Residence and Citizenship by Investment: An Updated Database on Immigrant Investor Programs

11 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019

See all articles by Leila Adim

Leila Adim

University of Barcelona - Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 23, 2019


In the last decades, many countries have chosen to implement Immigrant Investor Programs (IIPs) to attract foreign capital and boost national economies. IIPs are based on a conditional exchange logic according to which the host country offers residence permits (Residence by Investment — RBI —), citizenship (Citizenship by Investment — CBI —) and, sometimes, preferential tax regimes, to third-country nationals making substantial investments within its territory. The influence of this kind of economic strategies on in — and out — migration of individuals and capitals leads the polarization of both immigrants and states. IIPs, in fact, tend to reveal the existence of a lucky class of immigrants, able to invest in order to skip the standard procedures for obtaining residence permits and/or citizenship, and to show that the provision of preferential treatments is apt to turn states into “top destinations”. Such a polarization does not arise from the willingness to damage a group of immigrants or from attempts to undermine the economy of other countries; by implementing IIPs, host countries pursue economic benefits without minding on any detrimental consequence. IIPs can generate discrimination between high and low-income people — immigrants and citizens —, unfair economic competition among countries, and also mismatches in the field of taxation. All these negative impacts have been widely addressed in recent publications, but they still exist and to fight them, it is important to keep the information related to RBIs and the CBIs always updated. This paper provides a database of these programs and their main characteristics with the aim to facilitate the work of all those researchers and organizations that commit themselves to the study of the factors that give rise to economic discrimination and unfair competition.

Keywords: Immigrant Investor Programs, Residence by Investment, Citizenship by Investment

JEL Classification: K37, K22, G28, H53, H72

Suggested Citation

Adim, Leila, Residence and Citizenship by Investment: An Updated Database on Immigrant Investor Programs (October 23, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Leila Adim (Contact Author)

University of Barcelona - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Diagonal, 684
Barcelona, Barcelona 08034

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