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Citizenship by Investment 2021: Best Real Estate Option for the Family

9 February 2021 | Tags:

 

The citizenship by investment industry has undergone a number of fundamental changes in 2020. Several countries ended their second citizenship programmes or have cancelled the commencement. Governments of other states have made significant changes to investment programmes, ensuring maximum transparency of all procedures, and increasing the attractiveness for investors with large families.

The coronavirus pandemic has proven to be a major challenge for political and economic environments as well as social life around the world. For people with high incomes living in crisis regions, this has become an incentive to find a plan B and obtain a second citizenship for security and stability. Fortunately, the application process in the 21st century no longer requires flights halfway across the world; all the necessary documents are collected in the country of residence of the applicant and sent by courier delivery.

Similar to recent years, the main factors propelling HNWIs to choose a citizenship investment strategy remain: freedom of movement around the world, favourable conditions for doing business and preserving capital, security, and stability in the country of second citizenship.

List of countries offering citizenship by investment

Eight (8) countries offer a second citizenship through real estate investment in 2021: two states in Europe – Malta and Montenegro, one in Asia – Turkey, five countries in the Caribbean region – Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda. All citizenship programmes have a set minimum investment in real estate. Dual citizenship is allowed.

European Citizenship by Investment Programmes

The Government of Cyprus closed the citizenship by investment programme at the end of 2020. It has no plans to resume its work in the near future.

Malta citizenship by investment in real estate: To maintain its citizenship programme, the Government of Malta has amended the law, revising the conditions for obtaining citizenship:

  • An applicant for Malta citizenship is required to get a residence permit for all participants in the citizenship application.
  • With retaining the residency status for 1 or 3 years, it is possible to apply for the citizenship.
  • The amount of the minimum investment in Malta real estate has been increased from € 350,000 to € 750,000.

Montenegro citizenship by investment in real estate: The second country in Europe where you can apply for citizenship through real estate investments in 2021 is Montenegro. The country is a NATO member and plans to become an EU member by 2025. Montenegrin citizens can travel to the Schengen countries without a visa. A UK visa is required. Minimum investment amount: € 350,000 (€ 250,000 in real estate and € 100,000 non-refundable contribution). Acquisition of citizenship takes 3-6 months.

Turkey Citizenship by Investment Programme

The Turkish Citizenship Programme opened in 2016. After two years of operation, the Government of Turkey reduced the amount of real estate investment to US$ 250,000, which led to the popularity of the programme among the citizens of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, Egypt and Libya.

Turkish citizenship can be obtained in 6-7 months. The registration process requires to apply for a residence permit for the whole family and the main investor to open a bank account in the country. The acquired property can be rented out and resold after 3 years.

Turkish citizens can travel without a visa to more than 100 countries, including Singapore, Japan, and the main countries in Africa, South and Latin America, but a visa is required to visit the Schengen countries and the UK.

The capital of Dominica, Roseau

The capital of Dominica, Roseau

Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programmes

The Caribbean region is the cradle of citizenship by investment and has proven its resilience in overcoming many crises for two decades. In 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe and crippled the economies of many countries, the Caribbean countries once again showed their ability to quickly respond to the challenges of the time, cooperating and focusing on solving problems.

Facts show that Caribbean countries offering citizenship by investment have become the safest to live in 2020:

  • The Caribbean islands in the table below were among the last countries in the world to develop cases of coronavirus. They were prepared and were able to manage and control the spread of this disease.

  • As of February 9, 2021, all Caribbean countries entered the top 15 for the lowest total number of coronavirus cases in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Dominica and Saint Kitts and Nevis so far record zero coronavirus related deaths.

  • In Dominica, people are freer and less stressed: schools returned to full-time education in September 2020, businesses are open (gyms, hairdressers, shops, etc.), outdoor recreation and travel within the country are allowed. After the opening of the borders for entry, there is minimal to zero internal spread of Covid-19: the new Dominica’s entry rules allow for the detection of cases upon arrival in the country. Dominica Citizenship by Investment Unit never stopped processing applications during Covid-19.
Coronavirus pandemics in countries offering citizenship by investment
Country First case of coronavirus Date of border opening for foreigners February 9, 2021
The total number of coronavirus cases The total number of deaths from coronavirus
Malta March 13, 2020 July 15, 2020 18,813 282
Montenegro March 13, 2020 June 1, 2020 65,657 842
Turkey March 10, 2020 From June 1, 2020, but currently closed to arrivals from the UK 2,539,559 26,900
Antigua and Barbuda March 6, 2020 June 4, 2020 316 7
Saint Lucia March 13, 2020 June 4, 2020 2,027 19
Grenada March 21, 2020 July 15, 2020 148 1
Dominica March 21, 2020 August 7, 2020 121
Saint Kitts and Nevis March 24, 2020 October 31, 2020 40

A comfortable tropical climate and the beauty of pristine nature, a calm rhythm of life, respect for human rights and freedoms, a favourable financial climate and distance from the world’s hotbeds of tension – make the Caribbean countries attractive for life, work, business and investment in real estate.

Dominica was recognized as:

  • The leading travel destination in 2021 by National Geographic and 2020 according to ratings CNN Travel, The Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel Lemming, Outside Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Vogue, Fortune, Jetsetter.

  • The safest country to travel, live and work in the Caribbean region among the countries offering citizenship by investment, according to the 2018-2019 rankings for ease of doing business, the level of corruption and affordable rights and freedoms for citizens.

  • #1 Citizenship by Investment Programme in the world, in the 2021 CBI index by Professional Wealth Management, a publication by the Financial Times.

Freedom of movement

The conditions for travelling around the world for citizens of Caribbean countries remain similar. Visa-free travel is available in the main business centres of the world: to the EU countries, to the UK even after leaving the EU, Singapore, and Hong Kong, as well as to other countries and territories.

Taking care of the family

In 2020, all Caribbean citizenship programmes revised the conditions for adding additional participants to the application, with a focus on increasing the attractiveness for investors with large families. The main investor can include all family members in one application:

  • Spouses,
  • Children under 30 who are financially supported by their parents,
  • Physically or mentally challenged children without age restrictions,
  • Single and childless siblings,
  • Parents and grandparents (in the Dominica citizenship programme without age restrictions, other Caribbean countries from 55 years old).

Adding the above family members after obtaining citizenship is possible in Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda. Grenada only allows the addition of children born within 1 year from obtaining the citizenship. Approved Saint Lucia’s citizens may add children and spouses within 5 years of their application being approved.

Caribbean citizenship by investment comparison for real estate option
Country Antigua and Barbuda Grenada Saint Lucia Saint Kitts and Nevis Dominica
Who can be included in one application?
Spouse Yes
Children financially supported by parents Below 30 years
Physically or mentally challenged children Yes (no age limit)
Parents and grandparents From 55 years From 55 years. Without age restrictions if they have a mental or physical disability. From 55 years Yes (no age limit)
Single and childless siblings Yes (no age limit) Below 18 years Below 18 years Below 30 years Below 25 years
Adding the above family members after obtaining citizenship Yes Only for children born within 1 year after obtaining citizenship Only for children and spouses within 5 years after obtaining citizenship Yes
Required to visit country to receive lifetime citizenship At least 5 days in the period of 5 years after obtaining citizenship and for children after reaching adulthood. Not required
Lifetime citizenship After 5 years, it is required to submit a full set of documents. The government reserves the right to revoke citizenship. Yes
Inherited Yes
Passport validity 5 years 10 years
Citizenship timeline 3-4 months 2-4 months 3-4 months
Taxes Income taxes are progressive to 25% and flat rate of 25% for non-residents. No capital gains tax or estate taxes. Local income tax 15% for non-residents. No taxes on foreign income, inheritance, or capital gains. Income taxes from local sources are progressive to 30% for non-residents. Income tax, inheritance, estate and gift are not taxable. Capital gains tax is levied only if the asset is sold within 12 months from the date of acquisition (tax rate is 20%). Dominica does not impose capital gains taxes, global taxes, estate duties, or inheritance tax on citizens. Personal income tax is never charged if income is never earned in Dominica.
How old is the citizenship programme From 2014 From 1996 to 2001, reopened in 2013 From 2016 From 1984, but actively started to issue passports in 2006. Started in 1993. Maintained stability since.

Caribbean countries offer lifetime citizenship, with the exception of Antigua and Barbuda, where after 5 years you need to apply for renewal and the Government reserves the right to revoke citizenship, as well as a requirement to visit the country within 5 years after investing. The other four Caribbean programmes do not require you to ever visit. Registration of all documents can be carried out remotely. There are no language or history exams required.

Both Dominica and Saint Kitts and Nevis offer passport renewal for adults every 10 years while the other Caribbean countries offer 5-year passports. Dominica has the most notably stable citizenship programmes which has never been suspended and has been working continuously since 1993.

Citizenship programmes with the most attractive prices

Caribbean citizenship programmes remain the most attractive in terms of value for money. In addition to the investment amount, the applicant is required to pay: a number of non-refundable government fees, the cost of the applicants’ due diligence, obtaining the certificates of naturalization and a passport. The pricing table illustrates the final costs of obtaining citizenship by investment for the entire family, excluding the cost of shipping documents through courier and agent services.

Costs to obtain Caribbean citizenship by investment in real estate in 2021
Country Antigua and Barbuda Grenada Saint Lucia Saint Kitts and Nevis Dominica
Minimum Real Estate Investment US$ 200,000 (resalable after 5 years). US$ 220,000 (resalable after 5 years). US$ 300,000 (resalable after 5 years). US$ 200,000 (resalable after 7 years). US$ 200,000 (resalable after 3-5 years).
Government Fees US$ 30,000 for 4 persons and
US$ 15,000 for any additional dependant.
US$ 50,000 for 4 persons and
US$ 25,000 for any additional dependant.
US$ 30,000 – for investor,
US$ 45,000 – couple,
US$ 5,000 for each dependant under 18 years,
US$ 10,000 for each dependant under 18 years and over.
US$ 35,050 – for investor,
US$ 20,050 – for spouse,
US$ 10,050 any other qualified dependant regardless of age,
US$ 40,000 for each sibling.
US$ 25,000 – for main applicant,
US$ 35,000 – family up to 4: main applicant and 3 dependants, excluding siblings,
$50,000 – family up to 6: main applicant and 5 dependants, excluding siblings,
$70,000 – family up to 7 or more: main applicant and at least 6 dependants, but excluding siblings,
$50,000 – for sibling aged 18 to 25,
$25,000 – sibling below the age of 18.
Application Fee US$ 1,500 per person
Processing Fee US$ 1,500 per person aged 18 and over,
US$ 500 for persons under 18.
US$ 2,000 for investor,
US$ 1,000 for each qualifying dependant.
US$ 250 for each person. US$ 1,000 for application.
Due Diligence Fees US$ 7,500 – for investor,
US$ 7,500 – for spouse,
US$ 2,000 – for each dependant 12-17,
$4,000 – per dependant 18 and over.
US$ 5,000 per person aged 17 and over. US$ 7,500 for investor,
US$ 5,000 per dependant over the age of 16 years.
US$ 7,500 for the investor,
US$ 4,000 for each dependant over the age of 16 years.
US$ 7,500 for the investor,
US$ 4,000 for each dependant over the age of 16 years.
Certificate of Naturalization US$ 250 for each person.
Passport Fee US$ 300 for each person. US$ 250 for each person. US$ 30 for each person. US$ 350 for each person. US$ 28 for each person less 16 years,
US$ 56 for each person older 16 years.
Total citizenship cost for most popular cases:
One person US$ 237 800 US$ 278 250 US$ 339 530 US$ 243 150 US$ 233 806
Couple US$ 245 600 US$ 286 500 US$ 360 560 US$ 267 800 US$ 248 112
For a family of 4 people: the main investor, spouse, and 2 children under 12 years old. US$ 246 200 US$ 291 000 US$ 372 620 US$ 289 100 US$ 248 668
For a family of 6 people: main investor, spouse, 2 children under 12 years old and 2 parents US$ 284 800 US$ 357 500 US$ 404 680 US$ 318 400 US$ 272 280

 

Best citizenship by investment programme

Dominica Citizenship Programme conquers first places in international rankings:

  • Received an award in 2016 at the Russian Global Citizen Awards in the category “Best Caribbean Citizenship Programme”.
  • Four years in a row, from 2017 to 2020, ranked first in the CBI Index, compiled by experts from Professional Wealth Management, a publication of the Financial Times.

Dominica holds a leading position in the global market for obtaining citizenship by investment through real estate, due to the following factors:

  • Detailed and high-quality screening of citizenship applicants has ensured the stability and success of the programme since 1993.
  • Simple and streamlined process of obtaining citizenship takes about 3-4 months.
  • There are no compulsory visit or residency requirements.
  • Gives the opportunity to make a valuable, cost effective investment.
  • Ability to pass on citizenship to additional family members after obtaining your citizenship.

The option to obtain Dominica citizenship through real estate investment was added in 2014. The Dominica government carefully selects projects to participate in the programme. As of January 2021, 8 hotels have been approved: 3 are currently in operation, 3 are under construction, and 2 to begin construction at an undisclosed date.

Best Citizenship by Investment Project

Anichi Resort & Spa, Government Approved Citizenship by Investment Project

Profitable offer

Anichi Resort and Spa: An Autograph Collection Hotel, a sub-premium brand of the largest hotel chain Marriott International, which is under construction will be a 5- star luxury eco-chic resort. This development project offers an ideal investment opportunity.

  • The minimum investment amount is US$ 220,000 with the ability to sell in five years, recovering financial expenses and keep citizenship for life.
  • Annual income is paid during the construction phase of the project and increases when operation of the resort begins.
  • The investor is not burdened with any maintenance costs.
  • Ability to reside one week per year.
  • Post citizenship services: the main applicant can obtain a driver’s license, tax ID and proof of address at no additional cost.

To learn more about all the features and benefits of Anichi Resort & Spa and the Dominica Citizenship by Investment programme, please contact us.