Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes
Updated: 5 days ago
Citizenship by investment is a means to secure a second citizenship and passport in another country by investing in its economy. This can be accomplished through different types of established investment options, including real estate, government bonds, establishing a business, development funds, etc.
In exchange for making a financial contribution to the nation's economy, people and, in some situations, their families can receive dual citizenship through a lawful process. Offering citizenship by investment enables nations to generate revenues towards improving infrastructure, healthcare, and other areas. If a person’s country of origin permits dual citizenship, investors both retain their current citizenship and also receive citizenship for the country they invest in.
A number of nations in the world—five of which are in the Caribbean—offer citizenship by investment programmes at this moment in time. These Caribbean nations comprise of Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis. In addition, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Vanuatu are also other nations that have a citizenship by investment programme. There are distinct benefits attached to obtaining citizenship in each country where the option exists, as well as certain requirements for the investment you can make.
In the Caribbean, the idea of citizenship by investment was initially established, with St. Kitts and Nevis launching the first CBI programme in 1984. The St. Kitts and Nevis CBI offering has lasted the longest up to this point. To give a little background, historically under British rule, St. Kitts and Nevis was the epicentre of the sugar trading sector in 1684. After the country gained independence and beet sugar was introduced as a substitute to sugar cane in the 1900s, the "Sugar Industry Diversification Fund" was established as part of the nation's new Citizenship by Investment Program. St. Kitts and Nevis was able to grow its tourist sector thanks to the CBI programme, which quickly turned the region into a centre of economic activity through tourism. Although the Sustainable Growth Fund subsequently took the place of tourism, St. Kitts and Nevis continues to be an upper-middle class nation with good healthcare and a high literacy rate.
The three most popular destinations for Citizenship by Investment are Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, and Dominica. These Caribbean islands are favoured by foreign nationals because they have well established citizenship by investment programs that have generated proven results for investors.
Dominica crowned No.1 CBI for 2022. Dominica secured first spot in best citizenship by investment rankings for 2022, followed by Grenada in second spot and Saint Lucia taking third spot.
As can be seen, citizenship by investment programs have been available for decades in some Caribbean islands and other nations and are aimed at foreigners willing to invest in their economy with the purpose of granting citizenship in exchange. By receiving a generous contribution, the expectation is that there will be an enhanced economic development in these territories.
In general, it is an opportunity for any investor to have a plan B, even if the investor resides in a stable country, as it is better to have security in case some extraordinary situation occurs in your country that prevents you from moving around with your passport or keeping your money in a national bank.
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