El Salvador is launching its “Freedom” visa program, offering citizenship in exchange for a $1 million investment in Bitcoin or USDT. Developed in partnership with Tether, this ambitious initiative could bring up to $1 billion to the Central American country, while contributing to its economic and social development.
El Salvador introduces a “Freedom” visa
El Salvador recently launched a citizenship-by-investment program, offering residency visas and a path to citizenship for those willing to invest in Bitcoin or stablecoin USDT.
The program, dubbed the Adopting El Salvador Freedom Visa Program, is a collaboration between the Salvadoran government and Tether, the company behind the market’s first stablecoin, USDT. The program plans to offer 1,000 citizenship visas to investors who commit to investing $1 million in BTC or USDT.
The application process requires a non-refundable deposit of $999 in Bitcoin or USDT, and all accepted applicants will be required to pass a KYC check. Upon acceptance, the investment of $1 million in Bitcoin or USDT will then be required to qualify for the “Freedom” visa and then citizenship.
Adriana Mira, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, emphasized:
This collaboration marks a crucial step in our commitment to economic development and innovation. The “El Salvador Freedom Adoption Visa Program” offers an extraordinary opportunity for individuals to actively participate in creating a prosperous future for our nation. “
According to Tether, the “Adopting El Salvador Freedom Visa Program” offers participants the chance to play an active role in El Salvador’s cultural, technological and societal development, while offering investors a path to Salvadoran citizenship by contributing to the progress of the country’s society.
A costly but promising Salvadoran visa
This initiative, which could bring El Salvador $1 billion if all places were taken, represents a significantly higher cost than similar programs in neighboring countries, which start at $100,000. However, the pro-Bitcoin policy pursued by President Nayib Bukele since 2021 could attract many investors.
As a reminder, by making Bitcoin its second legal currency in 2021, El Salvador had marked an important step towards the integration of around 70% of its unbanked population, and paved the way for more intense economic development.
In recent years, President Bukele’s crime reduction policy appears to have been highly effective. Since its inception, El Salvador has seen its first homicide-free days, and this downward trend is now at an all-time low.
However, despite the Salvadoran president’s great popularity with the population, the methods employed by the government to combat crime are highly controversial.
Amnesty International reported in 2022 that, of the 60,000 arrests made by the Salvadoran police, a majority were arbitrary, accompanied by human rights violations, particularly with regard to prisoner detention conditions.