Unlock Global Opportunities: A Guide to Citizenship by Investment

Global mobility and international opportunities have become prized by South Africans, and citizenship by investment programs present a golden gateway for expanding horizons. For entrepreneurs and investors, these programs open up the opportunity for visa-free travel, business opportunities, and access to better education and healthcare systems. Discus Holdings guides clients through a myriad of investment programs with a deep understanding of each program’s intricacies that allows us to offer tailored advice.

Want to know more about citizenship by investment?

The decision regarding which investment options are included within citizenship by investment programs rests solely with the offering country. While some present diverse opportunities, others may only offer a single option.

citizenship by investment
Real estate investment

Real estate is a highly versatile avenue for citizenship by investment and is widely available across various schemes. In this option, applicants are expected to commit a specified minimum amount to real estate. It offers the flexibility of purchasing property for a personal residence or business. However, some programs stipulate that investments must contribute to government-endorsed projects.

Business investments

Aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners can merge investment aspirations with personal goals by acquiring second citizenship through investment programs. These programs allow individuals to invest in new or existing businesses if they meet the minimum investment threshold and aim to create employment opportunities for local citizens.


This investment route is sometimes offered as a standalone option, though some countries require it alongside real estate investments. Contributions do not yield direct financial returns, and the primary reward for investors is the acquisition of citizenship. It is often a more streamlined route to citizenship, as it eliminates some complexities and time requirements often associated with other investment opportunities.

Government bonds

Investment in government bonds or other national securities is widely accepted pathway for citizenship by investment. It entails the purchase of government-issued bonds, which must be held for a predetermined period.

The Most Common Forms of Investment

Citizenship by investment programs grants foreign investors and their families the privilege to obtain citizenship through a financial contribution to their desired country of citizenship. These investments go towards national development funds, real estate projects, or business ventures – all of which directly contribute to the country’s economic growth – and offer applicants an accelerated pathway to obtaining a second passport.

The Benefits of a Second Passport

Travel with Convenience

The nations providing citizenship through investment boast strong passports with extensive visa agreements. As a result, a second passport can enhance your global mobility and offer you the flexibility of visa-free travel. Some passports can also pave the way for acquiring long-term work visas in other sought-after destinations.

Financial Incentives

Investors exploring ways to optimise their tax liabilities benefit from these programs as multiple countries offering these citizenship incentives offer favourable tax regimes featuring lower tax rates or exemptions.

Enhanced Social Services

Robust infrastructure, vibrant economies, superior healthcare, and educational systems are a few of the extended benefits offered to new citizens, even those who have obtained their status through citizenship by investment.

Security and Stability

In times of turmoil – be it crime, economic instability, or other crises – obtaining second citizenship provides hope for individuals seeking a safe environment for their families. This offers a tangible means to relocate to safer countries, where opportunities for economic prosperity, healthcare access, and overall stability are markedly better.

Business Opportunities

Second citizenship can grant the ability to establish and operate businesses within the host country, allowing for capitalisation on more favourable tax conditions than those in the investor’s home country.

Relocation Flexibility

Having a second passport opens new relocation possibilities for investors and their families. For example, possessing a Malta passport allows for relocation to Malta and any member state within the EU, offering a broad spectrum of lifestyle and professional opportunities.

Understanding The Requirements for Citizenship by Investment

While some countries offer simple application processes for citizenship by investment, others outline more stringent requirements. Since the core of these programs lies in the applicant’s foreign investment, applicants have to prove that they qualify for investment opportunities by proving that they hold the minimum capital required for the investment of their choosing.

Completing a minimum residency period is typically required for gaining citizenship. However, citizenship by investment programs often exempts applicants from this obligation but instead requires them to visit or stay in the country for a certain number of days per year after acquiring the citizenship.

Certain character requirements must also be met, and generally specify that the applicant must:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Not hold a criminal record
  • Prove that they are in good health
  • Not have ties with prohibited nations.

Discus Holdings has strategic relationships with emigration project holders in various countries and understands the advantages and downsides well, enabling us to offer you professional assistance in selecting an ideal option based on your personal preferences and business needs.

Frequently Asked Questions
Are citizenship by investment programs legal?

Yes. Not only are they legal, but they are also actively promoted by the governments of countries that have such programs.

How much does citizenship by investment cost?

The application costs of a citizenship by investment program depend on the investment option you choose and the number of family members that are applying with you.

Why are EU country citizenship programs so much more expensive than others?

Since obtaining citizenship in an EU country also grants the right to settle permanently in all other EU countries, the costs associated with citizenship by investment are higher, as you are receiving the option of 28 countries for the price of one. Other citizenship programs do not offer this benefit and are, therefore, less valuable.