LONDON, Aug. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On August 18th, the Professional Wealth Management (PWM) magazine, a publication from the Financial Times, released the fifth edition of its annual report: “A Guide to Global Citizenship: The 2021 CBI Index.” The study evaluates all active citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes across the globe using nine pillars that are considered the highest priorities for investors seeking to apply to such programmes. These pillars are Freedom of Movement, Standard of Living, Minimum Investment Outlay, Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family, and Certainty of Product.
In this year’s edition of the annual report, both the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis shared the top ranking as the countries with the best CBI programme. For Dominica, 2021 marks the fifth consecutive year the island has been crowned as the best offering for second citizenship. However, this is the first time St Kitts and Nevis has also landed the top spot.
Both countries received perfect scores for their lack of mandatory travel or residence requirements for applicants, along with their simple processes, due diligence procedures, and family-friendly structures. In addition, Dominica scored perfectly in the Minimum Investment Outlay and Certainty of Product pillars whilst St Kitts and Nevis, for a second consecutive year, was the only country to receive top marks in the Citizenship Timeline pillar. This is due to the country’s Accelerated Application Process that bestows citizenship on successful applicants within 60 days. Although, in some cases, the AAP can take as little as 45 days.
The Caribbean, once again, took the top five spots in the 2021 report, with Grenada, St Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda following Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis. With decades of experience within the industry shared between the five nations, the region’s CBI programmes evolved quickly to meet changing investor priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes include a limited-time reduction on investment thresholds, as shown in St Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis, and expanding family inclusiveness by allowing additional dependants to be included in applications.
Overall, the CBI industry has witnessed several changes over the last year, with new countries like Egypt entering the mix, while Cyprus abolished its long-standing programme. Demand for CBI programmes in 2021 saw increased interest as more investors outside of traditional markets began to pursue legitimate solutions to the restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Yuri Bender, PWM’s Editor in Chief, commented: “Both private banks and law firms report increased interest among clients seeking new citizenships and passports since the advent of the pandemic. Wealthy investors, say commentators, only began to appreciate mobility once it was abruptly withdrawn due to COVID.”
The industry adapted to meet the needs of this growing demographic: “Trends have included family inclusiveness, sustained emphasis on due diligence, and growing oversight of real estate projects available for investment under certain CBI programmes,” the report noted.
Click here to download the full report.