How to Obtain British Commonwealth Passport: Countries and Advantages

What are the ways to benefit from holding a British Commonwealth passport? Is it possible to obtain Commonwealth Citizenship by investment in a snap, with no extra effort on your part? Answers to these and some other hot-spot issues are awaiting you below. Done reading, yet still at a loss? The International Wealth weathered industry pros are here to save your bacon.

British Commonwealth Passport

British Commonwealth in figures and facts

The Commonwealth of Nations, a.k.a. the British Commonwealth of Nations or simply the Commonwealth is a voluntary union of independent states, with Great Britain itself and the majority of original British dominions, ex-colonies, and protectorates.

In the table and on the map below, you will find the up-to-date list of the Commonwealth member states. Be sure not to confuse it with the Commonwealth of Dominica – the latter is a sovereign state with its own citizenship by investment program:

Member states of the British Commonwealth of Nations are listed below and marked as follows: 

Members of the British Commonwealth of Nations
  • current members dark blue
  • ex-members (Ireland and Zimbabwe) – orange
  • British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies – light blue.
Commonwealth stateDate joinedUN regional classificationUN subregional classificationPopulation
AustraliaNovember 19, 1926OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand25,766,600
Antigua and BarbudaNovember 1, 1981AmericaCaribbean94,195
BahamasJuly 10, 1973AmericaCaribbean402,576
BangladeshApril 18, 1972AsiaSouth Asia165,867,307
BarbadosNovember 30, 1966AmericaCaribbean286,618
BelizeSeptember 21, 1981AmericaCentral America379,636
BotswanaSeptember 30, 1966AfricaSouthern Africa2,377,831
BruneiJanuary 1, 1984AsiaSoutheast Asia439,022
VanuatuJuly 30, 1980OceaniaMelanesia279,953
GabonJune 25, 2022AfricaCentral Africa2,233,272
GuyanaMay 26, 1966AmericaSouth America773,808
GambiaFebruary 18, 1965AfricaWest Africa2,155,958
GhanaMarch 6, 1957AfricaWest Africa29,088,849
GrenadaFebruary 7, 1974AmericaCaribbean107,894
DominicaNovember 3, 1978AmericaCaribbean72,975
ZambiaOctober 24, 1964AfricaEast Africa17,470,471
IndiaAugust 15, 1947AsiaSouth Asia1,353,014,094
CameroonNovember 13, 1995AfricaCentral Africa24,836,674
CanadaNovember 19, 1926AmericaNorth America37,653,350
KenyaDecember 12, 1963AfricaEast Africa49,167,382
CyprusMarch 13, 1961AsiaWestern Asia1,197,667
KiribatiJuly 12, 1979OceaniaMicronesia117,636
LesothoOctober 4, 1966AfricaSouthern Africa2,199,492
MauritiusMarch 12, 1968AfricaEast Africa1,286,240
MalawiJuly 6, 1964AfricaEast Africa18,558,768
MalaysiaAugust 31, 1957AsiaSoutheast Asia31,505,208
MaldivesJuly 9, 1982AsiaSouth Asia515,696
MaltaSeptember 21, 1964EuropeSouthern Europe422,212
MozambiqueNovember 13, 1995AfricaEast Africa29,977,238
NamibiaMarch 21, 1990AfricaSouthern Africa2,600,857
NauruNovember 1, 1968OceaniaMicronesia10,387
NigeriaOctober 1, 1960AfricaWest Africa194,615,054
New ZealandNovember 19, 1926OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand4,609,755
PakistanAugust 14, 1947AsiaSouth Asia229,494,441
Papua New GuineaSeptember 16, 1975OceaniaMelanesia8,034,630
RwandaNovember 29, 2009AfricaEast Africa12,322,920
SamoaAugust 28, 1970OceaniaPolynesia196,954
SeychellesJune 29, 1976AfricaEast Africa98,248
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesOctober 27, 1979AmericaCaribbean109,501
Saint Kitts and NevisSeptember 19, 1983AmericaCaribbean56,632
Saint LuciaFebruary 22, 1979AmericaCaribbean189,000
SingaporeAugust 9, 1966AsiaSoutheast Asia5,889,117
United KingdomNovember 19, 1926EuropeNorthern Europe65,746,853
Solomon IslandsJuly 7, 1978OceaniaMelanesia614,497
Sierra LeoneApril 27, 1961AfricaWest Africa6,818,117
TanzaniaDecember 9, 1961AfricaEast Africa57,790,062
TogoJune 25, 2022AfricaWest Africa8,608,444
TongaJune 4, 1970OceaniaPolynesia107,228
Trinidad and TobagoAugust 31, 1962AmericaCaribbean1,376,801
TuvaluOctober 1, 1978OceaniaPolynesia10,116
UgandaOctober 9, 1962AfricaEast Africa42,288,962
FijiOctober 10, 1970OceaniaMelanesia909,024
Sri LankaFebruary 4, 1948AsiaSouth Asia20,979,811
EswatiniSeptember 6, 1968AfricaSouthern Africa1,336,933
Republic of South AfricaNovember 19, 1926AfricaSouthern Africa56,007,479
JamaicaAugust 6, 1962AmericaCaribbean2,819,888

Commonwealth citizenship comes with the citizenship of the member state. The former is a nice bonus to national citizenship, with a number of extra benefits and rights in certain Commonwealth member states for the holder. 

The important facts about the Commonwealth of Nations for you to clearly understand the nature of the organization and potentially consider obtaining a second passport and citizenship in a member state are listed below:

  • Around ⅓ of the world’s total population reside in the Commonwealth, and they are mostly young people. The picture above gives an idea of the global population share residing in the Commonwealth. Approximately 2.5 billion people (out of 7.9 billion in the world totally) reside in 56 member states of the Commonwealth. Young people under 29 account for 60% of the population therein. About ⅓ of the world’s youth aged 15-29 live in the association. India accounts for about a half of the Commonwealth population and is the most populous Commonwealth country. It is followed by Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh, with Great Britain ranking the fifth populous Commonwealth state.
  • Some Commonwealth members were never a part of the British Empire. Rwanda and Mozambique joined the organization in 2009 and 1995, accordingly. None of them ever was a British colony. The present-day Rwanda used to be a German and Belgian colony in the past. Gabon and Togo were the last to join the organization in June 2022. Both states are ex-French colonies. Some member states left the international club. In 1961, after the apartheid politics had been criticized by the other Commonwealth member states, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from the organisation. The RSA rejoined the Commonwealth in 1994. Following the military coup back in 1999, Pakistan was expelled therefrom, with subsequently rejoining the organization in 2004. Zimbabwe ousted president Robert Mugabe brought in measures for his country to leave the Commonwealth in 2003, with its membership suspended following election fraud reports. The Zimbabwe government applied to rejoin the organization in 2018, and the decision is still pending. In 2016, the Republic of Maldives left the Commonwealth to subsequently rejoin the organization in 2020. As of now, it was the last event of its kind.
  • The King of England is a titular head of state in 15 Commonwealth countries. Most member states are republics. Barbados, where the Queen had been officially removed as the country’s head of state, was the last republic to join the Commonwealth in 2021. Lesotho, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and Tonga have their own monarchs. In Australia and Canada, the King of England remains the titular head of state, although republicanism has been a popular political movement in Australia for years. 
  • Huge territory. With Canada being the second largest country in the world and the organization’s member, the Commonwealth of Nations makes ¼ of the world’s land surface. India and Australia boast equally vast space. The Commonwealth encompasses multiple smaller member states, like Nauru, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu in the Pacific, plus Antigua and Dominica in the Caribbean.
  • Great Britain has long been not the largest Commonwealth economy. The latest IMF data on GDP clearly indicate Great Britain yielded the palm to India as the Commonwealth largest economy.  With a combined GDP of over USD 13 trillion, the Commonwealth consisting of 56 member states boasts an economy twice the size that of Japan (USD 5 trillion), and second only to the US, with its GDP of USD 23 trillion. In 2020, the trade turnover with the other Commonwealth member states accounted for 8.7% of the total British trade that year, with the same trade turnover recorded between Great Britain and Germany.
  • British influence on the Commonwealth never became less after the name change. Shortly after the Commonwealth was created in 1949, the word British was omitted from its name, and loyalty to the British Crown was no longer a requirement for the members. Still, only King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II remained the organization leaders. The office is not hereditary, yet the Prince of Whales (currently King Charles III) is expected to take up the post after his coronation. The organization is managed by its Secretary-General sitting in its London headquarters. Apart from Great Britain, the Commonwealth founding members are Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Pakistan,  the Republic of South Africa, and Sri Lanka. Adopted in 2012, the Commonwealth Charter sets out the values of democracy, gender equality, sustainable development, international peace, and security for its members to follow.
  • Another Commonwealth. Be sure not to confuse the British Commonwealth of Nations with the organization bearing a similar name, i.e., the Commonwealth of Independent States. The latter was established in 1991 to unite several ex-USSR countries.
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Advantages of British Commonwealth passport

Subject to frequent criticism, the Commonwealth is often compared to a post-colonial club with little political influence in the modern world. Its supporters believe the membership benefits by far outweigh the Commonwealth established image, together with all its weaknesses. Advantages of Commonwealth citizenship are most valuable if you are about to move to Great Britain. Here are the key benefits successful applicants for Commonwealth citizenship will enjoy:

  • Long-term residence in Great Britain. Extra formalities may be necessary for certain Commonwealth passport holders to live and work in Great Britain. While all British citizens enjoy an automatic right to abode in the United Kingdom, it may not be such a piece of cake for the rest. The ones with a British passport claiming them to be subjects enjoying permanent residence rights or citizens of the United Kingdom, have it easier. The others, in their turn, shall apply for an entitlement certificate. Where citizens of a certain Commonwealth state do not have this opportunity per se, they may apply for residency by descent or marriage. In the former case, you will have to prove you were born to a British parent, with a confirmation your parent was a citizen of the United Kingdom or a British colony when you were born or adopted, plus the fact the applicant has been a Commonwealth citizen since December, 1982. Only women with Commonwealth citizenship married to a British resident (till January 1, 1983) and holding Commonwealth citizenship (after December 31, 1982) have the right to apply for a residence permit by marriage.
  • British ancestry visa. Some Commonwealth citizens have the right to apply for a UK ancestry visa. A real benefit of this visa type is that it offers an opportunity to stay in Great Britain within 5 years without any extra immigration formalities. After a 5-year stay in Great Britain, a Commonwealth citizen may apply for a UK residence permit (indefinite leave to remain or ILR). Here’s what a Commonwealth citizen shall do to get their UK ancestry visa:
    • apply for a visa from outside the UK
    • be over 17
    • prove their grandmother or grandfather was born in Great Britain or an overseas territory, including, inter alia, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, plus in Ireland or on a UK-registered ship or plane  (before March 31, 1922)
    • have plans to find employment in the UK
    • dispose of enough money to cover their own expenses while in the UK
    • obtain a medical certificate from a licensed hospital or clinic and submit it to the UK authorities to prove you are in good health.
  • Visa-free entry. Certain Commonwealth citizens may enter the UK, work, and study therein for 6 months at max without applying for a visa pre-arrival. It is important that you explore the UK Home Office website for the info as to the Commonwealth state you are coming from before your arrival.
  • No English exam. Some Commonwealth citizens enjoy one more benefit, i.e., they don’t need to take an English exam in the course of immigration. The option is available to citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

British Commonwealth citizenship outside United Kingdom and related benefits

  • Diplomatic assistance. With Commonwealth citizenship, you may seek and access consular assistance from UK embassies and consulates,  as well as diplomatic missions of any other Commonwealth member states in the foreign countries that are not Commonwealth members themselves. This is possible where such third countries have no diplomatic institutions of the state that the person applying for consular assistance is a citizen of.
  • Temporary UK passport. Commonwealth citizens may apply for a British Emergency Passport if they happen to have lost their travel documents or had them stolen, provided the government of their country of citizenship allows it.
  • ID document issued in a different member state. Some Commonwealth member states may issue identity documents to citizens of other Commonwealth member states, if the said citizens are unable to obtain their passports in the state of nationality.
  • Political participation in any other Commonwealth member states. The jurisdictions below allow citizens of other Commonwealth states to participate in politics therein, including, inter alia, voting in elections:
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Gayana
    • Guernsey
    • Gibraltar (for European Parliament elections only)
    • Grenada
    • Dominica
    • Mauritius
    • Isle of Man
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
    • Saint Lucia
    • United Kingdom
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Jamaica
  • Business and innovations. With Commonwealth citizenship, you will enjoy an easier access to markets of the other member states plus multiple benefits for investors, employees, and businessmen in any of the friendly Commonwealth countries. The status comes with a greater freedom when multiplying and preserving your wealth and assets.
  • Traveling, education, and medicine. With immigration benefits the Commonwealth member states grant each other, Commonwealth citizens can freely visit friendly states thereof for vacations or business. They enjoy an opportunity to look for new manufacturing sites, negotiate with their business partners, or study potential sales markets. The above immigration benefits make it easy for them to access educational and medical services and infrastructure in the Commonwealth in general.

Ways to obtain Commonwealth of Nations citizenship

Ways to become a citizen of the Commonwealth are numerous. They include marriage to a Commonwealth citizen,  military service in a host state, proof of being related to a Commonwealth citizen (with applicant’s parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc., among them  – the rules vary for each country), being born in a particular state, and years-long naturalization as a standard option.

Out of those mentioned above, lengthy naturalization is the most common method. For the purposes thereof, you shall stay in the host state for the most of a calendar year, and this shall go on for years. To make your naturalization possible, you will have to become a lawful resident of your would-be new homeland. This can be done if you receive a residence permit based on employment, studies, and/or business launch, among other things.

The residence permit by investment is the easiest to get of them all. In Cyprus, the naturalization period for Golden Visa holders makes up 7 years. For this purpose, the real estate investment amount shall be at least USD 300,000.  You are welcome to try faster options, if you don’t want to wait that long. Similarly to golden visas, immigration to the Commonwealth of Nations is possible for golden passport holders. Below, you will find the list of Commonwealth member states offering the opportunity:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Vanuatu
  • Grenada
  • Dominica
  • Malta
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia

The International Wealth industry experts recommend you pay heed to 2 Caribbean citizenship by investment schemes: the ones in Grenada and Saint Kitts. They come with the best combination of multiple benefits, easy formalities with everything handled online, and low prices.

Commonwealth citizenship by investment in Saint Kitts and Nevis

You are welcome to acquire your Saint Kitts passport remotely in return for donating upwards of USD 150,000 in the country’s economy. Alternatively, you can invest USD 200,000 to USD 400,000 in a development project pre-approved by the government, with a holding period of 7 and 5 years, plus a potential investment return, accordingly. Within the promotion, the applicants are welcome to purchase any residential real estate on the islands till November 2022, provided it costs upwards of USD 400,000. The holding period is 5 years in this case.

It will take you 3 to 6 months to obtain citizenship by investment in Saint Kitts and Nevis. It is always possible to speed things up and halve the above period if you pay extra.  Successful applicants enjoy visa-free entry to the Schengen Area and the United Kingdom. Besides, you will enjoy an opportunity to plan your taxes as an extra bonus.

The laws of Saint Kitts and Nevis do not impose any income taxes on either local or foreign personal income. This is vital for the country’s tax residents who spend the most of their calendar year in Saint Kitts and Nevis. They also do not pay any net wealth, gift, inheritance, or capital gain taxes. Profit repatriation and imported income size face no limitations. Businesses enjoy hefty fiscal benefits, including, inter alia, corporate tax incentives, import duty exemption, and export privileges.

Commonwealth citizenship by investment in Grenada

With Grenada citizenship by investment program implemented in 2013, both individual investors and families enjoy an opportunity to obtain second citizenship in Grenada by donating upwards of USD 150,000 or real estate investment in government pre-approved projects upwards of USD 200,000.

Located below the hurricane belt, the Caribbean jurisdiction is perfectly suited for permanent residence. With its lush greenery, breathtaking landscapes, long beaches, the warm sea, and multiple adventure opportunities, Grenada is a place to come to for positive experiences.

The Grenada golden passport comes with a number of benefits distinguishing it from the competition. It offers visa-free access to China and the right to obtain the E2 investor visa to the US. With the latter in your pocket, you will be able to relocate to the USA with no tax liabilities whatsoever.

Select and obtain Commonwealth citizenship by investment – expert assistance and advice

The benefits you will enjoy as a British Commonwealth passport holder or a citizen of any other Commonwealth state vary depending on your country of origin and relationship or family status. With the comfort and protection it offers, a British Commonwealth passport is the prize worth investing your time, money, and efforts in. Fortunately, it is possible to simplify the acquisition procedures for your Commonwealth citizenship by investment. It is enough to contact the International Wealth industry experts who are always here to land you a hand with any issues you may encounter along the way.

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What states does the Commonwealth of Nations consist of?

They are Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Vanuatu, Gabon, Gaiana, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Dominica, Zambia, India, Cameroon, Canada, Kenya, Cyprus, Kiribati, Lesotho, Mauritius, Malawi, Malaysia, the Maldives, Malta, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, the Seychelles, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Eswatini, RSA, and Jamaica.

What Commonwealth countries offer Commonwealth citizenship by investment to overseas applicants?

You are welcome to apply for your Commonwealth citizenship by investment in Antigua and Barbuda, Vanuatu, Grenada, Dominica, Malta, Saint Kitts and Nevis, plus Saint Lucia.

Whose services can I employ to select and obtain the best Commonwealth citizenship by investment?

With their lengthy practical experience and extensive partner network, the International Wealth weathered experts are ready to offer a hand to our readers and subscribers keen on obtaining Commonwealth citizenship by investment and a British Commonwealth passport. Naturally, you are welcome to pick any other Commonwealth state as your new home state. Experienced and knowledgeable, the International Wealth consultants and lawyers will do their best to help you choose the most efficient investment destination. Our employees will implement an optimal investment immigration strategy. You are welcome to contact and consult the International Wealth experts to learn more.

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