Investing in hotels, private transportation or indulging in yachts and cruises are a well-known tactic to enhance a lifestyle, but in recent years, wealthy individuals are investing in second citizenship or residency as an added security.
A recent study revealed that nearly 89% of citizens would like to have a second nationality and passport. In contrast, over 40% of them had investigated and looked for options to invest in second citizenship at some point in their lives.
Luckily, for those who can afford it, some European countries offer citizenship and residency by investment programs. With a substantial investment in real estate, government bonds or donation, investors can obtain a second passport or Golden Visa.
Jeremy Savory, CEO and founder of Savory & Partners, British Consultancy Firm that specializes in Second Citizenship and residency by investment programs, says: “The motivations for seeking a second citizenship, are as diverse and varied as Savory & Partners’ clients. Ranging from a desire to avoid difficult and often painfully long visa application processes to a desire for the peace and stability that often eludes many countries”.
Indeed, having second citizenship in a European country is becoming more than just obtaining a passport. There are advantages towards using European citizenship ranging from education opportunities in prestigious universities, improved tax planning, quick access to medical treatment, to registering assets or even opening bank accounts in Europe.
The truth is that people around the world, and especially in the Middle East, are increasingly looking for second citizenship in Europe; to protect their assets and, more importantly, ensure a safe and prosperous future for themselves and their families.
Meanwhile, others choose to apply for residency by investment programs, commonly known as “Golden Visa” programs — which are often a more affordable way to enjoy the benefits that come along with living in another country.
When it comes to deciding where to apply for Citizenship by Investment in Europe, there are undoubtedly many subjects that must be considered before taking the first step.
Governments usually run several citizenship programs, so we put together a list of European programs where you can obtain citizenship and passport through investing.
Here is a list of four European countries where you can make an investment in exchange for a second passport.
1. Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program - From €350,000
Montenegro welcomes investors who are interested in obtaining European Citizenship and passport through the Montenegrin Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), which officially started taking applications in late 2019. Currently, the country’s CIP has a limit of 2,000 applications.
Montenegro citizenship and passport can be obtained through two different investment options:
- A real estate investment of at least €250,000 in a government-approved project in underdeveloped regions of Montenegro. A nonrefundable contribution of €100,000 to the government development fund is also required.
- A real estate investment of at least €450,000 in a government-approved project in developed regions of Montenegro. A nonrefundable contribution of €100,000 to the government development fund is also required.
There are additional government and professional fees that apply to both options.
Benefits of Montenegrin Citizenship
- Visa-free and visa-on-arrival to 120+ countries including the Schengen states, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
- There are no taxes on worldwide income, capital gains, gift, wealth and inheritance.
- No need to renounce your current citizenship(s), therefore benefiting from all nationalities.
2. Malta Citizenship by Investment Program - From €1,150,000
Having a Malta passport and dual citizenship benefits your future generations with increased political and economic freedom, as well as significant educational and job opportunities in the European Union.
The Malta citizenship by investment program includes three financial requirements:
- A contribution to the development of Malta.
- Purchase of stocks/bonds.
- A property transaction (property rental or property purchase).
There also are compulsory background checks payable to the Government preferred due diligence agency that will use Interpol, World-Check and other Government agencies to screen applicants based on their application.
Legal and professional fees also apply.
Benefits of Maltese Citizenship
- Visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to 166+ countries including the UK, Schengen and Canada.
- Schengen Residence Status for 1 year prior to the issue of passport, issued on application.
- EU citizenship gives right of establishment in all 28 EU countries and Switzerland.
- Access to state of the art healthcare and education.
3. Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program - From €2,150,000
Successful applicants to Cypriot citizenship by investment program become citizens of the European Union (EU) automatically, and they are entitled to security and protection by European Union Consulates around the world.
To apply for this program, investors are required to make a contribution to the “Research Promotion Foundation” (RPF) - a contribution to the “Cyprus Land Development Corporation” (CLDC) - and purchase a residential property in the country; government and professional fees apply as well.
Benefits of Cypriot Citizenship
- Visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel the Cypriot passport allows for visa-free travel to 157 countries worldwide including the EU, UK and Canada.
- Freedom to study in schools or universities across the EU for free or at discounted rates exclusive for EU nationals.
- Unrestricted right to live and work in Europe with access to state of the art healthcare.
- Fast-track procedure allowing for European Citizenship in 6 to 8 months.
4. Turkey Citizenship by Investment Program - From $250,000
You probably didn't know this, but part of Turkey is located in Europe. The country stretches from Eastern Europe to Western Asia, with cultural connections to the ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Its capital city Istanbul is the only city built on two continents. This ancient city is mostly located on the Asian continent. Still, a few percentages of the total city area is also found in Europe, which makes it unparalleled since it's built on two continents.
Turkey’s Citizenship by Investment Program, which was amended in September 2018 to lower the thresholds, offers real estate investment as an option to qualify for Turkish citizenship and passport.
The citizenship program is comprised of three stages:
1. Purchase of real estate
2. Acquiring a residence permit
3. Receiving passports
Also, other costs need to be covered, such as government and professional fees.
Benefits of Turkish Citizenship
- Visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to 110+ countries, including Hong Kong and Singapore.
- Lifetime Citizenship which is passed down to future generations of family and children.
- No need to renounce your current citizenship(s), therefore you can benefit from other nationalities you may have.
- No residency requirements, you are entitled to apply immediately.
Over the past years, Savory & Partners has accompanied and assisted hundreds of families across the Middle East in securing their European citizenship and passport.
Book your FREE consultation to learn how Savory & Partners can help you secure your future and the future of your family with a second nationality and passport, or please get in touch with us, call us or send us a WhatsApp message to +971 54 440 2955.