Last week, the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management (PWM) magazine published a report that ranked two Caribbean nations the best in the world for citizenship by investment (CBI). This is the first time two countries have tied for first place in the five years the report has been in existence.
The report, titled “A Guide to Global Citizenship: The 2021 CBI Index,” evaluates 14 CBI programmes based on nine pillars: 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 Commonwealth of Dominica and the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis both achieved full scores for their lack of mandatory travel or residence requirements for applicants, along with their simple application processes, strict due diligence procedures, and family-friendly structures.
Dominica: First Place for Five Consecutive Years
This year marks the fifth consecutive year that the Nature Isle received the top spot in the report. “For Dominica, first place has been a consistent result for five consecutive years. Maintaining a perfect score in six out of the nine pillars assessed, Dominica once again promises, among other things, an affordable minimum investment outlay, a streamlined application process, and certainty to investors,” James McKay, the researcher behind the report, wrote.
Dominica was also the only country with a full score in the Certainty of Product pillar due to the CBI Programme’s transparency and prominence. “It is of great honour to see that Dominica came out on top once again. Of course, it is not a surprise to us as we lead and set the example for excellence in the investment immigration industry. It was good to see the reward for it,” commented Ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan, the Head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) in Dominica.
With the citizenship of Dominica, successful investors have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 140 destinations worldwide. The Index also praised the island for showing “the greatest increase” in visa-free and visa-on-arrival destinations out of the Caribbean nations assessed, a feat it achieved for the second year in a row.
St Kitts and Nevis: Best Citizenship Timeline
St Kitts and Nevis also came in the first place and scored full marks in five pillars: Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, and Family. This is the first time since the report’s inception that the dual-island nation has gained top ranking. The country’s high marks in the Mandatory Travel or Residence pillar result from there being no physical presence requirement for investors in the duration of or after their CBI application process.
As the only country with a guaranteed fast-track process out of the 14 CBI jurisdictions evaluated, St Kitts and Nevis received a perfect score for its Citizenship Timeline. “St Kitts and Nevis once again leads the Citizenship Timeline pillar through its Accelerated Application Process, which offers citizenship to qualifying applicants within a maximum of 60 days and, under certain circumstances, as little as 45 days. For applicants who do not want to pay a premium, St Kitts and Nevis’ standard route has an average processing time of three months,” the report highlighted.
The Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Timothy Harris, said, “As pioneers of the citizenship by investment programme, St Kitts and Nevis has long since been an industry leader within the CBI realm. We’re extremely pleased that this is being reflected in a report of such stature.”
The Caribbean Continues to Thrive in Investment Migration
Since the annual CBI Index’s launch in 2016, Caribbean nations have stood the test of time and consistently took top stops. This year, after Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda came in third, fourth, and fifth place. Together, the small island nations have decades of experience in the investment immigration industry. As the needs of investors change with developments of the world like COVID-19, these countries’ CBI programmes quickly evolve to meet the challenges. The most prominent changes in 2021 include a limited-time reduction on investment thresholds, proved by St Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis, and the expansion of family inclusiveness, with Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis being the latest CBI nations to allow siblings to be included in applications.
Click here to view the full report.