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Today we will go into detail about the most economical—and legal—options available to obtain a second passport by investing or donating.

As we often say, generally speaking, the route to getting a second passport involves either good fortune, love, money or time.

That is to say, if you want to have more than one citizenship you will need to: have at your disposal enough money and be prepared to donate or invest it; be fortunate with regards to your ancestors or with where you were born; find a partner native of another country, or lastly, spend enough time in another country.

As you can imagine from the title of this article, we are going to discuss the option of obtaining citizenship by donating or investing. And as most of us do not have a surplus of funds, we will focus on the most affordable ways of securing, legally, an internationally recognised second citizenship.

Avoid the easiest route – about black market fraud

It is no accident that we stress that we are referring to an internationally recognised nationality obtained legally. Because with passports, as with many other things, all over the world people do lots of foolish things.

Lots of criminals smell a deal and take advantage of gullible people who are desperate to escape their country at any cost.

They might receive a passport, but it is falsified or issued illegally by officials in the respective countries by way of additional private service. Be very cautious when you hear promises that you can get a Paraguayan passport for $3,900 or a diplomatic passport for $10,000, even when the websites that offer them at first glance appear to be legit.

This does not mean that anyone who offers a second passport is a fraudster. In truth there are official programs that allow you to buy a second citizenship in exchange for a donation or investment, but this will not be privately, but within the country.

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to distinguish the scams from what is authentic, especially because governments which propose citizenship for a fee act with utmost discretion. It is also very often difficult to find an official government website which presents the different options.

In addition, and related to the previous point, citizenship purchase schemes or however you wish to call them—acquisition of citizenship by donating or investing—are often ephemeral and can be shut down and reopened suddenly without much warning.

The following information is current at the time of the publication of this article. There is much more information on the topic in the Citizenship Encyclopedia.

The six most interesting nationalities and how to obtain them

In general, you should avoid any offer of a second passport for less than $50,000 or, at the very least, subject it to a careful analysis.

Perhaps in the past schemes at such a price existed, but they are no longer available, whatever they may promise you.

The direct schemes that are most interesting range between prices of $150,000 and $300,000.

For very good citizenships, such as those from countries in the European Union with a large freedom of movement, it is necessary to invest a million or more. Moreover, in the EU they require a minimum time of residence in the country (in the case of Malta you must have been a resident for a year and donate €650,000).

A sum of between $150,000 and $300,000 seems a lot of money. And it is, but you have to consider the position of the purchasers.

They could be citizens of the US, who owing to their international tax liability must pay in the form of tax a similar sum to a State they do not live in. For them the investment can yield fruit in very little time, like for lots of Russian entrepreneurs, who because of their nationality are subject to certain pressures owing to the increasingly volatile situation in many countries. To this we can add the Arab oil sheikhs and the Chinese super-rich, whose countries of origin afford them very little freedom of movement. For them purchasing a second passport is a matter of pocket change and offers them a much higher quality of life.

For other people different considerations may play a role. There are those who already have enough money to people to make these investments and do not wish to waste their time satisfying the period of time necessary for residence permit and obtaining naturalisation, a process which ties you to the chosen country during a large part of the year.

A second (or third, or fourth etc.) citizenship is a future investment, for you and your family. An investment that opens doors and gives you greater security and independence.

Now we leave you with the six most economical citizenships, in no particular order. In the case that you are interested in acquiring one of them, we can put you in contact with a trusted agency that will help you through the process.

1. Saint Lucia: ~ $115,000

Saint Lucia is located in the east of the Caribbean Sea and is considered one of the most politically and economically stable countries in the region. English and French are its official languages.

Its passport allows visa-free travel to 146 countries, including the United Kingdom and the countries of the European Union.

The scheme offers different ways of obtaining citizenship.

The first consists of donating $100,000, an amount which increases to $140,000 if you want to include a spouse and to $150,000 to include, in addition, up to two children.

Another option consists of investing a minimum of $250,000 in bonds or $3.5m in an entrepreneurial project approved by the government.

And lastly, you can also invest a minimum of $300,000 in property.

The process to obtain the visa takes between three and four months. Syrian or Iranian citizens do not have access to Saint Lucia’s program of acquiring citizenship through investment or donation.

2. Dominica: ~ $110,000

Dominica, a country with French and English as co-official languages, offers one of the most interesting options. It is a small island in the Caribbean (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) which offers magnificent nature and with just 75,000 residents, is among the most tranquil countries in the world.

A donation of $100,000 invested into tourism or infrastructure projects opens the door to directly access dual nationality. With added taxes a single applicant can expect costs of $110,000. For families the donation increases to $150,000, which increases according to the number of children ($25,000 per child).

The process to obtain citizenship generally takes between two to four months.

As member of the Commonwealth, you are granted special rights in Great Britain. Dominica offers freedom of movement in 144 countries across the world; you do not need a visa to enter the European Union, China or the United Kingdom.

In contrast to the other countries in this list, Dominica does not exclude the nationals of any country from their citizenship acquisition programs.

3. Antigua and Barbuda: ~ $140,000

This is another Caribbean country which offers a citizenship program through investment or donation, and has English among its official languages.

Antigua and Barbuda offer similar benefits to Dominica, as it is also a member of the Commonwealth. Its passport lets you travel visa-free to 151 countries, including Russia, the United Kingdom and EU member states.

In this case, for a donation of $100,000 you can obtain citizenship, but when taxes are included, you will have to pay close to $140,000. This could be an especially interesting option for families as the donation of $100,000 includes families of up to four.

4. Vanuatu: ~ $135,000

The Republic of Vanuatu is the only country in our list not located in the Caribbean. It is an archipelago situated in the Pacific, to the east of Australia. English and French are spoken as well as its own native language. Vanuatu is a member of the Commonwealth its economy is rooted in agriculture.

If you have been a regular reader of Librestado for some time this will be familiar to you because we already discussed the possibility of acquiring a passport in Vanuatu by investing in bitcoin.

Today you can acquire a passport in Vanuatu by donating $130,000. For you and your spouse, it would cost $150,000. With children the cost rises by $15,000 per child (from the third it is $10,000 more).

In addition, the interested party must be able to prove possession of property valuing at least $250,000.

The program only offers the option of donating, that is, in contrast to other options we present here, there is no option to gain citizenship through investment of any type.

This program is also prohibited to certain citizens, namely nationals of North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Syria, unless they have been living outside of the country for at least the last five years.

The waiting time from submitting the application (which usually takes a month to complete) until receiving the approval letter is generally speaking two months, after which time you have to wait a further month before receiving a certificate of citizenship.

5. Saint Kitts and Nevis: ~ $165,000

The most well-known program to obtain a dual citizenship is that of the Caribbean country Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a country composed of two islands with the same name, which are relatively independent among themselves. Nevis has always tried to become independent from Saint Kitts, which benefits from the offshore services almost exclusively offered in Nevis.

Ever since 1984 the island country has been offering their Citizenship Program through investment or donation, thus becoming an example for many other countries.

In Saint Kitts and Nevis you can very quickly obtain citizenship through a donation of $150,000. With taxes included, the final amount rises to $165,000. The donation of $150,000 covers a family of up to four people.

The other option to obtain citizenship is through an investment of $200,000 in government-approved property. Included in this category are residential properties on the island, luxury villas and condominiums.

The decision is made easier when considering the visa-free travel to 130 countries. That said, the US and Canada withdrew the option of traveling there without a visa. Partly because Saint Kitts is a very popular destination for their expats, also partly because there are lots of falsified passports which discredit this program, which otherwise continues to be very successful.

This scheme is not open to Afghans, Iranians or North Koreans. The reason: an Iranian national managed to travel to the US with a Saint Kitts passport without US authorities being notified, meaning that they did realise he was Iranian.

6. Granada: ~ $165,000

Granada consists of one large island and a few small ones, and has English as an official language. The country boasts good stability and a good standard of living, and very low levels of criminality. Its passport allows visa-free travel to 144 countries, among them the EU member states, the UK, Russia and China.

To obtain a passport in Granada, you have the option of donating $150,000. The amount increases to $200,000 for families of up a maximum of three dependants. From then on you will pay $25,000 for each additional member.

The other option is to make an investment. Investment in property must be a minimum of $350,000, it must be a property approved by the government and outside the tourism sector.

It is also possible to invest in property for tourist use. In this case minimum investment is of $200,000 dollars, but it must be an investment of between two people and both parties must invest at least $220,000.

The most interesting citizenship purchasing schemes in the future

It is impossible to know for sure how much longer these options here described will remain available. It is also unknown if in the future there will be other countries that will offer citizenship at a more economical price.

Not long ago it was still possible to obtain citizenship in the Comoros for only $50,000, in the same way that there used to be several other programs to obtain passports in the EU that have ceased to exist.

In general, the schemes have proved a success for the local economy in many countries. However, owing to pressure from powerful players such as the US and the EU, many programs have been suspended or will be suspended in the future.

In any case, it is hoped that some countries continue to allow you to obtain citizenship for a sum of money.

With the next economic crisis and a large-scale global recession on the near horizon, indebted countries will try new business models, and this could be one of them. Meanwhile, demand will increase from many people whose native passports mean they must suffer various reprisals or cannot travel with freedom. Soon this will lead to a situation where the most useful citizenships could be completely different to those mentioned here.

It is difficult to predict whether the prices will rise or fall, if both the offer and the demand increase. Perhaps good passports will become more expensive and poor ones, cheaper.

Now if you want to investigate in depth the topic of second nationalities and you are considering obtaining one, above all purchase our Citizenship Encyclopedia or consider hiring our consultancy service which would be a good investment.

Otherwise, if you have all the information you want, you can contact us so that we can put you in touch with our trusted agency that will help you with whichever citizenship scheme you have selected.

Because your life is yours!