Citizenship by Investment (CBI) has been something of a buzz-phrase in recent years among high net-worth individuals hailing from Asia, Africa and the Middle East who know that the legal attainment of dual citizenship and an EU passport in particular will grant them a level of freedom to travel and work that will dramatically improve both their quality of life and earning power.
For those readers still unfamiliar with the process of CBI, it is now possible to legally become the citizen of a country other than one’s own, and a holder of its passport, in return for a financial investment into that country. This could be in the form of a charitable donation or the purchase of a business that employs citizens of that country. However, normally all that is required is the purchase of a piece of real estate that remains the property of the investor for a decreed period of time.
There are currently almost a dozen European nations offering either CBI programs or similarly structured investor programs. The EU programs stand out as the most desirable, as a European Union passport entitles its holder to be able to live and work anywhere within the EU without time limitation, and also grants its owner visa-free travel to an average of 170 countries worldwide.
But among the growing number of European Union countries who operate CBI programs, which passport is best? Here are 2ndPassports.com’s current frontrunners for 2017. Bear in mind that this list may change as countries improve their programs and newcomers (potentially Ireland) release their own investor package.
Okay, so we know that as of yet Turkey are not even in the EU right now, but we also know what everyone else knows; that it’s just a matter of time before they are granted full European Union membership. With the increasingly imminent EU departure of the UK, the nation which has been the main opposition to Turkish admission in recent years, the remaining power-brokers of the European Union – France and Germany – have already offered Turkey a “privileged partnership” which they have declined.
Allowing Turkey into the EU is a no-brainer, and here’s why; the Turkish economy is booming, which means there will be an additional 79 million consumers ready to spend big in the European marketplace. Turkish per-capital income has increased six-fold in recent years, and the average Turkish worker is now better off than many of his EU contemporaries. Istanbul is a huge, modern, vibrant city, and only New York, London and Moscow have more resident billionaires than the Turkish capital. Bringing in such a thriving, heavyweight economy, especially as an equally large economy in the UK is in the process of leaving isn’t an option – it’s a necessity.
In addition, Turkey are long-time NATO members with what would be by far the largest armed forces in Europe – something the EU would rather have with them, especially with the ever-threatening specter of Russia hanging over them.
For those investors who are either A) patient, B) short on capital or C) both, obtaining Turkish citizenship right now is a great move. 2ndPassports.com are the only citizenship brokers who can guarantee Turkish citizenship and passport for just €45,000, making it by far the cheapest CBI program available anywhere in the world today.
While it may take as long as five years before Turkey becomes a full EU member state, in the meantime in 2017 Turkish passport holders are set to be granted unlimited access to Europe’s 26-nation Schengen Area.
So, to sum up;
- Turkish citizens are set to be granted unlimited and unrestricted access to the Schengen Zone in 2017, increasing the visa-free power of the Turkish passport from 122 countries to 148
- Turkey’s EU membership is a question of “when”, not “if”, and most likely before 2020
- At just €45,000, Turkish citizenship is a steal, and that figure will increase by tenfold or more when Turkey becomes an EU member state
Born out of the Greek government’s desperation to raise funds following the country’s devastating economic collapse in 2010, the Greek CBI program represents excellent value for money, and is also among the fastest to arrange and complete.
As long as an applicant can pass a background check, a Greek real estate purchase of €250,000, or a non-refundable charitable donation of €95,000 will secure them Greek citizenship, and this EU passport gives its holder visa-free access to 171 countries worldwide, making it the joint-7th most powerful passport in the world.
- Greek citizenship and passport can be procured for just €95,000
- Greek citizenship is granted just three months after the investment is made
- A period of residency is not required
What’s not to like about the Hungarian CBI program; it’s incredibly economical, and at just €75,000 it is even cheaper than the Greek CBI program, making it the most inexpensive EU citizenship program on the market today.
The required €75,000 isn’t for a charitable donation, it’s for the purchase of Hungarian government bonds, which the purchaser is free to cash in after five years, by which time they will have increased substantially in value. The Hungarian passport is the tenth most powerful in the world, and has access to 168 countries visa-free.
Benefits of the Hungarian CBI program include:
- Minimum Investment Of Just €75,000
- Citizenship Plus Passport In Six Months
- No Residency Requirements
- No Dual Citizenship Restrictions
With a population of just 450,000, Malta are the smallest EU member state, but when it comes to its CBI program, this tiny nation packs a heavyweight punch. What makes the Maltese Citizenship By Investment program so special is that Malta is both an EU member state and a member of the British Commonwealth. This means that in addition to the usual unlimited access to the European Union all EU members have, Maltese citizens can travel freely throughout the Commonwealth, and when the UK eventual leave the EU, Maltese passport holders will still be able to travel to Britain without a visa.
All in all, the Maltese passport has access to 168 countries visa-free, making it the ninth most powerful passport in the world.
To become an instant EU/Commonwealth citizen isn’t cheap, and the Maltese passport costs around €1.1 million, a figure which includes both a charitable donation and a real estate purchase. Residency is granted after three months, with full citizenship and passport delivered to the applicant nine months later.
The Austrian CBI program is the Rolls Royce of Citizenship by Investment programs, as in you pay for what you get, and if you can afford it, you can have one immediately. No waiting around, not for six months, not even six weeks, when you make your investment, Austrian citizenship is yours.
It’s by no means cheap; got a spare €2 million you don’t need? Make a €2 million non-refundable charitable donation to the Austrian economy and citizenship is yours. Rather have something to show for your money? In that case you are talking a minimum of a €10 million refundable investment into the Austrian economy for your passport.
For that kind of money you are investing in something that will serve you well for life, and if used correctly, pay for itself many-fold along the way.
- Full Austrian citizenship and passport granted immediately
- No residency requirements before, during or after the application and investment process
- Lifetime citizenship to one of the oldest, best established and most respected of European nations
2ndPasspororts.com are one of the world’s leading online second citizenship specialists. Feel free to contact us in strictest confidence if you would like more information regarding any of the CBI programs featured on our homepage, or others from both Europe and the Caribbean.
You can email or message us via WhatsApp or Telegram, or if you prefer, you can phone or Skype us and speak directly to one of our expert representatives. You will find all of 2ndPassports.com’s contact details on our homepage.
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