What is the best citizenship by investment program? – Discover the best CBI programs for expats (english-speaking)

If you are already interested in citizenship by investment programs, great! The most complicated part of the process – and most important – is usually choosing your new country for citizenship. Often, this country is one that you will be spending a significant amount of time in, even if you are not planning to move there permanently.

What is citizenship by investment?

Citizenship by investment (CBI) programs are self-explanatory: it is a citizenship you acquire for you and your family by making an investment in a country’s economy. In exchange for this foreign investment in the country’s economy, the government offers applicants a passport in its name and citizenship status.

Citizenship by investment is a way for wealthy individuals to obtain citizenship visa or a residency in a country where they’ve made an investment or other monetary contributions.  Citizenship can be gained by investing money in local economies, such as buying real estate or securities, starting a business, or creating jobs. Those who decide to focus on this form of citizenship remain citizens of both countries but do not need to speak the local language or even permanently reside in the country to obtain the visa.

What do people look for in their second citizenship?

Tax-free investment programs attract various groups of investors in developing countries, looking to add a second passport in their investment portfolio. A second passport provides its holder with additional mobility, more visa-free travel opportunities, and it applies to different communities. In short, there are many advantages to having a second passport:

  • Being able to travel visa-free in many countries and regions;
  • Being able to benefit from world-class education;
  • Real home-life improvement;
  • Increased security for you and your family;

And then you should go through all the available benefits to find the best-serving program that suits you the best. The ideal citizenship by investment program is one that allows you to save your money and do what you want to while accomplishing your goals very intelligently.

Make sure you can have dual citizenship

Although many countries allow their citizens to have dual citizenship and offer visa-free access, other host or home countries do not allow a single applicant for citizenship by investment to retain two passports. Make sure you are allowed to have two passports!

Find the best citizenship by investment for English speakers with JH Marlin

What is required from investors to obtain a second citizenship and new passports?

The types of investments required to earn citizenship and insurance by investment depend on the applicant’s country of origin and the specific investment program. Some will require you to own or rent real estate and even to have government bonds or other assets  in the country. Programs for citizenship can involve health examinations, background checks and other administrative procedures. The minimum investment requirement for each population is also different, and investments for investment can vary. With some programs, the investment can be a donation to a national economic fund.

Most citizenship by investment programs will include the following:

  • A minimum capital investment in one of the options offered by the country’s government: real estate investment, the purchase of bonds or a charitable donation to a government-owned entity;
  • The ability to show the legal source of the investments made in the country;
  • A clean criminal record;

What to look for in a CIB program as an English-speaking expat

If you arrive in your new home, bags still packed, and are met with a language barrier, it can be quite shocking. This can make an already stressful move even harder to acclimate to. While learning a new language is exciting to some, it can also be time-consuming and the thought simply daunting to others. Culture shock may be more well known, but language shock can have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Language is an important criteria when choosing a citizenship by investment program

If you are monolingual, language barriers may be of particular concern to you. This should be kept in mind when choosing your new home. While some might call it a small consideration compared to tax benefits, it may have a significant effect on your quality of life abroad, especially if your aim is to become an expat.

In fact, some countries, like Canada, have a language requirement when applying for residency or citizenship. As a result, being monolingual may have its limitations if you do not meet these requirements.

However, there are many English-speaking countries that offer citizenship by investment programs – and all the other great benefits that come with it. This way, you do not need to compromise your quality of life in order to decrease your tax burden or increase your business income.

What types of investment can be made to gain citizenship in a foreign country?

For those looking for real estate options, some countries offer real estate investments

Many economic citizenship programs offer applicants the option to invest in real estate in the country. Citizenship by investment applicants are required to invest a minimum sum of money and hold it for a predefined number of years before getting a passport and enjoying visa-free travel.

Countries such as St.Lucia offers CBI applicants a donation option

Some countries offer foreign investors the option to apply for a citizenship by investment program through a donation to a government fund. A good example is the Caribbean country of St.-Lucia’s citizenship by investment, where economic citizenship applicants can donate to their National Economic Fund. The country specifies how much a single applicant needs to donate in order to start the application process and become a citizen.

The best citizenship by investment programs for English speakers

The country you choose depends on your other wants and needs as an investor, and the best citizenship options aren’t the same for everyone. This list highlights a few of the more attractive citizenship by investment options for English-speaking, expat-friendly countries:

Citizenship by investment in Dominica

Dominica citizenship by investment – also known as the world’s most affordable passport. Not only is the  island of Dominica a tropical paradise in the Caribbean, but it is also an affordable and expat-friendly country. It offers the applicant visa-free travel to many countries and 

A significant portion of the citizens (about 2000, or 2.5%) are American. English is widely spoken across the island, which makes Dominica a perfect option for expats looking for a new country to call home.

Thanks to its status as a tax haven combined with its tropical climate, retirees and sunbirds flock to the destination to enjoy its lavish lifestyle and sunny beaches. And the best part is that:

  • The Dominica citizenship by investment program is open to all nationalities;
  • There are no residence requirements;
  • The applicant’s family obtain the second passport;
  • You can become a citizen in less than 6 months (visa-free travel);

Citizenship by investment in Malta

Malta is a great option for those who want to settle in Europe as Anglophones. Malta may have the best quality of life in all English-speaking countries with a citizenship by investment program. While part of the European Union, Malta is also a Mediterranean paradise: what more to ask than Malta’s citizenship by investment program?

Not only is Malta a tax haven, but citizenship in Malta allows non-European citizens to gain residency in Malta, and in the European Union. About 90% of Malta’s population can speak English, making the transition easy for expats looking for an English-speaking financial centre.

  • Malta allows for fast citizenship and requires only one year of residency;
  • The applicant’s spouse, children and dependent parents can obtain a citizenship passport;

Citizenship by investment in Singapore

It is one of many tax haven countries, and the fact that it is English-speaking is one more benefit added to its list. Singapore is a city where many cultures and nationalities come together. Most of its citizens are bilingual, and English is the language of business in the country.

Singapore is a country of luxury. For those who enjoy fast-paced business, city life and nightlife, this may be a good option for you.

Citizenship by investment in Vanuatu

Vanuatu is the land far away from home. It is unique as it is the only current citizenship by investment program in the Asia-Pacific. For those who value privacy, it may be the best option. Over 60% of the population speaks English. The program offers the opportunity to pay no taxes and is also very quick, you can gain your passport in just a couple months!

Vanuatu is one of the most popular citizenship by investment programs, as its remoteness provides the perfect private haven for high-net-worth individuals to spend their time. Although tempting, there is also no physical presence requirement for residency. That way, you can travel to nearby Australia or New Zealand, or even globetrot around the world.

There are many CBI programs available everywhere

These four countries represent just a handful of options for those who are seeking citizenship in an expat-friendly country which speaks English. However, within just these few countries, you can see a wide array of options for investors – whether they are looking for a beach to retire on, Europe to explore, lively city to enjoy, or the privacy of the Asia-Pacific. 

Is a second citizenship, or multiple citizenships, the right choice for you?

The main factors that make the investment route attractive is its short time limit. This is very advantageous for people who wish to obtain their citizenship immediately. Furthermore, the process of acquiring citizenship by investment is relatively convenient. The fact that the potential citizen is investing a substantial amount of money makes it in the best interest of the government to make the process as simple and smooth as possible, which means less arduous paperwork and fewer obstacles to overcome. 

As many citizenship by investment programs do not require your physical presence anywhere in the country, before you become a resident of that country you simply need to open an account, move in, and get your paperwork in order. Having a six- or seven-figure salary does not guarantee that you will be able to obtain citizenship by investment faster. For that reason, citizenship by investment is across the board: for as well as for those who are not wealthy.

What are “golden visas”?

Golden visas are immigration schemes in some countries where investors and their families receive the right to become permanent residents of a specific country in exchange for a substantial economic investment. Investors can include their immediate family members, such as children, parents, grandparents, and other extended family. Some countries have specifically set-aside immigration quotas for the scheme, while others rely on word of mouth to select high-quality applicants. 

JH Marlin specializes in citizenship by investment programs for English speakers!

Whether you are looking to invest in real estate, government bonds, new business, or private equity funds among others, there are plenty of immigration options available for you to look at. 

Do not hesitate to contact JH Marlin attorney at Law to help you find the best citizenship by investment program for you and your family!

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