Exceptional Citizenship

Exceptional Citizenship

There are a number of countries, including some in Europe (such as Malta, Serbia, Austria, Spain, Croatia, Portugal, and others), that offer citizenship to individuals who are deemed exceptional (VIPs), giving the country a significant advantage.

Spain and Portugal have different laws and regulations regarding the acquisition of citizenship through exceptional achievement.

In Spain, there is a law known as the “Ley de nacionalidad” that allows for citizenship to be granted based on exceptional achievements or extraordinary circumstances. However, there are no clear criteria or requirements defined for this process.

In Portugal, there is a regulation known as “naturalização por mérito” that allows for citizenship to be granted based on exceptional achievements or extraordinary circumstances. However, there are no clear criteria or requirements defined for this process.

Special Citizenship in Montenegro
The Montenegrin government reserves the right to grant citizenship based on “exceptional achievements” or “extraordinary circumstances,” but there are no clear criteria or requirements defined for this process.

It should be noted, however, that this type of citizenship is not available to the typical investor or businessman and is usually only available to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the country (such as artists, athletes, scientists, etc.) or who are in special circumstances (such as political asylum seekers).

In Malta, it is possible to acquire Maltese citizenship for outstanding achievements in science, research, sports, arts and culture, as well as for investment and entrepreneurship. This rule was introduced by the Grant of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations enacted in Legal Notice 335 of 2017.

Pursuant to Article 10(9) of the Maltese Citizenship Act, persons of exceptional service to Malta may acquire Maltese citizenship. A foreigner or stateless person who has rendered outstanding services to the Republic of Malta or humanity, or whose naturalization is of particular interest to Malta, may be issued with a certificate of naturalization as a Maltese citizen by the Minister if the legal requirements are met.

For the purposes of this paragraph, “extraordinary” means manifestly superior and refers to contributions from scientists, researchers, athletes, athletes, artists, cultural workers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

In addition, the Minister may issue a certificate of naturalization to an eligible dependent of a foreign national or stateless person who has made outstanding contributions to Malta through investment.

Serbia, has a special investor citizenship program that differs significantly from traditional citizenship by investment programs. Therefore, it is referred to as the Serbian Very Important Investor Program (VIIP). The VIIP is not open to everyone, but is specifically aimed at foreign investors who want to support emerging Serbian economic growth.

The program allows persons according to Section 19 of the Serbian Citizenship Law who provide significant support to the country and are therefore of special importance to the country to acquire Serbian citizenship. However, this concerns not only investors, but also scientists, researchers, athletes, sportsmen, artists and cultural workers who contribute to Serbian society and economy through their contributions.

Austria: It is well known that Austrian (EU) citizenship brings many benefits. However, the main criteria for non-residence-based applications remain unclear to the public. Although authorities are extremely selective in applying this rule, interested individuals may contact TCME Group Worldwide for an initial assessment of their eligibility and assistance.

According to Article 10(6) of the Austrian Citizenship Act 1985, as amended, the criteria applied may include actual or potential “extraordinary achievements” serving the interests of Austria rendered by a highly qualified person through an active contribution of national importance. The Austrian citizenship program through investment has very strict requirements and requires an investment of at least 2 or 3 million euros, which is the highest cost level among all European programs.

Obtaining citizenship under this particular program can take up to 24 months. The criteria for exceptional achievements worthy of support include economic, scientific, technical, artistic, cultural and sporting activities as well as successful and world-renowned entrepreneurs or innovators.

Albania: According to the Albanian Citizenship Law No. 8389 of 6 September 1998, there is an option in Albania for the government to grant Albanian citizenship to foreign nationals based on their exceptional achievements. These achievements can take place in various areas, including economic aspects such as participation in capital or other economic benefits accruing to the country. However, citizenship is not granted solely on the basis of equity participation. The foreign investor must provide an exceptional achievement related to its investment, such as introducing new technology to the country or creating a significant number of new jobs.

For exceptional achievement citizenship, the applicant must make an individual application, which is reviewed by the government. Based on the available facts, a decision is then made on the granting of citizenship.

Investing in Albania and applying for citizenship based on exceptional achievements may present an opportunity for investors who do not qualify for, or opt out of, standard citizenship-by-investment schemes. However, it should be noted that such an application is only possible on the basis of exceptional performance and not on the basis of pure equity participation.

The Albanian government sees the granting of citizenship on the basis of exceptional achievements as an opportunity to bring qualified investors and specialists into the country and thus strengthen Albania as a business location.


Croatia, passed a law allowing foreigners to acquire Croatian citizenship based on outstanding achievement. The relevant law was introduced in 2011 and stipulates that persons who have made exceptional achievements in the fields of business, science, culture or sport can apply for Croatian citizenship.

It is important to emphasize that the Croatian government is extremely selective in the application of this rule and naturalization based on excellence is not easy to obtain. The applicant must demonstrate that they have performed a service that is in the national interest of Croatia and brings significant benefit to the country. Examples of this are investments in the Croatian market, the creation of new jobs or the promotion of culture or sport in Croatia.

The specific requirements and procedures for applying for Croatian citizenship on the basis of excellence are managed by the Ministry of Interior and may vary on a case-by-case basis.


If you’re thinking about leaving the country but don’t know where to start, our GCI UNT Worldwide team is here to help.

We’ve helped hundreds of people move their businesses overseas, legally reduce their taxes, and become dual citizens. We are focused on high-net-worth individuals and their families as well as corporations wishing to invest their offshore companies or even secure their wealth in offshore financial centers around the world. We will help you to find the best solution for setting up an offshore or onshore company. Another special area of our full-service consulting is the investment opportunity and solution in Europe, especially in the Balkans, Africa, Asia, UAE, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

If you are looking for it, please feel free to contact us. We create a holistic plan that serves your purpose.
The Global Citizenship Investment Worldwide Group is a leading professional International Business Investment and Advisory Firm for Foreign Economic Relations, with 17th. departments in different Countries and the Headquarter in Malaysia.

(GCI UNIT Worldwide), designs and implements customized, holistic strategies for successful investors and entrepreneurs to legally reduce their tax bills, diversify and protect their wealth, invest abroad, gain a second citizenship and live a freer life worldwide to lead.


GCI firm is a professional International Business Investment and Advisory Firm for Foreign Economic Relations. Our range of services includes:

• Offshore and Onshore Company Formation,
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Advice on residency and citizenship by investment programs, VIP citizenship programs in cooperation with more than 70 countries
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Department GCI – Unit Global Citizenship Investment (GCI worldwide)
by TCME Worldwide Group – Global Investments –
Level 33, Ilham Tower, 8 Jalan Binjai,
Kuala Lumpur 50450, Malaysia
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