In a recent editorial in Investment Migration Insider, the publication’s editor Christian Nesheim took aim at the current coverage of Citizenship by Investment Programs (CIP). Over the last several weeks there have been waves of reporting by various media outlets in addition to statements and reports issued by watchdog groups and representatives from various countries within the EU. The stated reason for concerns being raised about CIP is safety, security, and preventing anyone involved in illegal activities from gaining citizenship.

Nesheim points out that CIP have stringent standards for admission and applicants for citizenship through these types of programs all have to be fully vetted before they can be approved. In what Nesheim calls a “deluge” of negative coverage, there have been plenty of concerns raised without concrete evidence that a problem exists. In addition, as Nesheim notes, articles stating fears are given prominence through news media and then spread throughout the internet whereas the resulting responses from the countries hosting the programs and industry groups are given very little attention. Nesheim writes, “Our statements of fact invariably fall on deaf ears.”

The ongoing negative press along with the lack of substantive reasons for the criticisms has made it difficult for those with direct involvement with CIP to even find time to respond to each round of media coverage, much less make their rebuttals heard. Nesheim worries that the negative coverage is “implanting in the minds of lay-people an inaccurate and negative perception of the industry.” This concern as well as the tone of the commentary have understandably resulted in considerable frustration for those involved with CIP and, in particular, within the countries that are benefitting from the much-needed investments these programs infuse into their economies.

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