CBI Index 2022: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has proved a key turning point in a complex international ecosystem, which has already been improving due diligence and oversight procedures to minimise reputational damage to the countries offering citizenship by investment to the investors.
The significance of the due-diligence procedure has been understood by many countries, offering alternative citizenship to the High Net-Worth Individuals.
Recently, the Citizenship by Investment Index 2022, popularly known as the CBI Index 2022 was released by the Professional Wealth Management (PWM) Magazine of the Financial Times. The latest edition of the Index depicted that Small Island Developing States, such as Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and Malta has built their standards stronger by improving due-diligence background checks.
The CBI Index 2022 stated, “Due diligence is a critical step in the citizenship by investment (CBI) programme process. Host countries need to fully understand who they are bestowing citizenship on.”
“Caribbean nations that offer CBI, such as Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis, have developed an in-depth, six-step due diligence process to better understand the individual who is applying for alternative citizenship. Robust and multi-layered due diligence processes are essential to any successful CBI programme because it combines internal government checks with research by specialist third-party firms, and assessments by regional and international bodies,” the Index by the PWM Magazine mentioned.
The three island-nations, Dominica, Malta and St Kitts and Nevis have secured ten on ten in the Due Diligence pillar. The CBI Index has outlined that as with previous years, Dominica, Malta and St Kitts and Nevis retain perfect scores for the Due Diligence Pillar, due to their stringent and comprehensive requirements. These countries require the provision of either fingerprints or a biometric passport, have robust external due diligence procedures.
It is worth noting that the all the incredible performing countries – Dominica, Malta and St Kitts and Nevis have worked with the US- or UK-based independent international firms to carry-out the background checks.
The CBI Index 2022 was released by the PWM Magazine of the Financial Times on August 22, 2022 (Monday). The report ranked Caribbean countries – Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis as world’s best Citizenship by Investment Programme. Dominica ranked the world’s best for sixth consecutive year and St Kitts and Nevis topped the report for second time in a row.
“For the second year running, St Kitts and Nevis joins Dominica in 2022 in equal first place overall as the highest ranked programmes in the CBI Index, with both scoring 81 points,” CBI Index 2022 reported.
The third position was bagged by Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment. The report stated that as the newest Caribbean programme, Saint Lucia is now in its sixth year and jumps from fourth to third overall in this year’s CBI Index, ahead of Grenada’s score of 78. This increase in the overall score relates to improvements in due diligence — in particular the introduction of biometric passports and increased popularity and adaptability, while remaining competitive with a minimum investment outlay in line with Dominica of USD 100,000 for a single applicant. A further tightening of its due diligence requirements and/or the inclusion of grandparents as eligible dependants could see it become a serious competitor for the top spot in the 2023 CBI Index.
The third prominent country, offering due diligence – Malta jumps up to sixth place this year with an overall score of 60. The CBI Index reported, “Malta’s stringent due diligence regime, which mirrors the requirements of the Caribbean CBI programmes, and its swift reaction to the banning of Russian and Belarusian applications. Where Malta scores less highly is for its minimum investment outlay, which is currently priced at €705,000 (more than double all of the Caribbean programmes), its residency requirements and its citizenship timeline.”
Citizenship by Investment:
Dominica: The Citizenship by Investment Programme of Dominica was launched in the year 1993 and currently it is known as the world’s best CBI Programme. The country is offering alternative citizenship to the investors across the globe in exchange of financial contribution towards the development of Dominica.
The investors can apply for alternative citizenship through two investment options – Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) and Real Estate Investment Option.
St Kitts and Nevis: In 1984, the twin-island Federation established as the world’s first Citizenship by Investment Programme. The programme is the oldest yet most reputed CBI Programme. The Citizenship by Investment Programme is globally famous because it offers citizenship to reputable individuals and their families through a robust and efficient due diligence process.
Launched in 2018, SGF has been known as most affordable, direct route to apply for alternative citizenship. The funds generated are used to support areas like infrastructure advancement, tourism development, social assistance and local entrepreneurship. The minimum investment starts from USD 150,000.
Malta: The Citizenship by Investment Programme was launched in 2020. The investor may apply for the alternative citizenship through three investment options – Direct, non-refundable investment, Real Estate investment and Philanthropic investment.