Having more than one passport is a critical part of any robust Plan B. Even if you never leave your homeland, a second passport serves as an excellent insurance policy. Today we take a look at North Macedonia’s new(ish) Citizenship By Investment (CBI) program – and why we’d NOT recommend it (yet)…
Introducing the (fledgling) North Macedonian CBI program
North Macedonia (until 2019, just “Macedonia”) is a landlocked country in the Southern Balkans. It is one of the six countries that formed after the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 90s.
In 2019, the country’s CBI program became “more official” after the government passed the following citizenship law (in Macedonian). The new legislation made the program more “defined”, and introduced a reduced investment option (see option #2 below).
We think that North Macedonia could be an interesting player in the CBI field. It boasts a pretty decent passport; we give it a “B” Grade in the Sovereign Man Passport Index, as it offers visa-free access to the Schengen Area.
The country is also quite tax friendly, with a flat 10% tax on most types of income.
And North Macedonia is MUCH cheaper – and arguably more livable – than the remote Caribbean islands offering CBI programs.
The North Macedonian program’s investment options at a glance
The program makes provision for two investment options:
Option #1: Invest €400,000+ in an eligible new company that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. You will need to hold the investment for at least one year.
The applicable processing fees are €100,000 for the main applicant, €20,000 for the spouse, and €10,000 for each dependent child. So, the minimum cash outlay for a single applicant is €500,000, out of which you ought to get back €400,000 or so.
This is a legacy investment option, and is much more expensive than the newer one.
Option #2: Invest €200,000+ in a private local investment fund, and hold it for at least two years.
At least on paper, you would be “investing” and not “donating”, so there is a chance you could get the money back. What you won’t get back is the hefty processing fee of €50,000 for the main applicant, €20,000 for the spouse, and €10,000 for each dependent child (that’s a whopping €90,000 for a family of four).
So, the minimum cash outlay under option #2 is €250,000 (for a single applicant). While more expensive than the Caribbean donation options, this is substantially cheaper than the Turkish program (now priced at $400,000).
But that’s working on the BIG assumption that the North Macedonian CBI fund investment is, in fact, an investment, and that you’ll be able to recoup your capital.
Still, many other questions remain, too:
- Does the program have a deadline in terms of a date or a number of applicants?
- How many people have naturalized successfully through the program already?
- What are the investment conditions? Will you really get the investment portion back? Or is it more of a donation? If that’s the case, the program’s promotional messaging is dubious.
- What governmental branch or official is responsible for the program? And who can answer all the questions from a position of authority?That’s a lot of important questions, with relatively few definitive answers. Which tends to make our analysts nervous, and hence we don’t currently present this program as an option for our members…
The North Macedonian CBI program is relatively new, with ample teething issues (and a buggy program website). And while the country made efforts to strengthen the program, serious transparency issues remain.
Fortunately, there are a range of other well established, highly credible CBI programs around the world. And these are the ones we present to our members, along with deep discounts for Total Access (TA) members…
How TA can help YOU get a CBI passport cheaper than ANYONE else…
Navigating this industry on your own can be difficult and risky, with little objective information available in the public domain.
Sovereign Man: Confidential and Total Access (TA) members benefit from our expert, impartial analysis of the world’s CBI programs. Our job is to do deep research and identify the programs that can serve our members best.
In fact, we’ve gone one step further and negotiated deep discounts for ALL the Caribbean CBI programs on behalf of our TA members. (Use our CBI Pricing Calculator to see how much you can save.)
Programs like those of St Kitts and Antigua, where we enjoy strong relationships with local service providers, and where we’ve helped dozens of our members obtain second passports.
As a TA member, you can get a Caribbean CBI passport for THE lowest price one can find anywhere.
For example, if you go for the Dominica donation option as a single applicant via TA you’ll save at least $13,000… And as a family of four, you’ll save a whopping $22,500 or more.
Moreover, you can save up to $40,000 on some of the other Caribbean CBI programs as a family, which means joining TA is a total no-brainer.
And these passport deals are just one of the MANY benefits we offer to our Total Access members…
So if you’re in the market to apply for a second passport by investment, joining TA is a must.