A growing number of countries are allowing individuals to buy citizenship though a citizenship through investment programme.
While some countries ask excessive amounts – such as Austria which asks for an investment up to $4 million – other countries provide a far more affordable, fast-tracked route to a second passport.
Below is a list of the seven cheapest countries where citizenship is for sale.
As the least expensive of the Caribbean countries, you can become a citizen of Dominica by investment a minimum of $100,000 in the country – the form of investment can include buying a property.
There is no residency requirement and the country allows dual citizenship.
A travel document from Dominica gets you visa-free travel to only 91 countries, making it the 41st most valuable travel document.
St. Kitts and Nevis
For a non-refundable contribution of $250,000 to the local sugar industry, or a minimum investment of $400,000 on a property is all it takes to become a citizen of this Caribbean island.
You never need to even visit the country or take a citizenship test – after paying the money or for a property, you’re a new passport holder and are good to go.
The St. Kitts passport will get you visa-free travel to 132 countries, with Brazil being recently added to the list, ranking it as the 24th most valuable passport.
Unfortunately, in November of 2014, Canada announced it would no longer allow St. Kitts citizens to enter without a visa.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda announced its citizenship investment programme in 2013, with similar parameters to the St. Kitts and Nevis model – a $400,000 property investment or $200,000 charity donation.
Also like St. Kitts, the passport gives you visa-free travel to 132 countries and is ranked 24th.
As of April 14, 2015, a second passport from Antigua gives you visa-free travel to Canada, where a passport from St. Kitts does not.
Grenada reopened its citizenship by investment in 2014, having closed it from 2001 through 2013.
The current version requires an investment of $250,000 in an approved real estate project.
A second passport from Grenada allows access to 110 countries, including the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Panama, and most British Commonwealth nations – it does not give visa-free travel to Canada or the US.
For those with a spare two days and £150,000, Bulgaria is a viable option for a second citizenship.
Unlike other European schemes allowing foreigners to buy property in exchange for a residency visa or citizenship after 5 years, for a Bulgarian passport all you need to do is transfer the funds to a Bulgarian bank and then visit the country to ‘claim’ Bulgarian rights.
Since Bulgarian rights equate to EU rights , this passport is a ticket to live and work freely anywhere in the EU. It could be used as an interim passport to eventually get a British or German citizenship.
A passport from Bulgaria is rated 18th in the world and gives the holder visa-free travel to 149 countries, including the United States (you can spend 90 days within a 6 month period in the US without a visa).
This European country offers a fast track passport, but for a larger €650,000 sum.
Like Bulgaria, Maltese citizenship gives you the right to live and work anywhere in the European Union and to travel visa-free to the United States. Malta and the US have a Visa Waiver program, which operates a bit differently from other systems.
A Malta passport also gives you access to Switzerland and visa-free travel to 166 countries making it the world’s 8th most valuable travel document.
However, the program is capped at 1,800 passports and there’s a requirement to “reside” in Malta for a reasonable amount of time over the year.
Cyprus is the third smallest nation in the European Union and made it on to the world stage by seizing wealthy foreigners cash to bail out their banks during their 2013 recession.
In order to bring back international deposits, and ensure these investors wouldn’t face a similar fate, Cyprus began offering passports and citizenship with investments of €2.5 million in real estate.
A second passport holder will receive the same rights and protections of any Cyprus citizen.