CBI Index 2022: In a world full of uncertainties, people are seeking Plan B for a better future, and the Citizenship by Investment Programme emerged as a win-win solution. High-Net-Worth Individuals and investors have been showing keen interest in these kinds of programmes because they provide countless opportunities.
The significant demand for the CBI programmes has forced the host countries to make their due-diligence background check procedure more robust, stringent and vigorous. Due diligence is a process under which the applications of the investors and applicants undergo strict investigation, audit or review to confirm the facts or details. In terms of the CBI industry, basic documents and forms such as identifying documents, documents related to financial materials and personal references and criminal history are thoroughly reviewed.
The Citizenship by Investment Programme Units of the host countries works with reputable international due diligence agencies to ensure that only reputable individuals receive alternative citizenship. Comprehensive due diligence checks are performed on all applicants older than 16 years of age. The integrity is maintained, and a central role is established in the CBI programmes due to the due diligence procedure.
According to the Citizenship by Investment Index 2022, popularly known as the CBI Index, the Caribbean countries, including Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia, have the most stringent due-diligence processes.
The index was released on August 22, 2022, by the Professional Wealth Management (PWM) Magazine of the Financial Times has ranked the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia at the top for providing the most stringent due diligence checks.
The programmes of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis have secured a perfect ten in the due diligence pillars, whereas Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme scored nine out of ten.
Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis are the countries which lead the due-diligence pillar because of their most efficient, transparent and affordable CBI programmes, with robust due diligence measures. Both island countries have topped the CBI Index 2022 because of their meticulous commitment to due diligence. Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis have secured a perfect score because the CBI units work jointly with law enforcement and external third-party due-diligence agencies from the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The CBI report 2022 stated, “Due diligence is a critical step in the citizenship by investment (CBI) programme process. Host countries need to fully understand to who they are bestowing citizenship. 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 third-party specialist firms and assessments by regional and international bodies,” the index by PWM magazine reported.
Properly executed due diligence protects not only the nation and its population but also the reputations of the programme and its international partners. Stringent due diligence ensures that only reputable individuals are granted citizenship through this process. If governments fail to take the due diligence processes seriously, it could cause reputational damage to the host country, which could result in a premature end of its citizenship programme, according to the CBI Index 2022.
This year, the CBI Programme of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis jointly secured the top position in the CBI Index 2022. At the same time, Saint Lucia climbed a spot up and secured third, replacing Grenada. According to the CBI Index 2022, the increase in the overall score relates to improvements in due diligence with a minimum investment outlay 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.
Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis were rated against 11 other countries with operational CBI programmes, which, in 2022, include Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Cambodia, Egypt, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, Saint Lucia, Turkey and Vanuatu.
The primary methodological objective of the CBI Index is based on the isolated pillars that measure CBI programme features and jurisdictional desirability. The nine pillars that constitute CBI Index 2022 are:
- Freedom of Movement
- Standard of Living
- Minimum Investment Outlay
- Mandatory Travel or Residence
- Citizenship Timeline
- Ease of Processing
- Due Diligence
- Certainty of Product