Citizenship by investment (“jus pecuniae”) and residence by investment programs (“golden visas”) have seen big growths in recent years. Jus pecuniae means acquiring citizenship against financial contribution. But citizenship for many immigrants, comes at a significant financial cost. Investment based citizenship/residency programs may or may not require the applicant to reside in the country prior to naturalization. There are mainly two routes, that lead to citizenship under investment option, one through naturalizing with residency and other without residency leading to direct citizenship with a passport.
Citizenship by investment programs (CIP)
gets you fast track citizenship within months, waiving naturalisation requirements such as residency, military service, language requirement etc. This is one of the main reasons why citizenship by investment programs are so popular and also less time consuming. The citizenship given is lifetime can be passed on to future family generations through children.
Residency by investment programs (RIP),
grant citizenship through residency usually takes years of uninterrupted living to naturalise for citizenship. You must also fully integrate to culture, language etc. You may undergo military service to naturalise for citizenship in some countries. In most countries, if you dont live in the country enough (absent for more than 3 months), you wont even qualify for Citizenship or Green card. The processing time of citizenship applications through naturalisation may take many months or more than a year. It is worth pointing out that some countries like United Kingdom require a PR status before applying for citizenship. Golden visas are issued with limited time validity (say one or two years). You have to go extend the validity of residence permit (under golden visa) once every year or two years and to do this you must visit the country personally.
There are several quick investment routes to buy citizenship through investment. The best, easiest, less expensive and fastest option is one time donation payment to Government fund. You will get your money back if the citizenship is refused. You can also invest in real estate (must hold for 5 years) and get a citizenship, but it is an expensive route to citizenship. Under real estate, you are required to pay various property taxes, fees at end it will end up more than you bargained for. Another interesting option is buying Government bonds ($500,000 onwards), you will get your full money refunded back after 5 years (guaranteed by Government) with no interest. You keep your citizenship for life time. You will not lose your citizenship after getting back your money from bonds. A handful of countries grant residency or even citizenship against capital investments in Art & culture projects, Research and technology sector, Green energy sectors and foundations or organisations serving public interest..
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.
ItalyEUR 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.
MaltaEUR 1,000,000 (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.
EUR 300,000 (business investment)
Residency by investment (french investor visa under exceptional contributor scheme)
Qualifying investments: business investment in a french company with job creation
French citizenship after 10 years of living.
No requirement to live in France
Processing time is 2 months.
No language tests, No interviews, No education required.
Free movement in schengen with carte de sejour
Spanish golden visa programme
Residency by investment in Schengen
Qualifying investments (real estate, bonds, company shares)
Spanish Citizenship after 10 years of living (non spanish speaking countries), quicker 3 years for those from spanish speaking countries. (no PR status required)
No requirement to live in Spain after getting residency (must visit spain for few days every year).
Free movement in Schengen states with residence permit(“PERMISO DE RESIDENCIA”) issued by spain.