A Word from the
“With the rapid expansion of available CBI programmes, some of which are still in their infancy, the CBI Index is an essential resource for those looking for comprehensive and impartial information on the relative merits of each in order to make an informed decision for themselves and their families.”
– James McKay
WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT?
CBI is a process whereby, subject to the fulfilment of certain requirements, an applicant receives citizenship of a country in return for an investment in that country’s economy. Investment options vary from country to country, although countries tend to prefer fund contribution or real estate purchase models.
The world’s earliest CBI programme was launched in 1984 by St Kitts and Nevis, a Caribbean island-state. CBI is now administered across the Caribbean, as well as in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania – allowing prospective applicants to choose a destination for second citizenship from almost every corner of the globe.
CBI is distinct from residence by investment (RBI). When a successful applicant receives residence through an RBI programme, that applicant gains the right to ‘reside’ in that country. The applicant generally has to fulfil physical presence requirements, for example, for six months out of each year, or risk losing his or her residence. Residence does not necessarily lead to citizenship, and the application for citizenship is a separate process. Residents often have to wait between three and six years before they can apply for citizenship. By contrast, CBI is a direct route to citizenship, in most cases, without the need to demonstrate any degree of residence. A successful CBI applicant receives citizenship for life, which cannot be lost by virtue of where the applicant chooses to live.
WHAT IS THE CBI INDEX?
The CBI Index allows for two modes of comparison of CBI programmes by (1) ranking their overall performance and desirability and (2) ranking them by reference to nine ‘pillars’.
The nine pillars focus on specific programme features, including:
- Freedom of Movement
- Standard of Living
- Minimum Investment Outlay
- Mandatory Travel or Residence
- Citizenship Timeline
- Ease of Processing
- Due Diligence
- Certainty of Product
The nine pillars allow readers to isolate programme attributes and devise a citizenship strategy focused on their individual priorities.