We at Best Citizenships (BC) designed a new ranking model for CBI passports based on Points Based Scoring (PBS) system. Although many indexes exist for ranking CBI passport, many are not exhaustive, or rely on visa free access to rank Citizenship By Investment (CBI) passports.

Our model takes into account over 25 factors into our model from pricing to economic indicators of each country to rank a CBI passport out of maximum 150 points.  We have also assigned weights to each feature depending on the importance such as visa free access to biggest countries in the world, due diligence, Human development indicators and living conditions, education, healthcare, strong currency etc..

 

We have assigned more weights to Safety, Human Development, and Visa free countries  (passport power) which we believe are most important indicators when applying for a CBI passport.

 

HNW investors when applying for a CBI passport, ask about these six fundamental questions and without doubt first comes safety.

 

  • How safe is the country?
  • Is my money safe in the country? Does it have strong currency and sound financial system?
  • How many visa free countries i can travel to?
  • How good is the education and healthcare for my children?
  • What is the standard of living in these countries?
  • What is the best CBI passport?

 

This report aims to address these fundamental questions and provides answers empirically on CBI passports.

CBI Passport Rankings 2019

 

  • Malta takes the first place in CBI passport rankings 2019
  • Grenada takes first place among Caribbean CBI passports followed by Dominica in second place and St Kitts in third place
  • Bulgaria takes second place followed by Cyprus in third place. Bulgaria scores slightly higher than cyprus because it has E-2 visa treaty with US, high safety record, and its economy is 5X bigger than Cyprus ($177 billion compared to Cyprus ($35 billion). If Bulgaria decide to close the CBI scheme, Cyprus will take over the second spot.
  • Turkey has $2.3 trillion dollar economy biggest economy among CBI countries with high Human development index and education system
  • Montenegro is slightly a better passport than Moldova.
  • Antigua and St Lucia remain tied at fourth place in the Caribbean.
  • Montenegro, Cyprus, Malta and Bulgaria have a strongest euro currency.
  • Moldova, St Lucia and Antigua tied for the 8th place rank.
  • Samoa and Cambodia remain remain at the bottom are the worst CBI passports.

 

Results

 

CBI Passport PBS Score Rank
Malta Malta 107 1
Bulgaria Bulgaria 106 2
Cyprus Cyprus 104 3
Grenada Grenada 102 4
Dominica Dominica 89 5
St Kitts and Nevis St Kitts and Nevis 88 6
Montenegro Montenegro 85 7
Moldova Moldova 84 8
St Lucia St Lucia 84 8
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 84 8
Vanuatu Vanuatu 83 9
Turkey Turkey 80 10
Samoa Samoa 70 11
Cambodia Cambodia 58 12

Caribbean

CBI PBS Score Rank
Grenada 102 1
Dominica 89 2
St Kitts and Nevis 88 3
St Lucia 84 4
Antigua and Barbuda 84 4

Europe

CBI PBS Score Rank
Malta 107 1
Bulgaria 106 2
Cyprus 104 3
Montenegro* 85 4
Moldova* 84 5

Download

Download the Best Citizenships CBI passport rankings for 2019

Ranking Factors

The total points assigned under PBS is 150 points

1. CBI Pricing (5 points)  

Cheapest CBI countries assigned maximum points. Cyprus is the most expensive passport while other citizenship by investment schemes start from $100,000. Antigua, St Lucia and Dominica are the cheapest CBI passports. Note that Moldova and Montenegro have prices in Euros which we have converted to USD. Moldova has slightly higher pricing when converted USD compared to Caribbean CBI schemes. Montenegro and Moldova are newly launched citizenship by investment schemes in 2018.

2. Safety of countries (10 points) 

Safety is one of the most important indicator when somebody decides to invest in a second citizenship or passport. How safe is the CBI country with low crime rates?  Grenada ranks very high for safety ratings, followed by Cyprus and Malta.

3. Passport power: Visa free access (10 points) 

The passport power measures the total visa free countries offered by CBI passports. This data is compiled from Henley passport index 2019.  Malta (182) and Cyprus have the highest access to visa free countries.

4. CBI passport time in months (10 points) 

The time taken to acquire CBI Passport. Cyprus has the fastest time (6 months), Malta takes 12-15 months as EU countries have imposed residency requirements. Many fail to realize Bulgaria is also one of the best EU passports, but takes more than 20 months. It is well worth the wait.

5. Residency conditions (5 points) 

Residence requirements for CBI programs. Maximum points for no residency conditions. Dont forget Antigua imposes 5 day residence requirements to renew the passport.  Malta requires 12 months of residence and Cyprus

6. Dual citizenship (5 points)  

Dual citizenship allowed by all CBI countries. The second citizenship is the fundamental concept of CBI schemes. Please check with your home country if dual citizenship is allowed. If no, then you are better off seeking legal advise. You can also apply for golden visas/residence schemes if you dont want any issues with dual nationality.

7. EU citizenship rights (10 points) 

Does the CBI schemes offer full rights of EU citizenship in member states? Only Cyprus, Malta and Bulgaria full EU citizenship rights in the member states. Montenegro and Moldova do not offer EU citizenship rights.  We consider EU citizenship is a very important factor when seeking a second citizenship.

8. E-2 treaty with US (5 points) 

Moldova, Montenegro, Turkey, Bulgaria,  and Grenada are the only five CBI countries that have E-2 treaty investor signed with United States.  These countries offer CBI citizens a provision to apply for E-2 visa (non immigrant visa) a cheaper alternative to EB5 scheme.

Can you take advantage of non immigrant E2 investor visa through treaty with United States

9. Due diligence (10 points)  

Due diligence and background checks done by CBI countries. Malta and St Lucia score top marks for due diligence

10. Publishing CBI names in Gazette to Public (5 points)

Caribbean CIPs do not publish names of CBI citizens offering privacy to CBI citizens . Malta, Moldova publish names of citizens in gazette every year. We assign full points  to CBI countries that do not disclose names to public

Visa free access broken down to specific countries.

CBI passports have access to biggest countries in the world such as UK, Europe, China, Russia etc..

 

 11. EU schengen visa free access (5 points)

Except Turkey and Cambodia all CBI passports have visa free access to schengen area.

12. UK visa free access (5 points)

Moldova, Montenegro, Turkey and Cambodia do not have visa free access to United Kingdom and Ireland.

13. US visa free access (5 points)

Malta is the only country that is a part of  visa waiver program (VWP) with United States (requires ESTA). All other countries require visas to visit United States

14. Canada visa free access (5 points)

Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Samoa are the only four passports have visa free access to Canada.   All other CBI passports require a visa to visit Canada.

15. Russia visa free access (5  points)

Six CBI passports have visa free access to Russia. Moldova, Montenegro passports have visa free access to Russia. Grenada and Dominica are the caribbean countries that has visa free access to Russia along with Vanuatu and Samoan passport.

16. China visa free access (5 points)

Grenada is the only country having visa free access to China.

17. GDP in billions (5 points)  

GDP of CBI countries (PPP). Which country is the biggest economy? Of all the CBI countries Turkey has the biggest $2.3 trillion GDP. All other CBI countries are nowhere near to Turkey.

  • Turkey – $2.3 trillion
  • Bulgaria – $171 billion
  • Cyprus – $35 billion
  • Moldova – $25 billion
  • Malta – $20 billion
  • Montenegro – $12 billion

18. Richest countries in terms of GDP per capita (5 points) 

Which CBI countries are the richest countries in terms of GDP per capita. The more the wealth the more points. Malta and Cyprus are the richest countries in Europe. Antigua is the richest country in the Caribbean in terms of GDP per capita.

19. Population  (5 points) 

Population contribute to economy of countries. Points are awarded to most populated countries. Turkey has 81 million population highest among CBI countries, which St Kitts and Nevis only population of 55,000 lowest among CBI countries.

20. Education (5 points) 

Best education system in CBI countries based on index. Cyprus has the best education systems among all CBI countries followed by Malta in second place.

21. Healthcare (5 points) 

Best healthcare system in CBI countries. Malta has the very best health care system followed by Cyprus among CBI countries

22. HDI Rank (10 points)  

The Best human development index measures high quality living conditions in CBI countries based on UN HDR.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is one of the most important indicators to look for when apply for CBI passport. Malta score top marks for HDI among CBI countries followed closely by Cyprus.

  1. Malta
  2. Cyprus
  3. Montenegro
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Turkey

23. Government Debt (5 points) 

Central Government debt. Highest points assigned to countries with lowest debt. Cyprus has highest debt (104%) among CBI countries.  Turkey, Bulgaria and Cambodia has the lowest debt (less than 29%)

24. Personal Income Tax (5 points) 

Zero or Low tax countries receive maximum points. Caribbean countries do not have personal income tax. Malta, Bulgaria and Bulgaria have around 35% PIT.

25. Strong currency (5 points) 

Strongest currency in CBI countries. Euro is a strong currency used by four CBI countries Malta, Cyprus and Montenegro. Moldova does not use Euro, instead Leu is used.   Caribbean countries use XCD pegged to US dollar.

 

CBI Passport Rankings

  • PBS Score

CBI Pricing

  • USD

Sources

We have compiled the data from these sources and incorporated in our ranking model. Credit to these indexes.

Education – https://worldtop20.org/education-data-base UNHDR Human development index 2018
https://www.prosperity.com/rankings Global Peace Index 2018
WHO healthcare rankings Wiki visa requirements for CBI citizens
Henley and Partners Passport Index 2019 Worldbank data (economic indicators)
Numbeo safety rankings Wikipedia