Citizenship by investment (or investment citizenship) is a special relationship between an individual and a nation state.
Given the investment that has to be made to acquire this form of citizenship, it is not a programme available to everyone.
It’s not a particularly complicated process, but it is commonly misunderstood. That’s why we have decided to go over the fundamentals of citizenship by investment in this article.
To understand the process, it helps to understand citizenship more broadly.
Citizenship is the relationship between an individual and a nation state (which, for our purposes, means country).
It is (hopefully) a give and take relationship, in which citizens agree to hand over some of their freedoms and to follow the laws and rules of the state. In return, the state guarantees its citizens other basic freedoms and rights.
These rights commonly include the right to vote, the right to work, and the right to own property.
Traditionally speaking, the most common forms or methods of citizenship are by birth, naturalisation, or marriage. These are the ways in which a passport – a widespread symbol of citizenship – are conferred upon a citizen.
Citizenship by investment is an alternative method.
Citizenship by investment is another way to acquire the same status as someone born, naturalised, or married into a country.
Here, citizenship and passport are conferred upon an individual that invests in the target country.
Obviously the cost of investment is significant, but the benefits of this programme are huge:
- It is faster than the traditional route of immigration and naturalisation;
- It sidesteps the fact of not having been born in the country or having to make sure to marry someone from that country, and;
- It doesn’t incur much non-financial inconvenience (such as taking a test or living in the target country for a specified amount of time!).
Other than these benefits, let’s look at some of the reasons that people opt for citizenship by investment.
There are many reasons why you might choose to go this route, including the fact that applications can be approved in just three months, visa-free travel to the target country and other countries, global mobility, and economic citizenship.
Let’s look at some of the advantages for high networth investors.
Often, travel abroad requires a visa. A second passport increases global mobility by extending the realm of visa-free travel. For example, the passport of Cyprus allows visa-free entry to 164 countries.
Having a citizen’s access to a second country opens up a whole new world of opportunity. The new markets and people available are a serious asset to any business or individual.
Citizenship by investment programmes normally are available to the family members of the main applicant. For this reason, the main applicant may feel that the target country is the best place to take their family and set up a better, more secure future for their spouse and children.
For all of the reasons above, you may want to consider a programme such as Prime Property Group’s Cyprus Investment Programme, which is known as ‘One of the most transparent investment programmes in the European Union.’
Many countries have an investment by citizenship programme – it is an easy way to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). This investment in turn can be used to fund internal projects.
As long as you can meet the target country’s eligibility requirements, you may want to consider investment by citizenship to acquire the freedom to travel, live, or work in another country.
Written by Rajiv. He is a content writer at Pearl Lemon. You’ll find me playing with my dog Gizmo in between copious cups of coffee and even the odd donut or three 😛