While only eight countries in the world currently offer genuine citizenship by investment programs, almost every other nation offers some form of residency by investment or investor visa program. Clearly there is an abundance of such programs for the foreign investor to choose from, but which are the best?

In today’s ever-shrinking, increasingly competitive world, the businessperson armed with a citizenship that commands global respect and a passport that gets them into every country worth entering holds a huge advantage over their rival who hails from an ostracized republic, and who holds a passport that needs to be used in conjunction with a briefcase-full of visas in order to get anywhere.

You may be more talented and smarter than 90% of your rivals, speak five languages fluently, look a million dollars and have a business that the world needs to see, but if you herald from a nation that is something of a pariah state – i.e., Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Eretria, Liberia, Angola and Congo to name just a few, you are going to be judged by the sins of your country – no matter how unfair that might be.

Even if you are a citizen of an economic powerhouse that most nations are keen to do business with like China, India or Saudi Arabia, you will still be the owner of a passport that won’t get you very far in the Western world without a visa.

Luckily, the passport of the country you were born in doesn’t have to be the only one you carry. Today more than any other time in history, it’s easier to become a citizen of pretty much any country you want, as long as you are prepared to make a financial – and in some case physical – commitment.


The Difference Between Citizenship and Residency By Investment

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) is a relatively fast process in which an investor who can pass a background check and has sufficient funds can receive the citizenship and passport of a country in a matter of months, in return for a financial investment in said country, normally a real estate purchase or a charitable donation.  The only countries in the world that offer CBI programs are as follows:

From the EU: Austria, Cyprus, Malta

From CARICOM (the Caribbean Community): Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis

Residency by Investment is when an investor who wishes to become a resident of a specific country does so by virtue of a financial investment, normally in the form of a real estate purchase or refundable government bonds. Often an investor will initially have to become a Temporary Resident, with a limit on the amount of time they can spend in that country. After 3-5 years (depending on the country) an investor can apply for Permanent Residency which entitles them to remain in that country without limitation, be eligible for state benefits and be able to establish a business there.

After a year of permanent residency, an investor can then apply for full citizenship of that country. Only as a citizen will they become a passport holder, and benefit accordingly from the visa-free travel that a new passport brings. As a resident, one can benefit from that country domestically, but as a citizen, those benefits become international.


Five Outstanding Residency Programs To Consider

Here are five residency by investment programs currently on the market that 2ndPassports.com rates among the very best, because they guarantee the option of full citizenship after the residency period is completed.



Portugal might just be the most popular residency by investment – or as they like to call it – Golden Visa – program available today. Since its inception in 2012, around 5,000 Golden Visa programs have been sold, 80% to the Chinese investor market.

Requirements and Benefits:

  • This program requires a minimum real estate purchase of €500,000, or a €1 million, 5-year bond investment
  • This program is valid for all family members including spouse, children and elderly parents/grandparents
  • As a Portuguese resident, an investor can travel freely through Europe’s Schengen Area
  • After 5 years, permanent Portuguese residency is granted, and after one year of permanent residency, Portuguese citizenship can be applied for
  • The Portuguese passport has visa-free access to 171 countries, making in the joint-7th most powerful in the world



Like Portugal, Canada has a massively popular Investor Visa Residency Program, particularly among wealthy Chinese investors, more than 100,000 of which have settled in the city of Vancouver since the program’s inauguration in 1986.

Requirements and Benefits:

  • Applicants must have a minimum net worth of $1.6 (Canadian dollars)
  • Applicants must have two years of managerial experience
  • Applicants must grant $800,000 to the Canadian government in the form of an interest free loan, which will be repaid after a period of 5 years
  • There is no period of Temporary Residency, the program grants immediate Permanent Canadian Residency
  • After3-5 years an investor can apply for full Canadian citizenship
  • The Canadian passport is the joint-6th most powerful in the world, with visa-free access to 172 countries



While the residency programs of Portugal and Canada are well established and hugely popular, an option that has gone completely under the radar is the program of Brazil, which is both extremely economical, but, could ultimately lead to a very powerful passport.

Requirements and Benefits:

  • An investor must be able to invest BRL 500,000 (approx. $160,000) into an approved business in Brazil, an approved Brazilian real estate purchase or Brazilian Government Bonds
  • An investor’s family are included in the application at no additional cost
  • The investor and their family will receive the RNE, also known as the Yellow Card, which indicates Permanent Residency in Brazil which entitles the investor to be able to live and work in Brazil and receive the same rights and benefits as a Brazilian citizen
  • After four years of residency, and investor can apply for full Brazilian citizenship and a passport
  • The Brazilian passport is the 18th most powerful in the world, with visa-free access to 157 countries globally, including Europe (Eastern, Central and Western) in its entirety



What makes Guatemala’s residency by investment program so interesting is its cost – at just $60,000 it is by far and away the best value program on the market today. Guatemala’s program is of particular interest to investors who come from nations with restrictive passports and visa-free access to 60 nations or less. While Guatemala’s passport is not as powerful as that of an EU nation, it still has visa-free access to just shy of 120 countries.

Requirements and Benefits:

  • An investor must make a refundable purchase of $60,000 in Guatemalan government bonds that must be maintained for a period of five years
  • Full Guatemalan residency is granted on completion of investment
  • The application process for full Guatemalan citizenship can begin after just nine months of residency
  • The Guatemalan passport has visa-free access to 119 countries, including those of Eastern, Central and Western Europe including the UK, France, Germany and Russia



If ever a nation deserved the term “Sleeping Giant” it is currently Russia, that vast nation of endless resources and manpower that has been largely excluded from the economic explosion of the 21st century. After years of ostracization by the key countries of the West, there is finally hope that there will be a thawing in relations and increased economic opportunities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have long been on good terms, and new French leader Emmanuel Macron is keen to improve Franco-Russian relations, but it is US President Donald Trump who could be the man to pave the way to the best period of East-West friendship since the days of Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin in the early 1990s.

It might therefore be the perfect time to take advantage of what is an excellent Russian residency/citizenship by investment program.

Requirements and Benefits:

  • An investor must make either a non-refundable charitable donation of 7.5 million rubles (approx. $128,000) to a specified Russian National fund, a 15 million ruble (approx. $256,000) investment into a Russian real estate project, a 35 million ruble (approx. $600, 000) business investment or run a business in Russia that generates 10 million rubles ($171,000) per year for three years
  • The minimum investment figure of just $128,000 makes Russia’s Residency by Investment program one of the best value on today’s market
  • The application is also valid for the investor’s spouse and family at no additional cost
  • After three years of maintaining one of the investment options listed above, full Russian citizenship can be applied for and obtained at no additional cost to the investor
  • The Russian passport currently provides visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 105 countries worldwide, including Eastern Europe, Latin America, most of Southeast Asia, areas of Asia and Africa, plus the offshore banking and tax-havens of the Caribbean and Central America



The residency by investment programs of Portugal, Canada, Brazil, Guatemala and Russia represent five countries who not are not only keen to have investors reside within their borders, but ultimately become citizens also.

For more information on these programs plus other Residency by Investment and Golden Visa programs, as well as all Citizenship by Investment Programs, contact 2ndPassports.com today. Feel free to contact us via email, WhatsApp or Telegram. If you prefer you can chat to one of our expert representatives directly – you can call us using our encrypted phone and Skype lines. All of our contact details are listed at the top of the 2ndPassports.com homepage.

We look forward to hearing from you!



Fill out the form below to receive a free and confidential consultation.

This is a secure online application protected by SSL encryption




Five Outstanding Residency By Investment Programs To Consider
Article Name
Five Outstanding Residency By Investment Programs To Consider
Many nations offer some form of residency by investment and with an abundance of such programs for the foreign investor to choose from, which are the best?
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo

© 2017 2ndPassports.com a division of Intercap, S.A.