Russians have traditionally been one of the most active participants in various programs providing citizenship in exchange for investment in real estate. In 2022, the popularity of such programs has increased significantly, but their choice is no longer as rich as before. And if some countries cancel or suspend the issuance of passports to foreign investors, others are tightening the conditions for obtaining them.
Thus, from June 13, 2022, the investment program for granting Turkish citizenship has undergone changes. Now the minimum amount for the purchase of real estate – both residential and commercial, one or more objects – has been increased from 250 thousand to 400 thousand US dollars. In fact, based on the fact that the cadastral value of the property is taken into account, which in a number of regions is much lower than the real value, one should focus on a more impressive amount.
As an alternative, you can purchase real estate from a Turkish citizen who has owned it for at least five years, and then it is possible to come to a common denominator regarding the indication of the required value in the purchase and sale agreement. You can also purchase a commercial property separately to obtain citizenship, and a house or apartment at any price for residence.
Potential applicants have only six months left to obtain Montenegrin citizenship under the local investment program. Under pressure from the European Union, this program, introduced in 2019 and extended for another year in 2021, will finally close on December 31.
According to existing conditions, foreigners wishing to acquire a passport from this Balkan state must purchase real estate worth at least 450 thousand euros in the case of coastal cities or 250 thousand euros in ski resorts (both of which must be approved by the government), and in addition this is to make a non-refundable contribution of 200 thousand euros to state funds.
Applicants will be required to undergo a background check to determine the legal origin of the funds, compliance with the requirements for participation in the financing of terrorism, political activity, presence on sanctions lists and connections with persons or organizations under sanctions. At the same time, both the number of questions in the questionnaire and the period for consideration of the application have increased. Not long ago, Montenegrin authorities froze 44 real estate properties owned by 34 Russians against whom EU sanctions were imposed.
Candidates for citizenship of Grenada, the only Caribbean country that continues to accept applications from Russians, cannot do without a security check. However, if previously obtaining a passport for this island state took a total of three to four months, now the same procedure has taken six months.
The minimum investment amount for persons wishing to become holders of a Grenada passport remains the same: USD 150 thousand in the case of a charitable contribution and USD 220 thousand for the purchase of real estate approved by the government. However, such objects will be able to be sold only after five years and only to new participants in the program. The application can also include not only the spouse and dependent children under the age of 30, but also brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents on both sides, which is an undeniable advantage compared to similar programs.
For now, Russian citizens can receive a “golden” passport of a foreign state in exchange for investments by investing in the economy of Vanuatu, an island state in the Pacific Ocean (minimum 130 thousand US dollars). However, in June, the visa-free regime for entry into the EU, Switzerland and the UK for foreign holders of such passports was suspended – presumably until February 2023. In Europe, they believe that Vanuatu citizenship is issued without proper security checks, as a result of which there is a risk of foreigners arriving who could pose a threat to public safety.