Economic citizenship was once seen as the exclusive domain of the ultra-wealthy, but now it’s becoming the new normal for entrepreneurs hoping to expand their reach internationally. First formally established in St. Kitts and Nevis, before being picked up in other nations across the world, citizenship by investment (or CBI) provides those who can afford it with a second passport and all of the advantages which come with it.
But what can entrepreneurs stand to gain from economic citizenship to a second nation, and which nations will provide small business owners with the widest range of opportunities for success? Read on to find out why CBI could be of use for any business, and where the best place to apply for a new passport is.
How can second citizenship benefit entrepreneurs?
“CBI, more than ever is coming into its time,” says Micha-Rose Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners, who specialise in citizenship, residence, immigration and foreign investment law. “Today, especially since Trump and Brexit, everybody is wondering where they belong, how they fit in and how this will affect the future of their children.”
As such, safety and security have become the main priorities for those looking to expand the number of jurisdictions in which they can potentially settle. Emmett adds that, while few Syrians thought about emigrating in 2011, today most would consider the option of a second home country if they were allowed access to it.
For entrepreneurs, the greater freedom of movement that comes with CBI can give their business a more flexible sense of international mobility; this is invaluable for anyone looking to conduct deals and trade abroad, especially as you don’t have to live in the country in which you are applying for CBI. While the initial cost of a CBI programme may seem expensive—they often start at around $100,000—considering the investment could go towards the cost of owning real estate where you can base your business, the expense will pay off in no time.
Dominica’s programme ranked first by CBI Index
The CBI Index survey conducted in mid-2017 ranked all of the currently-available programmes available around the world, and deemed Dominica the best country in which to explore citizenship by investment. This was determined by assessing each CBI programme on seven categories—from freedom of movement and speed of application processing to due diligence of the process itself.
Dominica scored particularly well on all of the economic criteria, including the joint lowest price alongside St Lucia, while CNN points ot that these programmes also provide freedom of movement to richer individuals from repressive nations. With a population of a little over 74,000, and a strengthening economy, it’s a country where new business will be mutually beneficial.
National empowerment through economic support – everybody wins
While the economic benefits to new businesses through CBI are clear, moving your business to a new country will also benefit their economy. The CBI Index notes that the initial money spent by those accessing citizenship by investment programmes goes directly to supporting the infrastructure of that country.
For example, St. Kitts and Nevis’s GDP is strongly uplifted by it’s programme, and this has helped to reduce the country’s national debt by over half. In the case of Dominica, much of the funds generated through its CBI programme are currently going towards disaster relief following Hurricane Maria.
Consequently, wherever you choose to apply for CBI, the mutual benefit for nation and entrepreneur is clear.