Citizenship by Investment Programmes are in demand nowadays as the High-Net Worth Investors (HNWI) invest in the alternative citizenship of a country to expand their business, diversify their portfolio and plan their wealth. The selection of an appropriate country is important for these HWNIs, and to ease this process, the Professional Wealth Management (PWM) Magazine of the Financial Times releases the CBI Index every year.
“With the rapid expansion of available CBI programmes, some of which are still in their infancy, the CBI Index is an essential resource for those looking for comprehensive and impartial information on the relative merits of each in order to make an informed decision for themselves and their families,” outlined researcher James McKay.
The CBI Index is known as a comprehensive ranking system that evaluates operational citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes. The report is released every year, and in 2022, it was released on August 22 (Monday). This time as well, the CBI Index was dominated by the five Caribbean island countries.
The top five positions have been secured by all five Caribbean countries, with Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis sharing the first position, followed by Saint Lucia and Grenada at the third and fourth rank, respectively as well as Antigua and Barbuda at fifth.
The Citizenship by Investment Programme of the Commonwealth of Dominica has crowned the world number 1 for the sixth consecutive year, and the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis topped the report for the second consecutive year.
The Citizenship by Investment Programme of Dominica has been a favourite one for seeking alternative citizenship in a country which will offer numerous benefits along with a second home. The CBI Programme of this beautiful Caribbean country is known for being a straightforward and simple route for investors who can attain citizenship in exchange for investment. The applicant or investor can invest either by contributing to the development of the country or by investing in any government-approved real estate.
Dominica has secured a perfect score in six pillars of excellence out of nine. The country got ten in “Minimum Investment Outlay”, “Mandatory Travel or Residence”, “Ease of Processing”, “Due Diligence”, “Family”, and “Certainty of Product”. The overall points and percentage of Dominica were 81 and 90%.
On the same breadth, the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is known to provide alternative citizenship to investors with the fastest processing time. The investors who are looking for a better future for their families and business can opt for the alternative citizenship of this twin-island country. The citizenship of the nation can be attained by contributing toward the socio-economic upliftment under the Sustainable Growth Fund (Fund Option). The CBI Programme of St Kitts and Nevis is also famous for being one of the family-friendly programmes. Under this, an applicant can add additional dependants such as spouse, children, siblings, parents and grandparents.
Similar to Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis has also got ten on ten in six pillars out of the nine – “Mandatory Travel or Residence”, “Citizenship Timeline”, “Ease of Processing”, “Due Diligence”, “Family”, and “Certainty of Product”.
Despite being the newest programme in the Citizenship by Investment industry, Saint Lucia’s CIP has secured the third rank, and Grenada has been shifted to fourth place. Saint Lucia has attained the third rank because of its robust, stringent and vigorous due diligence procedure.
Saint Lucia has secured ten on ten in three out of nine pillars. The perfect score has been secured in “Minimum Investment Outlay”, “Mandatory Travel or Residence”, and “Ease of Processing”. Saint Lucia bagged an overall score of 78 and an overall percentage of 87%.
The ranking is provided on the basis of nine pillars of excellence:
A maximum of 10 points are granted for each of the nine pillars, and the maximum attainable score by a programme is 90, with all final scores also expressed in terms of a percentage of the total points available. For instance, a perfect 90-point score would be expressed as 100 percent.
The nine pillars are:
1. Freedom of Movement
2. Standard of Living
3. Minimum Investment Outlay
4. Mandatory Travel or Residence
5. Citizenship Timeline
6. Ease of Processing
7. Due Diligence
9. Certainty of Product
Out of the nine, due diligence is the most critical step in the citizenship by investment (CBI) programme process.
“It is vital. The main jurisdictions that offer CBI programmes have high levels of due diligence. Certainly, all the jurisdictions we work with offer very high levels of due diligence. Some countries may even use two due diligence companies to cross-reference the work being done to ensure they are picking up on everything. The potential for risk to the integrity of their programmes causing reputational damage to a country means that anyone who is involved recognises that due diligence needs to be at the highest possible standard,” stated Eddy Leviten, the chief operating officer of FACT Worldwide.
This year, the CBI Index evaluated 13 jurisdictions across the globe. The countries were – Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Cambodia, Dominica, Egypt, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, Turkey, and Vanuatu.