The global pandemic has changed both everyday life and business processes. International citizenship programs have found themselves in a difficult position. Due to Covid-19, the movement of most people is very limited, potential participants do not want to risk their health.
The Best Citizenship platform has published a new ranking of the best citizenship programs. the updated scoring system includes the availability of consular assistance, discounts due to the pandemic, post-citizenship bonuses and a focus on family applications.
The top three places in the ranking were taken by the Caribbean countries. Saint Lucia was in the first position, followed by Dominica and Grenada. The reason for leadership in the first place was the opportunity to participate in the program without personal presence. This option was available before, but this year it played a serious role as a competitive advantage.
The second major advantage was the flexibility of these countries in relation to the current situation in the world. They switched to digital processing of applications, there were discounts and special conditions for families. Such loyalty is expected from pioneers among investment citizenship programs.
|Discounts for families with children during the pandemic|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Discount $45,000 until January 15|
|Dominica||Fee reduced to $175,000 for a family of 4 people|
|Saint Lucia||Fee reduced to $150,000 for a family of 4 and 50% discount on Covid Bonds until December, 31|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Discounts for families with children|
The financial issue plays an important role in the selection of the citizenship program. Here Saint Lucia and Dominica have no competitors, they still have the most affordable conditions in the rating: the minimum amount of investment starts from $100,000.
In 2020, the government of Saint Lucia made many changes to the program: it was possible to increase the speed of processing applications, achieve greater transparency of the process, introduce an electronic payment option and even prepare a Covid-investment option. The results of the work made this investment program the most promising for the next year.
Grenada does not stand out much against the background of partners, but occupies a high position in the ranking due to a combination of factors, including relatively small investments (from $150,000), the ability to stay in the United States on a long-term E-2 visa intended for investors and entrepreneurs, a large number of countries with visa-free entry (144 destinations) and transparency of the process.
Countries with the the United States E-2 treaty
You can check the full list here.
However, there is a serious advantage that distinguishes this country from the top ten – visa-free entry to China. This is relevant for businessmen who work with the Asian market on a regular basis.
Many changes have been made to the Vanuatu program, which has risen from the bottom lines of the ranking to 4th place compared to last year, making up the company of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The reason for this success in the first place was the speed of obtaining a passport, which is now only 30 days*. And among other countries, this is the shortest period. not the least role was played by the increase in the validity of the passport to 10 years.
The terms of the passport obtaining:
St. Kitts shared the position with its Oceania neighbor, including by reducing the deadline for making a final decision to 60 days for an additional fee. Just like in Grenada, the amount of investment here starts from $150,000. But in terms of the number of applications, this country is ahead of all others.
The Top-5 is completed by Antigua and Barbuda, which managed to offer the most inexpensive program for families, and the absence of income tax increases its attractiveness in the eyes of potential citizens.
The surprising result of the year was the complete elimination of Moldova and Cyprus from the rating. These countries' programs were officially suspended this year. No renewal is currently planned.
Read more about citizenship by investment in these countries:
The bottom lines of the rating are occupied mainly by European territory. Among them, the Malta program stands out. It remains the most expensive in the world, and the conditions have already been revised, reducing the total number of applicants to 400 per year.
However, Malta, along with Bulgaria, which was ahead of it, can boast of a visa-free regime with Canada, which is not available in any of the Caribbean countries. They are the only countries that provide access to EU citizenship.
Montenegro, Turkey and Jordan are the other three countries that provide access to the E2 visa. But only the conditions of Turkey and Montenegro allow you to transfer citizenship by inheritance. But the processing of the application in Jordan is a maximum of 20 days*, and this is one of the best indicators of the year.
The terms of application for participation processing:
Samoa closes top ten investment citizenship programs. Despite the expensive program (for obtaining citizenship here the amount of investment is at least 1200 thousand dollars) and the period for obtaining a passport (12 months), the lucky ones who complete the procedure receive visa-free entry to 130 countries (including the United Kingdom and Canada), a passport for 10 years and even the right to vote. Thus, the successful participant of the program becomes a full-fledged citizen of this island state.
The investment citizenship market remained stable for a very long time, and the number of programs only increased. But as practice has shown, everything changes. The results of the year were the conditional loss of such a popular Cyprus and the rise in price of the Maltese program. It is difficult to guess what will happen in the future. Perhaps it is better to act on the current realities of a rapidly changing market and take advantage of the new opportunities of loyal Caribbean programs.
|Best Investment Citizenship Programs – 2021|
|4||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|5||Antigua and Barbuda|