CBI Programs Would Be Wise to End Their Discrimination Against Single Applicants

By Justin Donovan

It’s time for citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs to reduce their required donation levels for single applicants. Making single applicants pay the same donation level for citizenship as married families – and large families – is simply unfair.

It gets even worse for single applicants though: In many CBI programs, it costs even more money (beyond the original donation) to add citizenship for a future wife or future children. God forbid a single CBI citizen should choose to get married – they will have to fork out an extra US$50,000 to gain citizenship for their new spouse under a CBI program like that of Antigua and Barbuda.

Sorry, but it doesn’t stop there. If the CBI citizen decides to have a baby one day, it will cost up to US$10,000 more in donation fees to simply have a newborn get Antigua and Barbuda citizenship. This is in contrast to the “large family” that already paid the same fee as the single applicant to begin with.

The discrimination against single applicants is something that the CBI industry needs to address quickly, especially since those 30 years old and younger globally are more ‘single’ now than ever before. People just don’t want to get married anymore.

The solution is also a big opportunity

If CBI programs want revenue, they need to address the largest segment of the global population nowadays: single people. As I have proposed here on IMI, there is a pathway forward to reduce fees for CBI programs while still maintaining price integrity.

CBI programs could implement a ‘CBI Talent Migration’ program that reduces donation levels for single applicants who possess a master’s or doctoral degree from a top 200 global university. This kind of “discount” (of perhaps US$25,000) would be highly credible and could be used to feature CBI programs as talent migration programs.

Single men and women, particularly digital nomads, are looking for the best CBI countries to live and hang their hats in – it is no longer about just “having a good passport for travel”. Just do searches on YouTube and you will see all the young single people talking about immigration and seeking the best places to gain residency or citizenship.

If CBI countries want to attract desirable single immigrants, they must lower their fees for single applicants now. The first CBI program that makes special arrangements for single applicants will most certainly thrive and possibly even capture a majority of the CBI market in short order.

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Justin Donovan AuthorSubscriber

Justin is an analyst on global public policy with a focus on international economic development and human capital mobility.