Citizenship By Investment Explained
Citizenship by Investment is the legal and commonly practiced process of a nation/country granting high net-worth individuals the opportunity to gain second citizenship and a new passport in return for a financial investment into said country, normally in the form of a real estate or government bonds purchase.
Citizenship by Investment is a relatively recent form of business transaction, the first examples taking place in 1984. Typically, the negotiation begins with a sovereign nation, normally a country which is deemed “safe” as in not at war, and one that will be a vast improvement on the likely applicant’s original country. These countries will be 1st world nations, and include EU member states, Caribbean Island nations, countries that are likely to soon become EU members, even major powers such as the US, the UK and Russia.
These countries will then announce that they are prepared to grant successful applicants their citizenship and passport, in return for a financial investment. Typically, the applicants will be high net-worth individuals who often hail from pariah states, from third world countries, even war zones.
Both parties are fully aware that such a transaction would dramatically change the applicants lives. By giving these people citizenship and a brand new passport to a safer, more democratic, liberal nation, they are able to enjoy the freedom of movement and opportunities for business that those living in the free world take for granted every day.
Prior to the citizenship by investment process beginning, the applicant will be thoroughly “vetted” by the country whose citizenship they require. If the applicant was revealed to have a criminal record, or there were doubts as to how the applicant would fund their investment and subsequently live in said country, the application would be turned down.
A typical investment required would be one of the following:
- The purchase of real estate, i.e., an apartment, some land, even a business employing locals
- The purchase of government bonds
- A charitable donation to the country in question
All investment’s normally have a five-year minimum ownership period before the investor could sell the real estate or bonds on.