By Kumar Pratik, for CS Global Partners.
Last year, the world came to a standstill following the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, disrupting life as we knew it. One of the greatest challenges to the impending global health crisis was the introduction of stringent travel restrictions which saw many, near and far, trapped in a country without any idea when the freedom of travel would return.
However, the pandemic only further exacerbated a pre-existing reality for those living in the Global South. Whether it's the bureaucratic hassle of applying for visas or passport discrimination, travel was already extremely difficult for those that didn't have the 'right' citizenship - something that Iraqi citizens are all too aware of.
According to data from the International Air Transport Association, citizens of Iraq have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to approximately 28 countries - leaving the citizens of Iraq with very limited access to the world for travel. This can pose as an obstacle, particularly in conducting efficient business abroad which can be vital to accessing global markets and expanding operations. Aside from business, we've seen over the last year how crucial travel can be when it comes to protecting one's family. COVID travel restrictions have separated families, and those that do not have an alternative solution have been at the mercy of governments and constantly changing laws.
This has led to a sharp surge in demand for second citizenship as people raced to seek out ties to various nations, from marriage to ancestry. However, there was another route that was increasingly growing in popularity. Known as Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programmes, those who have the required funds can invest in one of the various countries that operate such initiatives, in exchange for its citizenship. This provided the perfect tool for families that need to make quick decisions to secure their safety, protect their business or even ensure high quality education for their children.
With over a dozen countries offering CBI programmes, it can be difficult deciding which route prioritises your specific needs. Yet, even with an oversaturation of options on the market, the Caribbean remains an industry leader and home of the world's first - and longest-standing - programme in St Kitts and Nevis.
Established in 1984, St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme pioneered the CBI industry and is now recognised as its Platinum Standard brand. The programme offers investors who can successfully pass the due diligence stage, life-changing benefits that can boost opportunities while also providing a Plan B during times of unpredictability.
Citizens of St Kitts and Nevis have travel access to nearly 160 destinations across the globe as well as a second home in a stable democracy with a business-friendly environment. Citizenship can also be passed down through descent, enabling you to not only protect your immediate family but future generations thus establishing a legacy that will stand the test of time. Additionally, a limited time offer currently operating under St Kitts and Nevis' programme allows families of up to four to obtain citizenship for $150,000 rather than the previous $195,000.
More Iraqis are beginning to understand the value of having a second citizenship, not only as a measure for the post-COVID era but as a necessary asset to unlocking global potential and ensuring physical and financial safety.
(Source: CS Global Partners)