A key objective for many of our clients is the gaining of a second passport through citizenship by investment of another country. A second passport not only offers visa free travel options but can act as a Plan B opening doors for residency, tax planning and creating a legacy for future generations.
Below we list those countries in Europe and the Caribbean that offer second citizenship and a passport through government programmes. Note that these are only countries offering such a facility through investment and without the requirement to live full time and become tax resident.
European Second Passport Investment
Portugal is one of the most popular programmes in Europe. Invest €500,000 in real estate (reduced to €350,000 for development properties) plus related costs and taxes to gain residency. This gives freedom of travel throughout the EU Schengen visa zone. After five years applicants and their families can apply for citizenship and hence a second passport allowing you and your family to travel, work, live and study anywhere in Europe.
Malta has a citizenship programme leading to a second passport within one – three years. However there are a number of restrictions with Malta, in particular showing ties and commitment to the island, maintaining a property and screening interviews. For those willing to maintain such connections citizenship is available from a minimum of €690,000 – €1,500,000. But note €600,000 of that figure is a “contribution” to the government. That money is not returned.
Cyprus is the ultimate choice for High Net Worth individuals seeking a second passport. Investment of €2.0 million in a real estate portfolio gains a Cypriot and hence European passport within 2-3 months. This investment can be reduced to €500,000 after 3 years.
Caribbean Second Passport Investment
There are currently four programmes in the Caribbean offering citizenship, a second passport and visa free travel to many countries worldwide.
St Kitts is the oldest second passport programme by investment. Applicants investing $400,000 in government approved real estate projects (plus costs) gain citizenship. This grants visa free access to over 100 countries including the UK and Schengen zone. It is also possible to make a government contribution of a reduced amount depending on family size. Processing is slow taking typically 9 months.
Antigua offers a similar second passport programme to St Kitts. An investment of $400,000 in government approved real estate projects plus costs gains citizenship. There is visa free travel to over 100 countries including the UK, Schengen zone and Canada. Processing is fast, typically 4 months.
Dominica has just amended its citizenship programme to include a real estate option. You can now invest just $200,000 in real estate to gain citizenship and a second passport. Although offering slightly less countries for visa free travel than St. Kitts or Antigua (over 70), Dominica is a much reduced investment option.
Grenada is a new second passport programme and is popular as it has no country restrictions for who it will issue passports to. There are of course strict due diligence checks on each applicant. Invest just $250,000 in real estate to gain visa free travel to over 70 countries including the UK and with the Schengen zone likely to be added soon (expected Q2 2015). Grenada is the only country offering citizenship to parents of any age as long as they are dependent. Processing is fast, within 4 months.
There are government fees and associated costs with each of the Caribbean programmes. As a guide these will range for a family of four from $130,000 up to $210,000. La Vida can give a more accurate assessment based on the make up of your family and the particular programme. Please complete your client details here if you require this.