Residency by Investment (RBI) or Citizenship by Investment (CBI) are increasingly popular ways to obtain residency or a foreign passport through investments in the local economy of your chosen country.
In order to qualify, you must meet the conditions of your desired country, which differ from place to place. With a wide range of options available, there is something to suit everyone. However, some nationalities are barred from or partially restricted from participating in specific programs.
At High Net Worth Immigration, we closely monitor the developments in the citizenship and residency by investment landscape, so we can effectively assist our clients and interested individuals alike.
Thus, in this article, we bring you up to speed with a comprehensive list of nationalities restricted from participating in various RBI and CBI programs across the globe.
1. Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a tropical paradise of two islands in the Caribbean. This country is a very attractive prospect for Citizenship by Investment as the program has a lower minimum investment for larger families than many other Caribbean nations, but there are restrictions to consider.
Residents of the following countries are ineligible for Citizenship by Investment in Antigua and Barbuda:
- North Korea
- Ukraine (temporary restrictions based on lack of capability to conduct due diligence checks in Ukraine.)
However, there are conditions in which citizens of the above countries are eligible. For example:
- Individuals born in these banned countries who relocated before the age of majority or who have maintained permanent residence in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates for a minimum of ten years prior to CBI application.
- Maintain no economic relations with any barred country.
Dominica is an island nation found in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean. They offer Citizenship by Investment with no residency requirements.
Applicants of the following countries are ineligible for Citizenship by Investment in Dominica:
- North Korea
- Kurdistan Region
It is important to note that cases are assessed individually, and some exceptions exist for citizens of the above countries. You could be exempt from restrictions provided you have not lived in the restricted country for ten years or more and have no business interests or significant assets there.
Grenada is a Caribbean nation comprising several islands and part of the Grenadines. They have a Citizenship by Investment program, and to qualify, you must contribute at least $150,000 to the National Transformation Fund or invest at least $200,000 in an approved real estate project.
There are currently no nations specifically barred from Grenada's program, although anyone who has been turned down elsewhere within the CBI scheme is automatically rejected. However, applicants from Russia and Belarus are subject to nuanced and more rigorous screening.
4. St Lucia
St Lucia is a small, mountainous island in the Lesser Antilles. St Lucia has several options for those seeking Citizenship by Investment, ranging from a $100,000 donation to the National Development Fund to a $3.5 million investment in an approved project.
Currently, four countries are restricted from St Lucia’s CBI program: Iran, Russian, Belarus, and Ukraine (due to the inability to perform thorough background checks.)
5. St Kitts and Nevis
St Kitts and Nevis is a small Caribbean country with a population of just 53,000. Despite its diminutive size, it is a popular tourist destination with an enticing Citizenship by Investment program.
The following countries are currently ineligible, without exception, for Citizenship by Investment in St Kitts:
- North Korea
Vanuatu is an island nation found in the South Pacific, about 1,000 miles east of Australia. In 2017 Vanuatu introduced its Citizen by Investment scheme, called the Development Support Program (SDP), which has lately acquired traction among cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.
Vanuatu restricts several countries, but exceptions can be made if you prove you have not resided in said country for five years and have proof of residency elsewhere. The counties currently restricted are as follows:
- North Korea
Malta is a beautiful island in the Mediterranean and is a great option to consider if you desire European Union citizenship. Malta’s pathway for Citizenship by Investment is called the Individual Investor Program (IIP).
The IIP requires you to make a donation of between €600,000 and €750,000 to the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF), depending on how long you have maintained residency there.
There are additional financial requirements for each dependent. You are further required to make a charitable donation of at least €10,000 while also purchasing a property valued at a minimum of €700,000. Citizens of the following countries are excluded from participating in the IIP:
- North Korea
- South Sudan
Montenegro is found in the Balkans in the southeast of Europe. It is currently in the process of joining the European Union and is expected to achieve membership status by 2025. The program is considered as one of the most affordable routes to obtain a European passport.
Currently, the Montenegrin CBI does not have any nationality limitations in place. However, they reserve the right to reject applicants that have been imposed sanctions or bans on entry to other countries within the EU, the US, Canada, or the UK.
Turkey is a culturally rich country between Europe and Asia, with an attractive selection of investment pathways. One of Turkey’s most popular CBI options is the investment in real estate due to favorable market conditions and the devaluing of the Turkish lira.
At the moment, Turkey restricts applicants from the following countries:
- North Korea
Bulgaria is an EU member state in the southeast of Europe. They offer options for both Residency by Investment and Citizenship by Investment. However, the time frame to secure the passport is five years rather than twelve months, as the fast-track option was recently abolished.
Three countries are, however, restricted from applying for investor visas in Bulgaria:
Greece comprises a mainland and a group of beautiful and varied islands. Citizenship can only be obtained after seven years of residency, which you can achieve through the Residency by Investment program, one of Europe’s most sought-after options.
Generally, Greece does not impose restrictions on the nationality of the investors; however, at this point, nationals from the Russian Federation are suspended until further notice.
Your Next Steps…
We understand that the ongoing changes in the CBI and RBI programs can seem confusing, but our expert team has over a decade of expertise, from helping to pick the most suitable citizenship or residency program to securing your actual passport for you and your family.
Our team is not only highly experienced in working with investors with varying requirements, but we’ve also got a solid network of local contacts on the ground in each CBI and RBI country.
Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you take the first steps toward obtaining your dual citizenship.