Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programs

Citizenship by investment programs allow foreign investors and their families to legally obtain citizenship through an investment in the economy of the country. The benefit of this program is that citizenship status is achieved in a shorter timeframe than traditional immigration processes, with little or no physical residency requirements.

Each country has specific requirements the applicant must meet to be able to apply for its citizenship or residency by investment programs. Some of the basic conditions are being over 18 years of age, having a clean criminal record, a legal source of funds and investing in one of the government-approved options.

Governments contract independent third-party Due Diligence Agencies who use intelligence tools to check the applicants’ background. These checks include verification of all documents issued by official institutions at the applicant’s country of origin and residence, media reports, verification of their businesses and companies the applicant owns or is related with. The Government also carries out a vetting of the applicant by law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL to ensure a clean criminal record. Once all checks have been finished the Government draws a decision.

None of the countries that offer second citizenship by investment require investors to renounce their nationality by birth.

Holding a second citizenship has several advantages: you can have access to a safe and prosperous economy, better access to business opportunities and global markets, world-class healthcare, education opportunities for this and future generations. You should not be defined and limited by your nationality by birth. A second citizenship helps you to have a more expansive life.

The application costs of citizenship by investment depend on each program, the number of family members and ages of the children. The cost also varies depending on what route you choose to apply for citizenship, whether it is a donation to a Government fund, real estate investment or investment on other financial assets.
As a guideline the most cost-effective citizenship program starts at USD 100,000 for a single applicant and USD 150,000 for a family of four members.

There are many benefits of obtaining an alternative nationality and passport and finally becoming a citizen of the world. Below are some of the major advantages:

Protect yourself and family from your country’s economic and political instability

Travel the world freely without worrying about visas 

Preserve your wealth and expand your business and investment horizons 

Overcome government restrictions and limitations 

Leverage tax benefits and protect yourself from unforeseen misfortunes 

Avoid being a target of discrimination

There are different routes to apply for citizenship by investment and these are making a financial contribution to a pre-approved Government fund, investing in a Government approved real estate project, or investing in other financial assets such as Government Bonds; in a local business or creating a new start-up. Each country has different laws and pre-established investment routes to qualify for citizenship.

Certain Governments establish investment funds and allow applicants to financially contribute to these funds in exchange for citizenship. There are no returns generated from these funds and the capital is non-refundable therefore they are known as “Donations”.  

Countries can then use these funds to invest in their own projects, such as real estate development, business development and job creation, aimed at boosting the economy.
The non-refundable financial contribution is in the form of a one-time payment executed upon approval of the citizenship application after a stringent vetting and due diligence process.

There are certain citizenship by investment programs which do not require applicants to move to that country and grant the citizenship and passport in approximately 3 to 6 months (depending on the program and the complexity of the applicant’s profile).

Residency by investment programs issue the residency within 3 months (not citizenship) and after 5 years the applicant could potentially apply for the citizenship if they have complied with all the requirements by law. Some of these requirements could be residing in the country for a number of years, paying taxes and in some cases residency programs might not lead to citizenship at all as this at Governments’ discretion.

Yes, citizenship is extended to your spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents. Fees for family members vary from country to country. You will be able to include your children as dependents up to the age of 30, parents and grandparents over the age of 55, nevertheless, this might vary slightly as every country has different age requirements in accordance with their legislation. Please contact us for a free consultation.


Visitors are permitted to stay in Canada for up to 6 months or less.

 If one stays longer than 6 months under the eTA program and their stay has not been extended by Citizenship and Immigration Canada due to emergency situations, you will lose your travel authorization and not be able to use the eTA for future trips.

While valid, a multiple entry visa allows one travel to Canada for six months at a time as many times as you want.

 A visitor who is currently in Canada and has a valid job offer will be able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and if approved receive the permit without having to leave the country.

 Canada does not pay for hospitals or medical services for visitors. You should get health insurance to cover any medical costs before coming to Canada.

If your current visitor visa expires while your application for an extension is being processed, you can stay in Canada until a decision is made.


No. Marrying a Canadian citizen does not give you citizenship. However, it allows one to apply for Spousal Sponsorship which allows for Permanent Residency in Canada.

That depends on your original country. Some countries such as Canada allow dual citizenship while some don’t.

Before one can become a citizen, they must first become a permanent resident. While Canadian permanent residents partake in many social responsibilities such as paying taxes and abiding by Canadian laws, they cannot vote or run for office. Canadian permanent residents do not get a Canadian passport but can travel outside the country using a PR card or a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PTRD) and their passport from their country of origin. However, a Canadian permanent resident is expected to live in the country for at least two years in a five-year period. If you live outside the country for longer, you may lose your status.

Spousal Sponsorships can take up to 12 months or more to process depending on the nature of your case.

You do not need an income or a job to sponsor your spouse. Your application will not be denied because of that.

Temporary Workers

To qualify for a temporary foreign worker program, one must have a job offer from a Canadian employer and not be inadmissible to Canada for any reason such as criminal, medical or financial reasons.

No. Because the work permit is tied to a specific employer, temporary foreign workers in Canada can only legally work for the employer named on their work permit and cannot switch employers once in Canada.

Six months or less after which you can either choose to apply for an extension or return to your home country.

Yes. Temporary Foreign workers can apply for permanent residency through immigration programs such as Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) and Quebec Experience Class (QEC) with each having their own requirements.

Self Employed

You must have at least two years of relevant experience in athletics, cultural activities or farm management and show that you intend to become self-employed in Canada.

Being self-employed poses a difficulty in applying for a permanent residency, however there are certain ways one can still apply for Permanent Residency as a self-employed person.

No. Only cultural activities, athletics and farm management are admissible under this program.

Start Up Visa

Canada’s start-up visa program is a program which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to immigrate to Canada to start up a business which must however be proven to be innovative and can create jobs for Canadians.

You will need a qualifying business, a letter of support from a designated organization such as a venture capital fund, business incubator or angel investor group, a proof of intermediate language proficiency (English or French), one year of post-secondary education and sufficient settlement funds.

You must contact a business organization and be able to convince them that you have a business idea that is worth supporting. Once they approve of your business idea, you get a letter of support from the organization.