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CBI: Citizenship by Investment (Golden Passport)
4 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

There is a lot of interest lately in something called Citizenship by Investment (CBI), sometimes also called a Golden Passport. By making significant investments into the economy of countries that offer this type of scheme, you can gain the freedom to work, travel, study, and live in that particular country.

There are many nations that offer CBI schemes, but few provide the perfect combination of fast citizenship, high-ranking passports, and low investment criteria. In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about this way of getting citizenship in different countries.

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What is Citizenship by Investment (CBI)?

Citizenship by Investment programs offer people, and sometimes their families, the privilege of acquiring alternative citizenship, which gives them the freedom to travel to various destinations and to settle in another country to work, live, and study. The goal of a CBI scheme is to attract more wealth and investment to the country.

Programs of this type are sometimes referred to as Golden Passports because they allow applicants to obtain passports from countries that offer more visa-free travel, economic opportunities, and more privileges.

More than 100 countries worldwide have some form of foreign investment migration legislation that allows you to acquire residency or citizenship. Most often, the investment consists of buying real estate, making a substantial donation to cultural institutions, or purchasing government bonds, among others.

Citizenship by Investment requirements

Citizenship requirements and options vary from country to country. In most cases, purchasing a property is the easiest and fastest way to obtain residency or citizenship. Other schemes require a donation or investment in other institutions or one of the government-approved options, such as real estate, government bonds, or a national economic fund.

The documents requested by the governmental institutions must be prepared in accordance with the legislation of the country. Legal expenses, obtaining documents, consulting, etc., are estimated to cost at least 10% of the total investment amount.

Benefits of citizenship by investment for countries and individuals

Citizenship by investment programs offers the opportunity to acquire a new citizenship quickly and legally. Benefits include:

  • Obtain an additional passport

Most investors look for a passport from a country that offers more privileges, such as visa-free travel. The process usually grants residency and/or citizenship to the foreign investor and their direct family members.

  • Opportunity to leave their home country

Gaining citizenship for another country offers an escape from political instability, increasing economic pressures and other problems.

  • Personal security

Many international business people in major countries consider an alternative passport to be the best life insurance money can buy.

  • Investing in the future

The CBI scheme usually includes your spouse and children. There is often no need to give up your current nationality while enjoying the benefits of a second legal passport. This is considered a lifetime investment for you and your family members, giving access to better education and work opportunities for generations to come.

Citizenship by countries of investment

Some of the countries with this type of investment scheme are:


This country’s process offers the strictest due diligence and investigation standards worldwide.


Montenegro's Citizenship by Investment Program offers increased global mobility with a passport that gives visa-free access to 124 destinations.

Saint Lucia

St. Lucia's Citizenship by Investment Program offers a real estate development option and visa-free access to 147 destinations.


Turkey's Citizenship by Investment Program provides citizenship of a country with ties to both Asia and European citizenship.

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda offer one of the most competitive citizenship programs in the Caribbean.

Difference between citizenship by investment (CBI) and residency by investment (RBI)

The first thing to know is the difference between Citizenship by Investment and Residency by Investment.

On the one hand, CBIs allow successful applicants to obtain a second citizenship by investing in a country. RBI programs allow the right of residence to be obtained by making an investment. Unlike CBI programs, there is a large concentration of RBI programs, commonly referred to as golden visas, in the European Union.

However, the fundamental difference between CBI and RBI schemes, is that CBI programs offer investors citizenship without the need to go through a residency period and only within a few months of applying. RBI programs only offer investors residency and the right to live, and sometimes work, in a country. Sometimes, but not always, RBI schemes can eventually lead to citizenship.

How to apply for citizenship by investment

Researching the lifestyle you’re looking for, what you can afford, what type of investment you want to make, is an essential first step.

Although acquiring real estate is the most popular route, the transfer of capital is also becoming popular. Other schemes also include options such as investment in funds, job creation, and donation.

If you are considering making an application, it is advisable to talk to professionals before committing funds or making an investment.

What can I do if I need help from iVisa?

For more information about travel documents or visas, you can contact our customer service team via online chat or email [email protected]. Our experts can assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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