While the program reflects El Salvador’s crypto-friendly policies, the price tag is notably higher than similar programs in neighboring Caribbean nations, starting at $100,000.
El Salvador has unveiled a unique citizenship-by-investment program, the “Adopting El Salvador Freedom Visa Program,” offering a residency visa and a pathway to citizenship for 1,000 individuals willing to make a substantial investment in the country. However, the entry fee comes at a hefty cost – a $1 million investment in Bitcoin or Tether.
A non-refundable deposit of $999 kickstarts the process, with the full investment contributing to a potential $1 billion windfall for El Salvador if all spots are filled.
Comparisons with Caribbean Counterparts
In contrast to neighboring Caribbean nations offering citizenship at a starting price of $100,000, El Salvador’s program seems comparatively expensive. Countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis provide citizenships in exchange for significantly lower contributions to sovereign development funds.
Alistair Milne, founder of Altana Digital Currency, criticized El Salvador’s offering as “uncompetitive in the global market,” pointing out that EU citizenship could be acquired for less than the $1 million investment. Malta, for instance, offers citizenship by investment at €750,000 ($810,000), providing access to the EU’s visa-free Schengen Area.
Weighing Pros and Cons
Despite the high cost, El Salvador’s citizenship program might appeal to crypto enthusiasts due to the nation’s pro-Bitcoin stance. President Nayib Bukele’s policies include recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender and introducing favorable tax incentives for technology companies.
Bukele recently highlighted the success of the country’s Bitcoin investments, emphasizing a $3.6 million unrealized profit and dispelling any notions of liquidating the portfolio.
Source : BCS