There is a new system that allows people to hold dual citizenship. This allows applicants to purchase the citizenship of a different country. Many ongoing economic programs allow foreigners a residency permit or to legally purchase citizenship in exchange for a substantial investment.

The growth of paid citizenship

According to the International Monetary Fund, this trend has seen rapid growth in the last few years. They have pointed out that in the present geopolitical situation, more people are searching for economic and political safe havens. And, citizenship by investment is an easy way out for them. 

Although you may think that these economic programs are recent, some of them have existed for decades. For example, Nevis and St. Kitts, the dual island nation, had paid citizenship programs since 1984. Citizenship selling is a phenomenon in the Caribbean and the European nations. However, some of the programs also exist in countries like New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, the United States, and Canada. 

Why are countries offering paid citizenship?

It is the smaller countries that benefit the most from citizenship selling. The economic citizenship program is a significant source of revenue for these countries. They require a minimum qualifying period before you can become a citizen. However, you need to go through the investment terms and conditions in detail before you hold dual citizenship. With people wanting to hold citizenships in two countries, there has been a steep rise in the number of applicants in the last few years. 

Apart from the number of applications, the IMF also points out the massive rise in the capital inflow of these countries. Among the countries offering paid citizenship, Dominica provides one of the cheapest options for interested applicants. 

Plus, you have the option to become a citizen by investing in a government-approved real estate program. When you have options for dual citizenship, it becomes easier to choose between the two depending on how much money you can afford to spend. This makes the program popular among real estate investors who want to explore opportunities in another country.

When small countries offer paid citizenships to foreigners, it encourages a massive amount of investment in that country. The revenue collected by the public sector from these paid citizenship programs in St. Kitts and Nevis was equivalent to 25% of their GDP back in 2013. The Caribbean has also seen a massive increase in revenue flowing into their public sector for the last few years.  

Apart from the Caribbean, many European nations are also benefiting from the citizenship by investment programs. Portugal reportedly saw an increase of 13% in their GDP in 2014 because of the surge in paid citizenship applications. 

Is it worth it?

Dual citizenship offers a plethora of benefits. It makes traveling a lot easier, you can own properties legally in both countries, and participate in the local elections. And, when you have such an easy option to get the second citizenship, why wait any longer? If you have the cash, you have the citizenship. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.