In recent years, the number of Iranian citizens seeking second citizenship and a second passport has been increasing. This trend is primarily due to the limitations the Iranian passport puts on them regarding global mobility. Iranian passport holders must apply for a visa in advance for most major destinations. The Iranian passport currently ranks 98th place on the Guide Passport Ranking Index. It is one of the lowest-ranking passports, with visa-free access to only 41 countries worldwide. Whether traveling for tourism, study, medical treatment, or business, Iranian passport holders face many obstacles to obtaining the appropriate visas.
As a result, many Iranian citizens seek a powerful second passport to expand their international mobility. This second passport allows them to travel visa-free to many major destinations worldwide and saves them from the hassle of applying for visas whenever they want to travel. The second citizenship options for Iranians are a means of opening up the door to a new world of business and investment opportunities, cultural experiences, educational programs, and even securing a better life for their families. The most popular method currently available to achieve the goal is a Citizenship By Investment (CBI) program that can award applicants a second citizenship and a second passport within just a few months.
Citizenship by investment for Iranians
Numerous CBI programs are available for Iranian citizens to acquire a second citizenship and a second passport for themselves and all their eligible family members. CBI programs are a fast way to obtain second citizenship and a second passport. These programs usually include options for sending a non-refundable contribution or investing in government-approved real estate. CBI programs are well-vetted by each citizenship-granting country through a process called due diligence to examine the applicant’s risk of illegal activity or corruption. The benefits of obtaining a passport through a CBI program include visa-free access to many countries and more opportunities for business, tourism, and study.
The following four countries offer the best CBI options for Iranian citizens. These countries allow Iranians to apply for and obtain second citizenship and a second passport through various investment channels.
- Saint Lucia
Dominica CBI Program
Established in 1993, the Dominica CBI program is the fastest citizenship program in the Caribbean and has enormous benefits for investors. The Dominica government created the program to increase foreign economic contributions to develop the country’s infrastructure, create jobs, and cultivate long-term prosperity. Investors are granted second citizenship and a Dominican passport in exchange for supporting Dominica’s growth. Iranians can obtain this powerful passport in 6 months. A Dominican passport allows visa-free access to over 140 countries and territories, including the United Kingdom, the Schengen Zone, and China. There are two channels through which applicants can invest. They can either make a non-refundable contribution under the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) or invest in an approved real estate project approved by the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Unit. Iranians can apply for this excellent program without visiting Dominica or learning the language. Once they hold the Dominican passport, they can vote, work, live, and even invest in additional properties in Dominica. Dominican citizenship and passport can be passed down to newborn children and allow dual citizenship.
Turkey CBI Program
The Turkey CBI program is another great opportunity for Iranian passport holders to obtain second citizenship and a second passport. Established in 2017, the Turkey CBI program is easy to navigate and complete, allowing applicants to hold a Turkish passport in as little as six months. Turkey’s CBI program is unique in offering a range of investment thresholds for applicants with different budgets. These channels include four options: a $400,000 investment in real estate, a $500,000 cash deposit at a Turkish bank, a $500,000 cash purchase of government bonds, or the creation of at least 50 jobs in Turkey through an approved business endeavor. Any Iranian citizen who obtains a Turkish passport through their CBI program has free medical care in Turkey and visa-free access to more than 110 countries, providing a great entryway into the world of international business, travel, and educational programs. Holders of a Turkish passport also have the opportunity to relocate and start a business in the United States through the E-2 Visa scheme. Turkish citizenship can be acquired remotely without traveling to Turkey and is automatically passed down to all descendants under 18 years old.
Grenada CBI Program
Grenada CBI program is an excellent choice for Iranians looking for a second passport with special access to China. Launched in 2013, Grenada’s CBI program was set up to develop the local economy for the future. Foreign investors can obtain Grenada citizenship and a passport in 6 months. Grenada is one of two Caribbean countries with a CBI program that offers visa-free access to China. Grenada passport holders can also apply for an E-2 investor visa treaty with the United States to work there. This allows Iranians to do business with two global powerhouses. This CBI program can be accessed through a non-refundable contribution under the National Transformation Fund (NTF) or a real estate investment in an approved project under Grenada Citizenship by Investment Unit. The Grenada passport allows holders to travel visa-free to over 140 countries and can be passed down to newborn children. Iranians can keep their Iranian passport as well, benefitting from dual citizenship.
Saint Lucia CBI Program
The most recent of the four major CBI programs Iranians can participate in is offered by Saint Lucia. Launched in 2016, this program was developed using the lessons and experiences of other programs to create a highly efficient program that implements best practices for all applicants. Within 6 months, applicants can obtain Saint Lucia citizenship and the passport allowing them visa-free access to over 140 countries, including the Schengen Zone and the United Kingdom. Applicants are not required to live in Saint Lucia or meet a language requirement. Saint Lucia citizenship can be passed on from applicants to their newborn children and allows for dual citizenship.
Other CBI programs that accept citizenship applications for Iranians
In addition to these four countries, there are other CBI programs Iranians can apply for to obtain second citizenship and a passport. However, these programs may require applicants to meet specific criteria that others do not. For example, the Antigua and Barbuda CBI program requires Iranian applicants who were born in Iran to have immigrated from Iran before the age of majority and/or have maintained permanent residence in any country other than those on the list of restricted countries, including Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen. Iranian applicants must have been outside of Iran for a period of no less than ten years and maintained no economic ties with any restricted country.
Countries that do not accept citizenship applications for Iranians
Some countries do not accept CBI program applications from citizens of Iran. The Citizenship by Investment Unit in Saint Kitts and Nevis decided to suspend citizenship applications for Iranian passport holders. This means that Iranians are currently not among the nationalities eligible to apply for Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship and passport by investment.