Citizenship by Investment programs is becoming widespread across different countries. They can be effective in boosting a nation’s economy. Traditionally, CBI programs are obtained through fiat payments. However, some countries are beginning to consider cryptocurrencies as an alternative form of payment.
This is because of the advantages cryptocurrencies offer, like user-fund protection, currency value maintenance, economic development, innovations, etc. But despite the perceived benefits cryptocurrencies offer, only a handful of countries have adopted them as legal means of investment for second passports.
What are these countries, and how do they operate? Let’s find out in this article.
Can You Get Citizenship By Investment With Cryptocurrency?
Generally, getting citizenship in a country by investing in it with cryptocurrency is not possible. This is because many countries still need to endorse cryptocurrency operations or consider it a payment option for obtaining citizenship.
However, the usual alternative is paying the citizenship, due diligence, and administration fees in fiat currency. For instance, the minimum St Lucia citizenship cost is $100,000, due diligence costs $7500, and administrative costs $2000. Interested investors can turn their cryptocurrencies into the native currency of that country and invest. Once done, the funds can be sent offshore for CBI.
Another alternative is third-party sponsors. Third-party sponsors are entities that serve as intermediaries between investors and the government. In this case, the sponsor pays for the investor’s citizenship in dollars or the country’s currency while the investor pays back in Bitcoin.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Yes, there are exceptions to obtaining a second passport only by fiat currency. Some countries have endorsed Bitcoin as payment for getting a second passport. They include Vanuatu, Antigua and Barbuda. How do you apply for CBI with Bitcoin in these countries? Let’s find out below.
Countries That Accept Cryptocurrency For Citizenship By Investment
These countries allow non-citizens to receive a second passport with cryptocurrency.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Second Passport with Bitcoin
Antigua and Barbuda has recently added Bitcoin to its list of investment payment options. The Caribbean country is known to have a strong passport that allows citizens to travel to more than 130 nations without needing a visa.
Aside from its passport strength, its CBI program attracts many investors because of its low-tax systems. The nation does not tax collect taxes on capital gains, nor does it on inheritance, wealth, or income from global assets and revenues.
Although the government recently agreed to receive Bitcoin and will soon implement it, agents and developers within the country already receive BTC as payment.
Vanuatu’s Second Passport Program With Bitcoin
Vanuatu is another country that has endorsed the payment of Bitcoin in exchange for citizenship. Ideally, interested participants must pay at least $130,000 to obtain citizenship. But, in this case, they can pay the Bitcoin equivalent.
The Vanatuan government receives its payment through legalized crypto agents in the country. The government checks the applicant’s records and ensures no illegalities are associated with the applicant. Once an applicant has paid in Bitcoin, the agent sends the USD equivalent to the government.
Once checked and validated, the government offers the applicant a valid 5-year passport. The passport holder can extend the passport’s validity once it expires. It is important to note that while the new citizen can live and work freely in the country, such a person will not have the liberty to vote or have political power.
Other Countries With Slightly Different Conditions
Saint Kitts and Nevis CBI
Saint Kitts and Nevis offers a second passport to non-citizens who want to invest in real estate with at least $150,000. You can invest in the country in two ways:
- Making a nonrefundable payment to the country’s Sustainable Growth Fund with at least $150,000
- Investing in government-recognized real estate with at least $200,000
While Saint Kitts and Nevis is known for its crypto-friendliness, there are no official reports that it offers citizenship to foreigners through Bitcoin payments.
Anyone interested could convert digital assets to fiat before investing. And while they provide funds, they would need to submit an affidavit that shows the source of money.
However, it is essential to note that the country’s passport gives citizens access to about 158 nations without a visa (or with a visa on arrival).
While El Salvador does not offer citizenship through Bitcoin payment, it provides permanent residency to interested crypto investors. Aside from obtaining permanent residence, people can use cryptocurrencies for commercial transactions in the country.
Cryptocurrency Usage And Legality In Crypto-friendly Countries
It is vital to understand that even if you own large sums of digital assets (cryptocurrencies) to spend in a crypto-friendly country, you must still prove your legality. You must show your source of funds (crypto and fiat) and how much you bought the cryptocurrency.
While the documents you would need to provide are not widely known, you would have to go through any or all of these processes:
- A KYC and due diligence documentation of your profile by the marketplace on which you traded your cryptocurrency. This process is often required if you exchanged your cryptocurrency or fiat on a regulated marketplace.
- Submission of proof that you paid your taxes before and after getting your cryptocurrency.
- Provision of every transaction conducted between your bank and foreign accounts.
What To Do?
Anyone who is interested could invest in Vanuatu, Antigua and Barbuda with Bitcoin to obtain citizenship. They can also convert cryptocurrency to fiat and get citizenship in other countries that offer the CBI program. Please not that this article is not intended to give advice, you should do your own research.
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