The Ius Pecuniae Research Centre (IPRC) is an initiative by the HF Corporation that “aims to promote the investment migration industry through research driven and in-depth analysis of the investment migration and economic citizenship programs.”
Ius pecuniae, the centre’s namesake, is just another way of saying citizenship by investment, literally translating to “citizenship through monetary means” from the original Latin.
The centre has recently released a research-based summary of 8 different countries that directly allow naturalization through investment without having to physically relocate. The countries that fit the bill are Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Cyprus, Malta, and Vanuatu.
IPRC uses its own Ius Pecuniae Index (IPI) to rank these countries based on six different criteria:
- Travel Convenience Index
- Pecuniary Requirements (investment)
- Settlement Rights
- Quality of Life and Business Environment
- Residence Requirements
Each of the criteria will mean different things to different people depending on their motives for obtaining a second citizenship. For example, obtaining citizenship with the highest overall IPI rank may not be a priority for those who have a specific aim to gain 2nd citizenship with the smallest investment amount possible.
Because of this, we have broken down the highest ranking countries for each of the criteria below.
1. Travel Convenience Index: Malta
The Travel Convenience Index rates the strength of the passports of the evaluated countries. The amount of visa-free destinations and the quality of these destinations are both considered for the index. Malta ranks the highest here with 156 visa-free destinations, including Canada, Brunei Darussalam, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.
2. Pecuniary Requirements: Dominica
The amount of investment is of course one of the most important criteria to many applicants of a CBI program to consider. Many factors are taken into account here, including the investment amount, flexibility, period for which the investment will be held, and non-refundable costs. Dominica is the winner, requiring only a $100,000 USD contribution plus government fees.
3. Settlement Rights: Malta and Cyprus
Many who invest in a second citizenship are not just in it for the passport. The external value of a country’s citizenship must also be taken into consideration, for example, the ability to relocate and settle there permanently. Malta and Cyprus tie for this category thanks to their high quality of life and the right afforded to EU citizens to move and reside freely throughout the Union.
4. Quality of Life and Business Environment: Malta and Cyprus
A second citizenship gives holders opportunities and a higher standard of living that may not be available in their home countries. Malta ranks slightly higher than Cyprus in terms of quality of life, however the ease of business operations in Cyprus bring the two countries to a stalemate for this criteria.
5. Reputation: Malta
Each country on this list has its own standards for their golden visa programs. Some require a high level of due diligence while others may be easier for persona non grata to exploit. In this index, Malta is the clear winner for its program’s extreme scrutiny and a financial system that is in compliance with international standards.
6. Residence Requirements: Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Vanuatu
All 8 countries ranked in the Ius Pecuniae Index do not require excessive periods of residence in order to qualify for citizenship. However, that doesn’t mean there are no requirements at all. For example, you can only gain Cypriot citizenship if you reside in the country for 6 months. All of the countries that tie for this category have zero physical presence requirements.
Overall Winner: Malta
There are merits for citizenship in each country that was evaluated by the Ius Pecuniae Research Centre. Cyprus is great for its business friendly environment, while the CARICOM countries provide as direct a route to 2nd citizenship as possible. When it comes to Malta, however, it’s a hard country to beat for investment migration. It receives the highest marks in four out of the six categories, and will continue to be one of the hottest destinations for CBI in 2018.
If you would like to read the full summary and methodology from the Ius Pecuniae Research Centre, you can do so here.