El Salvador has introduced a novel citizenship-by-investment initiative, known as the “Freedom Visa,” allowing 1,000 individuals to secure residency and citizenship by making a $1 million Bitcoin investment in the country. Conventional naturalization requirements in El Salvador would usually include the standard five-year residency rule, prior to applying for citizenship, but just weeks after the government announced the ”Freedom Visa”, they then passed a new migration law allowing foreigners to obtain fast-track citizenship by making Bitcoin “donations” to government development projects. Notably, the law which was passed on December 21, 2023, does not define a minimum investment amount.

El Salvador created history by officially incorporating Bitcoin as a legal tender back in June 2021. President Nayib Bukele’s groundbreaking proposal, made El Salvador the world’s first country to embrace Bitcoin in this manner. This momentous decision permits the use of Bitcoin for all transactions, running parallel to the U.S. dollar, which has served as El Salvador’s official currency since 2001.

While the focus on Bitcoin sets El Salvador’s approach apart, the cost-effectiveness of this programme is debatable. In nearby Caribbean nations like Antigua and Barbuda or St Lucia, full citizenship can be obtained from just $100,000 plus fees. Advocates may argue that for those seeking an international passport, the Caribbean options are not only far more cost-effective, but they also come with significant tax benefits.

For more details on El Salvador or any other Citizenship by Investment programmes, please contact one of our expert advisors

Tags: citizenship by investment 2024, el salvador

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