The citizenship by investment (CBI) industry was no exemption to the ensuing chaos. Present and prospective investors understandably grew uncertain and spending confidence dwindled as the pandemic unfolded. In the early months of the pandemic, many governments, dependent on revenues from CBI programmes, along with the Citizenship by Investment Units, intervened by making joint attempts to secure what would be their countries’ lifeline of foreign investment for months to come.
When we come upon grey skies and gloomy days, we find it difficult to see the silver lining that lies therein; nevertheless, the pandemic has not been all bad for the CBI industry, and here are a few silver lining moments that I would like to highlight.
“Though initial change is uncomfortable, the decisions we make today, such as getting a second citizenship, may change our lives and our future for the best.”
IMPROVEMENT IN SUBMISSION PROCEDURES
FASTER PROCESSING TIMES
With the new online submission feature, licensed agents are now allowed to submit applications sooner, with fewer supporting documents, and commence the process of assessing the applications, as long as the documents required for due diligence are included. This was especially beneficial for applicants in countries where certain documents were challenging to gather.
With a more convenient submission process, applicants can now focus on obtaining and submitting their remaining documents at the same time as their applications are being processed. By allowing due diligence documents to be submitted and the due diligence process to commence without all of the documents, Caribbean CIPs have been able to reduce their processing time significantly.
VALUE ADDED INCENTIVES
REALISING THE NEED FOR A SECOND HOME AND NATIONALITY.
As for first-world citizens in countries that were greatly affected by the pandemic, having a second citizenship could result in less discrimination and delays when crossing borders. Now, more than ever before, having a plan B option, such as a second citizenship, is greatly appreciated. These silver linings have only reaffirmed what I have learned first-hand throughout my years of experience within this CBI industry, which is that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity! This remains true today as there are greater advantages on the consumers end with respect to citizenship by investment. Despite the challenges and setbacks that this pandemic has thrown our way, it is important for us to take time to look at the silver linings and determine how we can maximise the investment opportunities presented while they are available. We must keep in mind that this “new normal” may very well be a lasting change and life adjustments must be made.
Though initial change is uncomfortable, the decisions we make today, such as getting a second citizenship, may change our lives and our future for the best.