From the November terror attacks in Paris, to the most recent atrocities in Brussels, the global threat of terror has never felt more real.
Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa have been vulnerable targets for terrorism, and with one of the most dire refugee crises of 6.5 million people displaced from war-torn Syria, it’s no surprise that in the volatile economic climate we currently face London’s wealthy are turning to second citizenship in order to secure protection for their families.
A recent report by Citizenship by Investment experts CS Global Partners revealed that investment into dual nationality programmes has increased over the past decade, with many high-net-worth individuals putting the need for their applications down to avoiding the threat of terror.
Dual nationality has become a security blanket for the wealthy, putting the value of protection above many of their other assets.
Specifically, citizenship by investment programmes of the Caribbean have seen the largest increase, as the nations of Dominica, Grenada, and St Kitts and Nevis have been highly sought-after due to their status within the Commonwealth.
As the first country to offer citizenship by investment in 1984, St Kitts and Nevis has continued to be the most popular programme, and with it’s success many other nations have now followed, with St Lucia, Malta and Cyprus all now providing the benefits of second citizenship.
Investors can gain citizenship in these nations by either contributing to a national fund supporting the economic development of the country, or by investing in real estate projects that have been approved by the government. For example, applicants to St Kitts and Nevis may make a contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundations, or to invest in luxury commercial real estate developments that spurs the creation of local jobs.
However, it’s not just the beautiful exotic weather that’s encouraging investors to move their homes abroad, as these Caribbean nations hold security close to their hearts. With strict due diligence procedures on their applicants, ensuring only individuals with clean histories are granted citizenship, and strong vetting procedures, these islands are some of the safest on the planet.
Plus with advanced healthcare systems, tested legal systems entrenched in English common law, English speaking natives, and democratic rule, it’s a home-from-home for many investors who wish to continue their British lifestyle but in the peace and tranquillity of an island haven.
It’s clear that for London’s wealthiest individuals, the value of security cannot be underestimated.