The CBI Index assesses 13 countries with operational citizenship by investment programs, including Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cyprus, Dominica, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, Turkey, and Vanuatu.

The CBI rates each citizenship by investment program (CIP) from a score of one to a maximum of 10 on the following metrics:

  • Freedom of Movement
  • Standard of Living
  • Minimum Investment Outlay
  • Mandatory Travel or Residence
  • Citizenship Timeline
  • Ease of Processing
  • Due Diligence

It has been noticed however that the important comparison metrics of settlement rights have not been taken into consideration, as part of these metrics.

Whilst CARICOM countries which form the Caribbean programs, have the benefits of the CARICOM single market economy and minimum investment criteria being as low as $100,000 providing visa-free access to many countries worldwide, the main interest by global citizens is in the EU, with EU Citizenship programs such as Cyprus and Malta, granting citizens the freedoms to live, work and study in any of the 28 EU Member States, and enjoy all their freedoms as a European Citizen, hence why such European CIPs tend to be much more expensive, sometimes 10-20 fold.

With the Citizenship by Investment industry being on the rise, attracting huge foreign direct investments into cash strapped nations, and with the Caribbean countries using inward investment for the country’s redevelopment, more and more wealthy individuals are been constantly made aware of the ever growing choices of CIPs and their benefits, with an anticipated number of 40,000 economic citizenships been purchased overall in all citizenship programs.

For some the attraction to CBI is alternative back up plan or ‘Plan B’ to countries of political instability and strife, for others freedom of movement is fast becoming even more important with increasing immigration restrictions worldwide for non-EU nationals, and even more recently for Europeans in light of Brexit, citizenship by investment programs have become a serious consideration for many wealthy investors.

Many high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs are happy to pay huge investments in exchange for citizenship by investment on an expedited basis, so that they can enjoy better lifestyle choices, higher quality living, to secure the education and future of their children and to preserve and grow their wealth through increased business opportunities, real estate investment and asset planning in other jurisdictions.

With most interest in CIPs coming from Russia, Asia and Middle East, albeit countries encouraging the huge injection of investment into their countries, funding housing, real estate, hotel and tourism, investment funds and other projects, there is increasing concerns as to the due diligence and risks of such elite investors, looking for dual citizenship options as a route to tax evasion. Citizenship programs are constantly evolving to ensure they stay compliant with the ongoing EU, OECD and other Regulators’ hurdles, wanting to preserve their biggest investment generator, in most cases being government approved for the programs and investment projects meeting the citizenship criteria.

For further information on CIPs in the UK, EU and the Caribbean contact our specialist immigration team at [email protected] where we will be happy to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation.