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Ms. Micha Rose Emmett, Shares Her Thoughts On The New CBI Index And Its Benefits To Indian Investors

The CBI Index is a publication by PWM, a subsidiary of the Financial Times, and is an especially important and relevant research tool for anyone who is searching to truly understand what a CBI programme can offer them.

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How will the new CBI Index of 2022 transform and reshape the future prospects for Citizenship By Investment?

The CBI Index is a publication by PWM, a subsidiary of the Financial Times, and is an especially important and relevant research tool for anyone who is searching to truly understand what a CBI programme can offer them. The way that the CBI Index is created, is that there is an overall ranking and then a separate ranking of each of the nine pillars that exist. Depending on the client’s needs, they may be time-poor and therefore need to find a citizenship option that is efficient and swift, or they may be looking at how many family members they can add to their application. Thus, using the CBI Index as an overall overview of the CBI industry, as well as looking at each of the components separately, can assist in making better decisions when having to choose an alternative citizenship.

How the new CBI Index will benefit Indian Investors?

The CBI Index is intended as a practical tool, both for those who wish to compare CBI programmes as a whole and for those who wish to compare specific aspects of each programme. Some of the many ways in which Indian investors can benefit from alternative citizenship include but are not limited to:

  • Increased mobility that would help them widen their access to a range of global markets.
  • The advantage of being a citizen of a country with a stable currency pegged against the US dollar. This makes a world of difference to astute entrepreneurs as they can then draw up investment plans and reap the benefits without worrying too much about future shocks to the global economic system. While several reasons contribute to overseas investments, the basic incentives are the rate of return, investment policy and tax advantage. Indian HNWIs essentially invest in CBI to set up a base in another country, set up a second home and take advantage of the booming real estate market.
  • Overseas education has always been an important component of investing for many Indian families. Their children will have access to a high standard of education at technologically advanced and modern facilities.

Explain in detail about the nine pillars that have defined the CBI Index for various countries.

The CBI Index rates CBI programmes according to these nine pillars: Freedom of Movement, Standard of Living, Minimum Investment Outlay, Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family and Certainty of Product.

Freedom of Movement measures the relative strength of each country’s citizenship based on three equally weighted factors: the number of destinations to which a country’s passport allows travel without restriction, the number of prime business hubs to which it provides access, and the degree to which a given citizenship provides settlement rights in other nations.

The Standard of Living pillar is a measure of the quality of life offered by the 13 CBI jurisdictions under assessment and this pillar is vital to those who yearn to relocate and secure a prosperous and fulfilling lifestyle. Similarly, it is key to those wanting to take advantage of local business opportunities or needing to transfer and safeguard their assets.

The Minimum Investment Outlay pillar measures one of the most practical and foremost considerations of CBI – how much capital is required for the investor to become an eligible applicant for the programme of their choosing. The cost of applying for CBI increases with the number of dependants — or qualifying family members — included in an application. In some jurisdictions this increase is proportional, while in others the cost only increases following the inclusion of multiple dependants.

Mandatory Travel or Residence examines the travel or residence conditions imposed on applicants both before and after the granting of citizenship.

The Citizenship Timeline pillar looks at the average time taken for citizenship to be secured by the applicant.

The Ease of Processing pillar measures the end-to-end complexity of the CBI application process. In some jurisdictions, the application process can be a labour-intensive and painstaking task that is time-consuming for the applicant; in others, it is streamlined, and the applicant receives clear directives on how to proceed. The overall effortlessness of the application process is a particularly important component, and the promise of a smooth, hassle-free process can generate readiness to engage with a programme. The Due Diligence pillar focuses on each nation’s commitment to ensuring that their programme remains transparent and effective at evaluating potential candidates for citizenship. It is therefore a measure of each programme’s integrity.

The Family pillar measures the extent to which investors can obtain citizenship for their immediate and extended family. The CBI Index recognises that the rise of increasingly complex family relationships is driving investors to seek programmes that allow for a more diverse range of family members to be included under a primary application.

Finally, Certainty of Product encompasses a range of factors that measure a programme’s certainty across five different dimensions: longevity, popularity and renown, stability, reputation and adaptability. Additionally, it assesses a programme’s responsiveness to major global events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine that have had a significant impact on global mobility and due diligence requirements.

How Indian Families and Investors are enhancing their global mobility through Citizenship by Investment?

By having an alternative citizenship, especially one that provides access to global business hubs, it allows Indian families and investors the opportunity to have a far wider reach globally, to conduct their business, attend schools and even in the case of medical tourism if they need to rush off to Singapore for an urgent operation. Having that flexibility of knowing that you have a citizenship, which allows you access into a country to visit for these purposes, becomes quite valuable.

Share a brief summary about your geographical expansions if any

At CSGP we find it particularly important to understand our local or regional market and we are therefore mindful of not jumping into a market until we have a good understating of the pain points of the client, researching the market potential and the market demand. We have noticed that there are changes in a few markets that previously were less interesting, and this is very much driven by the fact that Covid has caused a huge shift in the way we think about freedom, possibility, and access. Therefore, we are seeing that jurisdictions that were less inclined to look at alternative citizenship in the past have become more interested in this and in particular, I would include the Indian market in that sector. With that said, we do have several new locations that we are looking to expand into.

Your thoughts on the market analysis for 2022.

The beginning of 2022 seemed to be filled with brightness and enthusiasm and the promise that it would be a better year than the preceding two, however with the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, married up with the divisive politics, 2022 has turned out to be quite different to what we anticipated. In our industry, this means opportunity because people examine the internal mechanisms of their environment to understand what is going on in their environment and often when things are not going well, they will then turn to beyond their borders to see where other opportunities lie. Of course, the countries that we deal with specifically have had a very bright and prosperous 2022 so far, so they become interesting and exciting opportunities for future growth.

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