Within the pages of this guide, we will provide you with advice and helpful tips on what elements to consider in choosing the country for your passport, making this the premier source for information about citizenship by investment (CBI).
This free guide also includes resources with links for your convenience, that will be invaluable in assisting you in your decision-making process.
Citizenship by investment (CBI) are investment programs that award investors with fast-track citizenship for investment in the target country, often within months.
Examples of the type of investments for citizenship programs include real estate investment, buying state debt, outright donation to the state, etc.
Established customer identification programs (CIP) require applicants (this includes family members) to pass thorough background checks, which may include anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) checks before passports are issued.
Each country has its own unique citizenship laws and regulations, and investment requirements. For example, certain countries have no requirement for an in-person visit, which can be an important consideration because many CBI aspirants live in diaspora and do not immigrate physically to the second country.
CBI programs are commonly known as economic citizenship in North and South America, Investor Citizenship in Europe, and, by extension, the European commission. News and media outlets frequently refer to passports obtained via CBI as Golden Passports because of the many high net worth individuals who have gained their passports by investing in a citizenship program.
Industry experts estimate the current value of the citizenship by investment sector to be $5 billion, and they expect demand to double to $10 billion by 2025. Revenue in millions of Euros for 2020 can be found below (later data is not available yet). Keep in mind that Cyprus paused its very successful program in 2021:
CBI annual investments by country/region in millions of EUR.
Note: Several Caribbean countries do not publish their statistics.
Various news and financial reports that we have tracked in recent years, suggest that CBI revenues have reached the $19 billion, according to our calculations.
While Turkey and Saint Kitts and Nevis dominate CBI revenue generation, an overview of other players is essential.
CBI revenues are used by governments to reduce debt, as a sustainable growth fund, economic diversification fund, fund disaster recovery relief, hospitals, schools, public infrastructure, housing, and pensions for their respective populations.
In the graph below we show the latest data available for total passports issued by CBI program per country:
|CBI Revenues in USD in 2018|
|Antigua & Barbuda||$287,000,000.00|
|St. Kitts Nevis||$1,750,000,000.00|
The popularity of citizenship programs grew in the 1980s, with a number of countries in the Caribbean and Pacific island region that began selling passports for $50,000. Most of these CBI schemes were abandoned after the terror attack on 9/11 because of security concerns.
Nearly a decade later, St. Kitts and Dominica introduced programs that gained immediate popularity, although the prices were extremely high. St. Kitts was selling a passport for $250,000 and the Dominica passport was $75,000 (before securing Schengen visa waiver). Now it is still one of the cheapest citizenship by investment options through the donation for the national development fund option.
Comoros briefly offered passport program requiring an investment of just $50,000, but its program closed about two-years ago.
Ireland sold passports for 1 million euros in the 1990s, but their citizenship by investment program ceased after joining European Union in 1999. Currently Malta is the only EU member country to offer citizenship by investment.
In 2007, Cyprus became the first country in the European Union to install a European citizenship scheme, followed by Bulgaria in 2010 and Malta in 2014.
The chart below lists the latest prices of citizenship and passport by investment (CPBI) schemes, but does not include any additional fees that may apply, such as agent fees, government fees and application fees.
Please note recent changes and additional information. 1) Montenegro’s investment has changed: Investment required is $300K + Donation $110K = $410K, and 2) Vanuatu has no real estate option for its citizenship program.
Many high net worth individuals view a second passport as an integral part of their wealth management portfolio, an insurance policy for twenty-first century asset protection, and the gold standard of investment for future generations of the family. In short, investment passports have become the ultimate luxury item. Combining different passports is the best way to get as close as possible to “global citizenship”, meaning you will get access to almost any country without requiring a visa.
A recent Knight Frank wealth survey reports that two in three HNW individuals already have made the investment in a second passport, while the remaining one-third are considering a second citizenship.
Dual nationality through CBI is clearly an opportunity that many wealthy families have seized upon, allowing the carry of two or more passports, and opening up a world without borders. Many feel that they have a new life, new citizenship and identity as a citizen of the world!
Roughly one-half the US population is worried that they or their family members may become a victim of terrorism, and the threat is real. The US State Department warns that terrorist attacks, political violence (including demonstrations), criminal activity, and other incidents can occur without warning. Consequently, U.S. citizens traveling abroad must be vigilant and keenly aware of their surroundings. What is to be done about it?
By legally acquiring a second passport through an investment program that offers an economic citizenship option, you can hide your US citizen status by showing the second passport instead of your US passport, which gives you full privacy with regard to your citizenship.
US taxes are a nightmare. Few countries in the world are so hungry for tax revenues. If you are a US citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income tax, estate tax, gift taxes, and estimated taxes are similar, whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your income may be subject to US income tax, regardless of where you reside.
Yet another nightmare is FACTA, which is designed to identify and collect the appropriate taxes from US persons holding financial assets outside the borders of the United States. This is a significant headache for American ex-pats and accidental Americans (jus sanguinis).
Were you aware that the IRS has the power to cancel an American’s passport if they have delinquent tax obligations exceeding $50,000?
For these and other reasons, thousands of Americans have renounced their citizenship and sought a new life with an official citizenship that comes with real freedom.
We have compiled information on multiple countries that offer or have offered citizenship through CIB programs, spread across Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.
|Country||Price||Status||Investment Type||Time (Months)|
|St. Kitts Nevis||$150,000||Active||Donation||3|
You will need to decide whether you want simple resident status or a passport to work towards global citizenship.
Citizenship by investment programs provide five investment options that permit you to obtain citizenship.
Saint Lucia and Antigua are Caribbean citizenship options for a minimum investment, as these countries award citizenship by investment, and Turkey requires you to have a business that creates 100 jobs.
Bulgaria paused its economic citizenship program in 2021, and obtaining Bulgarian citizenship is not possible anymore under an investment program. This makes Malta and Montenegro the only two European citizenship options under an investment program. Previously in Bulgaria you could finance the purchase of 1 million Euros worth of government bonds only for 250,000 Euros, with payments spread over five years at five percent interest. However, Turkey and Saint Lucia offer plans that are even more attractive.
Below, you will see our compilation of available citizenship by investment program options to assist you in determining which countries and in what amounts you may invest.
|Country||Donation||Real Estate||Gov Bonds||Bank deposit||Business|
|St. Kitts Nevis||$150,000||$200,000|
You can obtain the following benefits as a CBI Investor:
|What you get?||Passport||Permanent Residency|
|Travel||Worldwide||Regional (Schengen area)|
|Price||Cheap (starts @ $100K)||Expensive (starts @ $250K)|
|Real Estate Ownership||No restrictions||Limited|
|Need to Rent a place?||NO||YES|
|Renewals||5-10 years||2-5 years|
|Must live||NO||NO (yes, if you want citizenship)|
|Education, Healthcare, Employment||Equal rights||Equal rights|
|Taxes*||NO (unless you reside)||YES|
|Rights*||Full Citizen Rights||Restricted (e.g. No right to vote)|
*Please seek professional advice
Citizenship by investment is preferred over a permanent residency investment program for global citizens for a variety of reasons.
Golden visa programs are limited to permanent residency (no citizenship). Greece and Portugal are popular choices among these immigration programs.
An economic citizenship program is frequently less costly than a golden visa. For example, Greece’s golden visas start at $300K for its most popular offering. Besides Greece, several countries listed below show typical Golden visa costs in US dollars:
1. United States – $800,000
2. Portugal – $329,146
3. Malta – $293,880
4. Canada – $954,047
5. Spain – $587,760
Two investor types are attracted to the golden visa investment program:
1. Those who are not interested in second citizenship or second passport.
2. Foreign nationals from countries that restrict or forbid dual nationality, for example, India, and China.
So, if you don’t need or want a passport or economic citizenship, apply for residence through the country’s golden visa residency program or traditional immigration processes.
Remember, countries will only accept a passport for entry. Schengen residence permits are not passports and are only accepted in the Schengen area.
The Quebec immigrant investor program is a great option if you want to reside in Canada in exchange for foreign direct investment. However, you do have to reside permanently in Canada in order to qualify under the Quebec immigrant investor program, and after a period of 5 years you could apply for Canadian citizenship.
Portugal has fewer and less strict requirements, which makes it one of the best residence programs, and you can acquire EU Portuguese citizenship after 5 years without actually setting foot in Portugal. Spend just two weeks per year and achieve an A2 level of fluency.
We will not devote any further time here about golden visas.
Confusion is understandable, and with the multitude of citizenship by investment programs available, clients find it challenging to select the right passport option at the right price. No one wants to overspend and you pay for only what you need.
Here are some important tips.
Top of mind for most clients is the cost. However, it would be a mistake to assume that the most expensive passport is your best option. Your top priority is finding the correct balance between the price you pay and the benefits the passport provides. Choosing only what is right and necessary for you and your family is the best way to avoid overpayment.
The graph below gives you a degree of perspective between the passport’s power and its price. Cyprus, Malta and Bulgaria are the most expensive passports. If you look closely at the cluster of programs around Grenada, you can see that these passports are comparatively inexpensive yet powerful. Remember prices rise as you add family members.
Passport Power vs. Pricing
Investors always want to know about which citizenship programs have a simple application process and rapid processing times. We always respond with the same answer—allow 3-4 months and apply as early as possible.
We see applications approved in as few as 80 days. For example, Vanuatu has a simple application process and rapid processing times, and we have seen letters of approval issued by the CIU in just 4 weeks. If ease of application and quick processing is your priority, we suggest Vanuatu. All Caribbean passport programs take a minimum of three months.
A passport’s strength is judged based on the number of countries that accept the passport for visa free access. Equally important is the passport’s access to the so-called big six, the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, EU Schengen, and Canada.
|Visa-free||U. S.||UK||Russia||China||EU Schengen||Canada|
Note: The United States and Canada impose electronic travel authorization (ETA) on countries with visa waiver.
For a global citizen, it is important to select the proper passport, one that is a practical fit for your travel needs. Choose a passport that offers visa free access to frequently visited countries. For example, someone with family or business ties in Japan, would not benefit from a passport issued by Moldova or Montenegro.
CBI passport holders should be able to spot subtle differences in visa free access to other countries. For example, a Cyprus passport is a superb choice for travel to South Korea or Japan.
|South Africa||Israel||Japan||Singapore||South Korea|
|Antigua and Barbuda||√||ₓ||ₓ||√||√|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||ₓ||√||ₓ||√||√|
Key: e / eVisa – √ / no visa required – x / visa required
There are some 61 territories around the globe, governed by the UK, France, Netherlands, the United States, etc. Example include British colonies such as Bermuda, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands (BVI); U.S. territories such as U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI); and the Dutch territory of Curacao. These beautiful islands attract many HNWs who often travel to these idyllic locations for holiday vacations.
Note: The above is for informational purposes only. Visa requirements do change from time to time. Please double-check with your nearest embassy or consulate before traveling.
How long your passport will be valid is an important consideration when choosing to apply for a passport under an economic citizenship program. Countries typically issue passports that are valid for five to ten years. Obviously, passports with a ten-year validity offer greater convenience because they do not have to be renewed as often.
Note that Antigua, Saint Lucia, and Grenada currently have passport validity of 5 years. All other passports feature a ten-year validity. Antigua is unique in that after the first renewal, the passport’s validity switches to ten years.
Economic citizenship can secure you access to the E-2 investor visa, an important benefit, because E-2 visas are a less costly alternative to the EB-5 visa. Citizens of countries that do not have an E-2 visa arrangement with the United States. such as Russia, China, Nigeria, Vietnam, and Russia, can take advantage of an investment program to facilitate entry to the United States. Remember, E-2 visas are non-immigrant visas, however, dependents may apply.
Below, we highlight the important difference between E-2 and EB-5 visas.
|Visa Category||Non-immigrant||Immigrant Visa|
|Minimum Investment||$100,000 to $200,000||$900,000 to $1.8 million|
|Visa validity||2-5 years||Temporary Green card (2 years)|
|Job creation||5 jobs||10 jobs|
|Waiting time||3 weeks||2-15 years|
Must move and live in US.
Not absent for 6 months per year
|Quota||None||10,000 annual limit|
|Work permit||Spouse only||Spouse and children < 21|
|Application paperwork||Easy||Complicated / Strict rules|
|Who can apply?||E-2 treaty countries||No restrictions|
|Taxes on Worldwide income*||Maybe||Yes|
|Visa fee||$205||$3,675 (I-526 petition)|
|Legal costs||$10,000 to $20,000||$50,000 to $100,000|
*Note: Before immigrating to the U.S. seek professional tax advice.
Five CBI countries have signed E-2 treaty investor agreements with the United States. No other countries have citizenship by investment programs (CIP) that offer this benefit. They are:
The economic citizenship programs offered by Saint Kitts and Nevis; Antigua; and Vanuatu do not extend voting rights to those who acquired their citizenship through CBI programs.
All other CBI options do not only offer voting rights, but also permit you to hold public office and participate in politics.
Grenada and Saint Lucia offer the most inclusive economic citizenship program in the Caribbean for foreign investors and both of these options provide an excellent Caribbean citizenship option.
The CBI programs of the countries listed below allow transfer of full citizenship rights for up to three generations only.
The above four programs excepted, the CBI programs of all other countries offer full lifetime citizenship.
Global citizens regard economic citizenship programs that have no personal visitation requirements for passports to be the most attractive. For example, if you live in the UAE, travel to the Caribbean or Vanuatu is time consuming and expensive, not to mention unrealistic, in a world consumed by pandemic.
Just five CBI programs have no requirement for a personal visit. In all other countries, at least one personal visit is mandatory.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Clearly, economic citizenship programs that have no residency requirement are the most attractive.
With the exceptions of the Caribbean and Vanuatu, all countries issue residence permits prior to issuing a naturalization certificate under their CBI programs.
|St Kitts and Nevis||None|
*At the 5-year renewal of your passport, Antigua imposes 5-day residence requirement. If you’re not in-country for the required 5 days, they will invalidate your passport. Turkey, on the other hand, permits you to handle this by Power of Attorney.
European countries offer exceptional educational and healthcare opportunities, especially Malta. These countries also boast high safety rankings and low crime rates. Montenegro is progressing toward the broader European standards but still falls short.
Although Caribbean countries struggle with crime, they offer affordable healthcare. They also have excellent universities such as Saint George Medical University in Grenada and Antigua boasts the newly opened University of West Indies campus.
Of course, these are only considerations if you plan to live or work in these countries, and can otherwise be ignored.
Any economic citizenship program will have quotas, and when reached, they are shut down. Quotas mean you may miss the opportunity to gain citizenship through investments. Fortunately, Caribbean passport CBI programs currently have no limits.
Below are the limits currently imposed on selected CBI programs.
Total quota 1500 (New)
Total quota 2000 (expires in 2022)
500 per year
When considering the country to choose for your passport, its level of tourism can be a useful indicator to consider before applying for citizenship, because tourism plays an important role in driving revenues, economic growth, and prices in the real estate market. This data is indispensable if you are considering investment in hotels and resorts.
2018 Tourist Arrivals in CBI Countries
Tourist Arrivals (2018)
St. Kitts and Nevis
Antigua and Barbuda
Source: World Bank Data 2018
Most were operating normally. However, many golden visa programs were temporarily suspended because of COVID-19.
Definitely Vanuatu. The only downside is that the European Union suspended the Schengen access for Vanuatu passports until further notice.
Yes, CBI industry is a promising industry and more countries are expected to come on board.
We believe the following countries will probably open a citizenship by CBI programs in the future.
Yes, some CBI programs have quotas for applications.
Application takes the following course.
Yes, most CBI programs permit an appeal to the CIU’s decision.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) passport is issued by its 15 member states. All CARICOM citizens enjoy freedom of movement within the borders of member states with just ID card or driver’s license. CARICOM passports are issued by all five CBI countries.
Yes, there are five pending. These countries are already incorporating EU legislation into national law.
Note: EU (European Union) is not the same as Europe. There are 27 countries in EU, whereas there are 44 countries in Europe.
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Moldova, and Montenegro are not in the Schengen area. Bulgaria and Cyprus will probably join in the future.
Note: European Union citizens (Bulgaria, Cyprus) have free movement in the Schengen area.
Nationality is something you are born with (ethnicity) and cannot be taken away from you, while citizenship only exists on paper. For example, you would address your nationality as American Indian, etc., while you would address your citizenship as US citizen, Chinese citizen, etc. It’s that simple.
CBIs are essentially expedited naturalization programs. They represent a legal process by which citizenship is gained by contributing economically to the state.
Revenues generated through CBI programs are used by small countries for housing, social welfare, public works, pensions, schools and hospitals, disaster relief and funding real estate developments such as hotels and resorts to expand tourism. For example, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Cyprus have benefited from CBI revenues.
Responsible CBI citizens should strengthen their ties to the country that offered them citizenship. This helps to make citizenship secure and hard to revoke. Genuine links are created by paying taxes, buying a real estate, a home, donating to charity and non-profits, learning the local culture and language. This fosters integration with the country.
A golden visa is permanent residency, granted to foreigners for buying real estate or creating jobs, and is roughly equivalent to a green card. Investors given permanent residence status may live in the country indefinitely with equal rights to employment, healthcare and social benefits. The phrase golden visa was coined by Portugal when it launched its program in 2012.
It is an attractive program for high net worth individuals and families for financial planning, and offers enhanced privacy and economic security across banking and investment portfolios.
The possibility of reduced personal and corporate tax exposure is the most significant benefit.
No, CBI citizens are exempt from service in the military.
Note: if you serve in military, you will automatically lose your nationality in some countries.
Saint Kitts and Nevis is the only country that does not require an Oath of Allegiance. All other programs require it, and in most cases there is a fee. Vanuatu allows the oath to be taken virtually by video conferencing because of COVID-19.
Yes, programs offered by Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Kitts and Nevis permit a name change if a deed poll expressing your active intention to change your name is submitted from your birth country with your citizenship application. Vanuatu also permits a name change after receiving citizenship through affidavit. No other countries permit a name change. There are fees for this added service.
In early 2021 you will need a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) authorization, which can be easily obtained online for about 7 Euros, to travel to Schengen states. The process is simple and you just carry the printout with your passport. It is required for all visa waiver countries which currently have agreements with the European Union. CBI citizens holding passports from these countries will need this electronic travel authorization.
EU passports and visa/residence permit holders from Schengen states are exempted.
Details on rejected applicants are shared between countries, through official channels.
Stateless individuals are not restricted from participation in economic citizenship programs, however, current information suggests that just five CBI programs accept stateless people.
Antigua & Barbuda
Twelve million stateless people have no official nationality and are denied basic human rights to education, freedom of movement, employment, and healthcare, because they lack papers and/or identity.
For those who can afford it, citizenship schemes provide stateless people an identity, healthcare and other benefits.
Statelessness is caused by failing states, ethnic/religious discrimination, shortfalls in nationality laws, etc. A pledge to end statelessness by 2024 has been issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Governments operating second citizenship programs issue agents two license types:
1. International Marketing Agents
2. Authorized agents
Marketing agents market or promote the CBI programs of their sponsor country following all government rules. They also have agreements with authorized agents, who are responsible for filing the clients’ citizenship application with Citizenship by Investment Units (CIUs). To be an authorized agent for a CBI country, you must be a resident and citizen of that country. Occasionally, sub-agents work on a commission basis with authorized agents. We estimate that over 1000 agents serve the CBI industry.
Caribbean governments pay commissions for each case approved based on case volume and the family size of the main applicant. Commissions range from $10,000 to $15,000, while authorized agents from other CBI countries can earn from €50,000 to €60,000.
Agents also charge professional fees to their CBI clients that range from $15,000 to $20,000.
The governments of CBI countries, by regulation, have established Citizenship Investment Units (CIU) as separate agencies to oversee the seamless operation and proper functioning of CBI programs.
The role of CIUs’ include
Acceptance and approval of applications
Effecting policy changes and/or regulations to strengthen the programs
Real estate project approval
Perform due diligence on applicants
Approve authorized agents and marketing agents
Establish rules for marketing and promotion of each citizenship program
Make recommendations to the minister for citizenship approval
Notify the passport office to issue passports for approved investors
Organize conferences and events
Provide consultation and training for agents
Publish reports and maintain statistics pursuant to the country’s CBI regulations
The CIPA comprises the heads of the Caribbean’s five citizenship investment units.
Antigua and Barbuda
Commonwealth of Dominica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Determining and promulgating best practices in CBI with participating Caribbean countries, is the mandate of the association. The goal of CIPA is to build a strong legislative and regulatory framework for foreign direct investment, share information, standardize due diligence processes, and guaranty the competitiveness and integrity of the industry.
Each year, a new chairperson is selected from one of the five participating CIUs.
|Country||Single Applicant||Main + Spouse + 1 Child < 18||Main + Spouse + 2 children < 18|
|Antigua & Barbuda||$135,000||$130,000||$130,000|
|St. Kitts Nevis||$157,750||$195,000||$195,000|
|Note: 1) The prices shown above are based upon the least expensive investment programs and therefor represent the least amount you will pay, 2) Turkey and Montenegro offer a real estate option only, 3) Montenegro’s government requires an application fee of €100,000 (each application), 4) Caribbean countries off a real estate option, however, it is not the least costly option, which means it is not reflected in the above table|
Passports that allow visa-free access will always be in high demand. It is the principal factor attracting global citizens to apply for passports because a second powerful passport, permits you to visit 196 countries across the globe.
As the table below shows, which soft visas such as VOA, eVisa, ETA, and hard visas are required to visit 196 countries in the world for various CBI passports. Clearly, Malta is a frontrunner, and passports of Caribbean origin with an economic citizenship program do not lag far behind.
|Country||Visa not required||Visa required||eVisa||eTA||Visa on arrival||eVisa / Visa on arrival||Total Access|
|Source: Best Passport Rankings Study 2020|
In late May 2015 the EU inked exemption of visa (short-term stay) agreements with Saint Lucia, Grenada, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Grenadines, the Republic of Vanuatu, Saint Vincent, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the independent State of Samoa.
In the same year, Canada revoked short-term stay agreements for all Caribbean passports that can be obtained through investment citizenship programs, claiming that Canada’s borders were at grave risk because of economic citizenship programs.
After Canada revoked an Antiguan citizen’s visa waiver in 2017 and imposed a visa restriction, applications for CBI passports plunged to near record lows. This illustrates the importance of visa waivers in citizenship by investment programs.
Nevertheless, Caribbean countries have enjoyed success in growing the number of countries with whom they have agreements, and have increased their tourism and passport revenues.
CBI citizens represent a class of the diaspora population made possible through economic citizenship by investment programs.
Although around 50,000 people are living in diaspora, less than 10,000 become CBI citizens annually, and they are small communities of wealthy individuals living in China, North and South America, Africa, Europe, and the United Arab Emirates.
A synopsis of the estimated approved main applicants for 2020 is shown on the right.
*Note: Approximate unofficial figures calculated based on passports/applications approved for investors.
At best, European Union citizenship is supplemental, conferred by member states, and does not replace national citizenship. It can be revoked by the member state at any time for just cause.
The Citizenship of the European Union is not a replacement for national citizenship and can be lost if revoked by the member state. Ordinary naturalization, integration, passing civic and language tests, and meeting conditions such as long term residency, are the typical means by which EU member nations grant citizenship.
EU citizens can also be dual citizens. Most EU states grant expedited citizenship based on investment through Malta.
Malta citizenship: €900,000 which includes a €650K donation, €150K in bonds, and a €100K processing fee.
Citizens of Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein and are not EU citizens because these countries are not part of the European Union. Even so, citizens of these countries can work in the EU on an equal footing with EU nationals by virtue of their country’s membership in the European Economic Area.
Swiss citizens are not EU citizens, but are free to live and work in the EU.
UK citizens remain EU citizens through 31 December 2020, after which their EU citizenship is forfeited due to Brexit.
Citizenship by investment programs (CBI) are plagued with an abundance of common myths, which must be debunked.
Taxes laws are complicated and extremely important for CBI dual citizens. Countries, for the most part, base taxable status on residency, which is defined as 183 days/year. Residency, not citizenship, determines whether you pay taxes.
Three countries, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Vanuatu, and Antigua, are the countries that have no personal income taxes on income, foreign or local. Passports from these countries are much sought after. All Caribbean CBI countries exempt non-resident citizens from personal income tax, however.
Below is a quick summary of tax rates in CBI countries.
|Country||Corp.Tax||Personal Income Tax||Wealth Tax||Capital Gains||Estate Tax||Tax Treaties|
|Grenada||28%||Resident/Non-residents income within Grenada (15%)||0||0||0||CARICOM, UK|
|Saint Lucia||30%||Residents only (up to 30%)||0||0||0||CARICOM, Switzerland|
|St. Kitts||33%||0||0||0% (< 1 year)||0||CARICOM, Monaco, Switzerland, UK|
|Malta||35%||Up to 35%||0||12%||0||76 countries|
|Vanuatu||0%||Up to 17%||0||0||0||19 countries|
|Egypt||22.5%||Up to 22.5%||0||0||2.50%||50 countries|
|Jordan||20%||Up to 14%||0||0 (except company share sale or depreciable assets)||0||32 countries|
|Source: Deloitte and other sources|
Sixteen countries were listed by the OECD for failing to comply with CRS tax sharing rules in 2018. Among these countries were CBI/RBI programs in Europe and the Caribbean. If you are a global citizen, banks may request disclosure of your home country tax number. You should know the answers to the following:
Dual citizenship is highly debatable topic. In several developed Asian (India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore) and Middle-Eastern countries it is severely restricted, while North and South America, as well as Europe are very open to dual nationality.
Dual nationality is important because it allows you to legally carry two or more passports while traveling. In many cases, dual citizens receive double benefits in terms of healthcare, education, etc.
Nationals in countries that prohibit dual nationality must be on guard. It is possible to lose your former citizenship automatically, when you take up your second citizenship. You are encouraged to seek legal counsel.
If you are involved, or suspected, of being involved in terrorism or other illegal activities, the law provides that you may be denaturalized or stripped of your economic citizenship. Revocation of citizenship has happened to CBI citizens in Caribbean countries. This is important to know, and it is important to understand the consequences. If you’ve renounced your previous citizenship and your current country revokes your citizenship, you become stateless.
Consular protection during emergencies may be limited for dual citizens. For example, as a Chinese / Canadian dual citizen, you have limited consular protection at a Canadian embassy.
How to Use Your Dual Passports When Traveling
So, you are a proud global citizen carrying more than one passport. Now what!
The Key Is to Use the Right Passport!
Each day, thousands of people travel with two passports. Not only is it perfectly legal, dual passports expand the number of destinations to which you can travel with visa free access. For example, one passport may offer visa free travel to Canada, and the other, a visa waiver for China. Visa free travel and visa waivers enhance your travel options and can make life much more convenient.
However, it is important to follow these critical rules.
Let’s look at two scenarios:
Airlines only need to see your passport for the destination country. It is their obligation to determine your eligibility for entry. You must book the ticket with the correct passport number. The airline and immigration are separate entities with distinctly different responsibilities.
Here’s another example of dual passport travel.
We will assume that you are US/UK dual citizen, your destination is United States. Following the rules outlined earlier, present the US passport to airline during check-in and show your British passport to exit United Kingdom. When arriving in the United States, show your U.S. passport to Customs and Border Patrol upon entry.
Commonwealth citizenship as a supplemental citizenship is offered through 7 CBI programs (Malta, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Vanuatu). CBI citizens of these countries are also citizens of the Commonwealth.
Acquiring citizenship in a Commonwealth country has specific benefits.
Commonwealth citizens are entitled to help from British embassies and from consulates in countries that are not in the Commonwealth, which is a tremendous benefit.
As a Commonwealth citizen, you will not be treated as a foreign national. While the rights of Commonwealth citizens may vary, they are eligible, with the permission of their home government, to apply for a British emergency passport. Alternatively, they may be issued travel documents if they cannot present their national passport.
If you live in the United Kingdom, citizens of the Commonwealth may be employed in non-reserved Civil Service posts, are not required to register with the local police, and can serve in the British Armed Forces.
The Commonwealth of Nations comprises 53 member states, of which thirty-one are small states having roughly 1.5 million citizens in total. Almost all are former British colonies or dependencies, and all but a few have visa free travel to United Kingdom for business, tourism or family visitation. Commonwealth citizenship status is automatically lost if the member state leaves the Commonwealth.
Documentation is a critical factor in the success of your citizenship application. Although potentially tedious and time-consuming, keep in mind that your agent is there to help you through the process. Any missing documentation will delay approval, so planning ahead is always recommended.
Documents issued by within EU states are accepted throughout the European Union and no further certifications are needed, which makes everything easier. For example, a document issued in Germany will be accepted in Cyprus.
However, document authentication can be an issue if the country you are applying with does not accept your country’s documents at face value. In such cases, you will need to have your documents authenticated to the satisfaction of that country’s Citizenship Investment Unit (CIU). One means of accomplishing this is with by apostille, which refers to a form of certification accepted by the 118 countries party to the Hague Convention of 1961. These countries accept apostilled documents between one another.
These are the key documents commonly required for CBI programs. Those documents that may require certification by apostille are followed by an asterisk*. You may access a list of apostille providers in your country by clicking here.