The major economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic can be seen clearly in the rate of approvals of citizenship by investment programs all over the world during 2020 (either calendar year or fiscal year depending on the way that each country records its statics). Vanuatu landed one of the first spots in the top ten ranking, making the Vanuatu Citizenship Development Support Program one of the most important citizenship by investment programs worldwide in 2020 despite the traveling restrictions, health crises and the borders being shut down.
- The tenth spot is taken by the Greek Golden Visa which went from 3,504 approvals in 2019 to only 403 in 2020 marking a setback of -89%.
- Ninth, is the Spanish Golden Visa with 845 approvals within a year which, even though this represents -40.5% the country actually made impressive progress in the approval rates in the first half of 2020 considering the 2019 statistics, but they went down the rest of the year due to the pandemic.
- In eighth spot is the Portugal Golden Visa had a similar performance during 2019 and 2020 despite the economic crisis. During 2020this program had 1,182 approvals which is only -5% less than the previous year.
- The seventh spot is held by the Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program. The DSP experienced a major growth in 2020 becoming a great source of the revenues for the country.
Investors’ interest in the Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program continues increasing as the years go by because of the many benefits that it represents for their future professional and personal plans, one of them being the range of Visa Free/on arrival Country access afforded by the Vanuatu Passport. According to the estimates Vanuatu had an increase of 26% in 2020 with 1,489 approvals.
- Next, is The Saint Kitts & Nevis CIP in sixth place. This is the only citizenship by investment program that refuses to make their statistics public because of confidentially reasons, but according to an estimate there were between 1,500 and 2,500 approvals within a year.
- The fifth spot taken by the Australia BIIP with an estimate of 1,768 approvals in 2020, which although a considerable number, in fact represents a setback of -39% for Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment Program.
- The Thai Elite Visa is number four on the list, its popularity raised amid the covid-19 restrictions to enter the country and many people with temporary residency status turned to the citizenship by investment option to be able to access the country. According to the estimate there was an increase of 24% with 1,783 approvals.
- On the third spot there is The Dominica CIP with 1,896 approvals and an increase of 2.5% according to the previous year.
- Then, on the second spot there is The United States EB-5 program with 2,577 approvals in 2020 which represents a s setback of -30%. Even though this was considered to be the worst year for this citizenship by investment program, it still made it to number two on the top ten ranking.
- Finally, the biggest and the most important investment program in the world during 2020 was Turkey with an astonishing increase of 325% and 13,325 approvals. The approval rates for this program have continue to go up ever since the government reduced the investment requirements to obtain the citizenship.
Source: Christian Henrik Nesheim. “The 10 Largest Investment Migration Programs in 2020 by Approval Volume”. April 19, 2021: https://www.imidaily.com/editors-picks/the-10-largest-investment-migration-programs-in-2020-by-approval-volume/