Citizenship by Investment? Here Are The Top 10 Countries

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Professional Wealth Management, a publication from the Financial Times, has today launched the world’s first comprehensive guide to the programmes that populate the economic citizenship industry – the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Index.

Economic citizenship – also known as citizenship by investment – is a niche sector that sees the overlap of investment and immigration, and that, in a global climate of change, innovation, and, at times, uncertainty has become increasingly popular among high net worth individuals.

The CBI Index rates the 12 countries that offer CBI programmes, critically evaluating their performance and appeal across a wide list of indicators relevant to an applicant’s decision-making process.

The CBI Index’s methodology, the brainchild of researcher and analyst James McKay, utilises seven indicators, known in PWM’s Special Report as ‘pillars,’ to rate the countries’ programmes. The seven pillars are freedom of movement, standard of living, minimum investment outlay, mandatory travel or residence, ease of processing, citizenship timeline, and due diligence.

McKay says he is pleased to have created the first-ever up-to-date comprehensive breakdown of today’s CBI programmes, a process that relied on a five-stage approach of both qualitative and quantitative analysis:

“The Citizenship by Investment Index is innovative in design – with its reliance on official sources and statistics of the highest quality – and I am pleased to have had an opportunity to contribute to this most dynamic of investment industries.”

The CBI Index results placed the Caribbean island-nations of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis in the top positions, with Dominica receiving a perfect score for minimum investment outlay, mandatory travel or residence, ease of processing, and due diligence. The results reflect not just the relative affordability of the Caribbean jurisdictions, but also their ability to offer streamlined processing supported by a strong framework of due diligence.

Alongside St Kitts and Nevis and Malta, Dominica rated the highest in the due diligence pillar due to the strict parameters it has set for vetting a potential applicant. All three of these countries collect either fingerprints or other biometric data, require police certificates from more than one country including the country of residence, and gather detailed information on the applicant’s family and source of funds.

According to the CBI Index, the search for second citizenship is not synonymous with certain national groups or regions:

“…as home countries continue in their pursuit of restrictive policies and uncertain strategies, more and more international applicants will be attracted to the prospect of dual nationality in a welcoming, open nation.”

The CBI Index is an inaugural publication, and can be accessed on www.cbiindex.com.

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