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23 August, 2021

Which Countries Have The Best Citizenship Programs By Investment?

Professional Wealth Management, or PWM, an international financial magazine, has ranked 14 countries with citizenship by investment programs. Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis shared first place. We tell you why these two countries were the leaders and what other citizenship programs ranked.

Caribbean citizenship by investment: ranking of the best citizenship programs in the world
Photo: Adobe Stock

PWM specializes in analyzing the strategies of private banks and regional financial centers. The magazine is part of the international Financial Times group, which published its first newspaper in 1888.

The CBI Index has been compiled since 2017. Nine main criteria are taken into account in the assessment:

  • Freedom of movement around the world
  • Standard of living in the country
  • Minimum program investment
  • Whether there is a residency or visitation requirement
  • Time is taken to become a citizen
  • Ease of application processing
  • The strictness of security clearance
  • Ability to include family in the application
  • The reputation of the program in the investment market

Each criterion was evaluated on a 10-point scale. The final score in the index is the average total score of all the criteria.

Citizenship by investment Program Index from PWM

1Dominica citizenship80
2Citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis80
3Grenada citizenship78
4Citizenship of St Lucia74
5Citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda69
6Vanuatu citizenship66
7Citizenship of Malta58
8Citizenship of Montenegroи55
9Citizenship of Turkey55
10Citizenship of Egypt49
11Citizenship of Bulgaria48
12Citizenship of Austria47
13Jordanian citizenship46
14Citizenship of Cambodia44

Why Dominica is in first place for the fifth year in a row

Dominica tops the rankings every year: in 2021, the citizenship program received the highest scores in six categories. The country's government is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which were developed by the UN in 2015. The government's policies are aligned with the goals and aim to fight poverty and hunger.

The Dominica government launched a citizenship-by-investment program in 1993. The program is popular with investors: between 2017 and 2021, some 4,200 main applicants received a passport to the country.

4,200 investors
have obtained a Dominica passport in the last three years

Dominica's citizenship program is one of the cheapest in the Caribbean. Investors get citizenship by investment of $100,000 or more in a government fund or $200,000 or more in real estate.
With the money from the citizenship program, Dominica fights poverty and hunger, provides tutors for children and sponsors students to attend foreign universities, and builds earthquake-resistant houses, schools, and hospitals. In June 2021, for example, 10 houses were built in the village of Cochrane for local residents.
Over the 18 years of the program, Dominica has repaired 15 roads, built around 5,000 buildings and 19 bridges. It also started building a geothermal plant. We told you how the government spends the investment from the citizenship program.

Citizenship of Dominica by investment: Marigot Hospital project

Marigot Hospital, funded by the citizenship program

Citizenship of Dominica by investment: earthquake-proof homes in Portsmouth

The earthquake-resistant homes of the Cotton Hill housing complex. The complex consists of 9 houses, each with 24 flats

Citizenship of Dominica by investment: Marigot Hospital project
Citizenship of Dominica by investment: earthquake-proof homes in Portsmouth

Why Saint Kitts and Nevis got the first place in the ranking

For the first time in five years, St Kitts and Nevis' citizenship program has been voted best. Until 2021, it ranked second. The success of this year's program has been influenced by a change: the government has allowed investors to buy any property on the island and extended the 25% discount for participation in the program. The discount is valid until 31 December 2021.

St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Program is the very first citizenship program for investment in the world. It was launched in 1984. Since then, more than 20,000 applicants have received passports.

In July 2021, the IMF commended the government of St Kitts and Nevis for the judicious use of income from the citizenship program. During the pandemic, the government froze most of the money, reducing the country's public debt. The rest of the money was used to help the population. The government also introduced tax holidays and incentives to support local businesses.

Caribbean investment programs are the most sought-after by investors. Minimum investments under the programs start at $100,000 and the processing time starts at two months.

Investors are free to travel with a Caribbean passport to more than 140 countries, including Schengen, the UK, and Hong Kong. Investors are entitled to stay in the European Union for 90 days in a six-month period. And Grenadian citizens travel to China for 30 days a year without a visa.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of Citizenship by Investment programs in the Caribbean. If you want to obtain a second passport in a Caribbean country, seek advice from experts in investment programs.

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Which Countries Have The Best Citizenship Programs By Investment?