London: A report published by the Crisis Observatory at Lebanon’s American University of Beirut has concluded that the nation is entering a third mass exodus wave of emigration. According to the report, an internal indicator regarding Lebanon’s entry into a mass emigration wave is the high chance of emigration among Lebanese youth. Based on a survey done last year, 77 percent of Lebanese youth said they think about emigrating and seek it, and this percentage is the highest among all Arab countries.
Lebanon has since endured numerous crises, including wars, assassinations and political conflicts due to decades of corruption and bad governance. The Lebanese pound has sunk by around 80 percent, while depositors have lost access to their life savings. Many professionals, including doctors, academics, entrepreneurs, and designers, have left or are planning to go. In many cases, they are drawing on second nationalities acquired by parents or grandparents who left Lebanon in the emigration waves of the past.
Those who do not already have the backup of previous ancestorial citizenship have resorted to non-conventional methods to obtain citizenship. Micha Emmett, the CEO of CS Global Partners, a citizenship solution advisory headquartered in London, said that a growing number of Lebanese citizens have been enquiring about Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes. CBI is an immigration method by which an investor contributes a specific sum of money to a nation’s economy in exchange for citizenship, ultimately resulting in that country’s passport.
“CBI is often the best and fastest resort for those who face uncertainly in their home country and want a way to secure their wealth and their family’s future,” said Emmett. “Unfortunately, the world we live in can be very unpredictable and bad times can fall on us at any moment. CBI allows individuals to have a backup plan for exactly these moments.”
Some of the most sought-after CBI Programmes are in the Caribbean, where the idea originated. Citizenship from St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme can be achieved without the hassle of required residency or travel. The entire process can generally be done online within a matter of some months. According to experts at the Financial Times’ PWM magazine, this programme currently ranks the best in the world.
Once applicants go through strict vetting and make their monetary contribution to St Kitts and Nevis’ Sustainable Growth Fund, they can travel to approximately 160 countries visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival. They can also add dependants and pass down their citizenship for generations to come.
Under a limited time offer, a family of up to four must only contribute USD150,000, accounting for a USD45,000 reduction.