Benefits of ‘Citizenship by Investment’

There are fundamental differences between acquiring residency or citizenship. Becoming a citizen of any country, nation or state gives an investor rights that are not always extended to a resident.

What does residency mean?

Residency status in most countries, is split into temporary or permanent residency. The applicant would generally be required to fulfill certain country requirements in order to renew the residency permit. These requirements may involve maintaining the minimum investment amount, providing a clean criminal record certificate and satisfying the minimum stay requirements. The frequency of renewals tend to vary country to country. In most cases permanent residency can be applied for after five years.

Most residency by investment programmes will allow the main applicant to also include their dependent family members as long as they can meet certain criteria. Other typical requirements may include:-

  • Registering biometric data with the immigration authorities
  • Providing ID and source of funds documentation
  • Proving a certain net worth
  • Paying government, legal and processing fees


Citizens have all the rights that are granted to a resident, with the most significant difference being the right to pass on citizenship to their children and grandchildren. Portugal for example offers a residency programme which can lead to citizenship. Once citizenship is obtained, the investor is free to offload their property investment and there is also no longer a need to have medical insurance or prove ties to the country etc. In other words, once citizenship is granted, one would have the same rights as a national of that country.

Other rights and responsibilities include:-

  • The right to vote in local and national elections
  • Entitlement to Embassy/Consular protection throughout the world
  • Ability to hold public office
  • Possibility of being summoned for jury service
  • Ability to sponsor other family members in order to obtain residency status
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