August 11, 2017

Cyprus is top European country for second citizenship

Cyprus is the No. 1 pick in the European Union and seventh in the world of countries offering second citizenship by investment according to the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Index.

The CBI Index was launched last month by Professional Wealth Management, a Financial Times publication.

Based on the CBI Index’s ‘seven pillars’, namely freedom of movement, standard of living, minimum investment outlay, mandatory travel or residence, citizenship timeline, ease of processing and due diligence, Cyprus along with Malta, Bulgaria and Austria from Europe join exotic destinations such as Dominica, St Kitts Nevis, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Vanuatu, Comoros and Cambodia in the top 12 countries offering second citizenship by investment.

Austria, Malta, Cyprus and Bulgaria were on top with regards to the freedom of movement.

Austria, Malta, Bulgaria and Cyprus were again the top four countries with regards to the standard of living which includes life expectancy, security and income, while Austria and Grenada topped education.

Comoros, Dominica and St. Lucia have the lowest minimum investment outlay which is based on the minimum amount of capital required for an investor to be eligible to apply for a passport.

Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia scored highest in mandatory travel or residence which is based on the travel or residence conditions imposed on applicants both before and after the granting of full citizenship.

St. Kitts and Nevis, which is the only country with a fixed scheme to ensure applications are processed within 60 days, Vanuatu, Comoros, Dominica and Grenada top the citizenship timeline, which determines how long a citizenship application takes to be processed.

Dominica, Malta, and St Kitts and Nevis topped the due diligence scale which is based on each nation’s commitment to ensuring that their programme remains transparent and effective at evaluating potential candidates for citizenship.

The top 12 countries and their score out of a 100: Dominica with 90, St Kitts and Nevis at 88, Grenada at 85, Antigua & Barbuda at 78, Saint Lucia at 76, Vanuatu at 76, Cyprus at 67, Comoros at 66, Malta at 64, Bulgaria at 61, Austria at 54 and Cambodia at 53.

The survey may be a useful tool for British Citizens who are concerned about the impact of Brexit over the next couple of years.

Although moving country may be an option as a second citizenship provides for greater international mobility and security, a second passport from an EU country will give its holder the right to live and work anywhere within the European Union.