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  September 25th, 2018 | Written by

Caribbean region is the top destination for investors looking for second citizenship

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  • People in the UK and Europe have become more aware of dual citizenship post-Brexit.
  • Freedom of movement is becoming a key factor as immigration policies get more restrictive around the world.
  • People affected by turmoil or instability are looking for an additional citizenship as a precautionary measure.

The 2018 CBI Index—a special report published by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine—has revealed that Caribbean nations remain the top destinations in the world to apply for second citizenship.

The league table

Of all 13 citizenship by investment (CBI) jurisdictions worldwide, Dominica spearheads the industry, scoring perfect marks in five of the seven pillars against which each program is evaluated. Four fellow Caribbean nations follow shortly, with CBI pioneer St Kitts and Nevis as a strong contender. The programs assessed in this year’s CBI Index include those offered by Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cyprus, Dominica, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Turkey, and Vanuatu.

The CBI programs on the list, ranked according to the index, are as follows.

  1. Dominica
  2. St Kitts and Nevis
  3. Grenada
  4. Antigua and Barbuda
  5. St Lucia
  6. Vanuatu
  7. Cyprus
  8. Malta
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Turkey
  11. Austria
  12. Jordan
  13. Cambodia

Why apply for secondary citizenship?

Post-Brexit debates have raised awareness of the value of one’s citizenship and the certainty—or lack thereof—that it may hold.  “People in the UK and Europe have become much more aware of dual citizenship post-Brexit,” said Micha-Rose Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners, specialising in residency, citizenship, immigration and foreign investment law.

“Freedom of movement is becoming a key factor at a time when immigration policies are getting more restrictive around the world,” said Shelby du Pasquier, head of the banking and financial services practice at Geneva lawyers Lenz & Staehelin, one of Switzerland’s leading experts in tax and wealth management. “It is not surprising there is so much interest from Russia and Asia.”

CBI programmes, he believes, also offer an “alternative” back-up plan for nationals of jurisdictions threatened by political turmoil or instability. “Many
of the people affected by these threats are looking for an additional citizenship as a precautionary measure in case the situation should worsen in their country of origin,” said du Pasquier.

How is the index calculated?

The CBI Index measures seven areas, or pillars: due diligence, freedom of movement, standard of living, minimum investment outlay, ease of processing, citizenship timeline, and mandatory travel or residence. Independent researcher and architect of the CBI Index, James McKay, considers these the most critical elements of an investor’s decision-making process when choosing a second citizenship. McKay explains the relevance of the study for the investor immigration industry: “The CBI Index is rapidly becoming the leading tool for investors to accurately measure the performance and appeal of global citizenship by investment programs.”

You can take a look at a visualisation of these seven pillars below. For a detailed breakdown of the 2018 CBI Index results, please refer to the full report, available for free download here.