Cheapest Citizenship by Investment Programs for Americans

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    Cheapest Citizenship by Investment Programs for Americans

    Citizenship by investment, also known as economic citizenship, provides a path to legal residency and passport ownership of other countries by investing in their real estate markets or government funds. With a second passport in hand, individuals gain visa-free travel to over 100 countries on average.

    For Americans looking to diversify their citizenship options at an affordable price, there are a few programs that stand out as being among the most cost effective.

    In this post, we’ll explore the details of the 5 cheapest citizenship by investment programs available that can lead to obtaining citizenship in another country while retaining your US citizenship as well.

    Let’s dive in and take a deeper look at each program.

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    1. Montenegro citizenship by investment

    The Montenegro Economic Citizenship Program is currently one of the most affordable citizenship by investment options on the market starting at just $274,000.

    Launched in January 2019, the Montenegro program requires investors to either purchase approved real estate for a minimum of $274,000 or invest $274,000 in an approved Montenegrin government fund.

    Real estate investments can include newly built properties in highly desirable areas along the Adriatic coastline like Budva, Sveti Stefan, Kotor or Podgorica. Alternatively, investing in government bonds has no geographic restrictions.

    A key benefit is that citizenship applicants are not required to reside in or even visit Montenegro after making their qualifying investment. Citizenship is typically granted within 6-12 months of application.

    The Montenegro passport allows visa-free travel to over 120 countries including Europe’s Schengen area and the UK. It’s a valuable second passport for Americans that provides easy international travel access for a very low minimum investment amount.

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    2. Moldova Citizenship by Investment Program

    At $100,000, Moldova’s citizenship by investment program has the lowest minimum investment threshold of any available options. Launched in January 2018, it remains one of the most affordable routes to a second passport worldwide.

    As with Montenegro, investors have real estate or government fund investment options to qualify. Real estate purchases must be a minimum of $100,000 in government pre-approved developments located throughout Moldova. Alternatively, $100,000 can be deposited into a Moldovan state bank for 5 years.

    The program process is relatively straightforward and once approved, citizenship is normally granted within 6 months. The Moldovan passport allows visa-free entry to over 110 countries globally.

    Despite the bargain price, one downside is Moldova’s geographic location and political standing may limit wider travel opportunities compared to other available passports. Nonetheless, for the cost, it’s hard to overlook as the most inexpensive economic citizenship program out there currently.

    3. St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program

    St. Kitts and Nevis ranks as the longest running citizenship by investment program, having been established over 30 years ago in 1984. It remains one of the more popular options, especially for Americans.

    The minimum investment threshold is $150,000 for a single applicant or $195,000 for applications including a spouse and/or children under 18. Qualifying investments can be made through government approved real estate purchases or business ventures located on the tropical Caribbean islands.

    In exchange, citizens gain visa-free access to over 150 destinations globally including key travel hubs like the UK, Schengen states, Russia and South Korea.

    Application processing is generally very efficient, often completed within 3-6 months. Applicants are not required to relocate or even visit St. Kitts & Nevis after obtaining citizenship either.

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    The program does come at a slightly higher cost than Montenegro or Moldova yet still remains fairly affordable relative to other options available. With decades of experience, it’s arguably a safer bet if budget allows for the small premium paid.

    4. Cyprus Investment Program

    Cyprus launched its citizenship by investment initiative in 2013, aiming to attract high-net-worth individuals to the Mediterranean island country. To qualify requires a minimum €300,000 investment in Cypriot real estate, businesses or government bonds.

    Properties sought by applicants often include modern luxury apartments and villas across destinations like Limassol, Nicosia, Paphos and Ayia Napa. Real estate values in Cyprus tend to be higher on average compared to the previous programs discussed.

    A key benefit however is that citizenship in Cyprus grants visa-free access to over 170 countries including China and Russia, attributes its perceived value. Processing is reported to take 6-8 months on average once complete applications are submitted.

    While a higher investment outlay is required compared to Montenegro, Moldova or St. Kitts & Nevis, the extensive travel mobility offered by a Cypriot passport makes it worthwhile for those able to meet the higher threshold amount.

    5. Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program

    Much like neighboring St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda has longstanding experience in its citizenship by investment program initially launched in 2013.

    To qualify, an investment of either $100,000 in the Sustainable Growth Fund or $400,000-$1.5 million in government approved real estate is mandated. Properties sought after are generally beachfront homes and villas located throughout Antigua and Barbuda.

    The Antigua passport provides visa-free access to over 140 countries, on par with programs discussed prior. Processing time averages 3-6 months once applications are complete. There is no obligation to permanently reside in the nations after citizenship approval either.

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    At $100,000, it matches Moldova as the most affordable program requiring an investment in a designated government fund. Though limited to fund option only versus real estate choice flexibility through. The higher $400,000 real estate threshold puts it above programs like Montenegro and St Kitts & Nevis as well on investment costs.

    Citizenship by Investment – Making an Informed Decision

    When considering economic citizenship, it’s important to do your research and thoughtfully evaluate each program’s suitability based on individual circumstances and long term objectives. Key factors to examine include:

    ✅ Minimum investment cost – As outlined, programs range from $100,000 – $400,000+ so budgets play a major role.

    ✅ Visa-free travel access – Compare passport power and travel destinations accessible without visas which impacts value and utility.

    ✅ Residency requirements – Some programs like Dominica mandate 45 days annual stays for 5 years while others have none.

    ✅ Due diligence process – Reputation for efficiency, transparency and certainty of approval timelines differ.

    ✅ Property or fund investment options – Flexibility and risk preferences impact if real estate or government bonds are better fit.

    ✅ Country politics, economy, stability – Geographic region, relations with US and long term risk factors to consider.

    ✅ Language, culture, climate – Fit to lifestyle, interests if relocation unlikely but visits planned.

    ✅ Weigh these key considerations thoroughly and consult experienced legal and financial advisors as needed before committing significant funds.

    Economic citizenship, when obtained through the most judicious of programs, can provide enormous future benefits and flexibility for globally mobile individuals and families. Do your homework to make the optimal choice.

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