Caribbean: US based media organization Associates Times has recently conducted a webinar on “Residency and Citizenship by Investment Programme” offered by various countries with the globally renowned UK-based Government Citizenship advisory firm CS Global Partners.
The Webinar discussed the importance of such programmes and the excellent Citizenship by Investment programmes around the globe. The CS Global Partners was represented by CEO Micha-Rose Emmett and Director Paul Singh.
From highlighting the recent trends that have kept the Citizenship by Investment Programme high in all factors, the Webinar discusses all the queries generally faced by an applicant. The Webinar also highlights the advantage of the programme to applicants and the host country.
The guests at the Webinar have also discussed investment options available to the applicant under several CBI Programmes and added the most direct-straightforward route for attaining second Citizenship.
The guests further noted the CBI Programmes being offered by several nations, including the Commonwealth of Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, which they recalled as the World’s oldest and longest-running.
On being asked by the interviewer about the certain trends that Micha has witnessed as being a CEO of globally-renowned CS Global Partners, and what has kept the Citizenship by Investment highly desired. Micha said, “I think the main thing is chaos, as soon as there is a world event or a regional event, we see an uptick of applicants coming from those regions, and it is much understood that with awareness, people realized the importance of getting access to global nations to do business and to educate children.”
While highlighting the significance of a strict due-diligence process and efficient background checks, the Director of CS Global Partners, Paul Singh, noted that Citizenship by Investment is the most direct, clear-cut, and seamless process to gain citizenship applications.
Mr Singh further noted that, “It’s normally three months that suits time-poor business people who are very busy, and the Caribbean CBI jurisdictions such as St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica have got an excellent processing timeline and its’ actually very efficient. So from the moment of submission to approval in principle is generally three months, and we’ve worked with the governments to ensure the process of an economic citizen is as smooth as possible.”
Mr Singh added, “Nonetheless, despite the swiftness of processing, it doesn’t undermine the programme’s integrity. It is a comprehensive due diligence process, and all five Caribbean jurisdictions have got a very thorough due diligence process. They’ve all ranked very highly in the pillar of due diligence, conducted by the financial times CBI Index, which scored all five Caribbean nations quite highly there.”
While giving the idea about the steps involved in the CBI Jurisdiction, Paul Singh said, “From submission of the application, the documentation and the relevant fees being paid on behalf of the agent. We must ensure that the application forms and supporting documents are complete to the appropriate standard. Additionally, agents conduct an initial screening of the applicant, which is their KYC. So the process is very thorough.”
While highlighting the types of investment options available to the applicants, Micha Emmett said, “CBI Programmes generally tend to have two options that are: a non-refundable contribution that goes to the government or alternatively an investment in an real estate approved project.”
“Most of those approved projects tend to be real estate developments in some cases, specifically hotel room investments and then some islands; some countries have bonds; it really depends from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the two main ones are real estate investment and a donation investment,” she added.
While clarifying about which programme would be more suitable for an applicant and what are the main benefits of the CBI Programme, Mr Paul Singh said, “Different types of investors are interested in different investment options, and one can say that the government fund contribution is a more straightforward route.”
“It can tend to be even an efficient route, whereas real estate has a more complex way than the direct contribution route to the government. Some investors may choose the real estate route because they want to have a tangible asset, and they may well be looking for a return on it, but in simple words, the government donation route is most safe and secure route,” said Paul Singh.
During the Webinar, Mr Paul highlighted which CBI programmes are suitable for applicants, “Applicants tend to look at the longevity of the programme, how well established that the programme is and of course with St Kitts, for instance, being the cradle of citizenship, and the programme was launched in 1984 so of course almost four decades.”
According to Singh, Dominica is also one of the oldest programme which started in 1993 almost three decades, so they have run for a long time they’re in held in very high regard by the international community, then a lot of people who have gained citizenship from these particular islands had that tool for many years and its worked for them, and they’ve family additions over time, they’ve had added to the programme as well.”
“So, all in all, there can be when in the future they’re looking for additions to the programme whether they want to add dependents as well, but also is very much some of the criteria when somebody is looking to choose a programme,” said Paul Singh.
Micha Emmett, while answering a query related to whether CBI is only financially beneficial to successful applicants, or do the host nations also gain more advantages. Of which she said, “The Citizenship by investment programme is really is a win-win solution in that you know the investor who’s coming along and making the investment into the country and obtaining the second Citizenship as Paul rightly elucidated in terms of the benefits is also there’s an equal benefit to the country in that as I mentioned earlier about the two routes to investment.”
She further asserted, “The direct contribution to the government is so important because it’s non-tax revenue that comes into the country, and it’s so important in terms of building roads, building schools, building hospitals.”
“So, we’ve seen some amazing things happen through the government with the revenue that’s been raised by CBI, and in fact, particularly a country like Dominica, it was almost saved by CBI finds when Hurricane Maria hit in 2017 and in terms of the real estate or the investment through the real estate option.”
“It’s both a direct investment for the country because it’s building hotels, it is building housing, but there’s also an indirect opportunity for the country, and it creates employment opportunities for the people and the citizens of that country. So all in all, what’s great about working in this industry is that really we are providing a win-win solution for other parties involved,” Micha Emmett said.
At the same time, Mr Paul Singh, while considering the specific issues that an investor must consider before applying for CBI Programme, said, “For interested applicants whose original documents are not in English, it is useful to note that they will need to obtain a certified translation of their documents. Depending on the international law, documents will also need to be certified and apostille.”
“Also, depending on the national law of the country of which an investor is a national – they may or may not be able to retain dual citizenship status, so that’s a very important factor, and most Caribbean CBI countries, nonetheless, allow for dual Citizenship so they will not need to worry about that aspect,” he added.
Meanwhile, Paul mentioned that Citizenship by Investment has come as a great lifesaver & life-changing process for the investors and the host nation. It provides several business opportunities, educational opportunities, and better health care to the individual.
He stated that CS Global Partners met directly with clients who have obtained Citizenship and proved that their lives have completely transformed.
While concluding, Mr Paul explained that the Citizenship By Investment programme with the thorough vetting process always provides Citizenship to reputable investors to ensure the safety and security of the country.