Immigration in the Middle East and North Africa is at an all time high, with immigration happening in a myriad of different capacities: asylum seekers, refugees, migrant laborers, and most recently, business immigrants. Though many have reasons to leave, the most universal reason for this surge in immigration is likely the ability to go instead. Globalism, and participation in the global community, gets easier and easier each passing year, as companies, governments, and individuals connect both virtually and through travel. The problem for individuals in the Middle East and North Africa is that their passports aren’t very strong as they have access to fewer countries which do not require a visa, meaning immigration, even travel, is much more difficult for these individuals.
One country whose very identity is cut between Europe and the Middle East finds its citizens unable to move with the freedom they desire. Turkey, whose passport ranks 49th in the world and lacks access to most Western nations including the U.S., Canada, and the EU, has long awaited its full admittance into the European Union, and its citizens, understandably keen to enjoy the travel, tax, and program benefits of the EU, have waited with bated breath for over 50 years. As it becomes more and more apparent that despite seemingly good relations, Turkey won’t be seeing full admittance into the EU any time soon, its high net worth and ultra-high net worth citizens are looking into other options to fulfill those needs: specifically, citizenship by investment programs.
These programs allow investors to make real estate, business, development, or public works investments into the program country in exchange for permanent residence or citizenship. Investments range from as low as US$100K in the Caribbean to several million for countries like Cyprus that grant citizenship immediately, with full EU citizenship benefits. In the Middle East and North Africa, some of the most popular programs allow investors to gain permanent residence and eventually citizenship in Canada and the U.S., but in Turkey the most popular programs in the last year have been Malta and other EU countries.
The popularity of these immigration investment programs is likely due to the proximity of many EU countries to Turkey and the long-desired access to EU passports and programs. Luckily, once you have a European passport you are able to work and live anywhere within the EU, which is why researching and finding the best investment opportunity and citizenship by investment program value is important, regardless of which EU nation you wish to immigrate to. For instance, while Cyprus offers you immediate citizenship, those wishing to immigrate can fulfill a physical residency in Portugal or Spain for a fraction of the cost, and gain access to an EU passport. But not all of the people looking to gain access to a second passport or citizenship wish to immigrate—some merely want the security of second citizenship and the freedom of travel, tax advantages, and business opportunities it brings.
For those with the funds who don’t wish to immigrate, the Maltese and Cypriot citizenship by investment programs are your fastest and easiest paths to EU citizenship, as they don’t require physical residency or language proficiency, and grant citizenship immediately upon the approval of your citizenship by investment application, rather than having to go through permanent residency then applying for citizenship. For those who wish to immigrate, perhaps with family, to the EU, there are options which are much less expensive and offer paths to citizenship with physical residency.
Wondering what the best path to second citizenship is for you? Take a look at our Citizenship by Investment Programs to find out.
Fill out our Free Assessment, and find out if you qualify under any of the business immigration programs offered.