5 Cheapest Citizenship by Investment Programs in Europe

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    5 Cheapest Citizenship by Investment Programs in Europe

    Citizenship by investment, also known as economic citizenship, provides a way for high-net-worth individuals and their families to obtain citizenship or permanent residence in another country in exchange for a qualifying investment.

    Several European nations offer citizenship by investment programs that provide passport options for those seeking additional citizenships.

    In this post, we will explore the 5 cheapest citizenship by investment programs currently available in Europe in 2023. We’ll compare key criteria like minimum investment amounts, due diligence requirements, passport strength, and more to help you determine the best affordable citizenship by investment option for your needs and budget.

    Let’s get started!

    Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program

    The Montenegro citizenship by investment program has emerged as one of the most popular and affordable options in Europe. The minimum investment required is only €350,000, making it the lowest priced program on this list.

    To qualify for Montenegrin citizenship, you must make a non-refundable qualifying investment into one of the following:

    • Government bonds with a minimum purchase price of €350,000 and a 3-year holding period
    • Real estate purchase of €250,000 plus costs
    • Investment fund purchase of €250,000
    • Combination of the above totaling €350,000

    The application and due diligence process takes around 6-8 months to complete. Thorough background checks are performed to ensure only upstanding individuals are granted citizenship. Once approved, a Montenegro citizenship is granted for life and passports allow visa-free travel to over 110 countries.

    Citizenship also provides the right to live and work freely in Montenegro and other European nations as an EU candidate country. Future EU membership could further boost the value of this passport over time.

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    Albania Citizenship by Investment Program

    Next up is the Albania citizenship by investment program, which has a minimum investment requirement of only €280,000. This makes it the second most affordable option on our list.

    To qualify for Albanian citizenship, you must invest in one of the following qualifying projects:

    • Purchase of government bonds for €280,000 with a 5-year holding period
    • Purchase of real estate for €280,000
    • Investment in approved development projects totaling €280,000

    Due diligence for the Albanian program takes around 6 months. Once approved, citizenship provides visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to over 110 countries worldwide. As with Montenegro, Albania is also an EU candidate country pursuing future EU membership.

    Citizenship offers the right to live and work freely in Albania as well as other benefits like family unification rights. Overall, for the low cost involved, the Albanian citizenship by investment program provides good value and passport strength.

    North Macedonia Citizenship by Investment Program

    North Macedonia’s citizenship by investment program has a minimum investment amount of €350,000, tying it with Montenegro as the third most affordable citizenship option in Europe.

    To qualify for North Macedonian citizenship, you must invest in one of these approved investment options:

    • Government bonds with a 3-year holding period for €350,000
    • Real estate purchase for €250,000 plus costs
    • Investment in approved development projects for €250,000
    • Combination to equal €350,000

    The application and vetting process generally takes 6-8 months. North Macedonia citizenship provides visa-free access to over 105 countries.

    As an EU candidate country, North Macedonian citizenship may expand its travel benefits further in the future. Residence and employment rights within North Macedonia and other European nations are also included. Overall, it offers strong value for the €350,000 price point.

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    Moldova Citizenship by Investment Program

    Next up is Moldova’s program, which requires a minimum investment of €100,000 – making it the 4th most affordable option. The qualifying investments for Moldovan citizenship include:

    • Purchase of government bonds with a 5-year holding period at €100,000
    • Real estate purchase of €250,000 including costs
    • Investment in approved business projects of €100,000
    • Combination to equal €100,000

    The due diligence process generally takes around 6-8 months. Moldovan citizenship provides visa-free travel to over 90 destinations worldwide.

    While the passport strength isn’t quite as robust as the previous programs discussed, the very low price point of €100,000 makes Moldovan citizenship an attractive affordable option for some budget-conscious investors.

    Bulgaria Citizenship by Investment Program

    Rounding out our list of the 5 cheapest European citizenship by investment programs is Bulgaria with a minimum requirement of €512,000.

    Qualifying investments in Bulgaria include:

    • Donation to the state budget of €512,000
    • Investment in government bonds of €512,000 with 5-year holding period
    • Real estate purchase of €512,000 plus tax

    The application and vetting duration is typically 6-12 months. Bulgarian citizenship provides visa-free access to over 110 countries globally.

    As an EU member state, Bulgarian citizenship offers full rights to live and work throughout the European Union as well. Future family member applications can also be included. For the investment size and benefits, Bulgaria provides good value amongst European programs.

    Conclusion

    In summary, the five most affordable citizenship by investment programs currently available in Europe are:

    1. Montenegro – €350,000
    2. Albania – €280,000
    3. North Macedonia – €350,000
    4. Moldova – €100,000
    5. Bulgaria – €512,000
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    Each program was analyzed based on minimum investment outlay, qualifying investment options, due diligence time frame, passport strength and travel benefits provided.

    The top considerations for most investors will likely be investment size, passport power ranking, processing duration, and any future potential upside. Based on these criteria, Montenegro, Albania and North Macedonia emerged as most compelling overall.

    However, Moldova also stands out as the most budget-friendly entry point into European citizenship at €100,000 minimum. Bulgaria provides full EU citizenship rights but for a higher €512,000 investment outlay.

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