Want To Escape From America? 12 Countries Where You Can Buy Citizenship (And A Second Passport) (2022)

After the 2016 presidential election, so many people were dreaming about moving out of the US that Canada’s immigration website crashed. Now, the idea of becoming an expat is getting hot again. According to arecent YouGov survey, 31% of Americans say they are interested in bolting if their candidate isn’t elected in the upcoming November elections.Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson recently made headlines when they became honorary Greek citizens and received second passports. And with the coronavirus pandemic restricting travel for US citizens and the power of the US passport on the decline, it’s no surprise that many Americans are investigating how they can buy a second passport, whether it’s to seek shelter in another country or just to be able to travel more freely.

READ MORE: “Leave America: How To Get A Second Passport (For Free) And Live Abroad”

Some countries like Barbados and Estonia are luring remote workers with the promise of extended residency programs, which allow you to live and work there for a specified amount of time. But when it comes to obtaining an actual passport, it’s typically more complicated than you’d expect. It can often take up to five years of living in a place to become a resident. (If Hanks and Wilson had taken the normal route to Greek citizenship, they would have had to invest several hundred thousand dollars in real estate and live in the country for seven years.) Many countries also require you to renounce your US citizenship.

Here’s the good news: There are also countries around the world that welcome Americans—for a price—with citizen by investment programs that grant residency and a second passport.And thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, a handful of Caribbean islands are making it even easier (and cheaper) than ever to obtain a second passport.

“Demand for these programs is accelerating, just as the supply has grown globally,” says Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO ofHenley & Partners, a company that helps people obtain citizenship in other countries. “Increasingly, nations and wealthy individuals see investment migration as more than a competitive advantage. Today, it is viewed as an absolute requirement in a volatile world.”

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If the idea of moving abroad is truly calling your name, here are some of the best places where you can obtain citizenship and a few of the top-line details about what it will take to secure that coveted second passport.

Places to Get Caribbean Citizenship

St. Kitts & Nevis

This pair of lush islands has one of the strongest passports in the Caribbean, allowing visa-free travel to more than 100 countries, including Italy and the United Kingdom.Now St. Kitts & Nevisis offering a 23% discount on citizenship through the end of 2020. With a $150,000 contribution to the country’s “Sustainable Growth Fund” and a minimum real estate investment of $200,000, a family of four can obtain passports. The contribution is usually $195,000.

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St. Lucia

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The island of St. Lucia started offering residency to foreigners in 2015, and according to Nestor Alfred, CEO of the St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program, about 700 people have obtained passports since then. In May, the price to obtain citizenship was cut in half thanks to new “Covid-19 Relief” bonds: Through the end of 2020, it’ll cost $250,000 for an individual and $300,000 for a family of four. With aSt. Luciapassport, you can get visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 146 global destinations.

Antigua and Barbuda

Another twin-island nation, Antigua and Barbuda welcomes foreigners who want to live the Caribbean dream and is making it less expensive to get a passport here. A $100,000 donation to the country’s development fund, plus a real estate investment, will secure passports for a family of four, and the government recently made it cheaper to add more children. A passport here will get you visa-free access to 151 destinations.

Dominica

The tiny Caribbean island of Dominica also welcomes foreigners to its beautiful shores and is considered to be one of the best countries for citizenship by investment, since citizenship is extended to your spouse, dependent children and dependent parents or grandparents and can also be passed on to future generations. Applicants need to either make a contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund or invest in luxury and sustainable hotels and resorts.

Grenada

With a passport from Grenada, you can get visa-free access to many countries, including China. There aretwo different ways to obtain citizenship, including a $150,000 contribution to the country'sNational Transformation Fund via the Grenadian Citizenship-by-Investment Program or by buying approved real estatewith a minimum value of $350,000

Places to Get Citizenship in Europe

Portugal

Portugal has become a hot spot for people looking to quit their jobs and move abroad. In order to get a Portugal passport, you need to participate in the Golden Visa program, which has several ways to qualify, including making a donation to Portuguese art and culture, investing in a business, starting a business or by buying real estate. Fun fact: To become a citizen, you’ll need to take a Portuguese history test.

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Malta

Malta’s Individual Investor Program is one of the most popular citizenship schemes. To get Maltese citizenship it’ll cost you approximately $1.1 million through a combination of donations and real estate holdings. In return, you have the right to live and work in Malta or throughout the EU. You’ll also get visa-free access to 183 place around the world.

Cyprus

TheCyprusInvestment Program doesn’t come cheap: You’ll need to spend about $2.5 million between donations and real estate investments, but in exchange you’ll be able to travel visa-free to 174 destinations worldwide.

Austria

Austriahas one of the world’s strongest passports, giving its holders visa-free access to 187 destinations worldwide, plus the right to live in all EU member countries. But it’s not cheap: You’ll need to make a minimum investment of about $3.5 million.

Places to get Citizenship Around the World

New Zealand

If it was good enough for the Lord of the Rings, it’s good enough for you. New Zealand has made headlines with wealthy expats like Paypal co-founderPeter Thiel buying their way to citizenship. But it doesn’t come cheap. There are two different ways to get citizenship in New Zealand by investment, starting with an investment of at least $2 million over a four-year period.

Turkey

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With a real estate investment of $250,000, you can buy your way into Turkey’s Citizenship-by-Investment Program, which secures a Turkish passport that will give you citizenship in this gorgeous country plus visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 111 destinations around the globe.

Vanuatu

Who wouldn’t want to live in the South Pacific? The archipelago of Vanuatu—about 1,000 miles east of Australia—has a Development Support Program that requires a non-refundable donation to the islands of $180,000 for a family of four. In return, you’ll get a passport that will secure visa-free travel to 116 countries, plus the opportunity to call this island paradise your new home.

Editor’s Note 7/29/20: The news about Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson receiving Greek passports was added to this story after publication. Details about Turkish citizenship were also updated.

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FAQs

Which countries allow you to buy citizenship? ›

Which countries give citizenship by investment? Many countries around the world give CBI, including but not limited to, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Greece, Vanuatu, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, and so forth.

Which countries can US citizens have dual citizenship with? ›

American dual citizenship is possible in certain countries such as Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, the UK, and Dominica. The list may be subject to change depending on the changes in policy.

Which country is best for second citizenship? ›

Several countries are offering second passports to people who are willing and can meet up the requirements, however, these are the top on the list:
  1. Malta. Malta is one of the best countries offering citizenship by investment programs. ...
  2. Dominica. ...
  3. Nevis And St Kitts. ...
  4. Grenada.
7 Jun 2022

What is the easiest country for an American to get dual citizenship? ›

Different countries have different rules, but the easiest countries to get dual citizenship are states like Turkey, Vanuatu, Grenada, and Dominica. They offer citizenship by investment that can be obtained in 2—8 months.

Which country gives citizenship easily? ›

Italian citizenship by descent is one of the easiest to obtain. You may be eligible for citizenship if you have Italian heritage. To acquire citizenship, you must have an ancestor who was a citizen of Italy on March 17th, 1861 or was born in the country after that.

What country is easiest to get citizenship? ›

Easy countries to get Citizenship by Birthplace
  • Canada.
  • Fiji.
  • Jamaica.
  • Mexico.
  • Panama.
  • St Kitts and Nevis.
  • The United States of America (USA)
  • Uruguay.
1 Feb 2022

Which European country is the easiest to get citizenship? ›

We believe Portugal is, overall, the easiest country to get citizenship of the EU. That's due to the following factors: Short residency period of just five years before applying for citizenship. One of the world's most powerful passports.

Will I lose U.S. citizenship if I become Canadian? ›

Does the United States allow dual citizenship? Yes, practically speaking. The U.S. government does not require naturalized U.S. citizens to relinquish citizenship in their country of origin.

Can I have 3 citizenships in USA? ›

How many citizenships can you have in the US? You are allowed to have dual citizenship or more in the US. The American government does not require you to renounce any citizenship if you obtain dual citizenship, and it even allows you to have more than just dual citizenship and become a multiple citizenship holder.

Which country has cheapest citizenship? ›

Here are the 10 cheapest programs with investment requirements between $19,000 and $250,000.
  • St. ...
  • Grenada golden passport: $150,000 minimum investment required. ...
  • St. ...
  • North Macedonia golden passport: €200,000 minimum investment required. ...
  • Portugal golden visa: €250,000 minimum donation required.
20 Aug 2022

Which is the most powerful passport to have? ›

Japanese citizens now hold the most passport power, as they are able to enter 193 nations visa free, or with visa-on-arrival. South Korea and Singapore hold joint second place, with both countries' passports enabling their citizens to access 192 nations without restrictions.

Can I use 2 different passports for entering and leaving a country? ›

Yes. And people can even have more than two! It's usually advantageous to have multiple passports (if your home country allows it).

Which country is the most difficult to get citizenship? ›

Brunei Darussalem
  • 17 hardest countries to get citizenship. #1. Qatar. #2. Vatican City. #3. Liechtenstein. #4. Bhutan. #5. Saudi Arabia. #6. Kuwait. #7. Switzerland. #8. China. #9. North Korea. #10. Japan. #11. United Arab Emirates. #12. San Marino. #13. Austria. #14. Monaco. #15. ...
  • Conclusion: The hardest countries to get citizenship.

Which passport is easiest to get? ›

Easiest Passport Through Naturalization: Dominica

The process can take as little as two months, but the average is more around three. If you're looking for the quickest way to get a second citizenship, go with Dominica. Its program has been around since 1993 and is part of their constitution.

What is the cheapest citizenship by investment? ›

The Caribbean citizenship by investment are currently the cheapest CBI for individual investors and families. You can see the true costs of CBI by donation which is more affordable than real estate for many people. All in all, for one person Dominica and St Lucia are the cheapest. For families Antigua is the cheapest.

Which country citizenship is best? ›

Top 5 Countries to be a Citizen (2021)
  • The United Kingdom – best across the board.
  • Australia – best for education.
  • Finland – the happiest country on earth.
  • The United States – best for business.
  • Switzerland – a great place to live.

Which country has easiest work permit? ›

The top 10 easiest countries to get a work visa are the following:
  • Australia.
  • New Zealand.
  • Germany.
  • Netherlands.
  • South Korea.
  • Canada.
  • Ireland.
  • The Czech Republic.

How can I get citizenship for free? ›

Fee Waivers for Citizenship Application (Form N-400)
  1. 1 The applicant, their spouse, or the head of their household receives a means-tested benefit.
  2. 2 The applicant's household income is at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
  3. 3 The applicant is currently experiencing a financial hardship.
18 Oct 2021

What is the easiest country to move to from the US? ›

Mexico. Mexico is one of the easiest and most affordable countries for Americans to move to. It's also the most popular, with over 1.5 million Americans calling Mexico home.

How can I move to another country permanently? ›

How to Move Abroad?
  1. You can apply for a work visa.
  2. You can apply for an exchange program.
  3. You can move for your studies (short-term).
  4. You can apply for family reunification (if you have family members in another country).
  5. You can apply for an investor visa (if this is offered from your destination country)

How can I move to Europe without a job? ›

The best way to move to Europe without a job is by getting a student visa and studying there. Whether it's for your Bachelor's or Master's or even just a language school, this is the most common and easiest entrance into a lot of countries in Europe.

Which European country gives visa easily? ›

Iceland. With a rejection rate of just 12% if a visa is applied from the New Delhi consulate, chances are that you will get an Iceland tourist visa easily. This is also because since the country receives less visa applications, this country is also a good option to get a visa to the Schengen area.

Which country gives citizenship by marriage? ›

Switzerland. Switzerland is a landlocked and mountainous country located in south-central Europe. It is an advanced society that allows citizenship by marriage.

Which European countries can you buy citizenship? ›

One of the easiest countries in the European Union to get citizenship by investment is Portugal. The country's residency program allows citizenship after five years. The benefit of the program is that you don't need to move to Portugal. Visiting the country for seven days on average per year will suffice.

Which country allows triple citizenship? ›

There are two countries in the European Union where this is possible: Malta and Cyprus; as well as the five Caribbean countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, and St. Lucia. Additionally the countries of Vanuatu, Montenegro, Turkey and Jordan offer citizenship by investment programs.

How long can a U.S. citizen stay outside the US? ›

If you plan to stay outside of the United States for more than one year but less than two years, you will need a re-entry permit for readmission.

Can you have 3 passports? ›

The answer is yes! You may have three or even six nationalities. But legislation in some countries does not allow dual citizenship: you may lose the citizenship of your home country. For example, Austria obliges foreigners to give up their previous passports.

Can you lose U.S. citizenship? ›

You will no longer be an American citizen if you voluntarily give up (renounce) your U.S. citizenship. You might lose your U.S. citizenship in specific cases, including if you: Run for public office in a foreign country (under certain conditions) Enter military service in a foreign country (under certain conditions)

Will I lose my U.S. citizenship if I become a citizen of another country? ›

A U.S. citizen may naturalize in a foreign state without any risk to his or her U.S. citizenship. However, persons who acquire a foreign nationality after age 18 by applying for it may relinquish their U.S. nationality if they wish to do so.

How many US passports can you have? ›

US citizens can legally possess two passports. Yes, you can have the normal 10-year passport plus a second, limited validity passport, normally valid for 4 years.

Which country is the cheapest to get second passport? ›

TOP 7 cheapest passports to buy
  • Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Dominica.
  • Saint Lucia.
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis.
  • Grenada.
  • Portugal.
  • Montenegro.
9 Jun 2022

Can you buy a passport legally? ›

If you have money to spare, you can legally purchase a second passport from one of the nearly 100 countries offering residence- and citizenship-by-investment programs.

Can I buy Canadian citizenship? ›

How much does Canadian citizenship by investment cost? You can apply for citizenship by investment with an investment of CAD1,200,000 (≈ $945,000) in Quebec. This amount will be returned to you after 5 years, but no interest will be earned on it.

Which country has most visa-free? ›

An Afghan passport has once again been labelled by the index as the least powerful passport in the world, with its nationals only able to visit 26 destinations visa-free.
...
2022 Henley Passport Index.
2022 rankPassport issuing countryVisa-free destinations
1Japan193
2Singapore192
South Korea192
3Germany190
170 more rows

What's the number 1 passport in the world? ›

Henley Passport Index 2022: World's Best Travel Document Is Japan's Passport - Bloomberg.

Which passport is stronger US or UK? ›

The UK passport was one place ahead of the US at 186 countries, while EU states dominated much of the top rankings, data from Henley & Partners' 2022 Henley Passport Index showed.

Which passport do you use if you have dual citizenship? ›

Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship.

How do I get a second passport from another country? ›

The only way to have a passport from two different countries is through dual citizenship. Dual citizenship is when a person is a legal citizen of two countries. The most common ways to get dual citizenship is through ancestry, marriage, and naturalization.

How many countries allow dual citizenship? ›

How many citizenships Can a US citizen have? There is no limit, you can hold as many as you can get. Which countries allow dual citizenship with us? There are 64 countries that allow it.

Can you buy British citizenship? ›

With investments of £5,000,000, permanent residence can be obtained in three years and citizenship in another year. The investor can return the investment after receiving permanent residence. What is required to obtain British citizenship?

Can I buy American citizenship? ›

US Citizenship by investment

EB-5 and E2 are not a citizenship by investment program, However; after getting a Green Card via the EB-5 visa route, investors can apply for USA citizenship after five years of Permanent Residency. This process is known as Naturalization.

Can I buy canada citizenship? ›

Canadian government provides wealthy foreigners with the opportunity to obtain citizenship by investing in the country's economy. The investment program allows potential investors to receive permanent residency through the purchase of government bonds.

Where is the cheapest place to buy citizenship? ›

TOP 7 cheapest passports to buy
  • Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Dominica.
  • Saint Lucia.
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis.
  • Grenada.
  • Portugal.
  • Montenegro.
9 Jun 2022

What is the fastest way to get British citizenship? ›

You can usually apply for ILR after you've lived in the UK for 5 years. To apply for citizenship with ILR you must usually have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting it.

How much money do you need to get UK citizenship? ›

You usually pay £1,330 to apply for adult citizenship or £1,012 for children. If you're applying for citizenship as an adult you'll also have to pay: £50 to do the Life in the UK Test.

How much do I need to invest to get British citizenship? ›

UK Citizenship by Investment

You can apply to settle in the UK after 2 years if you invest £10 million. You can apply to settle in the UK after 3 years if you invest £5 million. You can apply to settle in the UK after 5 years if you invest £2 million.

What is the fastest way to get US citizenship? ›

As a general rule, you will need to maintain your green card for five years to be eligible to apply for citizenship. However, there are ways to expedite that process, such as serving in the US military or being married to a US citizen.

Can I get green card if I buy house in USA? ›

“Will I qualify to receive a green card because I bought a house in the United States?” No. You can't get a green card simply by buying a house in the U.S. In fact, owning real estate doesn't ordinarily give you any visa or other immigration benefits.

How much does it cost to buy citizenship in US? ›

The standard minimum investment amount has increased to $1.8 million (from $1 million) to account for inflation. The minimum investment in a TEA has increased to $900,000 (from $500,000) to account for inflation.

What is the fastest way to get Canadian citizenship? ›

Apply for Canadian citizenship
  1. be a permanent resident.
  2. have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years (1,095 days)
  3. have filed their taxes.
  4. pass a citizenship test.
  5. prove their language skills in English or French.
31 Mar 2022

Can I buy citizenship in Australia? ›

Purchasing citizenship is a legal and government approved method of obtaining citizenship in Australia. In Australia achieving Permanent Residency status on specific visa classes is the pathway to citizenship by investment.

How much money is needed to immigrate to Canada? ›

How much money you'll need
Number of family membersFunds required (in Canadian dollars)
1$13,310
2$16,570
3$20,371
4$24,733
4 more rows
15 Jun 2022

Which European country is the easiest to get citizenship? ›

We believe Portugal is, overall, the easiest country to get citizenship of the EU. That's due to the following factors: Short residency period of just five years before applying for citizenship. One of the world's most powerful passports.

Which country citizenship is best? ›

Top 5 Countries to be a Citizen (2021)
  • The United Kingdom – best across the board.
  • Australia – best for education.
  • Finland – the happiest country on earth.
  • The United States – best for business.
  • Switzerland – a great place to live.

What is the best second passport for US citizens? ›

According to the experts, the best countries for citizen by investment include Malta, Montenegro (which has a program that ends in December 2022) and five Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and St. Lucia. Greece is another popular place to have a second passport.

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