investment segments. Due primarily to the tightening of immigration standards in the U.S. and UK, the surge of interest is also due to several new Citizenship by Investment programs emerging.
Ranking them is not difficult when an effective set of criteria is used to conduct point-by-point analyses. Known as the “seven pillars of Citizenship by Investment”, each program is evaluated for:
1. Freedom of Movement
This relates to the Citizenship by Investment participant’s ability to move freely from country to country and whether or not there are visa waivers and/or visa-free travel agreements for those holding a passport.
2. Standard of Living
Retirement or visa-free travel to an appealing location with a high standard of living, excellent cost of living, pleasant climate, appealing geography, and other measures is a significant factor.
3. Minimum Investment
The capital required from an investor must be an essential part of ranking any Citizenship by Investment program.
4. Mandatory Travel or Residency
Citizenship by Investment programs typically require residency for a specific time frame before approval.
5. Citizenship Timeline
How long does it take from submission of application until citizenship is granted? Naturally, few investors will favour a program with years of waiting time.
6. Ease of Processing
Is the Citizenship by Investment program overly complicated or straightforward? The simplest process is, obviously, the preferred and highly rated option.
7. Due Diligence
Not all Citizenship by Investment programs are transparent or effective at evaluating candidates properly, and this too must figure into calculations.
By assessing the current array of Citizenship by Investment programs, Global Migrate was able to identify the five best, thus far, in 2019.