Owner of the longest standing CBI programme, St Kitts and Nevis, takes top spot at this year’s annual CBI Index
CARIBPR WIRE, Basseterre, Aug. 24, 2022: The Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis tops this year’s CBI Index rankings for offering one of the best citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes in the world.
St Kitts and Nevis was rated against 12 other countries with operational CBI programmes, which, in 2022, include Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Cambodia, Dominica, Egypt, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, St Lucia, Turkey and Vanuatu.
The CBI Index, published by PWM Magazine, a publication from the Financial Times in collaboration with CS Global Partners, is a rating system designed to measure the performance and appeal of global CBI programmes across a diverse range of indicators and its purpose is to provide a rigorous and systematic mechanism for appraising programmes in order to facilitate the decision-making process for individuals considering them, and to bring value to the CBI industry
The primary methodological objective of the CBI Index is to isolate pillars that measure CBI programme features and jurisdictional desirability. The nine pillars that constitute this year’s CBI Index include: 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.
The country received full marks – 10 out of 10 in the Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family and Certainty of Product pillars.
The Mandatory Travel or Residence pillar examines the travel or residence conditions imposed on applicants both before and after the granting of citizenship.
St Kitts and Nevis, along with the rest of the Caribbean countries, does not have any travel or residency requirements for CBI applicants. This makes it easy for busy entrepreneurs to continue running their businesses and still be eligible to get their second citizenship while not having to fulfil any minimum stay requirements.
St Kitts and Nevis scored top marks for the Citizenship Timeline pillar – which looks at the average time taken for citizenship to be secured by the applicant – due to the Accelerated Application Process where for an additional fee, an applicant can obtain their citizenship within a maximum of 60 days instead of the standard processing time of approximately three months.
Ease of Processing measures the end-to-end complexity of the CBI application process. St Kitts and Nevis makes the process of obtaining citizenship easy and straightforward, the country has an official government website and a dedicated CBI unit. It has also done away with burdensome application requirements such as interviews, language, culture or history tests, proof of minimum business experience and evidence of the purchase of tangible or intangible assets.
The overall effortlessness of the application process is a particularly important component, and the promise of a smooth, hassle-free process can generate readiness to engage with a programme.
One of the areas where Caribbean nations really differentiate their programmes, is the area of due diligence. St Kitts and Nevis’ due diligence process is multi-faceted and is undertaken by the country’s CBI unit, law enforcement and external third-party due-diligence agencies from the UK and USA. This ensures that the process is stringent and comprehensive, applicants are required to provide either fingerprints or a biometric passport, police certificates from both an applicant’s country of residence as well as their country of citizenship and comprehensive supporting information in respect of an applicant’s source of funds.
The CBI Index recognises that the rise of increasingly complex family relationships is driving investors to seek programmes that allow for a more diverse range of family members to be included under a primary application. St Kitts and Nevis retains a perfect score for their family friendliness as, in addition to a main applicant, they allow the applicant’s spouse, children under 18 and over 18 in certain circumstances, siblings, parents and grandparents of both the main applicant or their spouse to be included in an application.
St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI programme is one of the oldest in the industry, having been established in 1984, it assures investors of a certainty of product. The CBI Index measures certainty across five different dimensions: longevity, popularity and renown, stability, reputation, and adaptability – aspects which St Kitts and Nevis’ programme can tick off confidently.
In the 2022 CBI Index, the Freedom of Movement pillar measures the relative strength of each country’s citizenship based on three equally weighted factors: the number of destinations to which a country’s passport allows travel without restriction, the number of prime business hubs to which it provides access, and the degree to which a given citizenship provides settlement rights in other nations. St Kitts and Nevis scored a seven out of 10 in this area as it offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 156 countries.
The Minimum Investment Outlay pillar measures one of the most practical and foremost considerations of CBI: how much capital is required for the investor to become an eligible applicant for the programme of their choosing.
St Kitts and Nevis offers one of the most affordable routes to alternative citizenship, and even though it ended its limited time offer of US$150,000 for a family of four at the end of December 2021, it did not impact its score, five out of 10, as the scores are based on minimum investments for a single applicant.
The St Kitts and Nevis CBI programme is a family-friendly route for those looking for a reputable and trusted programme that prioritises both applicants and its citizens – the stringent due diligence process upon application ensures that only honest hard-working families are approved. The citizenship can also be passed down to future generations, giving investors who want to leave a legacy, peace of mind.
Download the full CBI Index here, to get further insights into the CBI industry and a full evaluation of the CBI programmes of the 12 other jurisdictions in the rankings.
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