Cyprus is fastest way to obtain European passport
As the elections draw near everybody is thinking a little bit more about their future than ever. Regardless of whom they support, a few main themes come up when you talk to people. Turkish people want to be able to travel to any country in the world without a fuss and would like to establish business connections globally. Therefore there are many who are willing to relocate. However, there might be another option: To acquire a second citizenship.
Recently I had the opportunity to interview Citizenship Invest CEO Veronica Cotdemiey.
She said that currently the top nationalities looking for second citizenship in the region are Syria and Iraq. A large number of nationals from Iraq and Syria have fled their home countries from the political and economic instabilities, seeking security for their families and businesses. Many have relocated to Turkey and some have grown their businesses in major cities in the country. However, they still face travel restrictions and major obstacles when going through clearance at immigration controls in most countries in the world. They also encounter very restrictive issues when they need to expand their businesses and open bank accounts in different countries.
Cotdemiey underlines that whenever they can afford it, they resort to fast second citizenship programs to ease their lives. Countries like St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Commonwealth of Dominica, St. Lucia, and Cyprus allow foreigners to financially contribute or invest in real estate to obtain a legal citizenship within a period of less than six months. It is also important to note that the minimum financial contribution for a single applicant stands at $100,000 and the minimum real estate investment at $200,000. However, to obtain not only the right to travel but also live in Europe, the citizenship program of Cyprus is the fastest way to obtain a European passport. A 2 million euro real estate investment in Cyprus grants applicants the right to live, work, and study in any country within the European Union as well as having visa-free access to over 170 countries worldwide.
She told me that Turkish nationals are showing an increasing interest in these programs because they are primarily interested in visa-free travel to major places like Europe, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and more. They also have business interests in these countries and their aim is to minimize travel and business limitations. A good number of them are currently interested in the citizenship program of Grenada as it is the only fast track citizenship by investment program that grants visa-free access to China, as Turkish citizens engage with the Chinese primarily in sectors like oil and gas and construction. Grenada passport holders also have access to apply for an E-2 Residency Visa in the United States. However, there is a high interest in other more cost-effective programs like those in Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda. A very positive aspect is that Turkish people are not banned to apply for any of these programs unlike other nationalities, therefore they have ample choices.
I wish that after the elections are over, whoever takes charge will take the necessary steps to strengthen the power of the Turkish passport. But until then, a second citizenship could be an easy way to dodge bureaucracy.