How CBI Countries are Responding to COVID-19
COVID-19 is affecting everyone, and the citizenship by investment industry not immune to it either. In the hope to overcome the economic crisis caused by the epidemic, several countries providing citizenship by investment (CBI) programs introduced a few temporary measures to carry on with their operations and to sustain processing of applications.
The Caribbean countries St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, Dominica, Grenada and Antigua & Barbuda have adapted quickly to the COVID-19 challenges by announcing that they are moving their processing online. All applications and supporting documents will now have to be uploaded online on secure CBI portals. No physical applications and supporting documents should be submitted to the CBI offices at this stage. These documents would have to be submitted at a later stage to verify that the documents are genuine.
Vanuatu, a country in the south-western Pacific Ocean, has so far adopted a different approach as it carries on business as usual with a few minor changes. The Secretary-General of the Vanuatu Citizenship Office announced on 25 March 2020, that the office of Vanuatu’s Citizenship Commission will stay open and that all the submitted applications under both citizenship by investment options will be considered as usual. However, although Citizenship Certificates will continue to be issued to successful applicants, they will not be posted for now, as air traffic to and from Vanuatu is currently suspended until the end of April 2020.
The government of Cyprus has decided to speed up the processing of citizenship by investment programmes pending applications, in the hope to boost the economy. The government is also considering to remove the 700 naturalisations per year limit on Cyprus CBI applications in 2020. Moreover, Cyprus government is discussing introducing a remote procedure of citizenship applications, similar to the Caribbean countries.
We are experts in citizenship and residency by investment worldwide, and we will be happy to answer all your questions related to the impact of COVID-19 on the citizenship applications and any other requests you may have. We continue to operate as usual and assist clients in becoming Global Citizens during the pandemic. Stay safe, we will take care of the rest.