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  • Writer's pictureImran Mirani

What is Economic Citizenship?

In an interconnected world where borders are increasingly blurred and opportunities are abundant, the concept of economic citizenship has gained significant momentum.


Imagine having the freedom to live, expand business, exploring and investing in multiple jurisdictions, opening bank accounts, and more unhindered by the constraints of a single nationality.


Economic citizenship, also known as citizenship by investment or second citizenship, empowers individuals to acquire citizenship in a foreign country by making a substantial financial contribution.


These programs allow foreign investors and their families to obtain alternate citizenship and passport(s) by contributing to the economy of the host country. To opt it there are several instruments such as contributions/donations in the countries-approved national fund, investing in a government-approved real estate option, or investing in a government-approved bond. CBI “Citizenship by Investment” programs are not a new concept rather been existing since 1984 by one of the Caribbean islands named St Kitts & Nevis.


As of today, over 100 countries in the world have some form of investment migration legislation in place, however, a few offers Citizenship by Investment (i.e., Antigua & Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, Turkey, Vanuatu etc.). The lowest possible contribution/investment starts with a one-time non-refundable contribution of USD 100,000.


Each country that offers CBI “Citizenship by Investment” option has their own set of contribution/investment options. The most sought-after option however is via Government approved funds because that is the lowest possible contribution/investment required, a simple and straightforward option. Some of the qualifying contribution/investment options are as below:


  • GOVERNMENT APPROVED FUND

  • GOVERNMENT APPROVED REAL ESTATE

  • GOVERNMENT APPROVED BOND

  • ENTERPRISE PROJECT

  • PRIVATE HOME SALE

  • PUBLIC BENEFIT OPTIONS

  • BUSINESS INVESTMENT

  • THE UNIVERSITY FUND

  • JOB CREATION


These citizenship and the passports are not only for global mobility, as the matter of fact the Caribbean is among the best places for doing post-graduate medicine programs, and one can find world-class, internationally recognized, and accredited schools in the Caribbean islands such as American University, All Saints University, St. George university, University of West Indies, and a few more. The Caribbean is widely considered when planning destination weddings, and has attracted many Hollywood directors for their movies such as Casino Royale, James Bond, Pirates of the Caribbean, Fool’s Gold, Speed 2 and the list goes on…


Within 13 years of me being in this industry, I have seen a handful of individuals using their Caribbean citizenship to its limits, all five of the Caribbean countries (Antigua & Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, and St. Lucia) offering citizenship are a member of OECS (Organization of East Caribbean States) and CARICOM community. OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Caribbean countries signed a treaty to promote cooperation and unity, the treaty became known as the treaty of Basseterre (named in honor of the capital city of St. Kitts & Nevis where it was signed, the treaty was then replaced on June 18th 2010 with the revised treaty of Basseterre creating an economic union with the headquarters located in Saint Lucia.

Being a Caribbean citizen, you will have additional freedom such as the accessibility to CARICOM single market, the right of establishment, the movement of people, the movement of service providers, the movement of skilled nationals, the movement of goods, the movement of capital without restrictions.


Lesser-known benefits of the Caribbean Citizenship?


  • One can visit and work in any member states without the need for a work permit or skill certificate and have access to all services.

  • Under the OECS freedom of movement regime, citizens can travel to any of the member states without a passport with their official and valid ID card (i.e. national ID card, driver's license, or social security card) with their picture on it.

  • As a business owner one will have the right to establish in any member state, let’s say a business in Antigua wants to expand across St. Kitts & Nevis or say Grenada, there are no restrictions and technical barriers to establishing their business.

  • As a consumer you will have duty-free access to a wider number of goods beyond your shores as goods moving between member states will no longer attract import duties and charges.

  • It is also good for service providers such as doctors, teachers, tradesmen, accountants, consultants who can now provide their services to clients in any of the member states.


Are you ready to embrace the world as your own? Let's embark on this captivating exploration of economic citizenship and discover how it can shape your future like never before.


About The Author

Head of RCBI / Business Migration www.vazirinvestments.com

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