More Chinese are enquiring about citizenship by investment (CBI), with St Kitts and Nevis a clear favourite.
In an episode of the Plan B podcast by London-headquartered advisory CS Global Partners, an expert in the Chinese market explains the current immigration trends and priorities for Chinese investors. St Kitts and Nevis features as a top choice for those seeking second citizenship, credited to the country’s 36-year experience, reliable due diligence and ability to process applications within 45 to 60 days.
Vicky Ma, the Manager of the China Marketing team at CS Global Partners in London – whom the government of St Kitts and Nevis mandated to promote its Citizenship by Investment Programme worldwide – says the firm has dealt with an especially high volume of enquiries from agents who advise Chinese HNWIs. She suggests that investors see CBI as a Plan B, a security blanket providing more freedom.
“Although it is still unclear what the long-term ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis may be, in the short term, we are seeing an increase in interest from China,” says Ms Ma. “At CS Global Partners, we can clearly see the demand and enquiries from Chinese agents and clients. I think the reason for the change is because more high net-worth individuals and more Chinese clients start to realise that it is very important for them to have a Plan B, to deal with all the crises and to cope with uncertainty. At the same time, they want security. A CBI programme is the perfect answer for a Plan B. It can give them more choice and opportunities to cope with the crisis and also to get more mobility and freedom.”
On what investor immigration solutions the Chinese market currently prefers, Ms Ma believes that the Caribbean offering stands out by far. This is largely due to their credentials and longer-lasting benefits.
“For Chinese investors, there are a lot of advantages to getting second citizenship from Caribbean countries. Firstly, St Kitts and Nevis is very well-known and very popular in China now. On top of that, Caribbean programmes have been running very strict due diligence which grants programmes security and gives confidence to the country to confirm that they are receiving good-quality applicants. Chinese investors attach a lot of importance and attention to reliability and trust, so it’s crucial to choose a stable and safe programme.”
The London expert says St Kitts and Nevis is one of the three top choices Chinese investors enquire most about. Investors see it as a trustworthy, fault-proof and efficient solution for second citizenship.
“Of all CBI programmes, I would say Caribbean programmes are very popular now in China, such as St Kitts and Nevis’ […] established in 1984. As the first country to implement citizenship by investment, St Kitts and Nevis is recognised by the industry as the Platinum Standard. They also provide the Accelerated Application Process feature, known as the AAP option. This can help clients get approval in principle in 60 days.”
The fund option remains the fastest route to citizenship from St Kitts and Nevis. Prime Minister Timothy Harris introduced the Sustainable Growth Fund two years ago, whereby applicants make a one-off contribution directly to a government fund. This enhances transparency and speeds up the process. Once approved, citizens of St Kitts and Nevis can travel visa-free to over 150 countries and territories, with Foreign Minister Mark Brantley regularly announcing more visa waiver agreements.