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Two Types of Citizenship by Investment (CBI)

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Unlike golden visas, Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs are pretty straightforward:

In exchange for your cash or investment, you get a citizenship and a passport.

(So there's no need to be a permanent resident, or stay in the country for a number of years first.)

Two Types of Citizenship by Investment (CBI)

The most popular CBI programs are likely those offered by countries in the Carribean, such as St. Kitts and Nevis 🇰🇳, Antigua and Barbuda 🇦🇬, Grenada 🇬🇩, and more.

Their popularity can likely be contributed to the fact that:

  • They are (relatively) affordable for a citizenship, starting from USD 100,000–200,000, and
  • They come with a passport with good mobility (e.g. ability to enter EU countries 🇪🇺 visa-free).

Generally speaking, there are 2 types of Citizenship by Investment programs: cash-based or investment-based, but they are all usually labelled the same as CBI regardless.

1. Cash-Based CBI

CBI programs that are cash-based means that you pay for the citizenship, and the money cannot be retrieved back.

2. Investment-Based CBI

CBI programs that are investment-based means that you invest to get the citizenship, and you can retrieve the money back (with returns or minus losses, if any) after a number of years.

In some Caribbean countries like the three mentioned above, you can invest in eligible local hotel or resort properties and be a shareholder to obtain both the citizenship as well as some form of dividends to your investment. Other investment type in a CBI program may involve:

  • A sum of deposit in local banks
  • Shares in a local company or the local stock market
  • Government bonds
  • Initial capital into a startup
  • and more

In Europe, examples of countries that offer Citizenship by Investment programs are Malta 🇲🇹, Montenegro 🇲🇪, and North Macedonia 🇲🇰. Their price tags are usually higher, starting from from around EUR 400,000 up to the millions.

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