The programmes which allow the investors to have citizenship in exchange for a financial contribution towards the development of the country are gaining popularity nowadays. Since the last decade, these economic citizenship programmes are notably considered by the investor(s) who are finding a path to plan their wealth and diversify their portfolio. These programmes are known to offer benefits that most investors cannot find anywhere else.
Various countries across the globe offer these kinds of programmes, but the Caribbean countries, like Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia, have been emerging as the world’s best Citizenship by Investment Programme, as these nations offer countless profitable benefits to the investors/ applicants.
The CBI Programme of Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia comes with benefits, including favourable opportunities to plan and spread one’s wealth, extending citizenship to the family, wide range of investment programmes, high standard of living and enjoying the general benefits that come with living in modern, diverse countries.
For providing the above-mentioned benefits, these countries have been top ranked in the CBI Index, published by Professional Wealth Management (PWM) Magazine of Financial Times. The CBI Index is a comprehensive ranking system that evaluates operational citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes globally. The programmes are evaluated thoroughly and then gain ranking as per their efficiency. This report is evaluated on the basis of nine pillars that are considered the highest priorities for investors seeking to apply for economic citizenship. The nine pillars are: Freedom of Movement, Standard of Living, Minimum Investment Outlay, Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family, and Certainty of Product.
The Index is released by the PWM Magazine in the month of August every year, and the top rank has been secured by Dominica for the past five consecutive years. This year, there are speculations that Dominica will once again top the ranking as the country has been doing enough of development for the locals and offers numerous opportunities to the investors to expand their businesses.
Some reasons why Dominica can secure the top position are:
• Low cost and affordable CBI for investors and their families
• New Biometric passport strengthening security standards
• Excellent property market attractive to invest in hotels
• Wise use of CBI funds in sustainable development
• Due diligence checks
In the last year’s annual report, Dominica shared the first position with St Kitts and Nevis. It was the first time for St Kitts and Nevis to secure the top spot. Both the countries bagged the first position for their due-diligence procedure, under which the CBI Unit and an international independent third party firm performs background checks and ensure that the alternative citizenship is granted to an honest and credible investor. Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis have been offering alternative citizenship from last two decades and have been adopting new changes to meet the challenges.
Citizenship by Investment Programme:
Dominica: The small Caribbean country has been offering alternative citizenship for the investor(s) since 1993 and is known as the world’s longest-running, safest and most secure. The Caribbean country has been providing citizenship in exchange for significant financial investment toward the development and upliftment of the country’s infrastructure. The programme has been contributing to helping Dominica to expand the economy and to meet the international market competition.
The investors can apply for alternative citizenship through two investment options – Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) and Real Estate Investment Option.
Under the Economic Diversification Fund, popularly known as EDF, the investor(s) invest in the social-economic development of the country. This fund option has contributed in construction of bridges, roads, houses, schools, as well as, healthcare centres and hospitals. The investment under EDF starts from USD 100,000.
If the investor(s) is planning to invest through the Real Estate Investment Option, they have to invest in a government-approved real estate property. The investment starts from USD 200,000.
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. St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment programme are committed to delivering value and opportunities to investors and citizens alike in a responsible way, contributing to the social and economic success of the Federation.
An applicant may apply for alternative citizenship through the Sustainable Growth Fund, which is popularly known as Fund Option. 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.