Global Residency & Citizenship

Investment Residency

Your Guide to the top ‘Residency-by-Investment’ & ‘Citizenship-by-Investment’ Programmes, world over.

Country-wise Programme Details

Investment Residency & Citizenship Programmes

Investment Residency & Citizenship Programmes are being run by many Nations across the world. Kepping track of all of them can be quite a task. Good for you, we at Swap Citizen like to keep things simple and here’s something to show that.

The Americas

No. of Countries : 6

1. United States
  • USD 500,000 business investment (in real estate projects approved by EB-5 regional centers)
  • Qualifies for immediate permanent residence (Green card) in the US including for family.
  • Live anywhere in the US.
  • US citizenship after 5 years of living in 7 years.
  • Processing time 12-18 months
  • Investors are taxed on worldwide income.
2. Canada
  • CAD 800,000 (quebec investor program QIIP (limited quotas open till Feb 2017)
  • Permanent residency by investment in Quebec, Canada
  • Risk free investment as investment money refunded after 5 years.
  • Must move and live in Canada permanently (cannot be absent for more than 3 months)
  • Qualifying investments (business investment creating jobs)
  • Education, language skills, business experience, net assets are required to qualify
  • Canadian citizenship after 3 years of living (requires PR status)
  • Long processing times and often overcrowded, because of limited country quota.
  • Canadian taxes apply for holders of permanent resident status.
  • Financing options available.
3. Fiji
  • USD 125,000 property investment in Fiji real estate through a business enterprise.
  • Qualifies for 7 year “investor permit” (permanent residence) to foreign investors.
  • Citizenship after 5 years of living.
  • Processing time 2-3 months.
4. Bahamas
  • USD 500,000 property investment purchase of home.
  • Accelerated permanent residence given to investors and family.
  • No income personal/corporate, no sales, no inheritance, no gift, no estate or no capital gains taxes in Bahamas. No double taxation agreements with other countries.
  • Citizenship after 10 years by naturalizing through permanent residence.
5. Colombia
  • USD 200,000 investment in real estate
  • Qualifies for resident investor visa to live in Colombia including family
  • Permanent residency after 5 years of lawful living.
  • Citizenship after 10 years of living (exceptions are spanish, caribbean nationals can get in one or two years)
  • Processing time is 2 months
6. Brazil
  • USD 140,000 (VIPER program)
  • Residency by investment (permanent)
  • Qualifying investments: business, real estate property
  • Citizenship after 4 years.
  • Buy a real estate or invest in business in Brazil
  • No requirement to live in the country.
  • Brazil passport ranked 21st best passport in the world.

The Oceania

No. of Countries : 2

1. Australia
  • Launched in November 2012, the program targets high net-worth individuals and requires a roughly $4.7 million investment. Applicants can invest in government bonds, infrastructure projects or private companies.
  • In return — and in as little as three months — a significant investor visa can be issued.
  • After four years, holders can apply for permanent residency.
  • From the program’s launch through May, more than 170 applications have been filed. If all are given the green light, Australia will receive $850 million in new foreign investment.
  • Benefits to Australian residency include free health care, some of the world’s best beaches and visa-free access to more than 160 countries — on par with passport holders from the United States and United Kingdom.
  • In 2012, the Economist Intelligence Unit chose Melbourne as the world’s most liveable city. And in 2011, Conde Nast travellers voted Sydney as the world’s best.
  • The country has a 45% personal income tax rate, according to KPMG, besting the U.S.’ 39.5% rate.
  • And with Australia’s chronically strong dollar, Sydney and Melbourne ranked as two of the world’s five most expensive cities to live in 2012, according to the 2013 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
2. New Zealand
  • NZD 1,500,000 (investor stream)
  • Residency by investment
  • Qualifying investments (mix of funds, assets)
  • New Zealand Citizenship after 5 years

Europe

No. of Countries : 19

1. United Kingdom
  • GBP 200,000 (entrepreneur investor visa) or GBP 2 million (tier1 investor)
  • Residency by investment in the UK (permanent)
  • Qualifying investments (business enterprise)
  • Citizenship after 5 years of living in the UK (PR status / ILR required)
  • Attractive program post Brexit due to cheaper pound value.
  • 2 months application processing time.
  • Residency requirement: You must live 9 months per year in the UK.
2. Portugal
  • EUR 350,000 property purchase in Portugal (home, apartment, villa)
  • Property purchase of €350,000 (Lisbon buy 30 year old refurbished property outside Lisbon) or €500,000 in Lisbon
  • Qualifies for permanent residency in the EU
  • Free movement in the Schengen zone.
  • No requirement to live in Portugal.
  • Citizenship after 6 years of uninterrupted living.
  • Very popular golden visa program.
  • Processing time: 4-6 months
3. Spain
  • EUR 500,000 property purchase in Spain (home, apartment, villa)
  • Permanent residency in the EU
  • Free movement in the Schengen zone.
  • No requirement to live in Spain.
  • Citizenship after 10 years of uninterrupted living in Spain (non-EU).
  • Processing time: 3 months
4. Ireland
  • EUR 2,000,000 in irish real estate trusts (or) €450,000 in residential property mixed investment with €500,000 (irish bonds) totalling EUR 950,000
  • Qualifies for long term permanent residency in Ireland.
  • Irish citizenship after 5 years of living legally.
  • Processing time: 3 months.
5. Belgium
  • EUR 350,000 property investment through Belgium company
  • Live, work in Belgium with family
  • Free movement in Schengen zone
  • Citizenship after 5 years of uninterrupted living in Belgium.
  • No requirement to live in Belgium for business.
6. Malta
  • EUR 900,000 (approx) in Malta IIP (Passport) or EUR 275,000 (Malta Residency Program)
  • Malta Individual Investor Programme (Malta IIP) or Malta Residency Visa Program (Malta Golden Visa)
  • Malta Citizenship by investment programme (Malta golden passport)
  • Qualifying investments (€650,000 donation + €150,000 bonds)
  • European passport for investor and family in 15 months
  • Residency requirement: 1 year or 12 months by satisfying genuine link to Malta (e-residency must rent or buy a home in Malta).
  • No language tests, No military service, No citizenship tests, No business experience required
  • Live,work, study anywhere in 26 countries in Europe (Switzerland, Germany, France, Sweden).
  • Malta passport in 12-15 months
  • Malta IIP open to EU and EEA nationals.
  • Maltese passport offers visa free travel to 160 countries in the world to USA, Canada, United Kingdom etc.
  • No requirement to live in Malta after receiving citizenship.
  • Maltese citizenship is not confidential as names of people are published in official gazette to public.
7. Cyprus
  • EUR 2,000,000 property investment (luxury villa, beachfront houses)
  • Immediate european citizenship/passport for family within 6 months.
  • No requirement to live in Cyprus
  • Free movement within Europa and UK using Cyprus passport (ID)
  • Processing time: 3-5 months.
8. Netherlands
  • EUR 1,250,000 venture capital in real estate and construction through Dutch business setup.
  • Renewable residence permit to live and work in Netherlands.
  • Free movement in Schengen
  • No requirement to live in Netherlands.
  • Citizenship after 5 years of living in Netherlands.
  • Processing time: 1 month.
9. Switzerland
  • CHF 1,000,000 (swiss business investor visa)
  • Swiss business investment programme (swiss golden visa)
  • Residency by investment
  • Qualifying investments (capital investment in a swiss company and create jobs)
  • Swiss citizenship after 12 years of uninterrupted living ( no PR status needed)
  • Swiss permanent residence card after 10 years of uninterrupted living.
  • Processing time is 3 months.
  • Free movement in 26 EU schengen states with swiss permit.
  • Buying a home or property in Switzerland is allowed.
  • No requirement to live in Switzerland.
10. Greece
  • EUR 250,000 property investment in Greece
  • Permanent residency in Greece
  • Free movement in Schengen zone
  • No requirement to live in Greece
  • Processing time is 6 months
  • Greek citizenship after 7 years of uninterrupted living
11. Hungary
  • EUR 300,000 (residency bond program – closed from March 2017) or EUR 200,000 (Hungary entrepreneur program)
  • Government backed residency by investment scheme (Hungary golden visa)
  • Qualifying investments (risk free hungarian government bonds worth 300,000 euros)
  • Entire investment 300,000 euros will be returned with no interest after 5 years.
  • Lifetime permanent residence status in Europe.
  • No requirement to live in the country.
  • Free movement in Schengen with hungarian residence permit (Tartózkodási engedély) issued under economic interest
  • Family and children can apply for Hungarian residency
  • Processing time is 4 months.
  • Hungarian citizenship after 8 years of living (requires PR status)
  • No language tests, no business experience, no health checks, No education required.
  • Expect additional processing costs 50,000 to 60,000 euros.
  • No country restrictions, programme open to all country nationals.
  • Financing options available with agents.
12. Bulgaria
  • EUR 512,000 (immigrant investor visa)
  • Permanent residency by investment in Bulgaria
  • No free movement in Schengen (Bulgaria is not in schengen)
  • Qualifying investments (bonds, real estate, business)
  • Citizenship after 5 years (requires PR status)
  • Processing time 2 months.
  • No residence requirements to live in Bulgaria
13. Monaco
  • CHF 1,000,000 (swiss francs) property investment in Monaco (monte carlo)
  • Qualifies for temporary residence permit to live in Monaco
  • No income tax, no wealth tax, no local tax, no capital gains tax and very minimal inheritance taxes (tax haven in Europe).
  • No double taxation agreements with other countries.
  • Free movement in Schengen
  • Permanent residence status after 5 years of living.
  • Monaco citizenship after 10 years of uninterrupted living (dual citizen not allowed).
  • Processing time is 2 months.
14. France
  • EUR 300,000 in real estate and construction in france (through a French business setup) under “exceptional economic contribution scheme”.
  • Qualifies for 10 year long term residence permit in France
  • Free movement in Schengen
  • Processing time 3 months
  • French citizenship after 10 years of legally living.
15. Montenegro (Not Schengen)
  • EUR 500,000 (real estate or business)
  • Montenegro citizenship by investment  (Article 8 of Montenegrin Citizenship Act)
  • Qualifying investments: €500,000 in business or €500,000 in property
  • Montenegrin passport after 10 years of residency.
  • Family and children qualify for  Montenegro passport.
  • No residency requirements. No language tests.
  • Montenegro passport offers visa free travel to 105 countries in the world including United Kingdom, Russia, all of Europe.
  • Dual citizenship not allowed
16. Italy
  • EUR 500,000 in business startups.
  • Residency by investment  (2017 Budget Law, were discussed and approved by the Italian Parliament on 7 December 2016 and made effective as of 1 January 2017)
  • Qualifying investments: EUR 500,000 in business startups or EUR 2,000,000 in Government bonds, shares or EUR 1,000,000 in public interest projects (culture, education, immigration management, research and development, arts and heritage)
  • Italian residence visa issued for 2 years and thereafter renewed (including family members)
  • Free movement in Schengen countries with Italian residence permit.
  • Italian citizenship after 10 years of living.
17. Germany
  • EUR 250,000 (Business Investment)
  • Germany Residency Program (Golden Visa)
  • No minimum stay requirements
  • Permanent settlement permit after 5 years
  • Application approval time is 60 days.
  • Free movement in Schengen with German residence permit.
  • German passport rated as the most powerful passport in the World.
  • German Citizenship after 8 years of living
18. Jersey
  • High Value Residency Program in Jersey (Channel islands)
  • Pay tax of GBP 125,000 to Jersey or GBP 2 million investor program (bonds, bank deposit).
  • Jersey is a low tax jurisdiction with high standards of European living.
  • International financial center.
  • No taxes on capital, capital gains, inheritances, gifts, sales or turnover, estate duties
  • Opportunity to invest in real estate starting from GBP 1.75 million.
  • British ILR or Citizenship after 5 years of living.
19. Austria
  • In Europe, Austria stands as the lone country where citizenship by investment is possible.
  • A direct investment of $10 million — a claim reportedly refuted by an Austrian government spokeswoman based in Washington, D.C.
  • Still, successful applicants for Austrian citizenship can live in a country whose capital, Vienna, ranked as the world’s best city for quality of life in a 2012 Mercer survey.
  • But you get what you pay for: Austria, with its 50% personal income tax rate, ranks among one of the highest in the world. Only Austrian citizens who actually reside in the country are subject to taxes.
  • The country is a member of the Schengen Area with its 26 countries spanning most of western Europe sharing common borders without immigration control — not to mention more than 160 countries in total around the world — on par with Australia and Canada.

Asia

No. of Countries : 6

1. Hong Kong
  • Citizenship-by-investment in Hong Kong is not a possibility, residency-by-investment is.
  • And this Chinese territory’s tax rate of just 15% stands as one of this city’s biggest draws.
  • Under Hong Kong’s Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, or CIES, an investment of about $1.3 million gives applicants residency rights. You can buy stocks in companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, debt securities in airport or railway companies or certificates of deposits that mature after just one year.
  • Residents can use the city’s well-regarded public health care system — just $13 to see an outpatient specialist versus about $150 for non-residents.
  • Permanent residents have also gotten money back from the government. Under Hong Kong’s “Scheme $6,000” whose aim is “to leave wealth with the people,” more than 6 million people successfully registered to receive roughly US$770 each. Doing the math, that’s potentially $4.6 billion back to the people since the program began in the summer of 2011.
  • Hong Kong also tempts with a rare nexus of natural and man-made architecture.
  • Nearly 18,000 people have gained residency by investment in Hong Kong. To maintain permanent residency status, just one visit every three years is required.
  • In 2012, human resources consultancy ECA International ranked Hong Kong as Asia’s third most liveable city.
2. Singapore
  • Ranked as Asia’s number one liveable city in 2012, according to ECA International.
  • Similar to Hong Kong, the Lion City’s personal income tax rates are among the lowest in Asia — ranging from 15% to 20% depending on income bracket, according to auditing firm KPMG.
  • Potential applicants must have a three-year track record of business and entrepreneurial experience, Low add. They must also prove past profitability — annual revenues of some $160 million in real estate and construction-related industries or revenues of about $40 million for all other industries, including pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.
  • This scheme requires an investment of nearly $2 million.
  • The funds can go towards starting a new business or expand one already in operation. Money can also be routed to an approved list of funds that help grow targeted industries ranging from nanotechnology, healthcare and clean energy.
  • Applicants who successfully gain permanent resident status can then access healthcare subsidies ranging from 15% to 75%, education subsidies for their children, child-care subsidies and tax deferrals.
  • For applicants who are successful, permanent residency is a pathway to Singaporean citizenship after just two years.
  • A Singaporean passport gives access to more than 160 countries around the world — just five less than the United States.
3. Seychelles
  • USD 1,000,000 (business venture capital)
  • Residency by investment (given PR status)
  • Qualifying investments (business venture)
  • Offshore tax haven with bank secrecy laws famous for company incorporations.
  • Seychelles Citizenship after 11 years of living.
  • Spouse and minor children can apply for PR.
4. Mauritius
  • USD 500,000 in qualifying investment activity in construction and real estate
  • Permanent residence issued for 10 years
  • Citizenship possible after 2 years of living.
5. India
  • USD 1,500,000 (investor visa)
  • Residency by investment (permanent residency status)
  • Qualifying investments: business with job creation
  • Citizenship after 12 years of living.
6. Cambodia
  • USD 250,000 (1 billion riels) cash donation to rebuild economy of Cambodia
  • Cambodian citizenship by investment program (Article 12 Law of Nationality 1996)
  • No residence requirements.
  • Dual citizenship allowed along with Khmer nationality.
  • Cambodian passport offers visa free travel to 48 countries.
  • Citizenship for family.

The Caribbean

No. of Countries : 5

1. St. Kitts and Nevis
  • The smallest nation in all of the Americas.
  • Tropical breezes, swaying palm trees and white sand beaches.
  • It also touts no personal income tax, the allowance for multiple citizenship and visa-free access to nearly 130 countries and territories.
  • Established in 1984, St. Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship-by-investment scheme is the longest-running program in the world and offers two avenues to a new passport.
  • The cheaper option requires a $250,000 contribution to the country’s Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation. Started in 2006, it aims to shift the country from a sugar-dependent to a service-oriented economy.
  • Real estate investment — and a higher $400,000 investment — is the second route to citizenship.
  • Anyone in the world can apply for citizenship, save one country: Iran. Iranian nationals had been eligible until late 2011.
2. Dominica
  • If you have less money to invest, Dominica is another tropical Caribbean destination to consider.
  • This island of just around 73,000 people has offered a citizenship-by-investment scheme since 1993.
  • Among four package options, a single applicant investment requires just a $100,000 deposit to the National Bank of Dominica, the country’s largest financial institution. The investment amount doubles for a family of four.
  • Minimum wait period of 8 weeks and basic English knowledge is must.
  • Investors can stay in their home country for the mandatory interview provided they foot the bill for three members of the interview panel to fly to them — the full cost of hotel, airfare, an unspecified per diem and an additional $3,000.
  • Gives visa-free access to 85 countries.
  • More than 2,000 families have gained citizenship through the scheme, according to Henley and Partners.
3. Grenada
  • USD 150,000 (donation one-time to government fund)
  • Economic Citizenship by investment program (CIP)
  • Qualifying investments (donation, real estate, business)
  • Grenada passport in 2-3 months with citizenship certificate
  • No interviews, No language tests, No business experience.
  • Apply for E-2 business visa to USA with Grenada passport
  • Grenada passport offers visa free travel to China, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany to 110 countries.
  • Lifetime Citizenship for family and children.
  • No requirement to live in Grenada.
  • Permanent residence card issued with citizenship.
  • Grenada passport issued valid for 5 years.
  • Citizenship possible through $350,000 property investment in luxury hotels, villas, resorts or homes.
  • No wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income or capital gains tax
  • Confidential application process.
  • Citizenship not reported to other countries.
4. Antigua and Barbuda
  • While not yet official, this third Caribbean island nation may allow economic citizenship as soon as this summer.
  • After years of back and forth, the country’s parliament finally passed their controversial Citizenship-by-Investment Program (CIP) Bill in March, according to local reports.
  • Similar to St. Kitts and Nevis, a $250,000 contribution to the country’s National Development Fund or a $400,000 real estate investment in approved developments is required. A third option is a $1.5 million “business investment” that allows an applicant to put money in government-approved businesses.
  • An additional $50,000 application fee and a so-called $7,500 “due diligence fee” exist on top of the investment amount.
  • If approved, new citizens will enjoy visa-free access to nearly 120 countries, which include the United Kingdom, France and Canada.
5. St. Lucia
  • USD 100,000 (one-time donation to Government fund from 2017)
  • Economic Citizenship by investment programme (CIP)
  • Cheap and newly launched citizenship program in the Caribbean in 2017
  • Citizenship through $300,000 property investment or $500,000 in Bonds
  • Permanent residence card with citizenship
  • No requirement to visit the country for citizenship
  • Qualifying investments (donation, real estate, business capital, bonds)
  • St Lucia citizenship certificate and passport in 3 months
  • No interviews, No english tests, No business experience, No miltary service.
  • St Lucia passport offers visa free travel to United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Germany to 110 countries.
  • Permanent lifetime citizenship for family and children.
  • No residence requirements (naturalisation waived to expedite citizenship)
  • No wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income or capital gains tax
  • Confidential and discrete application process.
  • Citizenship not reported to other countries.

High Value Picks

Key Takeaways From The Top Programmes

Compiling Investment Residency & Citizenship Programmes of different countries is a difficult task, let alone compare them. We managed to do the hard work for you and this is what came out.

Most Affordable Citizenship / Passport

Dominica / St. Lucia

Best European Citizenship / Passport

Malta

Most Valuable Citizenship / Passport

Malta

Fastest European Citizenship / Passport

Cyprus

Best European Golden Visa

Belgium

Best Caribbean Citizenship / Passport

Grenada

Best Property Investment Golden Visa

Portugal / Spain / Greece

Investment Residency Opportunities

Investment Residency: What’s To Know

We understand that industry terms can sometimes be quite confusing for an average person. We believe in keeping things simple so that you are in the know at all times.

What is a Residency-by-Investment Programme?

 
Some countries may not offer Citizenship for purchase right away, but do offer means to get access to Citizenship eventually. Subject to fulfilment of the Programme conditions, qualifying applicants are offered Permanent, Temporary or Conditional Residency. In some countries this is popularly known as ‘Golden Residency’ or ‘Golden Visa Residency’.

Some (Country) programmes may also allow the applicant’s family to enjoy the same benefits as the appplicant. While programmes for every country are different, a very common requirement in all these includes a nominal investment in Real Estate in the Country to be eligible.

Need More Information About A Programme?

Well, all you have to do is get in touch with us and let us know about your requirements. Once you’ve shared the relevant information with us, all that’s left for you to do is wait and watch how we work our magic on your case.