Citizenship is the relationship between an individual and a nation state whereby the state grants the citizen certain rights, such as the right to vote, work and own property, and in return the citizen accepts the responsibility of upholding the laws and customs of that state. Citizenship unites different people under a common identity.
Traditional means of acquiring citizenship and the corresponding passports have been birth, naturalization and marriage. Naturalization is the process by which a resident of a country can acquire citizenship usually by residing in that country for a certain number of years. Since 1984 investment in the host country has been another way of acquiring citizenship.
Citizenship by investment is the process of obtaining a second citizenship and passport by investing in the economy of the host country. Citizenship by investment programs legally confer citizenship status faster than traditional immigration processes and do so without requiring investors to put their lives on hold.
There are many reasons to invest in a second citizenship, from personal safety to increased global mobility. Applications can be approved in as little as three months, resulting in citizenship for life, a valid passport, visa-free travel and more. Economic citizenship opens up a world of possibilities to high net worth investors.
A second passport from a stable, peaceful country can be life-saving in the event of any kind of political unrest in one’s home country. This type of insurance is priceless for investors and their families.
Many passports are quite restrictive in their visa-free mobility, forcing citizens to obtain visas whenever they need to travel abroad. A second passport can offer individuals from these countries increased global mobility. For example, the passport of Pakistan allows visa-free entry into only 26 countries, whereas the passport of Cyprus allows visa-free entry to 145 countries. The difference in global mobility equals an incredible amount of time saved filing visa applications and is priceless to businesspeople the world over.
See our Passport Index for the visa-free score of every passport in the world.
New business opportunities open up to participants in citizenship by investment programs as they can now do business in the host country as well as travel abroad more freely.
Dual citizenship may prove advantageous for tax optimization purposes. For example, some countries only tax income earned from that country and do not subject capital gains to taxes either. This allows investors to manage their wealth more efficiently and effectively.
Most citizenship by investment programs are available to the family members of the main applicant. This means that investors can secure a better future for their spouse and children. Second citizenships offer access to world-class health care, education and an improved lifestyle.
Education is the foundation of a successful life as a global citizen. Investing in a second citizenship can open up access to the best schools in the world for applicants and their children by qualifying them for domestic rather than international tuition fees.
Many countries offer citizenship by investment programs in order to attract much-needed foreign direct investment. Countries can then use these funds to invest in their own projects, such as real estate development, business development and job creation. CBI programs also attract global talent and know-how aimed at boosting the economy.
For example, St. Kitts & Nevis applicants can invest in the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, which aims to assist the government and country in transitioning to a more diversified economy. The foundation supports the government, but also undertakes new projects itself. To date, the foundation has invested more than US$55 million in the development of St. Kitts & Nevis.
Many countries offer citizenship by investment programs. The number of these programs is constantly increasing as more and more countries realize the economic advantages of opening their doors to immigrant investors.
Arton Capital is pleased to be an authorized agent for the following citizenship by investment programs:
|Country||Time to Citizenship||Min. Investment|
|Antigua & Barbuda||3-4 months||US$250,000|
|Saint Lucia||4-6 months||US$100,000|
|St. Kitts & Nevis||4-6 months||US$250,000|
*Bulgaria offers a residency by investment program with a fast-track to citizenship option.
It is important to remember that not all countries allow their citizens to hold dual citizenship. Double check before starting the process with Arton Capital.
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:
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.
Passports are an invaluable document dating back to Biblical times when individuals could be granted “safe conduct” letters requesting that the governors of foreign lands grant them safe passage. The first mention of a passport is in the Bible’s book of Nehemiah from approximately 450 BC.
Fast forward to the Roman Empire, which recognized different levels of citizenship, such as municipal or empire-wide, and was the first to issue certificates of citizenship. Later in the early Medieval period citizenship became slightly less important, though it remained imperative for merchants to secure safe conduct. In the 13th century Marco Polo’s father became the first European to receive safe conduct from Kublai Khan, granting him safe passage and access to the entire Mongol Empire.
Mentions of safe conduct appeared in England as early as 1414 under King Henry V, who had the authority to grant safe conduct to anyone, even foreigners. By 1540 in England the granting of travelling papers became normalized under the Privy Council. The term passport was already in use at this time. However, they were not necessarily used as identity documents until 1858 and were not necessarily required for international travel until Word War I.
Travelling and identity were finally officially merged in the early 20th century. The British Nationality and Status Aliens Act of 1914 produced the first modern British passport. By 1920 the League of Nations had adopted a standard passport format.
Switzerland can be said to have the first residency by investment program, though it was not intended as such. In 1862 the canton of Vaud introduced lump-sum taxation, which sought to tax wealthy foreigners who had taken up residence in Switzerland but were not contributing to the upkeep of the infrastructure from which they benefited. Today high net worth individuals can significantly reduce their tax burden by taking up residence in Switzerland.
St. Kitts & Nevis implemented the first official citizenship by investment program in 1984. Other countries soon followed suit. The capital acquired through these programs allowed the host countries to invest in their economies, culture and people.
Arton Capital empowers individuals and families to become Global Citizens. We are a financial advisory firm specializing in investor programs for residence and citizenship, and consider ourselves the all-important link between dreams and reality. We offer a bespoke service experience supported and sustained by long-term relationships.
In a world of increasing globalization, more and more people are seeing themselves as global citizens of the world rather than as strictly national citizens. For them borders are not barriers and the ability to live, work and travel around the world is entirely within reach and desirable.
Arton Capital is best defined by its integrity. We work side by side with our clients and partners, from choosing the right program through to the completion of the application process and beyond. We have built and maintained an extensive network of partners and agents who are certified to promote our products and services and to whom we offer round-the-clock support. We simplify complexity to ensure a smooth application process.
When you choose Arton, you choose the Global Citizen lifestyle. We offer a bespoke array of financial services, access to the Global Citizen Forum and trusted guidance concerning immigration matters.
Arton Capital’s proprietary program tools allow investors to learn about each citizenship program and compare them side by side. We believe it is crucial for investors to understand the cost and benefits of each program so that they may make the right decision for themselves, their families and their businesses.