Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CBI) plays an essential role in the revenue generation for many countries, and it allows the individuals receive second Citizenship in exchange for the investment for the development of the respective nation.
The importance of Citizenship by Investment was identified by many of the Caribbean countries, and they adopted this Programme with a transparent, secure and stringent due-diligence process.
According to the renowned website of Brussels, Press Editorial, the Caribbean countries which have adopted the CBI Programme includes – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia. The report further suggested that the above-mentioned countries have a rigid due-diligence process that ensures only legitimate applicants are accepted into the programmes.
The adoption of the strong and transparent due diligence processes and continuous efforts to grant Citizenship to reputable and eligible investors shows that the government of these island nations have acknowledged the significance of the background checks in the CBI programme notified that Brussels-based website.
The Caribbean region has become a safe and secure investment place for the High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) as many nations have been providing visas and welcoming the global business hubs. According to the report, some of the countries which have been emerging as the signers of the visa waiver agreements with the Caribbean countries are United Arab Emirates, India, China, and Russia.
The CBI Programme of the above-mentioned Caribbean nations has been highly recognized by the globe because they possess the best-in-class economic citizenship programmes.
To recognize the actual benefits of the Programme, the renowned media website from Brussels, Press Editorials, conducted a comprehensive qualitative survey on around 100 people who have received second Citizenship from these Caribbean nations. An open-ended questionnaire was used by the media website to make significant revelations.
As per Press Editorial, the survey concluded that the maximum of the investors wanted to buy the second Citizenship of the Caribbean countries to seek global mobility, business opportunities and status symbol in the society.
Another reason revealed by the report was spending holidays at exotic destinations without facing any hassle of visa processing.
The report by Press Editorial further shared the experiences of some wealthy businessmen who attained the CBI Programme to ease their travel to other countries.
“I am satisfied that I invested in the Citizenship by Investment Programme and became a citizen of Dominica. Its visa-free access was the facility that attracted me the most so I can grow my global business,” said Yichén Bingwen, a Chinese businessman working in real estate who said that Dominica’s Citizenship helped him and his family with his business with ease of travel.
“The decision I made to invest in the Citizenship by investment programme has been great so far; I did it because I wanted to expand my business and buy authentic Italian marbles as there is a massive market in Pakistan. I could not get the quality product through middlemen; I had to make frequent visits, do market research and then move ahead with my work. But due to long visa delays, especially when embassies were closed due to pandemic, things were just getting very difficult for me, so I had to get an alternative,” said Nadeem Qureshi from Pakistan, who obtained Citizenship of St Lucia under economic citizenship programme.
Qureshi said since he received the Citizenship of St Lucia, he had been to Italy several times without any problem. “I import marble from Italy using his St Lucian passport has been more accessible than ever and helped expand his business,” said Qureshi. He told Press Editorials that he is now planning to expand his stores in UAE and Bahrain.
Another Chinese businessman, Lî Wáng, obtained Citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda also added that dual Citizenship helped him win ample ways. “Visa-free access under the Citizenship by Investment Programme helped me worldwide with impromptu trips. I remember one time I had to attend an urgent meeting in Singapore; all I had to do was get an air ticket and pack my bags. This saved my time a lot, and I have access to different nations. It further helped me to build streamlined communication channels and build a robust network worldwide. I can go to different nations whenever I want to market and advertise my business services”.
The study further explains that the applications of the individuals who apply for the CBI undergo rigid vetting by the third-party firms based in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe. The applicants get the green signal only after the close evaluation by these firms. To make their CBI Programme safe and secure, all Caribbean nations have adopted a multi-layered due diligence process, which provided aid to the government to filter the applicants of the Programme, ensuring decent applicants are approved.
The report informed that to ensure the transparency of the due-diligence process, the Caribbean nations – Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and Dominica has joined their hands with renowned due diligence firms such as Thomson Reuters, Fact UK, Kroll, Exiger, S-RM and others.
The transparency and comprehensiveness of the due-diligence process hold a crucial role because the government of the countries (providing economic Citizenship) has to fulfil their responsibilities towards national and international security.
Press Editorials further shared the statics and notified that the countries had witnessed a surge in the country’s economy by up to 85 percent after introducing visa-free travel to the investors. The boost was witnessed because the second Citizenship attracted many businessmen to these countries to expand their business and invest in these countries.
Furthermore, the most benefitted nation from the Caribbean’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is ‘Europe,’ according to the study.
Moreover, the foremost reason behind investing in the economic Citizenship of the Caribbean nations is Global Mobility, a procedure that allows the access of travel to over 150 foreign countries.
In accordance with the Press Editorial, many developed and developing countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia have allied with the Caribbean nations to boost their economies. This also provided benefit of growing the visa-free access to the investors having passports of these countries.
The report further mentioned that the latest visa-waiver agreement was signed by the United Arab Emirates with two of the beautiful Caribbean nations – The Commonwealth of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis. The island nations have permitted the dual citizens of the countries to visit Emirates freely.
The UAE recognized the significance of the CBI Programme of these Caribbean countries and applauded the countries for their strict and rigid background checks, ensuring Citizenship to only decent and respectable investors. While applauding the CBI Programme with the comprehensive due diligence, Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud from UAE, in one of his interviews, exclaimed, “I believe that the new Europe will be the Middle East as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabis will be different in the next few years. If we succeed in the next five years, many countries will follow us and the subsequent global renaissance in the next 30 years will be in the Middle East, God willing, and I think this goal will be achieved 100 percent,” according to the Press Editorial.
Apart from UAE, the countries such as India, Russia, Brazil, Egypt, Qatar, and 15 other nations have also signed a visa-waiver agreement with the Caribbean nations.
The benefits of the CBI Programme of the Caribbean nations have been applauded by many European delegates and businessmen (who enjoy second Citizenship).
As per the study, a Russian businessman having an overseas soap business, Yaroslav Petrov, has the second Citizenship of Dominica. While sharing his experience, he claimed, “I am having a comprehensive enterprise of exporting soap overseas, in which the Citizenship of Dominica has helped me to visit Africa. I get to know about the mass-market, mid-market, and high-end market”.
On the same end, the benefits of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship was informed by a multi-millionaire businessman from China, who noted,” I am fond of collecting historic artwork and visiting various European nations to sell and buy the art pieces. So, it was vital for me to have access to global mobility or visa-free access to European countries. To get this, I decided to have a citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda a few years back”.
The report further informed that the Citizenship by Investment Programme was a help for the businessmen during the crucial times of the COVID-19 outbreak. CBI provided an opportunity for the businessmen to travel to the Caribbean countries with passports, which saved their businesses and economies from being depleted.
CBI Programmes of the Caribbean nations –
Antigua and Barbuda: The twin-island nation launched the Citizenship by Investment Programme in 2013. It has continuously worked at the forefront, and now it has World’s most efficient and transparent option for economic Citizenship. The nation has a transparent and rigid vetting process due to which has obtained a great rank in the CBI Index’s ninth pillar.
Investment options: The applicants will be required to invest $150,000 for a family of six or more, as per the investment options by the University of West Indies. The fund option will provide one family member with a one year (tuition only) scholarship at the University of the West Indies.
Dominica: The Commonwealth of Dominica has been crowned as one of the World’s best, longest-running and safest CBI programmes. The programmes were launched in 1993. Dominica was lauded by the Smith and Williamson report for its performance in boosting the due-diligence process.
CBI has massively contributed to the development of Dominica. Economic Citizenship has led the country’s various development projects, including the construction of the over 5000 climate-resilient homes and the country’s massive and most expensive project called “The International Airport”.
Investment options: The funds generated by the CBI Programme (Economic Diversification Fund) supports public and private projects, covering education, healthcare, sport and tourism. To attain Citizenship, the single applicant should contribute USD 100,000 to the EDF.
Grenada: The country opted for the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI) in 2013. Nation gathered praise for providing the second Citizenship to the eligible and respectable applications. Additionally, Grenada has bagged a commendable place at the ninth pillar of the CBI Index.
Investment options: The applicant has to contribute about $ 200,000 to possess the Citizenship of the country. The means of the transformation in Grenada is The National Transformation Fund.
St Kitts and Nevis: CBI Programme in the twin-island country was established in 1984. St Kitts and Nevis have the longest-running, most trusted and successful CBI programme. The country was among the top rankers in the CBI Index.
Investment options: Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris introduced the newest channel – Sustainable Growth Fund, for CBI Programme in March 2018. With this investment option, the applicant must contribute USD195,000 for the family of four; the applicant gets dual Citizenship.
St Lucia: It has the newest CBI Programme, adopted in 2016. Indeed, it has the best position CBI programme in the Caribbean.
The Brussels-based website concluded the study and mentioned that the Caribbean nations – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia, have strict and rigid CBI Programme due to which only reputed investors receives dual Citizenship.
Just a few months back, the European Union slammed various countries for their poor vetted process. However, the study also emphasized the disbandment of the European Union as several countries might step back because the countries have been heading towards corruption, unemployment and many other social issues.