El Salvador has launched a new visa program that grants a residency visa and a pathway to citizenship for foreigners if they invest $1 million in Bitcoin (BTC) or Tether (USDT) into the small Central American nation.
Limited to 1,000 participants per year, the “freedom visa” program is for deep-pocketed individuals or investors who want to be part of “a commitment to building the country of the future,” per El Salvador’s webpage.
El Salvador Woos Crypto Millionaires With Exclusive Citizenship
To foster its growing digital economy, El Salvador’s government and Tether, the firm behind the USDT stablecoin, have teamed up for a new visa scheme to lure high-net-worth crypto investors.
The Visa program, dubbed “Adopting El Salvador Freedom Visa Program”, requires eligible participants to pledge a “$1 million in Bitcoin or USDT investment,” starting with a non-refundable $999 deposit in BTC or USDT.
El Salvador’s official website says: “El Salvador has been reborn as the land of economic liberty. But this is just the beginning. Come help us build the future you want to see.”
If all 1,000 spots are filled each year, the country could generate $1 billion annually from the citizenship-by-investment program.
Notably, El Salvador’s initiative is 10 times more expensive than other countries in the world where people are rewarded with visas for making generous investments. Digital Currency founder Alistair Milne observed that El Salvador’s scheme is “uncompetitive in the global market”, noting that citizenship in a European Union nation could actually be bought for less.
Tether will be providing support for the program as El Salvador’s technology partner in a bid to establish the country as a “dynamic global center for cutting-edge technology and financial innovation”.
Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino highlighted the firm’s commitment to bolstering advancement through its blockchain payment rails:
“This partnership reinforces our dedication to advancing technology, empowering nations, and enabling individuals to invest in a future where innovation and progress go hand in hand.”
El Salvador’s Bitcoin Journey
El Salvador made history back in 2021 after becoming the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender. All businesses in the Latin nation are legally obligated to accept the ascendant crypto if they have the technological means to do so.
El Salvador’s wildly popular president Nayib Bukele has also made BTC investments using the country’s fiat coffers. His bitcoin bet has been slagged off by everyone from U.S. lawmakers and economists to El Salvador citizens.
But Bukele took to X (formerly Twitter) earlier this week to celebrate BTC’s latest upsurge pushing El Salvador’s holdings into the black. He revealed that his country’s bitcoin position is now profitable by more than $3.5 million. However, he emphasized that he has no intention of selling any BTC.