Citizenship by Investment:
Austria & Grenada

In recent years the concept of citizenship by investment has been grown and evolved, and it is now a highly sought after programme by many individuals across the world.

In this article we provide a brief introduction into world leading citizenship by investment programmes, with particular focus on those offered by Austria and Grenada.

What is citizenship by investment?

Citizenship by investment refers to the process of obtaining a second citizenship and passport by investing in the economy of the host country.

This is a popular programme for many as it drastically reduces the traditional immigration process of having to wait several years to become eligible for citizenship. In short, citizenship by investment will grant immediate citizenship to applicants and their families willing to invest in the host country, allowing for freedom to travel, work and study.


Austria is one of the EU countries offering perhaps the most competitive citizenship programme, without requiring residence in the country. Austria is not only home to one of the highest standards of living, but it is also one of the most expensive countries within the EU.

Citizenship by Investment Programme overview:

Interested parties should either make an investment contribution of between 8- 10 million Euros into a business, or contribute 3 million Euros towards the government development fund (often of philanthropic nature). The investment must be significant, and should contribute to the economy and create jobs.

Some of the benefits include the right to free movement to Austria, Europe’s Schengen area, Canada and Hong Kong among other countries. This also includes visa free, or visa on arrival travel to approximately 189 countries.

Application process:

Applicants will need to evidence a certificate of no criminal record, a comprehensive CV background, business information, impeccable references, meet the program’s financial requirements and have basic knowledge of the German language for dependents.

Processing times are usually between 12-36 months (assessed on a case by case basis), and once an applicant has been successful, they will receive full citizenship, and can apply for a passport thereafter.


Citizenship by Investment Programme overview:

On the other end of the spectrum, Grenada offers the opportunity to obtain citizenship at a much lower investment value.

Applicants will be subject to strict vetting , including background checks and being subject to due diligence. Most importantly, applicants must satisfy one of the following two qualifying options;

  • Real estate purchase of minimum $220,000 as a co-owner from a government authorised real estate project, or $350,000 under sole ownership
  • A minimum and non-refundable contribution for a single applicant of $150,000 to the National Transformation or of $200,000 for a family of up to four.

Key advantages:

  • Visa free on arrival access to over 144 countries worldwide, and the only Caribbean programme offering visa-free access to China
  • Citizenship can be transferred to new spouses and also future generations
  • No minimum stay is required
  • There is no restriction on dual nationality

Application process:

The applicant is not required to be in Grenada to complete the process, from the date of application submission decisions are usually made within 90 days, and thereafter passports of successful applicants will be issued within 10 working days.

In certain cases, the application process may take longer, in particular if the applicant is investing under the real estate route, as the time frame depends on the project itself.

Find out more

For more information on citizenship by investment, please contact the global immigration team at Smith Stone Walters.

With the help of our global network, we are able to navigate international law and assist with the processing of this route and ensure that local immigration rules are met thereafter.

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