What is an Economic Citizenship?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye
Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Economic citizenship is sometimes called citizenship by investment. These terms refer to an arrangement that allows people to acquire citizenship in a foreign country if they make notable contributions to that country’s economy. The requirements that must be met generally include an initial investment or donation and a clean criminal record. In addition to citizenship, the benefits to the investor usually include a passport and tax savings.

There are generally several ways that a person can become a citizen of a foreign country. One, which many people are unfamiliar with, is economic citizenship. This is generally considered a quick investor's option, but it is not one for small investors. The goal of economic citizenship programs is to offer an exchanged benefit to people who will have a substantial impact on a country’s economy.

It is often possible for an investor to become a citizen of a foreign country if he does a significant amount of business and resides in that nation for an extended period of time. One of the advantages of acquiring economic citizenship is that there is usually no residence requirement. In some cases, the applicants for this citizenship option are not even required to visit the country that they are planning to become citizens of.

There are usually substantial costs involved with acquiring economic citizenship. A person may have to make a sizable donation to the government or to an entity specified by the government. In lieu of the donation, a person may be required to make a sizable initial investment. In addition to this, there are usually several other categories of costs, such as registration and application fees.

Economic citizenship can be acquired for an individual or for a family. Family applications usually have higher associated costs. When economic citizenship is granted, however, it generally comes with a number of benefits. To begin with, the citizenship is usually granted for a lifetime and is irrevocable.

A benefit that may be especially attractive to individuals from third world countries is that the new citizen will be granted a passport. This may allow him increased travel potential, such as the ability to enter all Schengen nations, the Unites States, or other countries without a visa. The exact list of places that the individual will have easy access to will depend on the country where he has acquired citizenship. There are also commonly a number of financial benefits offered. For example, the new citizen may not be charged taxes on any foreign income or inheritances.

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Discussion Comments


Economic citizenship is not about a protection against terrorism. Generally, people believe that economic citizenship program is the solution for avoiding the chances of getting out of the terrorism prone areas, which is a pure myth.

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