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What is Citizenship by Investment (CBI)?

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What is citizenship by investment or CBI? How is it different from residency by investment? What do you get from citizenship vs residency?

What is the benefit of buying a passport? Can you vote? Can you use social services? Can you work?

We answer all of these questions and more.

Citizenship by investment means that you invest or donate a certain amount of money to the country, and in return, they grant you their citizenship which gives you the right to have their passport. This is very different than residency by investment programs.
In the case of residency, you only get the right to live in that country, but you don’t get their passport immediately. You will need to live in that country (or just hold the residency) for a certain number of years before they grant you a passport through naturalization.

Lots of countries around the world will let you come and live there if you invest a certain amount of funds in that country, including the United States of America and Canada. In the US this program is known as EB-5 visa.

Way fewer countries will offer their citizenship (passport) in return for investment.
The list is rather small. At the moment (2021) this is the list of countries that offer citizenship by investment programs:
-Antigua and Barbuda
-Saint Kitts and Nevis
-Saint Lucia
-Dominica
-Grenada
-Vanuatu
-Montenegro
-Malta
-Turkey
-North Macedonia (introducing CBI program soon)

Unofficially these countries offer citizenship by investment:
-Hungary
-Ukraine
-Georgia
-Romania
-Potentially a few more

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We are Offshore Citizen team. We help people become global: get a second passport, set up a second residency, pay less taxes, do banking abroad, etc.

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Author: Michael Rosmer

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13 COMMENTS

  1. An informative video. I am glad that you state the facts in plain language: for "investement", read "donation". Another thing that sometimes disturbs me about CBI (CBD!) programmes is that it is not always clear whether it is really a full citizenship, or "just" a passport. For example, I am not convinced that these citizenships can always be passed on to children born after the citizenship was aquired, that the renewal process after five or ten years doesn't come with exorbitant fees, that they actually give you the right to live and work in the country, or to vote – should you so desire. You touch upon some of these issues but don't go into detail. I wonder if perhaps PBD ("passport by donation") would be more appropriate than "CBI" in some cases.

  2. Hello Micheal….talk of being "born in the wrong country" and suffering with limited travel options.. can a Nigerian passport holder be eligible for Hungary unofficial CBI program?

  3. Hello Micheal….talk of being born in the wrong country with limited options.. can a Nigerian passport holder be eligible for Hungary unofficial program? And Romania unofficial program?

  4. Great video.
    I have a short unrelated question: Are dividends only derived from profits generated by a company or lets say a person capitalises a company but it turns out that that company did not trade commercially so the person takes out the funds that was used to initially capitalise it, would that withdrawal also be considered a dividend?
    The reason I ask as in a certain company withholding tax is charged on dividends so I would prefer to structure things whereby the money going in to a company would be considered to be capitalisation and therefore could be withdrawn without withholding tax if that was workable.

  5. I think the stigma behind CBI is that countries are catering to foreigners more than their own citizens. In some countries they pay less tax than the locals and they do not care about your background history. There were recent scandals from Malta and Cyprus where folks living there for years could not get citizenship but wealthy individuals could get it within months.

  6. First 🙂 Ok, personally I'm dual national Canadian/UK living in the UK and have no desire to give up one citizenship to take another and am focusing on where to move for tax residence. My business partner on the other hand needs to get out of his country and get citizenship in a more stable area of the world lets just say. So this "pay to win" (sry, gamer also) option is something we will be seriously looking at. The thing is it would be best if we can find a situation where we can be based in the same country relative to our respective situations. Great videos, only just found your channel and am going through them all.

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