A tram in Portugal, one of the most popular countries for investment visas

Check out the best Investor Visa Countries in 2024. Investment visas (often called Golden visas) are becoming increasingly popular. These programs grant you residency or citizenship of a country in return for an investment or donation to their economy. So, if you invest in the local economy, then you could be eligible for full rights to live and work in that country. It is a fast track to residency, citizenship, and a passport.

Many countries offer these programs. However, programs vary widely in the quality of the offer and quality of delivery.

The pick of CBI and RBI programs

To summarise, here is a small selection of popular and well-managed investment visa programs for you to consider.

Type  Country Min. Investment Processing 
RBI Portugal Golden Visa EUR 350,000 4 months
RBISpain Golden VisaEUR 500,0003 months
CBI Malta EUR 1,000,000 15 months
RBIMauritiusUSD 50,0001 month
CBI Cyprus EUR 2,000,000 3 months
RBIIreland Investor VisaEUR 1,000,0004 months
RBI United Kingdom GBP 2,000,000 2 months
CBI Antigua And Barbuda USD 100,000 3 months
CBI Saint Kitts And Nevis USD 150,000 4 months
RBI Cyprus EUR 300,000 3 months

Citizenship by Investment (CBI)

Citizenship of multiple countries was once seen as the preserve of the rich and the famous. Today, more and more people from all walks of life recognize the benefit of dual citizenship or triple citizenship. Check out our blog on Dual Citizenship here to understand all the benefits.

There are a limited amount of programs that offer direct citizenship. Significantly, these programs provide full citizenship and a passport as a direct result of the investment. There are no qualifying residency periods before applying for citizenship and a passport. Countries that offer genuine Citizenship by Investment programs can be categorized as follows:

Leading Citizenship by investment opportunities

There are many Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs that are worth exploring. You can see the highlights of each of these programs below to compare. Click on each program to get their full details.

Malta Citizenship by investment information
Citizenship by investment Turkey information
Montenegro citizenship by investment information
St Lucia Citizenship by investment information
St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment information
Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by investment information
Dominica citizenship by investment
Grenada citizenship by investment

How to choose the best citizenship by investment program

There are many reasons to take advantage of multiple nationalities. As a result, you need to decide the benefits of the citizenship and passport your investment program provides. Some ways to compare the power of a passport can include:

  • How many countries offer visa-free travel from your new country of origin?
  • Do you have visa-free access to the countries and markets you need to access?
  • Can you use your new citizenship to increase the reach of your business and access new markets?
  • What are the tax implications (both positive and negative) of your new citizenship?
  • Can your children inherit your citizenship?
  • Can extended family members apply for second or third citizenship after you have received yours?
  • How politically stable is your new country?
  • Does your new country allow you to hold multiple citizenships and passports?
  • How is your new country viewed abroad? You’ll be traveling as a citizen.

Have a read of the blog Passport Ranking: the most powerful passport in the world. This blog has information on the power of passports and how to rank passports.

Residency by Investment (RBI)

Residency by Investment schemes are much more common. These schemes offer investors access to temporary residency or permanent residency for an investment. If the residency is temporary, it will convert to permanent residency after a time. In most countries, permanent residency offers a pathway to citizenship and a passport after a qualification period. The citizenship qualification period varies by country.

Leading Residency by investment opportunities

Information about the Portugal Golden Visa programme
Spain Golden Visa Information
Information about the Irish immigration investor programme
UK Tier 1 Investor Visa information
USA Immigrant investor Visa EB5 information

Available investment opportunities

Residency by Investment and Citizenship by Investment programs come in many flavors. The country’s government is trying to boost investments in the economy. Moreover, it follows that they will target those areas of the economy that they feel will have the most benefits. Above all, be careful with the fine print. Some programs require payment into a government program, and this is non-refundable. You will not recover your money, which can be considered a direct purchase of residency or citizenship rather than an investment. Popular options available for investment programs are:

  • Residential property for your family home
  • Residential property as an investment (to lease or let)
  • Commercial property
  • Investment in a company in which you have a significant interest
  • Shares on the local stock market
  • Government bonds
  • Fixed-term cash deposits with a local bank
  • Cash deposits into a local bank

You need to assess the risk of the investment and the sector. Your risk appetite, your sector knowledge, and the quality of the investment advice on offer should all be factored into your decision. For example, consider investing in a startup, a fixed-term deposit, and buying a home for you and your family. These investments all have a very different range of outcomes. The pros and cons of each investment visa program and investment sector must be assessed before deciding. Additionally, there may be restrictions on where, geographically, in the country, you can invest to be eligible for your investment visa.

Investment levels for your investment visa

How much you have to invest will define which programs you can invest in. But, there is also the consideration of how much of your investment you can expect to recover. A payment of around USD100,000 (like the Residency by Investment programs of Vanuatu and St Lucia) may look cheap. At first, an investment of USD 1,000,000 may look expensive. But, if the investment returns 5% a year and leads to quality citizenship and passport, then you may consider that a bargain. For example, an investment in real estate will vary in its possible returns and risk profile even across a single city. The best CBI and RBI programs allow you to get a return on your investment and a powerful passport.

Time to qualify and time to process the visa.

There are three separate time frames you need to be aware of.

1) How long will it take to process your application?

Governments administer investor visa programs. However, not all bureaucracies are created equal. Consequently, be sure that the projected investor visa processing time meets your expectations.

2) What are the periods and renewals for your investment visa residency?

How long does your investment grant temporary residency? Once that is served, how many times can it be renewed? How long is the period to qualify for permanent residency? After how long can you use your visa status to be eligible for citizenship and a passport through naturalization? In conclusion, you need to understand all these time frames clearly.

3) How much time do you need to be resident in your country for the investment visa to be valid?

Some RBI and CBI visa programs have residency requirements. Several are very strict. For instance, you need to live in your new country for the majority of the visa life to qualify for permanent residency or citizenship. In comparison, others are very relaxed, with as little as a week per year required to qualify.

Cost of the investment visa scheme

All investor visa schemes have a processing fee. This fee varies enormously. Some fees are per application; others are per person included on the application, with additional charges for each family member. In summary, check carefully to understand the full amount you’ll have to pay. Also, budget for paying a trusted local partner. At first, getting good quality advice may seem expensive. In this case, good advice will help you choose the correct Residency by Investment or Citizenship by Investment program. It can also help to secure the visa as quickly as possible. That advice can save you a fortune in the long run.

Beware!!! Scammer alert

The internet is full of people offering a range of options. Above all, ensure you use a trusted partner to assist you in accessing a legitimate government-approved program. The cost of a dishonest advisor could be catastrophic. In particular, terms like banking passports, diplomatic passports, camouflage passports, or black market passports should set off serious alarm bells. For this reason, do your research and go into any transaction with your eyes wide open.

Your next steps for your investment visa

Ensuring you and your family have choices is one of the best things you can do. Above all, the world can change quickly, and having access to a second or third passport may give you critical options. Residency by Investment and Citizenship by Investment programs offer more and more people a pathway to multiple passports.

In the final analysis, now is the time to act. Specifically, there is no guarantee that these programs will remain available. There is some pressure to restrict some of these programs, and your best opportunity may be right now.


What is an Investor Visa?

An investor visa, often known as a Golden Visa, grants residency or citizenship in a country in return for an investment or donation to the economy. This visa is a fast track to residency, citizenship, and potentially a passport, depending on the country’s regulations.

Which Countries Offer the Best Investor Visa Programs?

Many countries offer attractive investor visa programs, each with different investment requirements and benefits. Notable examples include Portugal, Spain, Malta, Mauritius, Cyprus, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

What Are the Differences Between Citizenship by Investment (CBI) and Residency by Investment (RBI) Programs?

CBI programs offer direct citizenship and a passport as a result of the investment, with no residency period required. RBI programs grant temporary or permanent residency, often with a pathway to citizenship after fulfilling specific residency requirements.

How Do I Choose the Best Citizenship by Investment Program?

When choosing a CBI program, consider factors like visa-free travel access, business opportunities, tax implications, inheritance of citizenship, political stability of the country, dual citizenship policies, and international perception of the new country.

What Types of Investments Qualify for Investor Visas?

Eligible investments for investor visas can include residential or commercial property, company investments, shares in local stock markets, government bonds, fixed-term cash deposits with local banks, and other forms of direct investment into the country’s economy. The nature and risk of the investment should align with your financial goals and risk appetite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.