Despite a huge popularity of CBI and golden visa programs, these programs often come and go due to changing geopolitical climate and tightening of border crossing rules. We have seen this trend in the past during 1990’s a number of pacific countries operated a citizenship for sale schemes for a decade and then shutdown aftermath 9/11.
Cyprus scrapped their infamous passport scheme last year after exposure of abuse and corruption, which lead to several passports of investors being rescinded. Moldova and Comoros have scrapped their passport schemes, after new government was elected. Montenegro is scrapping their CBI from 2022 to pursue dreams of joining EU. Malta and Bulgaria have already implemented stringent measures amidst pressure from EU.
Global climate is changing fast. Perhaps now when these schemes are operational, it is an excellent limited of window of opportunity for acquiring second citizenship and residency for investors. These schemes wont be there forever.
Let us take a took on the list of events that had greatest impact on CBI and RBI
- EU has been waging a war on CBI/RBI market, already laying groundwork for phasing out such schemes by 2025 citing various risks involved and selling citizenship as a commodity.
- OECD has blacklisted countries operating CBI and RBI schemes.
- ETIAS will be implemented from 2023 requiring visa waiver countries to apply for online authorization to visit schengen states.
- New banking regulations require US correspondent banks tightening rules for receipt of funds from such schemes AML/CFT.
- Canada has revoked visa waiver agreements in the past with St Kitts, Antigua and Grenada citing poor security checks involved with the passports issued.
- FINCEN issued an advisory in 2014, stating individuals intending to use the secondary citizenship to evade sanctions, can obtain passports with relative ease.
- US/EU sanctions applicable on certain country nationals including PEPs and companies
The European commission, Anti-CBI campaigners and non profit organisations, highlight several problems associated with running CBI and RBI schemes, which include
- Selling citizenship as a commodity, favouring wealthy and discriminates others
- Tax evasion and money laundering
- Ability of open bank accounts anywhere in the world
- Poor security and background checks
- Artificial Inflation of real estate prices due inflow of economic migrants.
- Criminals using CBI passports for financial crimes.
- Lack of genuine link and residence requirements.
- Illicit people using cryptocurrency for acquiring passports.
- Criminals changing name and passports for evading visa databases.
These issues work against CBI and Golden visa programs. Unless these issues are immediately resolved, running such schemes will be at peril.
The Covid pandemic had a great impact on free movement with many nations barring those who hold visas and visa waiver passports, preferring only residents and citizens to curb the spread of pandemic.
To cut the story short, we honestly dont know how long CBI and GV schemes will survive. Perhaps this is the best time and a golden opportunity to take advantage of such schemes. Make sure you dont miss out on the golden ride, which could reshape your entire life and perhaps family generations.