Top 10 Golden Passport Programmes In the World 2019

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Looking to obtain a second passport by investment in 2019? View our comprehensive and updated list of Golden Passport Programmes in existence around the world today below, or contact us now for a free consultation to get your family’s Plan B in place – while you still can…

What are the best Golden Passport Programmes in the world?
Determining which investment passport to obtain will depend largely on your individual situation, needs and preferences. As of June 2019, however, the following Golden Passport programmes are available to third country investors:

The Cyprus Golden Passport

Established in 2002 to help Cyprus recover from the financial crisis, the Cyprus Golden Passport Programme has been the most expensive economic passport option since inception. While the programme’s investment requirements have been lowered significantly, applicants will still need to make a minimum investment of €2 million to obtain direct citizenship and a Cypriot passport.

The programme has had its fair share of controversy over the years, and the Cyprus government recently announced the adoption of more stringent requirements for acquiring golden citizenship.

As a travel document, it ranks 16th in the world overall, affording the bearer visa free access to 173 countries, including the rest of the EU member countries.

The St Kitts and Nevis Investment Passport Programme 2019

The St Kitts Passport Programme put Citizenship By Investment products on the map internationally. Established in 1984, it is one of the oldest and most respected investment passports in the world. Offering visa-free travel to over countries, including the EU and British Commonwealth countries, the passport appeals to entrepreneurs and business owners seeking to increase their global mobility.

Being a tax haven, the island nation is also an ideal second citizenship choice for those seeking to optimise their tax liabilities. Compared to its European counterpart programmes, Malta and Cyprus, the St Kitts and Nevis Programme offers unbeatable affordability. In fact, at this price point, the programme also poses stiff competition for the Residency by Investment Programmes of Spain, Austria and Portugal.

Citizenship can be obtained by making a non-refundable $250,000 contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF). For an additional $50,000, your spouse and two dependent children can become eligible to apply for citizenship as well – and the family application process can be completed in 3 months. Alternatively, citizenship can be acquired by making an eligible property investment worth at least $400,00. This property investment must be maintained for at least 5 years.

 

The Antigua and Barbuda Investment Passport Programme 2019

Launched in 2013, the Antigua and Barbuda programme has attracted scores of foreign investors seeking visa-free travel rights to the EU, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. In addition to offering increased global mobility, the jurisdiction also appeals to applicants seeking to optimise their tax liabilities. 

Applicants have the choice of either making a once-off, non-refundable donation of $100,000 to the National Development Fund (NDF), or to invest a minimum of $400,000 in qualifying real estate. This property investment then needs to be maintained for a minimum of 5 years.

Under a Limited Time Offer, expiring on 31 October 2019, two applicants can make a joint investment to obtain citizenship. Each applicant is required to invest a minimum of $200,000 in order to qualify, and the property cannot be sold for a period of 5 years.

The NDF’s core aim is to develop the twin-island nation’s economy. The $100,000 donation enables the primary applicant and up to 3 dependents to become citizens. For a family of 5 or more, the required donation is $125,000, making this one of the most affordable citizenship programmes in the world.

In addition to the donation, a government service fee of around $25,000, due diligence fees of $7,500 and professional service fees of around $30,000 per application are payable as well. The application process takes approximately 6 months.

The Malta Golden Passport Programme

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Launched in early 2014, the Malta Individual Investor Programme (Malta IIP), offers third country investors the ability to obtain EU Citizenship By Investment on the following basis:

  • Making a non-refundable contribution of €650,000 to the National Development and Social Fund for the main applicant.

  • Contributing an additional €25,000 per person for the spouse and minor children of the primary applicant.

  • Contributing an additional €50,000 per person for dependent parents, grandparents or any unmarried children aged 18 to 26 years old.

  • In addition to the above non-refundable fund contributions, the applicant is also required to make a property investment of no less than €350,000 and maintaining it for a period of 5 years or more.

  • A minimum investment of €150,000 in Maltese government bonds is also required.

In terms of passport power, the Maltese ranks 9th in the world overall, affording the bearer visa-free access to over 160 countries around the world, including the other 26 Schengen member countries and the European Economic Area (EEA).

Also be sure to check out Malta’s MRVP option.

The Grenada Golden Passport Programme 2019

The Grenada investment citizenship programme offers excellent global mobility, excellent affordability and an unusually fast application process. What makes the programme particularly compelling is the fact that Grenada passport holders can live and work in the USA, and it is one of the few travel documents in the world that affords the bearer visa-free travel to China.

In addition, the country offers a highly attractive taxation regime, and dual citizenship is recognised.

The Grenada passport offers visa-free travel rights to over 130 countries worldwide, and there are no minimum stays applicable; in fact, you don’t even need to go visit Grenada to make your investment citizenship application; it can be done remotely and through nomination.

The application process for Grenada citizenship can be completed in 60 days, so if your end-game is access to the USA, the Grenada route may make a lot more sense than the American EB5 Visa Programme, for example.

 To apply, you’ll either need to buy government approved Grenada property for a minimum amount of $350,000, or you can make a once-off donation of $200,000 into a government development fund. Both of these options will enable you to apply for citizenship for a family of 4.  Additional dependent family members can be added to the application, with an additional donation of $25,000 per extra person being applicable.

The Turkey Golden Passport

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Launched in May 2017, the Turkish Citizenship By Investment Programme was created to encourage foreign investors to purchase real estate and/or make capital investments in Turkey.

A key selling point for the product is the fact that there are no minimum in-country stay requirements associated with obtaining economic citizenship in Turkey. While the original investment requirement was US$1 million, the minimum investment amount was reduced to only $250,000 earlier in 2019. The result was a dramatic surge in enquiries and third country nationals from countries such as Palestine, Iraq, South Africa, Zambia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Ukraine applying for Turkish investment citizenship in record numbers.

 

 

St Lucia Economic Passport Programme 2019

Established in 2016, the St Lucia Golden Passport Programme constitutes a best of breed product offering within the Caribbean region. A fast application process, global passport power and exceptional affordability – the programme has it all. In addition, St Lucia offers an incredibly high standard of living, personal safety and spectacular natural beauty – it is a key travel destination within the region.

From a business internationalisation perspective, St Lucia is a compelling choice. Offering a friendly tax regime, a rapidly maturing business environment. Non-residents don’t pay tax on their worldwide income and, capital gains taxes are 0%. If you were to choose St Lucia as your business’ base, you could become eligible for an even more preferential tax regime.  Personal income taxation, too, is appealing, being progressively tiered up to a maximum of 30%. Inheritance and net wealth taxes are not applicable.

Prospective applicants have a number of investment avenues to choose from. Applicants can either purchase a government approved property valued at a minimum of $300,000, to be maintained for 5 years, or they can opt to make a no-refundable contribution of $100,000, per individual applicant, to the island nation’s National Economic Fund (NEF).

For couples, the minimum contribution is only $165,000, and for a family of 4, the total NEF contribution requirement is only $190,000. Additional dependents can be included with a contribution of $25,000 per person.  Please note that these contributions do not include government application and processing, due diligence costs and professional service providers’ fees.

The Moldova Golden Passport Programme

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Launched in Q2 2018, the Moldovan Citizenship By Investment Programme is currently the most affordable EU passport by investment product available on the market, with single-applicant costs starting at only €100,000 (excluding due diligence and professional service fees) . It is 10 times cheaper than the Maltese Golden Passport, and is even more affordable than the investment passports of St Kitts and Grenada (see pricing below).

The first Moldovan passports applications were successfully completed in May 2019, but already, the programme is meeting political resistance at home. With the programme looking set to be terminated soon, now is the time to act if you wish to apply for a Moldovan Golden Passport. 

Austria Golden Passport Programme

Austria offers a fast-track Citizenship By Investment Programme through which third country investors can become Austrian (EU) citizens on the basis of bringing a significant capital contribution to the country’s economy. In addition, this contribution has to be coupled with an exceptional contribution, such as the creation of new intellectual property or bringing a cutting-edge technology to Austria.

Donations to certain Austrian public projects could serve as the basis for citizenship application as well.

The investment has to be an active business investment; passive investments such as purchasing real estate or government bonds are not considered eligible investments under the programme. While there are no specific guidelines in terms of the capital investment amount, it is generally acknowledged that the investment will be $2 million or more.

The application process takes around 24 to 36 months, and is fairly onerous. Yet the benefits are compelling: EU Citizenship opens a plethora of doors, while the Austrian passport affords the bearer visa-free access to most countries on earth, including the USA. In addition, there are no minimum in-country stay requirements, making Austrian investment citizenship an excellent Plan B.

The programme is ranked #2 in the 2018 CBI Index, and is widely held to be one of the world’s flagship citizenship programmes.

Annual intake quotas are applicable, so get in touch today to avoid undue waiting periods.

The Montenegro Golden Passport Programme

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Montenegro is in the process of launching their investment citizenship programme. Formally known as the Montenegro Citizenship By Investment Programme, or MCIP for short, the programme features starting investments from only €250,000 in rural or underdeveloped areas, and from only $450,000 in developed areas.

In addition, every applicant is required to make a €100,000 governmental development fund donation, regardless of their choice of investment vehicle or investment location.

The Montenegrin passport is currently ranked in the Top 40 passports in the world and offers visa-free travel to 117 countries around the world, including business destinations such as Hong Kong, Russia, China and the UAE.

The residency application is exceptionally fast, at only 3 weeks, and citizenship can be attained in only 6 months. While citizenship can only be applied for after 6 months of acquiring Montenegrin residency by investment, no in-country presence is required during this time.

Citizenship donations from $100,000. Fees from $25,000. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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