Arton Index

Industry benchmark of Global Citizen Programs.


At Arton we are in constant contact with high net worth individuals, and we are privileged to see how their needs and considerations evolve. These relationships help us streamline and focus on what is important to our clients. It is a challenge to simplify complexity, but this is what we excel at. We empower our clients to find the right fit with ease. Now you have all the tools in your hands.


Although it is still important, mobility is no longer the principle driver for a second residence or citizenship. Each Global Citizen program offers a host of unique benefits. We have distilled these benefits into five key pillars – these are the benchmarks against which you can evaluate each program and compare them against one another based on your particular needs and goals.






The investment you are willing to make





Time to citizenship, which includes time to residence





The number of countries you may visit visa-free or visa-on-arrival.


quality of life

quality of life

quality of life

Based on the Quality of Life Index

quality of life




Some programs are simpler than others



  • United Kingdom
    The U.K. is currently at the bottom of the list. Its high scores in Global Mobility and Quality of Life cannot compensate for its poor marks in the other three categories. The country recently doubled the minimum required investment to £2 million, making it the second most expensive program in the index after Cyprus. The country keeps scoring low on Speed to Citizenship and Simplicity on account of the tough requirement for physical residence.

  • Hungary
    This overall attractive program is among the top three performers mainly due to the fast process for residence. It previously scores low in Speed to Citizenship and Simplicity, but legislative changes in 2015 boosted its marks in these two pillars.

  • Bulgaria
    In this new edition of the index, Bulgaria ranks first due to favorable changes in its legislation in the past few years, making it one of the most attractive programs. Its regular residence to citizenship program scores high marks on Cost and Simplicity. The program scores relatively low in Speed, but this is compensated for by the fast-track option to citizenship within 12 months of PR that Bulgaria introduced at the end of 2013.

  • Antigua & Barbuda
    The program ranks first among the Caribbean group and finds its place among the top performers within all assessed countries. It gets the highest score for Speed and relatively high marks for Simplicity. In terms of cost, the program must catch up with its Caribbean peers, but it achieves the top rank for Global Mobility compared to the other islands, especially after St. Kitts lost its visa-free access to Canada.

  • Grenada
    Grenada’s score is balanced thanks to its maximum points in Speed and Simplicity. However, the program scores low in Global Mobility and shows average performance in Cost. Its real estate option is one of the most competitively priced and attracts a greater number of investors than the donation option.

  • St. Kitts & Nevis
    St. Kitts & Nevis scores high on the ArtonINDEX due to the simplicity of the program.

  • Quebec, Canada
    Quebec scores high on the ArtonINDEX mainly due to the excellent quality of life and increased global mobility that its citizens enjoy.

  • United States of America
    The U.S. scores high on the ArtonINDEX mainly due to the global mobility and quality of life that citizens enjoy.

  • Cyprus
    Updated in September 2016, the Cyprus Investment Programme allows for qualified investors to obtain Cypriot citizenship approval in three months, making it one of the fastest European programs.

  • Dominica
    The Nature Island is a top-scorer in Simplicity and scores the highest points among the four Caribbean programs. However, it has the lowest mark in Global Mobility. A legislative change at the end of 2014 cancelled the mandatory interview, which boosted its marks in Simplicity, but that’s still not enough to raise the program’s final score.

  • Saint Lucia
    Saint Lucia has the newest and most exclusive citizenship by investment program in the Caribbean. Having learned from decades of experience from its neighbors, the program has been governed by industry best practices from the start.

  • Portugal
    One of Europe’s oldest countries positioned on the blissfully elegant shores of the Atlantic ocean, Portugal boasts a rich historical and architectural heritage. Luminosity, radiance and culture beams through whitewashed villages and lush vineyards.

  • Montenegro
    Montenegro is at the heart of discovery, beauty, and opportunity, gaining investor attention due to its strategic position and growing economy. It earns Arton points in the Index for the program’s simplicity and speed, as well as its quality of life which is expected to increase once accepted into the EU.

  • Cost
  • Speed
  • Mobility
  • Quality of life
  • Simplicity


flag of Dominica Dominica  
flag of Grenada Grenada  
flag of Saint Lucia Saint Lucia  
flag of Antigua & Barbuda Antigua & Barbuda  
flag of Montenegro Montenegro  
flag of st. Kitts & Nevis St. Kitts & Nevis  
flag of Quebec Quebec, Canada  
flag of UK United Kingdom  
flag of Portugal Portugal  
flag of USA USA  
flag of Cyprus Cyprus  
flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria  

Arton Index has been updated on January 29, 2023.



The Arton Index is a comparative tool measuring programs for residence and citizenship from the perspective of the investor. The index is constructed by indicators and grouped into categories. Indicators are based on Arton’s industry experience, field analysis, and assessment of the key factors that high net worth individuals consider important when they choose the program that will best fit their needs. The index is revised semi-annually in June and December. Where significant changes occur in any of the assessed components for a given country, updates are made off these two predetermined assessment periods.


Key Findings

  • Both Dominica and Grenada excelled to the top mainly due to their recent adoption of the Schengen visa waiver.
  • Bulgaria remains Europe’s program of choice.
  • The U.K. and the USA rank last mainly due to the duration and complexity of their processes, but still remain, along with Canada, one of the best migration destinations.



The Arton Index measures how appealing global residence and citizenship programs are to high net worth individuals. It is composed of five pillars. These principal dimensions by which programs can be assessed are divided into the industry-related categories of Speed, Cost and Simplicity, and the general categories of Quality of Life and Global Mobility.

Each category and its components make up the individual score of a program. The maximum score that a program can achieve is 100 points. The methodology is constructed in a way to allow the application of an assessment grid that reflects the program type as the index is applied to both residence to citizenship programs and direct citizenship programs.

The index examines all countries that are considered major representatives of the global citizenship industry. As on the last update, the countries assessed included the following: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, St. Kitts & Nevis, the U.K. and the USA. The list may be enriched in time.


Cost is arguably the most important indicator for most investors and as such has a maximum weight of 30 points. The three components that form the commitment an investor would have to make are the required investment, the government fees and the cost of financing, where applicable. The methodology is based on the assessment of the cost for a family of four (principal applicant, spouse and two children aged 11-17).



Speed has a maximum weight of 20 points and examines the duration of the application process and the time required to qualify for citizenship. This pillar takes into account the average processing times as defined in the national legislation of each jurisdiction. The most points are awarded to the fastest times.


Global Mobility has a maximum weight of 20 points and is based on an assessment of two different components. The first is whether or not the passport allows visa-free travel for its citizens to a predetermined group of financial centers and socio-cultural hubs. The second component is the total number of countries the passport can reach visa-free.


Quality of Life has a maximum weight of 10 points and takes into consideration data from two reliable external sources to see the worldwide ranking of the examined countries. The two external indices are also selected based on their coverage since they examine all countries covered by the Arton Index.


Simplicity examines the level of complexity of each program assessed. Programs with complex procedures and requirements score fewer points while those with simplified procedures and incentives score higher.



Each year more than 20,000 families seek to invest in their futures through investor programs for residence and citizenship. More and more high net worth individuals are inquiring into available options, and countries are becoming even more eager to implement legislative policies that will secure their competitive positioning and attract high net worth individuals and foreign direct investment.

The Arton Index is widely used by industry stakeholders to better assess each program’s specific benefits for investors, who in turn obtain a very clear picture of the industry. The index empowers them to make the best choice when they contemplate one of the most important decisions for themselves and their families.