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Citizenship by Investment History from 1982 to Present Day

In contemporary citizenship by investment history, CIPs worldwide remain a popular immigration option. Be it the European Union or any Caribbean states, their citizenship by investment programs may open the door to success and stability for you. What is more, it won’t take you long to relocate. CIP choices are numerous at present. Saint Kitts and Nevis maintains the oldest investment scheme for economic investors, while Vanuatu offers potential golden passport holders to purchase the country’s CBI for bitcoins. The industry is loaded with stumbling blocks and hidden pitfalls for a novice investor. To avoid them, you are welcome to study the brief citizenship by investment history below. The resulting knowledge you’ll gain will promote understanding between you and immigration agents. Besides, studying international citizenship by investment history is a good start for you to avoid immigration scams along the way to your second citizenship.

In most countries, citizenship by investment issues are governed by state-imposed laws and regulations. The latter are normally adopted, administered, and applied by national executive, judicial, and legislative authorities.

A Brief History of Citizenship by Investment

It is only after national governments have adopted the necessary legislation and set up structures to monitor investment activities that a certain jurisdiction gets free to issue its passports to foreigners. Oftentimes, courts are involved. It is their responsibility to revoke issued passports where evidence to prove perjury or sham marriages to speed up naturalization procedures is received, They also deal with any unlawful acts committed in this regard.

The above applies to citizenship by investment or economic citizenship initiatives successfully implemented by a number of states. 

Citizenship by investment program implementation is challenging since it is highly likely potential applicants may end up in scammers’ hands. Poor public awareness of immigration procedures comes handy to them to successfully produce illicit wealth and earn illegal profits.

It is certainly possible to protect yourself from such scammers with their fraudulent offers. You should be very careful and remain on the lookout when selecting the best citizenship by investment program. It makes sense to get some basic knowledge of the corresponding legislative acts (or at least to learn whether the latter are available) and study international citizenship by investment history.

With the above knowledge, it will be easier for you to avoid immigration scam and find common language with your immigration agent. The latter is vital, as none of the economic citizenship initiatives available at present allow direct communication between investors and host country officials. All procedures shall be put under care of your immigration agent. With that in mind, studying a brief overview of citizenship by investment history is a sound idea.


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The Tonga Protected Person scheme is initiated. Tonga is a small country in the Pacific, and the above Tonga Protected Person scheme was the country’s CIP at the time. The implemented Tonga Protected Person scheme was targeted at Hong Kong investors. Potential Tonga Protected Person program applicants were eager to leave Hong Kong, as the country was politically unstable in the early 1980s.

Initially, applications for the Tonga Protected Person immigration scheme were processed by the country’s Honorary Consulate in Hong Kong. Later on, the Tonga Protected Person applicant scope was extended to include customers from China, Taiwan, Southern Africa, and the Middle East. Depending on a particular immigration agent, the prices for the Tonga Protected Person program ranged from USD 8,000 to USD 50,000.


The Saint Kitts and Nevis CIP is launched. As of today, it is the oldest among the competition. The Saint Kitts and Nevis CIP was initiated a year after Saint Kitts and Nevis gained independence from the United Kingdom. With the program actually dormant within the next 20 years, only several hundred golden passports were issued by the national authorities.

In the previous decade, the Saint Kitts CBI program witnessed a surge in demand amidst the global financial crisis. Thus far, around 2000 passports were issued to foreign investors in Saint Kitts and Nevis thereunder.


The BECIP (Belize Economic Citizenship Investment Program) is launched to issue a Belize passport to successful applicants. The latter were required to invest at least USD 40,000 in the country’s economy to get their brand-new Belize passport. In the 1990s, the BECIP with an opportunity to obtain a Belize passport remained the cheapest CIP in the region.


Marshall Islands come with their own CBI program targeting businessmen from Asia. The latter were prepared to invest upwards of USD 50,000 in the Pacific country’s economy. The price rose to USD 250,000 later on. However, the dropping demand made the authorities lower the investment threshold to USD 33,000.


A CBI initiative is launched in Ireland. Since 1988 till 1998, Ireland issued a total of 150 passports to its citizenship by investment program applicants, who invested at least GBP 1,000,000 in the national economy. The original purpose of the Ireland CIP was to promote job creation and maintenance.

The Irish CIP is canceled following a major political uproar with the Irish Foreign Minister and Saudi plus Pakistani investors involved. While Ireland is not yet ready to resume its CBI initiative, it has launched the national residency by investment program. To apply for a residence permit in Ireland, a future applicant will invest at least EUR 400,000.


Samoa starts its own CIP, with the entry threshold of USD 30,000. The Pacific jurisdiction issued passports to successful CIP applicants through the Samoan Honorary Consulate in Hong Kong. The program offered a standard package to potential investors, who were about to obtain Samoan citizenship in exchange for donations.


A citizenship by investment program is initiated in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Following its successful launch, the scheme was discontinued later on due to a number of inauspicious developments, with failed real estate projects and loss of visa-free entry to Canada among them. A decade later, however, the Dominica CIP is on the rise again, promoting the country’s economic development.

It is namely Dominica that issues the most affordable CBI to real estate investors and singles donating to the country’s economy. To keep their newly issued Caribbean passport, a Dominica CIP applicant shall invest upwards of USD 200,000 in the country’s economy, with a holding period of 3 years. The donation threshold set to acquire citizenship by investment in Dominica makes up USD 100,000.


Grenada launches its own Grenada economic citizenship program. Faced with major criticism on the part of its political opposition, the government still initiates the immigration scheme known as Grenada Honorary Citizenship Program. Thereunder, foreign investors might obtain their Grenada citizenship for as much as USD 40,000. The prices have seen a major rise since that time.

The Pacific nation of Vanuatu comes with an official CIP. To launch the program, the country’s government had to amend its legislation by allowing dual citizenship.

Tonga and Republic of the Marshall Islands close their SIPs. With the Tonga Protected Person immigration scheme, the above closure is attributed to a series of scandals. Even now, some countries and regions, with Hong Kong among them, do not recognize the passports issued under the Tonga Protected Person program as valid travel documents. They deny entry to any holders thereof. Political storms caused the Marshall Islands government to cancel their CIP as well.


Having worked for 1 year, the first Vanuatu CIP closes following fraud reports in the media. Investors were issued as many as 300 Vanuatu passports within the said period.

Samoa, an island nation and Vanuatu close neighbor, was also forced to shut down their CIP due to fraud reports. With the golden passports issued thereunder, the jurisdiction successfully raised a total of USD 24,200,000.


Nauru starts issuing golden passports in exchange for investment in the country’s economy. The investment threshold of USD 15,000 was quite affordable. The scheme was promoted by an exclusive Hong Kong based immigration agent. The term to issue a Nauru passport was record short. To receive it, an applicant had to make the required investment, have a medical check, and a 10-minute interview.

Ireland abolishes its CIP amidst a political controversy. After the political uproar involving the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister as well as Pakistani and Saudi investors, the local government abolished its CIP that had been on the market for around a decade. Ireland is not yet ready to restart its citizenship by investment program. However, the country has already launched a residency by investment scheme. To get their residency by investment in Ireland, a foreign applicant will pay upwards of EUR 400,000.


The Grenada Economic Citizenship Program closes following the collapse of the country’s major offshore bank and the increasing pressure from Canada and the US. The latter resulted from DD standard concerns. 


Faced with pressures from Canada, Australia, and the US, Nauru discontinues its ECP. The above countries claimed unreliable investors from Russia and China had used Nauru passports to travel the world. The US threatened to impose sanctions based on the said corrupt practices.

Belize shuts down its Belize Economic Citizenship Investment Program that made it possible for applicants to obtain their Belize passport. Faced with the US pressures, the scheme was discontinued in March 2002. Citing security concerns in the wake of what happened on September 9, 2001, the American government demanded that not a single Belize passport be issued to foreigners with a shady past. The Belize government and the way the latter managed their CIP to issue Belize passports drew criticism on the part of some other governments.

Ways to get your Belize passport and obtain citizenship in Belize are still available though no longer Belize CIP-related. With the country being a CAPRICOM member, a Belize passport is actually a CAPRICOM passport valid for visiting any member states.


Cyprus introduces its own CIP. With Cyprus being the first EU member to offer the above CIP, it was a major milestone for the global investment immigration industry,

Coming with much more extensive travel and multiple other benefits as contrasted with its Caribbean competitors, Cyprus pegged much higher CBI prices. Even with the above obstacle in mind, the jurisdiction successfully attracted multiple HNWIs ready to invest in the country’s economy. The resulting budget income amounted to EUR 6,000,000,000.


The Grenada CIP is revived. It was rebranded as the Individual Investor Program that is still functional and quite successful. With the second iteration came high due diligence standards and more competitive prices. The latter are practically in line with those of the Caribbean neighboring jurisdictions with the like programs.

The neighboring Caribbean jurisdiction of Antigua initiates its own citizenship by investment program on the basis of the Saint Kitts practices. Being the only Caribbean CBI scheme to offer visa-free access to Canada, the Antigua CIP rapidly took a significant regional and global market share. The Antiguans later lost the above visa-free travel privilege, and the local government tried to obtain a new visa-free deal with Canada. The Antigua and Barbuda CBI is deemed the most affordable option for large families. 


Having received the formal approval from the European Commission, Malta launches its Malta Individual Investor Programme, or MIIP for short.  The EC official endorsement is what differs it from the previously initiated Cyprus CIP. With its 4-tier due diligence and extended visa-free foreign travel opportunities, the MIIP soon gained popularity with HNWI investors.

Vanuatu re-launches its CIP as the Capital Investment Immigration Plan, or CllP for short. Later on, several analogous schemes were launched and canceled or substituted for close analogues down the road. The Vanuatu Economic Rehabilitation Program, or VERP for short, may serve as a good example.

As of September 2022, Vanuatu boasts 2 investment schemes. They are Vanuatu Contribution Program, or VCP, and Vanuatu Development Support Program, a.k.a. VDSP. The former is available to Mainland China applicants, while everybody else is free to apply for the latter. Potential investors are welcome to pay for their Vanuatu citizenship in USD, AUD, NZD, JPY, or cryptocurrency.


The 5th Caribbean market player to initiate a CBI, Saint Lucia employs a well-established Caribbean CBI template to start its own CIP.  At the same time, the Saint Lucia CIP with the government bond investment it offers remains one-of-a-kind. 

The Turkey Citizenship by Investment program is initiated. The original investment threshold is set at USD 1,000,000, with the price subsequently decreased to USD 250,000 in 2018. This naturally spurred the demand. In 2022, the price goes up again amounting to USD 400,000.


Having introduced the required legislative amendments, the Moldovan government announces its CIP launch.  Yet the program actually fails to start. It only opens in summer 2018.


The Jordan CIP launches. It boasts the investment threshold of USD 1,000,000, subsequently cut to USD 750,000. Applicants are offered to obtain their Jordan citizenship by investment in a business incorporation or purchase. Alternatively, they may deposit funds with the Central Bank of Jordan or purchase securities, including, inter alia, government bonds. With no visa-free Schengen access, the investment threshold appears to be rather high. The Jordan CIP however, defeats the skepticism it is met with and takes on hundreds of applicants within the first HY after being launched.

The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program opens, with the investment threshold of EUR 250,000. Potential applicants are offered to contribute another EUR 100,000 to the state as a donation.


Egypt comes with its own CIP boasting an investment threshold of USD 250,000. Applicants are welcome to purchase real estate in the country, place funds on deposits with local banks, invest in businesses, or make donations.

Following a much-publicized high-profile scandal, Cyprus stops accepting applications for its CBI program. It turns out, the high-ranking officials involved were eager to stretch the rules to accept unsuitable candidates.

Malta closes the applications under its MIIP scheme, with reaching the initial 1,800 application cap supposedly being the reason therefor. The Maltese government introduced the MCNESDI (Maltese Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment) scheme to substitute the previous one. With the new rules in place, applicants for the Malta CBI and passports will now have to wait 12 to 36 months to receive them.


A CIP opens in North Macedonia. The Balkan jurisdiction first introduced the opportunity for investors to get their Macedonian passports as a part of its pilot program initiated in 2016 provided they invest EUR 400,000 in the country’s economy.  In 2021, the national government assisted by several private companies introduced a more formalized CIP version, providing for potential applicants to donate EUR 200,000 to become eligible. A year after the CIP launch, the country’s government has not approved any applications yet, which raises serious concerns as to the program’s future.


Bulgaria announces partial suspension of its hybrid CBI scheme. The latter obliged future investors to first receive the country’s residence permit to be eligible for a golden passport in Bulgaria later on. The program provisions securing an opportunity to apply for an expedited passport were canceled.

Choosing and obtaining best CBI programs – use expert assistance to make your life easier

Historically, various CBI programs come and go regularly all around the globe. Investors should hurry up to benefit from great immigration offers while the latter are still on the market. The International Wealth industry pros constantly watch the international CIP market to cherry pick the best offers. 

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You are welcome to contact the International Wealth experts and consultants directly to promptly receive the detailed up-to-date CBI information and news. For that purpose, please, use our online chat on your right or simply call us at any of the contact phones above.

In modern citizenship by investment history, what countries raised investment under national CBI programs?

These countries are Antigua, Belize, Vanuatu, Grenada, Dominica, Egypt, Jordan, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Moldova, Nauru, Samoa, North Macedonia, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, the Union of the Comoros, Turkey, and Montenegro.

What countries offer citizenship by investment to foreign investors today?

You can find a new home in Antigua, Grenada, Dominica, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Malta, and Vanuatu.

What is the optimal way to select the best CBI program available?

With positive market dynamics and relatively large market player and CBI program numbers globally, expert advice would come rather handy. Assisted by the International Wealth investment immigration pros, you are sure to be well-handled. With their extensive experience and vast global partner network, the International Wealth consultants offer expert advice and assistance with obtaining residence permits and second citizenship, international banking, and tax planning to HNWIs.

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