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An introduction to citizenship by investment

By investing in the economy of a certain host country you can obtain second citizenship and passport from that nation. That, in a nutshell, is how citizenship by investment works.

If your home country allows dual citizenship, it may be possible to obtain second citizenship without renouncing the former. Many people are seeing the tremendous benefits that having a second passport can provide. This is partly due to the impact of globalization and the desire to live and move freely around the world. 

In the past, the traditional ways to acquire second citizenship in a country where one was not born were through ancestral ties, naturalization, and/or marriage. However, recent decades have seen the introduction and subsequent expansion of “Citizenship by Investment” programs. 

Citizenship by investment began with the first program in the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts & Nevis back in 1984. Since then, many other nations have introduced their own citizenship by investment programs and the list continues to grow. The most popular and affordable programs are still found in the Caribbean.

Namely, the applicant qualifies for citizenship by investing a specific amount of capital in the host country. This ‘investment’ can be in the form of a donation, a real estate investment, a government bond, or other approved options, depending upon the specific country’s requirements. The minimum investment amount also varies, with the cheapest options being available in the Caribbean nations starting at USD 100,000. 

A Citizenship by Investment program is offered by a nation’s government and is commonly referred to as economic citizenship or CIP. By making an investment in an approved real estate project, the investor and their family may become eligible for citizenship in that country.

An IMF article says Citizenship by investment is a growing phenomenon (See more)– The rapid growth of private wealth, especially in emerging market economies, has led to a significant increase in affluent people interested in greater global mobility and fewer travel obstacles posed by visa restrictions, which became increasingly burdensome after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This prompted a recent proliferation of so-called citizenship-by-investment or economic citizenship programs, which allow high-net-worth people from developing or emerging economy countries to legitimately acquire passports that facilitate international travel in Europe and the Schengen Area.

For counties that offer Citizenship by Investment (CBI) and Residency by Investment (RBI) programs, it’s an effective method of raising capital investment and attracting talent and experience that help to boost regional economic growth.

Citizenship-by investment programs attract a number of high net worth individuals in developing nations, looking to add a second passport in their investment portfolio.

There are many benefits to having dual citizenship, including greater global mobility, economic and tax opportunities, a better quality of life, international business opportunities, and improved personal security.

However, acquiring second citizenship can be a lengthy process as residence in the country is usually a requirement. Business owners and private investors looking to gain an alternative nationality often turn to investment migration because it is quick and generally hassle-free.

These citizenship-by-investment programs offered by many countries across the world grant practically instant nationality in return for major contributions to society, culture, and/or the economy.

Whilst people choose citizenship by investment programs for many different personal reasons, investing in second citizenship is ultimately investing in freedom.

So, whether you’re seeking greater personal safety, increased global mobility, or greater freedom to invest internationally, if you have the means to invest in a second citizenship, we can assist you.

Requirements for obtaining a second citizenship

Each country has a different set of requirements that applicants must fulfill for its citizenship by investment program. For example, some programs require medical examinations and proof of good health, while others do not. However, some requirements are common to all such programs:

  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Show the legal source of the investment funds.
  • Invest in one of the government-approved options, such as real estate, government bonds, or a national economic fund.

All requirements must be met in order for citizenship applications to be approved by the host government. See the specific requirements on the individual program pages.

Click to see all articles about CIP

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