Second Citizenship
April 8, 2024
Reading Time: 7 min

Top 8 countries with the fastest citizenship by investment

Some countries are ready to give you citizenship by investment in as little as a month. Others will make you wait for 7­—10 years.

It’s difficult to say which state is the easiest country to get citizenship, for each one has its own peculiarities. But we composed a list of countries with the fastest citizenship by investment, along with additional information on each option.

Albert Ioffe
Albert Ioffe

Told which countries give their citizenship in record time

Fastest citizenship by investment

Top 8 countries with the fastest citizenship by investment

Fastest citizenship by investment: top 8 countries

The speed of obtaining a passport is one of many things to consider when choosing citizenship by investment. Let’s look at the countries with the fastest citizenship and what else they offer.

vu-flag Vanuatu: 1­–2 months. Besides issuing passports in record time, Vanuatu is also known for being a tax haven. There are no taxes on income, capital gains, or inheritance, and companies don’t pay corporate tax for 20 years.

Citizenship by investment is available via many options — there is even a way for crypto investors. Apart from investing, you will also have to show $250,000+ in your bank account, ensuring your financial stability.

dm-flag Dominica: 3–6 months. Dominica is among the fastest citizenship countries too. Not only does it offer a favourable tax regime and visa-free entry to European countries, but also gives the opportunity to obtain a 10-year US visa.

When getting citizenship by investment, you can be sure the money is spent on noble causes: the government is building hospitals and hurricane-resistant houses, developing alternative energy, and trying to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Individual cost calculation of the Dominica citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Dominica citizenship

lc-flag St Lucia: 4+ months. In St Lucia, an investor can make a non-refundable contribution of $100,000+ to the National Economic Fund, buy government bonds, purchase government-approved real estate, or invest in a business project.

As is customary in the Caribbean, St Lucia doesn’t have taxes on world income, capital gains, or inheritance. The citizens travel visa-free to 147 countries, including the Schengen Area and the UK.

gd-flag Grenada: 4–6 months. Grenada also imposes no taxes on world income, capital gains, and inheritance. Its citizens are eligible for US E–2 business visas and travel freely to the EU, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, and China.

With a Grenada passport, an investor’s children can enrol in prestigious universities in the UK, the US, or the EU — sometimes even without student visas.

Individual cost calculation of the Grenada citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Grenada citizenship

ag-flag Antigua and Barbuda: 4–6 months. Apart from a warm climate and azure ocean, the country boasts one of the most favourable tax regimes for individuals and companies. There are no taxes on income, capital gains, or inheritance. International business companies are free from taxes on income from foreign sources for 50 years.

Citizens can travel visa-free to 152 countries and are eligible for 10-year B–1/B–2 visitor visas in the US.

kn-flag St Kitts and Nevis: 6+ months. The country doesn’t impose taxes on income, capital gains, or inheritance. It also doesn’t hurt that, like all Caribbean countries, St Kitts and Nevis is a paradise for yachting, fishing, and diving.

A growing economy, free children’s education, and visa-free entry to the Schengen Area also make the country a favourable option for a second passport.

The cheapest investment option here would be a contribution of $250,000+ to the Federal Consolidated Fund. Learn more about St Kitts and Nevis citizenship benefits.

Individual cost calculation of the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

tr-flag Turkey: 6–8 months. Turkey boasts excellent healthcare, high-quality education, and a low cost of living. There are also favourable tax exemptions: for example, companies registered in “free zones” don’t pay corporate tax, and foreigners don’t pay VAT when purchasing real estate in new buildings from the developer.

Turkish citizens are eligible for long-term Schengen and US tourist visas, as well as the US E–2 business visa.

mt-flag Malta: 1–3 years. The only EU state that offers citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment, Malta can grant the passport in as little as 1 year.

First, you receive a residence permit, then apply for citizenship by naturalisation after one year, and then make an investment of €750,000+. If you wish to invest a smaller amount of €690,000+, you must obtain a residence permit and wait three years before applying for citizenship.

It might seem like a long time compared to other countries from our rating, but it is indeed one of the fastest countries to get citizenship in Europe — with all the benefits of its passport.

Countries with fastest citizenship by investment: a summary

Country

Main benefits

vu-flag Vanuatu

Minimal investment amount

$130,000

Time required

1–2 months

Visa-free entry to Ireland and Singapore

Beneficial tax regime for businesses for 20 years

dm-flag Dominica

Minimal investment amount

$100,000

Time required

3–6 months

Visa-free entry to the Schengen Area and China

Favourable conditions for families

lc-flag St Lucia

Minimal investment amount

$100,000

Time required

4+ months

Visa-free entry to the Schengen Area and the UK

No taxes on foreign income, dividends, and capital gains

gd-flag Grenada

Minimal investment amount

$150,000

Time required

4–6 months

Visa-free entry to the Schengen Area, the UK, and China

Eligibility for the E-2 business visa to the USA

ag-flag Antigua and Barbuda

Minimal investment amount

$100,000

Time required

4–6 months

Visa-free entry to the Schengen Area and the UK

Simplified procedure for EU residence permit for studying

Favourable conditions for families

kn-flag St Kitts and Nevis

Minimal investment amount

$250,000

Time required

6+ months

Visa-free entry to the Schengen Area and the UK

Simplified procedure for EU residence permit for studying

tr-flag Turkey

Minimal investment amount

$400,000

Time required

6–8 months

Visa-free entry to Japan, Singapore, South Korea

Eligibility for the E-2 business visa to the USA

mt-flag Malta

Minimal investment amount

€690,000

Time required

1–3 years

Permission to live, study, and work in the EU

Visa-free entry to the UK, the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, the UAE, Australia, Canada

Why get a second citizenship

When thinking of a place for relocating, it is important to consider not only which country gives the fastest citizenship, but also all the benefits and drawbacks of the program and country itself. Here are the most widespread reasons why expats invest in a second citizenship.

Safe haven. Whatever happens in your primary country of residence, you will be able to enter the state of your second citizenship without restrictions. The borders are open for citizens even when all other travelling is shut down, as during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Ease of travel. Most countries which grant citizenship by investment have pretty strong passports, allowing their holders to travel visa-free to popular destinations such as the Schengen area, the UK, Singapore, South Korea, etc. They are often also eligible for long-term US visas on simplified conditions.

Free residence in the country of choice. With a passport, you don’t need visas or residence permits to stay in the country of your second citizenship. This is especially convenient with EU passports, which generally allow their holders to live and work anywhere in the EU and not only in the country of issue.

Tax optimisation. Many countries, especially the Caribbean, have favourable tax regimes for individuals and companies. For instance, there might be no income tax, taxes on capital gains, or corporate tax. Becoming a tax resident in a different country might ease your tax burden significantly.

Business with Europe and the US. A simplified process of obtaining visas or no need for visas altogether makes business travels easier, faster, and cheaper. In some countries, you have to be a citizen or a resident to open a business — so the passport comes in handy, too.

Bank accounts. In many countries, it is easier to open bank accounts for yourself and your business if you are a citizen. In others, being a citizen is a requirement for the banks.

Warm climate. This applies especially to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, with their mild winters, hot summers and the majority of sunny days in a year. Few countries can boast better climate conditions for vacation and retirement than the Caribbean, Turkey, or Malta.

Prestigious education. Caribbean countries are part of the Commonwealth of Nations, meaning their citizens benefit from applying to UK universities. This might be especially important if you want to give your children prestigious, world-renowned education for a reasonable price.

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

How to get citizenship by investment: step-by-step procedure

The procedure differs from one country to another. Should you want to know the detailed process for your country of choice, you’re welcome to look at its specific program.

Generally, though, the process goes like this.

1

Preliminary Due Diligence

The licensed agent conducts preliminary Due Diligence to ensure you are eligible to apply for citizenship by investment. It only takes one day and reduces the risk of rejection to as low as 1%. If preliminary Due Diligence is successful, we will sign a contract to help you obtain citizenship.

2

Choice of an investment option

With your budget and goals in mind, we help you choose the most suitable investment option for you. We also ensure that the option complies with the investment program and meets all the necessary criteria.

3

Preparation of documents and application

We help you to gather, prepare, translate, notarise, and apostille all the necessary documents. We also fill out all the government forms and prepare the affidavits, if needed.

4

Due Diligence

The government’s officials conduct Due Diligence on the investor and their families. They check criminal records, the legality of income, job history, and political involvement.

5

Fulfilment of investment conditions

When the Due Diligence is cleared, the applicant makes an investment.

In some countries, this step takes place before official Due Diligence. But thanks to conducting preliminary Due Diligence, we can still be sure that the applicant will pass official Due Diligence successfully. Hence, investing in advance is not really a risk.

6

Getting a passport

The passport is issued in the country and delivered to the applicant in 1–4 months.

What documents you will need for citizenship by investment

Again, each country has their own list of the necessary paperwork for citizenship by investment. Gathering all the documents and correctly filling out all the required forms is a job for a certified immigration agent.

Here is a brief overview of what you might need regarding paperwork.

Mandatory documents you will certainly need

  1. International passport.

  2. Citizenship application form.

  3. No criminal record certificate.

  4. Birth certificate.

  5. Certificate of civil status.

  6. Bank accounts’ statements.

  7. Investment confirmation.

  8. Documents’ translations.

Additional documents you might need depending on the country

  1. A brief description of your life story in the form of a CV.

  2. Certificates of medical check-ups.

  3. Medical insurance.

  4. Proof of ties to the country.

  5. Assessment of property if you invest in buying real estate.

  6. Documents for the company if you invest in starting a business.

  7. Permission for the children if the second parent is not included in the application.

  8. Affidavits if your criminal record history is less than perfect.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best citizenship by investment?

    That depends on your goals.

    If you seek to obtain a passport as quickly as possible, your best option is Vanuatu, which may grant citizenship in under 2 months.

    The cheapest options would be Caribbean countries such as Dominica or St Lucia, where you only have to invest $100,000 to get citizenship.

    The strongest passport with many visa-free travel opportunities is Maltese, which allows free entry into 185 countries, including the Schengen Area.

  • What is the cheapest citizenship by investment?

    Currently, the cheapest citizenship by investment is offered by the Caribbean countries: in Dominica, St Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda, you can get citizenship for only $100,000. It’s fast, too: a second passport is generally issued in 2–6 months.

  • Which is the fastest citizenship by investment program?

    The Caribbean countries and Vanuatu generally grant citizenship pretty fast. Generally, it takes no more than 6 months. In Vanuatu, it can even take under 2 months.

  • What are instant citizenship countries?

    Instant citizenship countries are countries where you can get citizenship directly after making an investment without living in a country or obtaining a residence permit first.

    Currently, citizenship by investment programs are in place in several Caribbean countries, Vanuatu and Türkiye (Turkey).

    There is also a common misconception that Malta grants instant citizenship by investment, but this is not the case. By stating your intention to make a direct investment, you obtain only a Maltese residence permit, with an opportunity to apply for citizenship by naturalisation in 1–3 years.

  • What is the fastest way to get EU citizenship?

    The fastest way to obtain an EU passport is to get Malta citizenship for exceptional services. If you promise to invest €690,000+, you can obtain a residence permit and then apply for citizenship by naturalisation in 1–3 years.

  • How can you get citizenship in an EU country?

    The most popular way to get EU citizenship is by marriage or naturalisation.

    The rules depend on the country, but even in the case of marriage, they will generally want you to live in a country for at least a couple of years and prove that you have integrated into society.

    On average, getting citizenship in the EU takes 5­–7 years. The fastest way would probably be obtaining Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment: it can take as little as one year.