On 7 September 2020, the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management (PWM) magazine published the newest edition of the CBI Index – the investor migration industry’s most comprehensive analysis of the world’s active CBI Programmes. The CBI Index measures these Programmes against specific factors – or ‘pillars’ – reflecting investor priorities. In the 2020 edition, Dominica emerged as the world’s best CBI Programme for the fourth consecutive year.
The 2020 CBI Index assessed the CBI Programmes of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cyprus, Dominica, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Turkey, and Vanuatu. This year the programmes were measured against nine pillars rather than seven – ‘Family’ and ‘Certainty of Product’ having been identified as two new areas of investor interest. The 14 CBI Programmes were therefore measured against the following pillars:
- Freedom of Movement
- Standard of Living
- Minimum Investment Outlay
- Mandatory Travel or Residence
- Citizenship Timeline
- Ease of Processing
- Due Diligence
- Certainty of Product
Overall, the Caribbean nations once again clinched the top 5 positions, “due in large part to their affordability and speedy, simple processing mechanisms.”
Dominica was once again ranked as the world’s best CBI Programme, balancing “an excellent reputation for meeting the needs of investors with strong due diligence, a low minimum investment outlay, efficient processing, and a renewed focus on family reunification.” Dominica has maintained its position at the top since the inception of the CBI Index in 2017.
Following Dominica, in second place, was St Kitts and Nevis. As the world’s most longstanding CBI Programme, St Kitts and Nevis has garnered international recognition as the ‘Platinum Standard’ of the industry, and this was reflected in the country’s score of 10 for Certainty of Product. St Kitts and Nevis also demonstrated that it is the Programme “with the fastest citizenship timeline” – its Accelerated Application Process allowing applicants to receive citizenship in as little as 60 days.
Changes in the 2020 CBI Index
Having received its first application in October 2019, the CBI Index assessed Montenegro’s CBI Programme for the first time this year.
Debuting in joint-eighth with Cyprus, Montenegro emerged with “robust due diligence, low travel and residence requirements, and a short citizenship timeline.”
As a relatively new Programme, Montenegro has had little time to establish itself in the industry. It will therefore be interesting to see how Montenegro’s Programme develops.
Freedom of Movement
In the 2020 CBI Index, settlement rights were taken into consideration under the Freedom of Movement Pillar, improving the prospects of CBI countries that are part of free movement regimes.
As members of the European Union (EU), countries such as Austria, Bulgaria and Cyprus provide the right to live and work in 27 member states, all with a high HDI score.
The Caribbean countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia are members of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, and hence provide a limited right to work in 12 member states.
Since the onset of Covid-19, family reunification has emerged as a top priority for investors. The new Family Pillar, therefore “measures the extent to which investors can include immediate and extended family members in a primary application.”
Dominica and Grenada achieved a perfect score in the Family Pillar for their “broad range of family-friendly provisions.” Also scoring highly were Malta, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia.
Certainty of Product
The new Certainty of Product Pillar measures a programme’s certainty across five indicators, namely: longevity, popularity and renown, stability, reputation, and adaptability.
Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis were the only CBI programmes to achieve perfect scores under this pillar.
Dominica was praised for having “suffered no serious CBI-related scandal in its 17 years of operation,” while St Kitts and Nevis was praised for its “global renown.”
How can I find out more?
If you would like to download the 2020 CBI Index, please visit www.cbiindex.com. Alternatively, if you wish to receive tailored advice as to which CBI programme is suitable for you, please contact CS Global Partners.
2021 Edit: Cyprus’ and Malta’s programmes have now been cancelled. Persons wanting to obtain citizenship of Malta may do so under the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, 2020. But first, one must hold residence status in Malta for at least 12 months and pass an eligibility assessment. CS Global Partners is a certified Referral-Sub Agent under Malta’s new Regulations. Our licence number is AKM-ACCA-21.