Citizenship and residency by investment (RCBI) programs are becoming quite illustrious among the world’s elites. RCBI programs are sought out by virtue of their ability to invigorate lifestyle, provide future generations with a finer education, broadening business horizons, diversifying investment portfolios, and providing families with stellar future opportunities. While the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the world’s frail structure for all to see, an increasing number of people became more aware of RCBI’s versatility, a luxury normally accompanied by mobility and diversification, it is now apparent RCBI’s provide much more in terms of healthcare options, tax efficiency, and catastrophe mitigation.
Many countries offering RCBI programs have taken the opportunity during the pandemic to instill changes to their programs in order to make it easily obtainable, and beneficial to both country and investor. In this article we will review the positive outcomes of RCBI changes throughout the pandemic:
St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment – Reduced costs.
The longest running citizenship by investment program (CBI), St. Kitts & Nevis has been a pioneer in the industry since 1984. Investors can choose to obtain a St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship and passport that awards them visa free mobility to more than 150 destinations through investing in real estate, or through contributing a nonrefundable amount to the government’s economy.
The government appreciates the importance of providing investors with a cost-efficient solution in times of a forced global shutdown, and announced a temporary discount for families of 4 members on its contribution stream, announcing that it will require an investment of 150,000 USD instead of the 195,000 USD previously required. This offer stands until the end of 2020.
Dominica Citizenship by Investment Enhancements
On the 25th of June 2020, Dominica Citizenship by Investment Unit astounded the immigration and citizenship industry through new and exciting changes, enhancing the family reunification measures by expanding the definition of “qualifying dependents” as below:
- Siblings: Those of the main applicant and/or spouse can now qualify as dependents if they are unmarried and are below 26 years of age
- Waiving the higher learning requirement of the dependent children above 18 years and the requirement of proof of living with the main applicant in the same place, and only satisfying the financial support requirement
- Parents and grandparents no longer need to prove they live in the same place with the main applicant and instead can only prove financial dependency.
- Becoming a Dominican citizen for children born and spouses married after the main applicant becomes a citizen of Dominica is now easier and based on the original application submitted by the applicant whether the applicant was the main, or the dependent or a spouse, this means that citizenship can now be passed on to coming generations and earn the rights of a Dominican citizens for life.
Though the terms return on investment (ROI) normally refers to fiscal income, Dominica understands that in a RCBI transaction, the ultimate ROI is the number of family members that one can include in a single application.
St. Lucia and the new stream of Covid 19 relief fund
Releasing a new investment stream in response to the COVID 19 pandemic making it available only till the end of the year 2020, the Covid 19 relief bond is a non-interest bearing government bond investment for a minimum amount of 250,000 USD with remuneration within different periods from 5 to 7 years.
St. Lucia also announced reduced costs for the donation stream and expanded the definition of dependent back in March 2020 to include dependent siblings and reducing the age limit of dependent parents to become from 55 years instead of 65.
Antigua and Barbuda introducing new stream for big families:
The University of West Indies (UWI), with its brand new campus, is now a vital part of the citizenship by investment streams of Antigua and Barbuda. To support the building of this campus the Citizenship by Investment unit launched the UWI stream for 150,000 USD for a family of 6 members, inclusive of government processing fees, making this investment option the most affordable among all other programs for big families.
Portugal Golden Visa:
In a much welcomed move, Portugal’s immigration agency SEF decided on extending the initial Golden VIsa validity to become two years instead of one, giving investors more time and space to maneuver in times of global shutdown.This change reflects positively in terms of cost and time on all new investors.
One of the most sought out immigration destinations, Portugal, an EU country with minimal requirements set on investors, has become an even more attractive option.