The eastern Caribbean country scored a perfect 10/10 on due diligence and integrity, ease and efficiency of application processing, family-friendliness, and travel or residency requirements, and a near perfect 9/10 on the level of investment required and programme profile.
St. Kitts and Nevis, which established its citizenship by investment (CBI) programme in 1984, beat the likes of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, Austria and Vanuatu in the new 2021 CBI Index from Professional Wealth Management which provides the most authoritative global ranking of the world’s 14 CBI schemes.
Explaining its decision to crown St. Kitts and Nevis, the 2021 CBI Index reported: “St. Kitts and Nevis remains the CBI nation with the fastest processing time and is the Caribbean country with the largest visa-free or visa-on-arrival offering. This year, St Kitts and Nevis also achieves a perfect score in the Family Pillar, thanks to changes allowing siblings to be included in an application.”
St. Kitts and Nevis, which offers the most powerful passport among Caribbean CBI programmes with visa-free access to 157 countries, was ranked joint-first in the 2021 CBI Index with Dominica, which has visa-free access to just 143 countries.
Les Khan, CEO of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Investment Unit, said: “Our top place global ranking in the 2021 CBI Index is independent recognition of the enduring quality of the market-leading citizenship investment programmes that St. Kitts and Nevis offers the world.
“It confirms that our Platinum Brand standing is based on rigorous assessment of the due diligence we apply to all applications, the integrity and efficiency of our programme, and all the other features and innovations that keep us ahead of the pack.
“While 2020 and 2021 have been difficult years for everyone, the launch of new investment products and a limited time offer ensured that St. Kitts and Nevis bucked the trend among CBI programmes and we look forward to even more interest as our vaccination roll-out outpaces the rest of the region and we welcome the world back to our beaches and seas.”
St. Kitts and Nevis’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is the best by head of population of any country in the eastern Caribbean. As of August 17, the country had provided 94 doses per 100 people, more than any other CBI country in the Caribbean, and significantly ahead of the global average of 61.5 doses per 100.
The 2021 CBI Index report highlighted St. Kitts and Nevis’s leadership on due diligence and new escrow arrangements to protect investors. It reported: “Some CBI nations have been enhancing their due diligence practices for many years… In St. Kitts and Nevis, for example, as of March 2021, new and existing developers must submit a payment schedule to the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency. This will govern the way a project is financed, improving the administration of funds provided to real estate developments under the Programme and increasing the likelihood that developments will be completed successfully and at pace.”
Authors of the index also hailed the application processing efficiency of the St. Kitts and Nevis programme: “St. Kitts and Nevis once again leads the Citizenship Timeline pillar by virtue of its Accelerated Application Process, which offers citizenship to qualifying applicants within a maximum of 60 days and, under certain circumstances, as little as 45 days. For applicants who do not want to pay a premium, St. Kitts and Nevis’ standard route has an average processing time of three months.”
The 2021 CBI Index provides “a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of the world’s active CBI programmes and has become known as the industry’s most reliable comparison tool for CBI programmes. It also serves as a practical guide for individuals and entities wishing to learn more about the CBI industry… The 2021 CBI Index examines the CBI programmes of 14 countries and evaluates them against nine pillars that reflect investor priorities”.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Professional Wealth Management 2021 CBI Index, published August 18, 2021, can be found here: https://www.pwmnet.com/Special-Reports/CBI-Index/2021/A-guide-to-global-citizenship-The-2021-CBI-Index
- It is also available at cbiindex.com
- The latest Henley & Partners Passport Index published in July 2021 found that St. Kitts and Nevis has the world’s 24th most powerful passport out of 199 countries with visa-free access to 157 countries. Within the Caribbean, other programmes were ranked as follows: Antigua and Barbuda (29th place), St. Lucia (31st) and Granada (33rd). Dominica was ranked behind all Caribbean programmes in 34th place with visa-free access to just 143 countries, 14 places below St. Kitts and Nevis. Other CBI programmes around the world ranked even lower such as Vanuatu (39th), Montenegro (47th) and Turkey (56th).
- The Henley & Partners 2021 Passport Index for Q3 can be found here: https://www.henleyglobal.com/storage/app/media/HPI/HENLEY_PASSPORT_INDEX_2021_Q3_INFOGRAPHIC_GLOBAL_RANKING_210621_1.pdf
- Further information and contact details for the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Investment Unit are available here: https://www.ciu.gov.kn/