World Citizenship/Residency Program Index (WCRPI) Map

The map shown below displays the areas of the world that have a higher concentration of countries offering citizenship and residency programs, while the darker the country, the higher it’s score on 2ndPassports.com’s World Citizenship/Residency Program Index, or WCRPI.

 

A country’s WCRPI ranking is determined by a five-point rating system, which is based on these five crucial factors:

  • Value: The overall cost of a program weighed up against its functionality and power, plus the standard of living in the donor country
  • Processing: The average time spent in acquiring citizenship/residency with a citizenship/residency program, from the initial application to receipt of citizenship/residency status
  • Simplicity: How straightforward or complex is a program? The less red-tape and bureaucracy, the better the score
  • Passport Power: A passport’s power is based on its visa-free access to countries around the world. The more countries it has visa-free access to, the higher a passport’s power
  • Quality of Life: What is the standard of living in a citizenship/residency program’s donor country? The higher its standard of healthcare, education and general living, and the lower its poverty and crime rate, the higher its ranking

 

World Citizenship/Residency Program Index Country Ratings

COUNTRYVALUEPROCESSINGSIMPLICITYPOWERQuality of LifeAVERAGE RATINGINDEX SCORE
Antigua & Barbuda A A A B B A- 96
Australia B C D A A B 88
Austria C A B A A A- 94
Belgium A C B A A A- 94
Brazil A C B B B B 90
Canada A B A A A A 98
Costa Rica A C B B B B 90
Cyprus C A C A B B- 90
Dominica A A A B C A- 94
France C C C A A B- 88
Georgia A A A C C B 92
Germany A C B A A A 94
Greece A B C A B B 92
Grenada A A A B B A 96
Guatemala A A B C C B 90
Hungary A B B A B B 94
Ireland B C B A A B 92
Malta A A B A A A- 98
New Zealand A B B A A A- 96
Nicaragua A B B C C B- 88
Portugal A A B A A A 98
Russia A B A C C B- 90
Saint Lucia A A A B B A- 96
Spain B D C A A B- 88
St Kitts & Nevis A A A B B A- 96
Turkey A A B C B A- 92
United Kingdom C C B A A B- 90
United States A B A A A A 98


 

World Citizenship/Residency Program Index: Program Rating

The graph below depicts “at-a-glance” which countries offer the better overall citizenship/residency programs, based upon the aforementioned 5 criteria of measurement;

Value, Processing, Simplicity, Passport Power, Quality of Life

The graph shows that just because a program is the most expensive (Austria) or a donor country has a strong economy (the UK) or is a highly desirable location to live (Spain) doesn’t guarantee it will perform better than the program of a smaller, lesser known country like Dominica.

 

World Citizenship/Residency Program Index: Value

A program’s value is assessed by its cost counterbalanced against its qualities. A country like Guatemala scores very highly here purely because it is among the cheapest programs, but Malta does also, even though it is many time more expensive than Guatemala, because it is the most affordable citizenship by investment program in the European Union.

Most residency programs also score highly, as they are relatively inexpensive, and the financial outlay is normally refunded after five years.

World Citizenship/Residency Program Index: Processing

A program’s processing is measured by the length of time passed between an applicant signing up for a program, and receiving either their notification of citizenship, or permanent residency permit  (temporary residency permits are granted quickly, but grant the holder few genuine benefits.)

In general, CBI programs score highest, as their process takes a matter of months to complete, while an investor choosing the residency route will normally have to spend five years as a temporary resident before being able to then apply for permanent residency.

World Citizenship/Residency Program Index: Simplicity

A program’s simplicity is measured by its ease of use for an applicant. All citizenship and residency by investment applicants come prepared when embarking on a program, they have the necessary finances arranged, and have all required documents prepared. What they require is a program administered by caring, knowledgeable professional people, and the more straightforward and easy to understand the program is, the better.

Nations who have embraced the process of citizenship or residency for foreign investors like the Caribbean island nations of St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda, Malta, Portugal and Hungary have programs that are extremely well administered, while countries that are less open to granting citizenship and residency to foreign investors like France, Spain and the UK are more bureaucratic in their approach, which can make a program’s processing unnecessarily complicated.

World Citizenship/Residency Program Index: Passport Power

The ultimate goal for any foreign investor embarking on either a citizenship or residency by investment program is to become a citizen of the donor country in question, and gain its passport. In most instances, the investor’s new passport will be far more powerful than their original, which will grant them a greater freedom of movement.

A passport’s power is determined by the amount of countries it has entry to without its holder requiring a visa. Democratic countries with excellent trade relations around the globe tend to have powerful passports. Countries of the EU, North America (the US and Canada) and Australasia as well as nations known for their international trading like Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore all have extremely powerful passports with visa-free access to more than  160 countries on average.

Germany is currently the nation with the most powerful passport, and has visa-free access to 177 countries, but other nations with citizenship/residency programs like France, Spain, the UK and Belgium are right behind them.

World Citizenship/Residency Program Index: Quality of Life

More than any other, this category ultimately comes down to the tastes and needs of the investor. For example, many people would consider a Caribbean Island nation a far more idyllic location than the UK or Germany. However, this ranking is based on what a country offering a citizenship/residency program is providing in terms of standard of living, healthcare, amenities, a democratic government, low crime rate and business opportunities.

All of the European Union nations score highly in this section, as do the US, Canada, North America, Australia and New Zealand. While without doubt living on a Caribbean island would be idyllic, nations like Saint Lucia, Dominica or even Grenada lack the business infrastructure of a developed EU nation, and so score lower. Central American nations like Guatemala and Nicaragua currently rate lower than the EU, but are making giant strides economically, which should soon be reflected on overall living standards.

 

 

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