For lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) applicants, there are only two available citizenship by investment programs, from Cyprus and Malta.The Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exception and the Maltese Individual Investor Program are the sole citizenship by investment programs suitable for the members of the LGBTQ community, as the countries also offering such possibilities outside of Europe do not grant equal rights for same-sex couples.However, in Malta and Cyprus gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people and queers can not only immigrate but they may also:
enter into a civil union
cohabitation (with an agreement in Cyprus)
and they can also marry in Malta.
These EU Member States offer security, high quality of life, excellent healthcare and are welcoming foreign investors independently from their sexual orientation. Malta is also in the Schengen agreement; meanwhile, Cyprus will join quickly.With these European passports, the citizens can live, work, learn or retire in the other EU Member States.What is the difference between the EU citizenship by investment programs and the Caribbean schemes for gay and lesbian applicants?For example, same-sex activity is still a crime in Antigua and Barbuda. The penalty can be even 15 years of jail sentence! The situation is almost the same in Dominica: 10-year prison sentence or incarceration in a psychiatric institution (the last option has not been enforced during the last couple of years.) In Grenada, St Kitts and St Lucia, gays can expect a 10-year prison sentence. However, lesbian sexual activity is not illegal. Of course, marriage, cohabitation or civil union are unthinkable.
LGBT rights in the EU
LGBT rights in the European Union are always protected under the European Union’s (EU) treaties and laws. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in all Member States of the European Union and discrimination in employment has been banned since 2000.Malta and Cyprus were in the group of the most conservative Member States regarding the rights of the LGBTQ community, until the last decade. Luckily, the modern European point of view changed the society of these islands with citizenship programs fast, and the change was radical.Malta held a referendum on divorce in 2011. Yes, it is true: citizens of the Mediterranean paradise islands may divorce only from 2011! Now, Malta is one of those few countries (even in the EU), where LGBT rights are equal at constitutional level! And it banned the conversion therapy in 2016, again as the first European country. Same-sex marriage is legal since September 2017!Cyprus is slightly different because the “socially conservative Greek Orthodox Church ” still has a strong influence on public issues. However, since Cyprus became a Member State of the European Union, the legislators changed its human rights legislation, including the laws regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. The recent legislation of Cyprus only recognises marriage as a union between one man and one woman. That`s why there is no official recognition of same-sex marriages. The new law in November 2015 enabled the recognition of civil unions.What is the benefit of the second passport programs of Malta and Cyprus for the LGBTQ community?These European countries offer simple and straightforward citizenship (and also residency) solutions. Their citizens are protected and can enjoy all advantages of the European quality of life for everyone, independently of their sexual orientation.If you want to apply for an EU residency or citizenship, click here and get more info about the Programs!