Worldwide Foreign Investment Programs

With the EB-5 “regional center” program set to expire on September 30, 2015, foreign investors have an array of options to select programs from other countries that attract inbound capital. While the United States must maintain the edge to attract resources to spur jobs and economic development on our shores, the following nations are also competing in the market for foreign investment capital.

Antigua & Barbuda – Citizenship by Investment

  • Investment Options:
    1. $400,000 into an approved real estate project;
    2. S. $200,000 contribution to the National Development Fund; or
    3. S. $1.5 million into an eligible business (or a business worth U.S. $5 million with two investors each worth at least U.S. $400,000).
  • Timeline: 3-4 months from submission of application to the issuance of a passport
  • End Result: Passport

AustraliaSignificant Investment and Premium Investor Visa 

  • Investment Option:
    1. $5 million in complying investments
      • These must include at least $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity funds investing in start-ups and small private companies.
  • Timeline: 4 years
  • End Result: Permanent resident status

AustriaResidence for Persons of Independents Means; or Citizenship

  • Investment Options:
    • For Residence:
      1. Must have EUR 80,000 in liquid assets, permanent accommodation in Austria, and health insurance.
    • For Citizenship:
      1. Granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Timeline: 12-18 months
  • End Result:
    • For Residence: Residency, and may be able to apply for a passport after 10 years; or
    • For Citizenship: Passport

Belgium Investor or Business Residence Visa

  • Investment Option:
    1. Operate a business or company and obtain a residence permit under investor or business category.
  • Timeline: Three years
  • End Result: Passport

Canada – Immigrant Investor Program

  • Investment Option:
    1. Invest C $800,000, have a net worth of at least C $1.6 million that was acquired legally, and have business experience.
  • Timeline: 6 months – 2 years
  • End Result: Permanent Resident status (Terminated, but Quebec still in)

Cayman Islands Certificate of Direct Investment,7117607&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL 

  • Investment Option:
    1. 1 million in an employment generating business already existing or a new venture in the Cayman Islands. It must (or will) exercise substantial management control.
  • End Result: Residency Certificate valid for 25 years

Cyprus Citizenship by Investment

  • Investment Options:

EUR 5 million investment into any of the following:

  1. Government bonds;
  2. Real estate;
  3. Financial assets of Cypriot companies or organizations;
  4. Fixed deposit in bank for at least 3 years;
  5. Purchase, creation, or participation in Cypriot business;
  6. Combination of any of the above totaling EUR 5 million.

Must also purchase a private residence in Cyprus for at least EUR 500,000 and may not sell.

  • Timeline: 3 months after submission of application
  • End Result: Passport

Dominica Citizenship by Investment

  • Investment Options:
    1. USD $100,000 into Government Fund
      • USD $150,000 for applicant and spouse
      • USD $200,000 for up to 3 dependents; any additional dependents USD $50,000
    2. USD $200,000 into designated real estate
  • Timeline: 8-12 weeks from submission of application
  • End Result: Passport

Hong Kong Capital Investment Entrant Scheme 

  • Investment Option:
    1. Invest at least HK $10 million in permissible investment asset classes. May bring dependents.
  • Timeline: Currently suspended
  • End Result: Residency

Malta Citizenship by Investment

  • Investment Option:
    1. EUR 650,000 for the main applicant; EUR 25,000 for spouse and minor children into National Development and Social Fund. Children 18-26 years of age, or parents over 55 years.
  • Timeline: 6 months – 2 years
  • End Result: Passport


  • Investment Option:
    1. Easy to obtain. Need sufficient funds and a place to live.
  • Timeline: Within 10 years of residency
  • End Result: Citizenship

Portugal Golden Residence Permit/Visa 

  • Investment Options:
    1. EUR 500,000 purchase of real estate; or
    2. EUR 1 million investment into a business; or
    3. 10 jobs created (no specified guidelines on minimum investment).

Family member may apply for family “reunion.”

  • Timeline: 1-3 months after application is submitted
  • End Result: Permanent Residency

St. Kitts & NevisCitizenship by Investment

  • Investment Options:
    1. US $250,000 (single applicant) for Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation.
      • With 3 applicants, $300,000 for Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation.
      • 5 dependents, $350,000 for Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation.
      • 7 dependents, $450,000 for Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation.
    2. US $400,000 into an approved real estate development.
  • Timeline: 4-6 months
  • End Result: Passport


This is a retirement scheme for HNWI, but must live in Switzerland majority of the time.

United KingdomTier 1 (Investor) Visa

 Investment Options:

    1. UK 2 million or more in the UK
      • UK 1,500 for each applicant (principal & dependents)
      • UK 7,000 to extend with UK 1,900 application fee per person.

Can initially stay for 3 years and 4 months. Can apply to settle after 2 years if UK 10 million has been invested. Can apply to settle after 3 years if UK 5 million invested.

  • Timeline: May apply up to 3 months prior to entering
  • End Result: Visa status, then residency if requirements are met.