COVID-19 has impacted and shaped the world we currently find ourselves in. 2020 has been unsettling – a year of uncertainty and immobility. With the weight of government decisions and imposed restrictions felt across the globe, it has forced many US citizens to think about their options. Are we safe? Is the economy secure? What does our future look like? Dual citizenship and Citizenship by Investment programmes have long been in place as a viable option for those wanting to diversify their options. The industry has seen a sharp increase in applications from US citizens this year with companies like CS Global Partners helping people gain back some of their freedom.
Micha Emmett, CEO of global legal advisory firm CS Global Partners, has not been surprised by the recent increase, “The coronavirus has hit us all hard. Whether it is through personal loss of loved ones, loss of income or the general loss of freedoms we took for granted. The way various governments have handled the pandemic has differed across the globe and the impact of these decisions have been felt hard by its citizens. Economies have suffered and the full financial impact on individuals is yet to be felt. It makes sense that people have started to think about their Plan B. What are the options? How can I ensure that my family, and my business, are able to thrive?”
As citizenship experts, CS Global Partners are on the pulse of global trends and are constantly monitoring spikes in applications – both from where these applications are coming and to where they are applying. In light of it being an election year and the undeniable controversy and uncertainty that has arisen from it, it is only natural that, combined with coronavirus uncertainty, it has pushed many Americans to look into dual citizenship.
“From US citizens in particular, we have seen an increase in applications to Citizenship by Investment programmes in the Caribbean which, given its proximity to America, makes sense. However, proximity is not the only reason. St.Kitts and Nevis, for example, is proving a very popular choice. The oldest and most established programme, since its inception over three decades ago, it has stood the test of time. Its economy is stable (managing to keep locals financially afloat during their lockdown), their government works well with its people and the lifestyle is a relative safe haven,” explains Emmett.
As a result of the impact of the pandemic on households in St.Kitts and Nevis, Prime Minister Timothy Harris noted that their established Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) – which provides low-income households with $500 per month – had supported close to 1000 individuals who had lost income as a result of COVID-19. In fact, PAP is funded by the St.Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment programme donations which highlights the real impact and difference these investor contributions make to the country.
“The PAP beneficiaries count peaked at about 5,800 as more households lost their breadwinners and applied to the Ministry of Sustainable Development to become enrolled as a recipient of the PAP programme. Up to September 2020, my Government has paid out $23 million for the year so far in Poverty Alleviation stipends to assist the poor and vulnerable in our midst,” explained Prime Minister Harris.
Now with the peak of the pandemic having passed in St.Kitts and Nevis, they have been able to open their borders and, with health and safety protocols in place, been able to return to a relatively normal way of life. Which, in comparison with many countries across the world, puts them at an economic advantage.
US citizens wanting to expand their options can rest assured that they are legally allowed to obtain a second citizenship. It is now considered a sought-after benefit, especially in this currently immobile world, to have easy travel access for business. For some US citizens, who have chosen to live abroad and hold dual nationality, they have also chosen to renounce their US citizenship for tax purposes which is an option available to those who want to emigrate from their homeland.
“Obtaining visas this year has been near impossible. Those with dual citizenship have definitely had an advantage. Citizenship in St.Kitts and Nevis, allows you visa-free access to 160 countries across the globe. You cannot over-emphasise the value that ease of travel has in this current time, with borders continually opening and closing to non-citizens. The pandemic is unlikely to be fully eradicated for some time and so the stability that dual citizenship can offer is really an investment in your, and your family’s, future,” says Paul Singh, Director at CS Global Partners.
Citizenship by Investment programmes are a relatively easy way to gain this much needed dual citizenship. By making a donation to specific programmes in the country you are applying to, or by investing in real estate, you are able to secure your citizenship via a quick and easy process. It only takes around 60 days for the St.Kitts and Nevis Programme and, once you become a citizen you are able to pass that down to your children and grandchildren, securing the safety of your future generations.
“The pandemic has changed the world. It has changed how we work, how we live and how we travel. Dual citizenship is now more coveted than ever and, with many reputable Citizenship by Investment programmes in place, it is an accessible option for many,” concludes Singh.
The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship programme is currently offering a limited-time offer for families of up to four until January 15th, 2021. Applicants need only make an investment of US$150,000 instead of the usual US$195,000.
To learn more about St. Kitts and Nevis’s Limited-Time Offer