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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - Report: These Are The Best Citizenship by Investment Countries in 2023

Special Reports

Report: These Are The Best Citizenship by Investment Countries in 2023

As 2024 approaches, the popularity of Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs is only increasing, drawing in those with considerable financial assets. These schemes bring various benefits, such as increased freedom of movement, preferential taxation, improved quality of life, and extended civil liberties. Furthermore, they’ve been essential in granting fiscal independence to smaller nations, decreasing public debt burdens, and cutting back on the need for borrowed capital.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities: The Allure of Investment Immigration

High-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are exhibiting a growing interest in CBI programs, likely because of the potential for increased business opportunities and access to dynamic markets. This inclination is indicated by the fact that U.S. citizens relinquishing their citizenship has decreased from 6,705 in 2020 to 2,426 in 2022 due to the closure of embassies during the pandemic.

Attracting Investors: Government Recognition of Customized Immigration Policies

Governments worldwide acknowledge the desirability of immigration regulations designed to attract investors. In Europe, golden visa plans brought in nearly €25 billion ($27.1 billion) of foreign direct investment over the past ten years, with Portugal earning a hefty €6.8 billion ($7.3 billion).

HNWIs’ Preferred Destinations: Tax Havens and Financial Benefits

Many countries with Citizenship by Investment programs provide tax-advantageous setups, including zero or reduced taxes on foreign-sourced profits, capital gains, and financial gains. These tax benefits enable high-net-worth individuals to modify their worldwide taxation arrangements, significantly cutting down their tax burdens. Furthermore, some nations even give tax exemptions or cut-rate personal income taxes to new citizens, resulting in considerable tax savings and waivers from wealth and estate taxes, keeping family fortunes for future generations.

We’ve determined the best Citizenship by Investment programs in 2023 through a meticulous evaluation process. These rankings are based on various criteria: affordability, tax advantages, political stability, government effectiveness, and human development. Personal income tax percentages assessed tax friendliness, with countries featuring lower rates ranking higher. I

  1. St Kitts & Nevis
    St Kitts & Nevis boasts the world’s longest-standing Citizenship by Investment program, offering options such as direct donations to the Sustainable Island State Contribution Fund and investments in pre-approved real estate projects. With minimal taxation and no residency prerequisites, this program is a solid choice.
  2. Dominica
    Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment program is one of the most budget-friendly options globally. It’s known for its easy and clear process and allows people to get citizenship by making donations or investing in approved real estate projects. Dominica is a top pick for those seeking a second citizenship through investment, thanks to its strong reputation and appealing perks.
  3. Grenada
    Grenada’s CBI program presents two primary investment avenues: contributing to the National Transformation Fund, supporting local development projects, or investing in approved real estate projects, including luxury resorts and hotels. Processing is swift, taking only three to four months, with no residency or language requirements.
  4. St Lucia
    Saint Lucia is one the cheapest Citizenship by Investment programs and offers multiple investment options. One is the National Economic Fund Contribution, with amounts ranging from US $100,000 to US $15,000, depending on family size. Another choice is real estate investment, requiring a minimum of US $200,000. The Government Bond Investment option mandates a US $300,000 investment for sole applicants, plus a US $50,000 administration fee. These options grant citizenship and support the country’s economic growth.
  5. Antigua & Barbuda
    Antigua & Barbuda tops our ranking as the best Citizenship by Investment program in 2023. It offers three main options: contributing to the National Development Fund, investing in real estate, or business investment. The minimum required contribution is $100,000 for a family of up to four persons. For real estate, it’s $200,000 for a joint purchase. Business investment requires a minimum of $1.5 million for a single investor or $400,000 per person for a collective investment of at least $5 million. This program opens doors to second citizenship through various investment avenues.
  6. Malta
    Malta’s Citizenship by Investment program ranks among the top 5 choices in 2023. This program offers more than just a powerful passport; it provides access to a region celebrated for its exceptional quality of life. Malta’s strategic location grants global citizens new horizons and adventures, making it an enticing option.
  7. Vanuatu
    Vanuatu offers a Citizenship by Investment program that allows individuals to obtain citizenship by making a non-refundable contribution of either $130,000 or $180,000 for a family of four. This contribution, often called a donation, is directed towards Vanuatu’s local development fund. This donation’s primary objective is to enhance the country’s infrastructure, overall development, and economic progress within the region.
  8. Turkey
    Gaining Turkish citizenship through investment offers diverse routes to qualification. These options include purchasing real estate valued at a minimum of $400,000, making a fixed capital investment of $500,000, placing a deposit of $500,000 (or its equivalent) in a designated Turkish bank, investing $500,000 (or its equivalent) in government bonds or real estate/venture capital funds, or creating employment opportunities for a minimum of 50 individuals, subject to confirmation by the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services.
  9. Egypt
    In order to qualify for Egyptian citizenship via an investment initiative, individuals are required to satisfy certain financial prerequisites. These prerequisites encompass options such as making a non-refundable contribution of $250,000 to the Egyptian government, engaging in a real estate investment amounting to $300,000, embarking on a business investment totaling $350,000, or depositing $500,000 in a designated bank account. Moreover, to be eligible for this program, applicants must also uphold a clean criminal record and possess a valid passport.
  10. Austria
    The Austrian CBI program demands a significant financial commitment, typically from $2 to $10 million. However, this investment must be directed towards an active business that contributes to job creation or generates new export sales, with passive investments like government bonds, financial instruments, or real estate meeting the program’s criteria. Moreover, participants in the program are required to uphold their investment for a minimum of 10 years. In addition to the financial commitment, applicants must demonstrate their ability to sustain themselves and their families in Austria.
  11. Cambodia
    Cambodian citizenship, or the Khmer citizenship, offers an appealing fast-track naturalization route, typically taking just 23-4 months to finalize. This option is open to foreign individuals who need to make a $245,000 donation to the Royal Government or invest at least $305,000 in approved projects.
  12. Jordan
    Individuals from foreign countries seeking Jordanian citizenship through the Investment program have several investment avenues to explore. These options encompass bank deposits, treasury bonds, securities, investments in small and medium-sized enterprises, and participation in local projects aimed at employment generation. After completing the initial due diligence, applicants have the flexibility to choose their preferred investment path, which may involve bank deposits, treasury bonds, stock ownership, corporate stakes, or investments in businesses that create jobs.
  13. Curacao
    Curacao’s Investor Permit Program grants residency through investments in real estate, local businesses, or DCSX-listed companies. There are three investment options: a 3-year permit for $280,000, a 5-year permit for $425,000, and an indefinite license for $850,000. After five years, investors can apply for Dutch citizenship, provided they have a clean record and a valid passport.
  14. Montenegro
    In 2023, Montenegro has a program where you can become a citizen by investing in the country. Montenegro is in Southeastern Europe and has beautiful landscapes and a rich culture. This program gives investors perks like visa-free travel to 120+ countries, access to the European market, and low taxes.
  15. Mauritius
    Mauritius is a good choice for investors who want to live in a stable place with a strong economy and a high standard of living. They can eventually become citizens. You can start by getting a residence through investments in real estate, property, hotels, or approved businesses. To become a citizen, you need to live there for at least five years. You can only apply for citizenship after you get a permanent residence permit, which usually takes three years from the initial permit.
  16. Cape Verde
    Cape Verde ranks 10th on our list of best Citizenship by Investment programs in 2023. Investors who make a substantial investment of $200,000 or more in the country can be granted citizenship. Cape Verde solicits investments in Energy, Tourism, and Infrastructure projects, with a particular emphasis on foreign investors who stimulate job creation and make substantial contributions to the nation’s economic development.
  17. Seychelles
    Seychelles offers citizenship to investors who have committed at least $1 million to a business in the country and have sustained their residency for a total of 11 years. Applicants must provide evidence of their investment in launching or expanding a business and meet other stipulated criteria to qualify. It’s crucial to note that personal assets are not factored into the assessment. The eligibility conditions further mandate that applicants have maintained legal residence within Seychelles for an accumulated period of 11 years, without being absent for a continuous span of one year or more without the prior consent of the Minister of Internal Affairs.
  18. North Macedonia
    Under the Donation Route, individuals must contribute approximately $220,000 (€200,000) to a government-approved fund. Meanwhile, under the Investment Route, a direct investment of roughly $430,000 (€400,000) is necessary for the development of new facilities, excluding those in the hospitality sector. Additionally, a prerequisite of employing a minimum of ten individuals is mandated, thereby contributing to the creation of new job opportunities and the overall enhancement of the nation’s economy.
  19. Romania
    Investors seeking Romanian citizenship must adhere to the standard naturalization process, which entails establishing their primary residence in Romania for at least eight years (or five years if married and cohabiting with a Romanian citizen). This duration can be reduced by half if the applicant invests at least EUR 1,000,000 in Romania, resulting in a four-year or two-and-a-half-year requirement for those married to a Romanian citizen. Furthermore, any year in which the applicant spends more than six months abroad is excluded from the calculation of the citizenship application period.
  20. Armenia
    Armenia, in the South Caucasus, is a great choice for immigrants. It has a rich culture, history, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people. With its low 20% personal income tax and affordable living costs, Armenia is a nice option for those seeking economic opportunities in a culturally vibrant place.

The Citizenship by Investment programs in 2023 offer diverse opportunities. Whether it’s European living in Malta, fast processing in Grenada, tradition in St Kitts & Nevis, investment flexibility in Curacao, or the top-ranked Antigua & Barbuda program, there’s a suitable option for various needs. However, thorough research and evaluation are crucial before deciding. These programs provide a path to global mobility, tax advantages, and a better quality of life, making them a compelling choice for those seeking dual citizenship.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Special Reports - Report: These Are The Best Citizenship by Investment Countries in 2023
Despina Wilson
I am a senior editor and data journalist at CEOWORLD magazine. My job involves using infographics to report on news topics related to business and policy, with a global perspective. I hold a master's degree in journalism and have worked for newspapers and reporting projects in both the US and the UK, giving me a unique transatlantic perspective. I believe that data can enhance coverage of all news topics. As a contributor, I plan cover a wide range of issues, such as gender equality, climate change, labor, and immigration, using relevant statistics and insightful visualizations.