What is a Citizenship by Investment Programme?

Citizenship by Investment Programmes have gained a lot of popularity over the last decade as more and more high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are expanding their horizons and considering their dual citizenship options. But if you’re not familiar with the Investment Industry and its jargon, then you possibly might be asking, but what is a citizenship by investment programme?

CBI Programmes give HNWIs, investors and families the opportunity to apply for an alternative citizenship in exchange for a financial contribution to the country’s economy. This ability to call another country home is one of the biggest benefits of an economic citizenship by investment programme for an individual.

But, CBI programmes don’t just benefit those whose applications are successful, they also greatly benefit the country offering the CBI programme. The initiative permits countries to channel generated funds into developing healthcare, education, infrastructure, and more.

How do citizenship by investment programmes work?

From naturalisation to economic citizenship, there are many ways to gain citizenship. Basically, CBI is another route to citizenship. A citizenship by investment programme is a legal process and each country’s CBI programme has its own set of regulations and requirements.

Here are some key concepts used when discussing CBI:
  • Citizenship by Investment Unit: Government entities (commonly called ‘Units’) dedicated entirely to the economic citizenship process. They oversee and process all CBI  applications.
  • Due diligence: Processes that verify an investor’s identity, background, financial status and reputation. More importantly, it aims to clarify whether the wealth of the applicants is acquired through legitimate means and to identify valid sources of income.
  • CBI index: An independent study that comprehensively evaluates and compares all active CBI programmes globally and ranks them against nine pillars deemed most important to individuals seeking dual citizenship through investment.
  • World Citizenship Report (WCR): The WCR is an industry-first endeavour to investigate the value of citizenship through the lens of the global-minded individual.

The process aims to be relatively smooth provided that an investor delivers all the necessary documentation, passes all necessary due diligence checks, and makes the qualifying investment.

Benefits of a CBI Programme

Gaining a second or dual citizenship offers many advantages.  We break them down into three, namely:

  1. Lifestyle and accessibility, 
  2. financial planning, and 
  3. physical safety and security. 

Which countries offer citizenship by investment programmes?

what is a citizenship by investment programme caribbean

The concept of CBI was first developed in the Caribbean, with St Kitts and Nevis being the first to offer the scheme in 1984. Today, there are many countries around the world that offer CBI programmes, five of which are located in the Caribbean. This includes Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis. Other countries that offer CBI programmes include Austria, Turkey, and Vanuatu.

How much does a CBI programme cost?

The price for a second or dual citizenship by way of CBI differs from country to country. CBI programmes are aimed at investors and HNWIs. The lowest costs start at US$100,000 for a single applicant in the Caribbean.

Also Read: Best Citizenship by Investment Countries of 2023 

What is the difference between CBI and RBI?

The key difference between CBI and RBI is that CBI programmes offer investors citizenship, in most cases without needing to go through a period of residence and only within a few months of applying if the requirements have been met.

Meanwhile, RBI programmes only offer residence to investors, namely the right to live (and sometimes work) in a country. RBI programmes often implement mandatory physical presence requirements for specific periods of time for investors to maintain residency status.

How to identify legal CBI programmes?

Unfortunately, fraudulent CBI programmes are all too common. It can be hard for would-be applicants to determine whether or not their programme of choice is legitimate. This guide highlights some key questions which can help you identify legal citizenship by investment programmes.

For even more information on CBI Programmes, click here to view our Ultimate Citizenship by Investment Guide and if CBI sounds like something you would wish to pursue then, please, get in touch.