Citizenship by Investment vs Residency By Investment – what is the difference?

What is citizenship by investment?

Citizenship by investment, also known as economic citizenship, is available in some countries that have citizenship by investment programs. Citizenship by investment programs allow individuals to acquire citizenship in exchange for investing in the country following specific investment requirements. Often citizenship by investment programs require individuals to invest in either real estate, business investment or government bonds. The goal of citizenship by investment programs is to attract foreign investment into the country in order to boost the economy of the country.

The St.Kitts & Nevis citizenship by investment program is a well-known example of citizenship by investment. The program was first established in 1984 and has since evolved over the years. The citizenship by investment program is recognized as an important contributor to stimulating economic growth in St.Kitts & Nevis.

Another example of citizenship by investment is the Malta citizenship by investment program. The program allows individuals to acquire Maltese citizenship in exchange for a EUR 1.15 million investment. This is an example of a European citizenship by investment program that helped boost the Malta economy. 

Countries that have citizenship by investment programs have introduced strict due diligence background checks to ensure that all applicants accepted have a clean background and will not cause disrepute to the country.

Citizenship by investment programs are effective at attracting foreign investment into countries. The programs of St.Kitts & Nevis and Malta are examples of how citizenship by investment programs can benefit a country.

What is residency by investment?

Residency by investment is sometimes also known as golden visa programs, are a way in which an individual can gain residency in a country by making a financial investment into the country that has a residency by investment program. Residency by investment is becoming increasingly popular with many individuals doing residency by investment to gain access to more opportunities. By doing residency by investment, an investor might have more educational, business and travel opportunities.

Some benefits of doing residency by investment include the ability to live and work in the country of residency without the need for a traditional work permit or study visa. Individuals who do residency by investment may be able to access new markets while at the same time may have a pathway to eventually obtaining citizenship by meeting other criteria.

Residency by investment programs differ from country to country. Some residency by investment programs have stricter requirements and higher investment thresholds. Residency by investment programs are often subject to change and therefore it is important to ensure that all requirements are met and that you stay on top of all the laws and regulations.

What is the difference between citizenship by investment and residency by investment?

Citizenship by investment and residency by investment are similar but it is important to understand that there are differences between the two.

Both citizenship by investment and residency by investment require a financial contribution to the country. Often citizenship by investment requires individuals to make a larger financial investment into the country. Citizenship by investment is the process of acquiring citizenship whereby an individual has the rights and privileges of a native citizen which includes the right to live and work in the country as well as access services in the country such as education and healthcare. Residency by investment does not grant the individual citizenship (although there might be a pathway to citizenship) and the individual does not have as many legal rights. Residency by investment can allow the individual to live and work in the country but there might be restrictions on the type of work, travel and limitations on access to education and healthcare. With residency by investment there is no right to vote or participate in local government.

Second Passport

Having a second passport, also known as dual citizenship, is where an individual possesses more than one nationality. Having a second passport can come with a wide range of benefits which include greater flexibility for travel, increased business and investment opportunities as well as protection from economic and political stability of ones home country.

With a second passport you may be able to travel more freely. Having a second passport may increase your visa-free travel opportunities where you can travel to another country without the need to apply for a visa in advance. Some passports are stronger than others and if you are a business person from a country that has low visa free travel having a second passport can be key to business flexibility and success.

Another benefit of a second passport is the ability to diversify your investments and assets. You may have access to more investment opportunities and financial services of the country where you have a second passport. Additionally, having a second passport may serve as a hedge against economic and political instability. Some people seek a Plan B passport as a backup in the event their primary passport is revoked.

There are different ways of obtaining a second passport such as through citizenship by descent, naturalization, marriage, investment. Citizenship by descent is the process where an individual can claim that they are entitled to citizenship based on their parents or grandparents. Naturalization is the process of acquiring citizenship after an individual meets the requirements from living in a country for a certain period of time. The most popular routes for obtaining a second passport include citizenship by descent or naturalization.

Different countries have different laws, rules and regulations regarding second passports. For the most up to date information about citizenship by investment and residency by investment get in touch with us.