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10 Best Citizenship by Investment Programs Worldwide

In today’s ever-changing climate there are many Citizenship by Investment programs available, each with differing conditions and varying amounts of investment required.  It is essential therefore to be aware of the pros and cons of each program and to understand them, relative to each other.


Citizenship by Investment programs, also known as Golden Visas offer attractive returns, lifestyle opportunities, personal and financial security, potential access to new markets and the benefits of visa-free travel and tax advantages with the global freedoms associated. 


Below, we take a look at the top Citizenship by Investment countries and compare some of their most enticing advantages.


Best Investor Visa Programs in Europe


The European programs listed below offer unique lifestyle opportunities and attractive returns on property investment.  It should be noted that the three EU programs listed are for residency rather than citizenship, though of course citizenship may follow after the required period of residency.


Portugal EU Residency by Investment


One of the most popular EU schemes, Portugal offers residency in just 6-8 months, requiring a real estate purchase with a minimum value of €280,000


Spain EU Residency by Investment


Regarded as one of the best investor visa programs, applicants make a minimum contribution of €500,000 and can secure Spanish (and therefore European) residency in 6 months.


Malta EU Residency by Investment


Widely considered to be one of the best investment visas worldwide, and specifically in the Schengen Zone, investors are able to secure a Maltese (and therefore EU) residency permit within 60 days of approval.  To qualify, real estate purchase must be made with a minimum value of €300,000.


Malta Citizenship by Investment

The renewed Maltese Citizenship Regulations offer the possibility for an individual to apply for a residency permit which can lead to Maltese citizenship after 36 months or by exception 12 months against a higher investment.


Qualifying investments start from €700,000, with several options. Initial contribution of €600,000 receive a three-year residency, after which time citizenship may be applied for, whereas a €750,000 contribution enables citizenship to become eligible after at least one year of residency.


Investors must also decide whether to purchase a property at a minimum real estate value of €700,000 or rent a property at €18,000 minimum per annum. Also, applicants must donate €10,000 to a registered and compliant charitable organisation.


Most Popular Golden Visa Programmes Worldwide


To further inform our list of countries offering Citizenship by Investment programs, we now compare some of the best programs being offered outside of the EU.


Two popular countries for Citizenship by Investment outside of the EU are:




Offering citizenship with a fast processing time of within two months in return for a real estate purchase of a minimum value of $400,000, Turkey’s program ensures its status as one of the more popular Citizenship by Investment schemes.




This beautiful Pacific island nation requires an investment of a minimum of $130,000 and offers citizenship with a processing time of just one-two months, making it a very attractive option for a second passport.


Caribbean Countries Offering Citizenship by Investment


Antigua and Barbuda


Antigua and Barbuda requires a minimum investment of $100,000, making it one of the least expensive programs in the Caribbean and worldwide.  In return it offers citizenship within 8-12 months.


St Lucia


St Lucia, like Antigua & Barbuda, requires a minimum investment of $100,000 and offers a passport in just 8-12 months.




Dominica is the third of the Caribbean countries offering citizenship with a minimum required donation of $100,000.  Citizenship is processed within 8-12 months, making it one of the speediest processing times in the Caribbean.


St Kitts and Nevis


St Kitts and Nevis requires a minimum donation of $150,000, making it slightly more expensive than some of the other Caribbean countries, but it offers a fast-track process for citizenship which can be as speedy as 45 to 60 days.




With a minimum investment of $150,000, applicants can expect to receive their Grenadian passport in 8-12 months.


Acquiring Residency Or Citizenship by Investment in 2022


Investment visas worldwide include varying options ranging from permanent residency to full citizenship and have differing inclusions and requirements.


When choosing the right Citizenship by Investment program for you and your family, we strongly recommend seeking advice from Astons’ team of international experts, since there are several factors to consider:


  • Whether the visa includes spouses, children and other family members
  • The length of time the investment must be maintained
  • Any physical residency or travel requirements
  • The range of investment options offered
  • Which countries are available for visa-free travel
  • Any conditions required in order to maintain dual citizenship or residency
  • Opportunities available to recoup the investment


As an example, the best Citizenship by Investment program for a foreign national seeking a haven due to political instability in their home country may be a non-refundable but low threshold donation.  However, the best option for an investor looking to receive a good level of returns on a rental property may be a very different scheme.


Astons, with our wealth of experience and extensive knowledge, will give you personalised and expert guidance on the best scheme for your individual priorities and requirements.


Comparing the Best Citizenship by Investment Programs


A useful way to gain an initial comparison of the best Citizenship by Investment schemes available worldwide is to visit the Astons website or contact us directly for tailored advice from one of our experienced consultants.


Astons has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of managing Residency and Citizenship by Investment for an extensive range of clients internationally.  We are on hand to guide you through the entire process from start to finish, offering you access to our tax advisers and legal team, ensuring that your permanent residency or second passport application is processed quickly with personalised support at each step of the way. 


Please do contact us for further information about any of the Residency and Citizenship by Investment programs featured here, and for any other guidance or advice you might need.