On September 7th, Professional Wealth Management (PWM) magazine, a publication from the Financial Times, released the fourth edition of its annual report: ‘A Guide to Global Citizenship: The 2020 CBI Index’. It evaluates all active citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes in the world and ranks them against nine pillars deemed most important to individuals seeking second citizenship by means of investment.
Of all existing 14 programmes worldwide, the report found that the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis top the 2020 CBI Index ranking. Dominica succeeded at balancing straightforward processing and wider eligibility of dependants with reliable due diligence and an excellent overall reputation. Meanwhile, St Kitts and Nevis remains unchallenged as regards speedy processing times and longevity, with a focus on appealing more to families. Its new limited-time offer — whereby a family of up to four can obtain citizenship for US$150,000 via the fund option — addresses investors’ need for more family-friendly solutions.
Similar to last year, fellow Caribbean nations — Grenada, St Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda — join Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis in occupying the top five positions of the 2020 CBI Index. Vanuatu, Malta, Cyprus, Montenegro, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Cambodia, and Jordan complete the ranking.
The 2020 CBI Index introduces two new pillars — Family and Certainty of Product — to the previous seven, and integrates settlement rights into the Freedom of Movement pillar. The family pillar considers how easy it is to include immediate and extended family members in a primary application. Certainty of product looks at the Programme’s stability in five key areas: longevity, popularity and renown, stability, reputation and adaptability. These major adjustments reflect the shifts in the investor immigration industry towards more family inclusiveness and the need for trustworthy programmes. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of borders made many investors prioritise health, safety, a pleasant environment, and welcoming communities over global mobility.
“By blocking international travel, the Covid-19 pandemic has had the effect of reminding investors and the wider world of the fundamental importance of ‘home’,” the researcher explains. “Home and citizenship are closely intertwined, as only citizenship can give certainty that a person will be able to settle somewhere indefinitely. […] And, as the CBI Index highlights, there are few options for citizenship that are as expeditious and straightforward as citizenship by investment.”
“The current global crisis has led investors to explore alternative citizenship and residence options with a focus on healthcare and standard of living,” comments Micha-Rose Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners — a leading industry firm and government advisory headquartered in London. The co-head of global wealth planning at UBS, Anna Brugnoli, echoes Ms Emmett’s assessment. She adds that high-net-worth individuals seeking relocation evaluate how effectively a country responded to the health and economic crises — which the Caribbean excelled at. “What we see is the question of ‘do I have the right citizenship?’,” Ms Brugnoli told PWM.
Yuri Bender, PWM Editor-in-Chief, comments: “Covid-19 has proved the catalyst for many trends which private banking teams witness in daily practice. One of these is the use of Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes to help global families manage both their structures and expectations.”
Click here to download the full report.