The Future of Citizenship By Investment In An Era Of Political Instability

It’s no exaggeration to say that we live in uncertain times. This uncertainty and geopolitical instability can make decisions about one’s future increasingly difficult to make – particularly when it comes to international considerations like the possibility of applying for citizenship by investment.

Precisely because of its international nature, citizenship by investment may seem like a complex proposition when the geopolitical situation is so volatile and unpredictable. Potential applicants need to take a great many factors into account – the relationship between their home nation and that of their potential CBI application; the political situation in both of these countries; and the overall broader geopolitical situation.

Beyond this, there may be financial and bureaucratic considerations to take into account. Saint Kitts and Nevis, for instance, is offering a limited-time CBI application window in which the application time and the cost thereof is significantly reduced – with the inevitable corollary that both of these will increase in the future. It’s therefore important to ensure that you will be able to satisfy future changes in requirements in addition to any other considerations.

During the course of this article, we plan to examine the changes that you’re likely to see to existing CBI programs going forward. We’ll also take a look at why CBI programs make for a compelling plan B for applicants who might come from countries that are already suffering from political instability.

What Changes Can We Expect To See To CBI Programs In 2023?

While it’s difficult to forecast changes to CBI programs in the distant future, it’s thankfully much easier to know what to expect in the near future – not least because countries offering citizenship by investment tend to be open about it!

Let’s take a look at what we can expect to change in the CBI application processes of those countries offering it in 2023.


One of the most attractive options in the Near East for many applicants, Türkiye is a particularly desirable destination for Russian nationals, who have found its comparative proximity to their home country – and lack of sanctions in relation to many European countries – to be a compelling combination.

Türkiye has seen some changes to its CBI program in 2023. One of the biggest is that investors must now purchase a property valued at USD $400,000 or more by themselves. Previously, investors could jointly invest in a property, as long as each put in a minimum of $400,000. An individual investor can, however, invest in multiple separate properties, as long as the value of all of those properties equals $400,000 or more.

It’s also no longer possible to purchase real estate that was previously held by former CBI applicants. This is to prevent the creation of a closed-loop real-estate market that exists only to facilitate CBI applications.

Outside of this change, Türkiye’s CBI program remains unaltered – and is still a very attractive Europe-adjacent option for many. We’re also unlikely to see any sweeping changes to Türkiye’s CBI program in the coming future – however, the country is holding general elections in May 2023. As with any democratic process, we cannot predict any potential changes in government that can affect policy.

Saint Lucia

This Caribbean island nation is a mainstay of CBI programs, and will continue to accept applications for citizenship by investment in 2023 and beyond.

Applying for a second passport with Saint Lucia has, in fact, become easier than ever in 2023. As of January 1st 2023, the value required for real-estate investment has dropped to $200,000 (down from $300,000). If going the government bond route, applicants now need only purchase $300,000’s worth (down from $500,000), though they still do not generate interest. An administrative fee of $50,000 is applicable if investing via government bonds.

It’s also worth noting that Saint Lucia no longer offers the Covid Relief Bond investment option; this expired at the end of 2022.

Overall, however, investors have much to be excited about with the new and cheaper requirements for Saint Lucia’s CBI program.

Saint Kitts & Nevis

The world’s oldest CBI program remains one of its most attractive. In fact, it might well be the most attractive option out there, at least until July 2023. If investing in the Sustainable Growth Fund until the start of that month, applicants can expect a whopping $25,000 discount, taking the required amount down to $125,000. The application will also be expedited, and everything will be processed in 60 days (as opposed to the usual 90-day period).

This will return to 90 days and cost $150,000 from July 1st onwards. The option to expedite the application will still be there, but will cost $25,000. It’s therefore a good idea to try to get your application in before the limited-period offer expires.

The list of government-approved properties is also getting an overhaul in 2023; all developers must reapply to get a spot on the list, which is going to mean some big changes to eligible properties. This is unlikely to affect future applications.


The third Caribbean island nation on our list that offers a CBI program, Dominica’s citizenship-by-investment application has changed a little in 2023.

Prior to mid-2022, it was possible for applicants to include siblings as dependents on their application. However, that has now changed; siblings can no longer be included in applications under any circumstances.

Dominica also has quite stringent requirements regarding adult children of the main applicant. They must be aged between 18-30, must be in attendance at an establishment of higher learning, and must be ‘substantially supported’ by either the main applicant or their spouse. If the child in question is an unmarried woman under the age of 25, then the requirement of proof of higher education is waived.

Parents or grandparents may be included in the application as dependents, but must be aged 65 or over. They must also be financially dependent on the main applicant or their spouse in order to qualify.

The additional fees incurred by including dependents are now the same regardless of age: $25,000. In the case of a donation to the Economic Diversification Fund, however, the fee is increased to $50,000 if the dependent is aged 18 or older.

The Future Of CBI Programs In The Caribbean

The Caribbean has long been a haven for high-net-worth individuals looking to diversify their citizenship options, and that is unlikely to change. However, it’s always worth keeping one eye on the horizon in order to anticipate potential changes to the way the wind is blowing, and CBI programs are no different.

One recent development of note was a roundtable held in the original home of citizenship by investment, Saint Kitts and Nevis. In this meeting, all Caribbean countries that offer CBI programs agreed to six principles, proposed by the US:

  1. The establishment of an information-sharing network that would allow members to deny the application of those who’d been rejected by fellow member nations;
  2. The requirement of interviews with applicants, whether virtual or face-to-face;
  3. The requirement of rigorous financial vetting of candidates, conducted by each country’s own financial intelligence unit;
  4. The requirement of annual internal audits of one’s CBI programs, conducted in accordance with international law;
  5. The mandatory recall of confiscated or invalidated passports;
  6. The establishment of a blanket ban on applications from Russian or Belarusian nationals.

Though the countries involved in the meeting (Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Antigua & Barbuda) all pledged their commitment to the principles, they have not yet been fully put in place. Arrangements are expected to be finalized towards the end of 2023 at the latest.

The State of CBI Elsewhere

The geopolitical situation continues to influence the direction that CBI programs are taking outside of the flagship Caribbean nations. As we have seen, these countries have reaffirmed their commitment to such programs, but this is sadly not the case elsewhere. Let’s take a look at the developments in some other countries that offer (or offered) CBI programs.

Republic Of Ireland

Recent EU pushback has been significant enough to cause the Republic of Ireland to completely discontinue its ‘Golden Visa’ program as of February 2023.


Wealthy Balkan nation Montenegro is an ideal fit for many high-value individuals. Unfortunately, Montenegro’s CBI ultimately fell victim to the EU in the same way as Ireland’s – as an aspiring EU member, Montenegro was compelled to nix the scheme in order to present itself as a desirable member state to Brussels.


Another victim of the EU’s call to end golden passport/visa schemes, Portugal announced in 2023 that it would be halting its residency-by-investment scheme. This led to a surge in applications as applicants rushed to get theirs in before the program completely closes. The program is currently still accepting applications and it remains to be seen when it closes fully.


Although aspirations of a true CBI program were quashed by the EU in the same way as other European countries, Bulgaria nevertheless has a residency-by-investment program that allows investors to eventually obtain citizenship. It does require 5 years of residence within the country, but it’s nevertheless an attractive option – and could lead to a genuine CBI program down the line.

Political instability in one part of the world has a knock-on effect to multiple countries


Though the geopolitical uncertainty of 2023 does not lend itself to the ability to assertively predict anything, it’s safe to say that CBI programs will continue to be a mainstay of the international scene – particularly in the Caribbean.

That said, it’s worth keeping an eye on the situation. As we have seen, popular opinion and international pressure are enough to end CBI programs in some instances – so make sure that you monitor the situation in your country of choice, lest you be blinded by unforeseen developments.

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Though the geopolitical uncertainty of 2023 does not lend itself to the ability to assertively predict anything, it’s safe to say that CBI programs will continue to be a mainstay of the international scene – particularly in the Caribbean.

That said, it’s worth keeping an eye on the situation. As we have seen, popular opinion and international pressure are enough to end CBI programs in some instances – so make sure that you monitor the situation in your country of choice, lest you be blinded by unforeseen developments.


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