Caribbean nations offering Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs have emerged as strong contenders in this year's World Citizenship Report. This report evaluates 188 countries based on five key motivators important to the mass affluent population: Safety and Security, Economic Opportunity, Quality of Life, Global Mobility, and Financial Freedom.
The report reveals that several Caribbean nations have achieved impressive rankings, with Dominica leading the pack as the safest and most secure Caribbean nation. St. Kitts and Nevis retained its position at 48th out of the 188 countries, followed closely by Grenada (49), Antigua & Barbuda (50), the Commonwealth of Dominica (52), and Saint Lucia (53).
The Caribbean region has gained recognition as the cradle of investment immigration due to its concentration of countries offering CBI programs. These nations are transforming into investment hubs on the global stage, attracting individuals with their safety, lucrative financial diversification options, and idyllic lifestyles. One notable factor is that all Caribbean nations hosting CBI programs are members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a collective committed to fostering a unified and inclusive Caribbean community, promoting economic, social, and cultural growth.
CARICOM members are dedicated to managing threats to sustainable development in the region. They actively implement initiatives to attract foreign direct investment while ensuring the region is perceived as a low-risk destination for investors. Moreover, they lobby against proposed global minimum corporate tax regulations and strive to strengthen relationships with organizations such as the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU).
Earlier this year, the heads of state from all five Caribbean nations offering CBI programs gathered with US government officials. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways to enhance security measures and due-diligence checks, aiming to minimize potential risks associated with CBI programs. The Prime Ministers of St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Dominica, and Grenada, along with the heads of each nation's Citizenship by Investment Units (CIU), participated in the meeting. Positive outcomes emerged, leading all nations to agree to follow six processing principles suggested by the United States, including:
● Suspension of processing for Russian and Belarussian applicants in all five nations.
● Introduction of application interviews, either in person or via virtual interview.
● Non-processing of applications from individuals previously denied visas in other countries.
● Regular audits aligned with international standards, conducted either annually or bi-annually.
● Implementation of additional due-diligence checks through each nation's Financial Intelligence unit.
● Law enforcement's retrieval of all revoked passports.
The World Citizenship Report highlights the growing demand among high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and the mass affluent for greater freedom and control over their futures. Many are now securing these freedoms by obtaining second homes through residency and citizenship programs. While countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and France were traditionally popular migration destinations, their current challenges, including financial instability, threats of recession, high inflation, civil unrest, protests, and strikes, have prompted HNWIs and the mass affluent to seek alternative destinations. These individuals are searching for countries that offer the freedoms lacking in their home nations.
Caribbean nations have been providing precisely what HNWIs and the mass affluent are seeking for decades. Dominica's top ranking in safety and security, coupled with the equal economic opportunities offered by all five countries, makes the Caribbean an attractive choice. These small island nations have successfully ensured their prosperity and sustainability through CBI programs, attracting foreign direct investment that fuels significant developmental projects. A prime example is Dominica's construction of a geothermal plant, a testament to their commitment to transitioning to a greener economy with the revenue generated from the CBI program.
St. Kitts and Nevis, following the Caribbean's trend, is also moving away from fossil fuels. The nation has taken its CBI program's integrity to the next level by implementing innovative and industry-first regulations. This not only enhances the program's international reputation but also ensures the safety, security, stability, and economic prosperity of international investors and citizens alike.
The inflow of funds into the private sector from CBI programs has had a significant impact on the economic activity of island nations. These programs have improved fiscal outcomes, facilitated debt repayment, and spurred economic growth in many instances. Caribbean nations continue to maintain political and economic stability, low crime rates, and rich investment opportunities, making them solid investment options for individuals seeking greater freedom.
The World Citizenship Report is published by CS Global Partners, a renowned investment migration advisory firm. Their expertise and research in this field contribute to providing valuable insights into the global landscape of citizenship and residency programs.
In conclusion, Caribbean nations offering Citizenship by Investment schemes have showcased their appeal and success in the World Citizenship Report. With their commitment to safety, economic opportunity, and sustainable development, these nations continue to attract high-net-worth individuals and the mass affluent in search of greater freedoms and control over their lives. Through innovative regulations and significant investment projects, the Caribbean is solidifying its position as a leading destination for those seeking a second citizenship or residency.