Globally, two general principles govern the acquisition of citizenship. Descent from a citizen, and the fact of birth within a state or territory. What if you don't fall within these two categories and are interested in obtaining citizenship in a particular country. Is there a recourse? Many people face such a problem when they are out of the scope of traditional means of acquiring citizenship. Did you know that you can obtain Citizenship-by-Investment? And it is a simple affair. All you have to do is invest in the host country's economy and abide by the prescribed laws. Such programs legally confer citizenship status faster than the traditional immigration process.
Your citizenship is the relationship between you and a specific nation or state that gives you certain rights. These rights include and are not limited to voting, working, and owning property. Also, the citizen ought to accept the responsibility of upholding the laws and customs of the state.
Dual citizenship in Nigeria
What is dual citizenship? Dual citizenship definition is relatively straightforward. An individual with dual citizenship is a national of two countries at the same time. This means that each government recognizes the person as a citizen at the same time.
Therefore, if you have Nigerian citizenship and another for Antigua, you have dual citizenship. But, of course, one has to conform to both country's legislation on citizenship to be a resident in both with citizenship rights.
Numerous Nigerians are involved in the CBI (Citizenship-by-Investment). They travel to these countries to acquire citizenship primarily for financial empowerment and easy access to the United States of America.
The Caribbean countries with Citizenship-by-Investment offer people interested in dual citizenship a simple process.
Does Nigeria allow dual citizenship?
In Nigeria, dual citizenship is allowed for individuals who have a Nigerian parent, citizen by descent, according to Section 25 of the 199 Nigerian Constitution. This means that anyone born in Nigeria after October 1, 1960, with either a Nigerian parent or grandparent, can obtain dual citizenship status.
The Constitution further states that a person who has Nigerian citizenship by means other than birth but goes ahead to obtain or retain the citizenship of another nation ought to forfeit their Nigerian citizenship.
Whoever wants to acquire Nigerian citizenship by registration or naturalization must renounce citizenship of other nations or countries not obtained by birth.
What is Citizenship-by-Investment?
The term is also referred to as economic citizenship. It means acquiring second citizenship of another country you may have had no connection with beforehand. The person is Awarded citizenship in return for a significant investment into a country's economy.
The Citizenship-by-Investment program was pioneered as a concept by the Caribbean twin-island of St Kitts and Nevis in 1984 and runs until today. The first program is regarded as the platinum standard of CBI programs all over the world.
The person interested in investment by citizenship must positively contribute to the adoptive country’s socio-economic development. Also, Citizenship-by-Investment countries require the person to pass the due diligence criteria set by the desired host nation.
Currently, only a few nations, mainly in the Caribbean, offer valid CBI programs. But, of course, access to such citizenship is contingent on the individual's integrity and capability to provide a nation with a significant monetary contribution.
Guide to the six Caribbean and Vanuatu citizenship programs (with a comment from an expert)
Caribbean passports are gaining popularity among high-income people looking for alternative safe places for residence and investment. The countries in the Caribbean are among the easiest to get citizenship. One of the most significant advantages of holding a Caribbean passport or citizenship is travelling freely among 120 countries.
You can acquire the Caribbean and Vanuatu Citizenship-by-Investment through putting money in real estate, donating to a government fund, and many more.
Kemal Nicholson, leading immigration expert on Caribbean citizenship of Migronis Company, highlighted the following about Citizenship-by-Investment. The company is one of the best Citizenship-by-Investment firms that has offered Nigerians opportunities to obtain dual citizenship in the Caribbean.
Caribbean passports are increasingly popular among high-income individuals seeking an alternative safe place for residence, not only for its natural beauty and pleasant climate.
Caribbean citizenship benefits entail visa-free movement and an advantageous taxation system. The holders of Caribbean passports can travel freely among over 140 countries, including Schengen countries and the UK, and can easily obtain long-term US and Canada visas. Another factor that makes them so popular Caribbean countries don’t impose income and inheritance taxes.
The Caribbean countries are the easiest countries to get citizenship. Not only allowing dual citizenship, these countries also do not disseminate any information of the applicants to third parties. The processing time takes about three to six months, making them very time efficient. Lastly, there is almost no residence requirement for retaining the citizenship status.
St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment
St Kitts and Nevis is a sovereign, democratic, and federal state in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The islands were formed by volcanic activity. As a result, the country is fertile, with primarily black and sandy beaches. Also, Nevis is surrounded by coral reefs and possesses silver beaches.
If you are interested in a Citizenship-by-Investment program for this country, you ought to comply with the following:
- At least $150,000 Donation to the Fund or $200,000 investment in real estate (with a 2-5% return).
- The real estate investment has a holding period of at least five years, but Donation to the Fund is non-refundable.
- The smallest investment is a contribution both for one applicant or a family of up to four people.
On top of this, the government of St Kitts and Nevis has a special discount of 4 passports for the price of one until December 31, 2021. The applicant also needs to contribute $150,000 to the state fund.
Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship-by-Investment
Antigua and Barbuda is an independent state in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It is the easiest country to get citizenship through the Citizenship-by-Investment path. Investment options to apply for citizenship include:
- A $100,000 towards the Donation to the National Development Fund. The amount is non-refundable and doesn't offer a return on investment. Also, it is the best option for a family of four.
- Investment in real estate of $200,000 with a 4-5% return and a holding period of at least five years.
- Investment in the Fund of University of the West Indies of $150,000. The amount is non-refundable and doesn’t offer a return on investment (temporary opportunity).
The Dominican Republic is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. The country lies between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante to the north. The country offers Caribbean citizenship via a well-organized Citizenship-by-Investment program. Migronis has provided a list of all the options one has to gain citizenship through investment:
- A minimum of $100,000 Donation to the Economic Diversification Fund. The amount is non-refundable.
- A $200,000 investment in real estate with a 2-5% return on investment and at least a three-year holding period. Also, one can sell their real estate under the citizenship program after a holding period of five years.
Grenada Citizenship-by-Investment program
Grenada is a small island country of volcanic origin in the eastern Caribbean. The nation lies 160 kilometres north of Venezuela. Grenada offers one of the best Caribbean citizenship programs, and you can get it in the following ways:
- Donation to the National Transformation Fund of $150,000.
- A minimum of $350,000 investment in real estate with a return on investment of up to 4%. The real estate investment amount has a holding period of at least five years.
St Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment program
St Lucia is part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados. The country is heavily dependent on tourism and agriculture, mainly the export of bananas. Therefore, if you are looking for Caribbean Citizenship-by-Investment from this country, you have to abide by the following:
- $100,000 donation to the National Economic Fund.
- A minimum of $300,000 real estate investment with a return on investment of 3-5%. The investment has a holding period of at least five years.
- A $500,000 investment in government bonds with a holding period of at least five years.
- A $1,000,000 joint investment in enterprise projects.
- A $250,000 investment in privilege bonds with a holding period of at least five years.
Are you interested in a Vanuatu passport? Vanuatu is a Y-shaped archipelago. It consists of around 83 small, geologically newer islands of Volcanic origin (65 of them inhabited).
The island nation is in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Caledonia, east of Australia, and west of Fiji. One can go for the Vanuatu Citizenship-by-Investment program through a $130,000 non-refundable contribution in a government fund.
Compared to other Caribbean countries, the Vanuatu citizenship program is more straightforward as one has a single investment option.
Benefits of obtaining Caribbean countries second passport
What are the advantages of obtaining Vanuatu dual citizenship and that of other Caribbean countries? The most outstanding benefit is that these nations are part of the British Commonwealth nations.
Nigeria allows its citizens access to dual citizenship but under certain conditions. One of the best ways that Nigerian citizens can acquire Caribbean and Vanuatu citizenship is through CBI.
Citizenship-by-Investment has given numerous people with the financial capability an opportunity to gain secondary citizenship. In addition, such opens opportunities to travel to other Commonwealth nations and gain from international business.
Are you wondering about the different ways of acquiring Nigerian citizenship? Legit.ng featured an informative article about the various legal methods of the Constitution for becoming a Nigerian citizen.
The three primary ways include birth, registration, and naturalization. However, each of these methods has specific requirements for one to qualify. So, what are the conditions?