Citizenship by investment for Americans

Prabhu Balakrishnan Avatar
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Citizenship by investment and golden visa programs, set to become more popular among Americans seeking visa free travel to Europe.

This comes at a time when European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution to impose visa restrictions on US citizens within 2 months, according to


A record number Americans visit Europe every year for tourism, business and other activities. Over 12 million americans visited Europe in 2016, according to US travel departures statistics. Taking away visa free travel likely to hit tourism, education and real estate in Europe.

Americans can buy instant citizenship in St Lucia or Dominica is about $120,000 and can have visa free access to Europe. It is even possible to buy a EU citizenship from Malta ($1 million takes about 1 year) or Cyprus ($2 million takes about 6 months). Austria requires about 3 million euros investment for citizenship.

Americans can also invest into golden visa (residency program) in Portugal & Spain which require about EUR 500,000 investment in a property.  Greece also requires about 250,000 euros purchase of property.  Under the golden visa rules, investor and family members qualify for residence permit valid for initial 2 years which can be prolonged every 2 years. EU residence permit can be used to freely travel among 26 schengen countries including Switzerland.

If visa restrictions are imposed on US passport holders,US passport will also lose its shine and popularity. According to Henley restrictions index 2016, US passport is currently ranked 4th best passport in the world with visa free travel to 174 world countries. If the EU, revokes visa free travel to US passports, Americans will need visa for 30 EU member states, cutting down the visa free access to just 144 countries, pushing down the US passport rank to 20’s .

Many of the wealthy chinese and russians investors, who invest into EB-5 and naturalized for US citizenship, may soon find trouble visiting Europe without visa.

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