March 8, 2022
Interview with Brian Dobbin, Founder, Citizens International
Brian Dobbin first became familiar with citizenship investment in the 1990s in Canada, creating a citizenship program with a provincial government and providing jobs for hundreds of families. Since then he has assisted governments in the creation of citizenship programs in the West Indies and Ireland, and understands intimately the benefits of being an international citizen and the impact of their investment. He currently resides in the Caribbean.
What is the primary reason your clients choose to invest in a second citizenship?
When we started in the immigration investment business twenty-five years ago the overwhelming reason people chose the programs of the day like Canada and the U.S. was that they wished to migrate there with their children for a better life. Ten years ago, the primary reason people invested in the Caribbean programs was travel benefits. Today I believe the primary reason we are seeing so many more North American and European clients is that they wish to have options outside of their existing citizenship in living their best lives.
How have you seen the real estate investment market evolve over the years?
In the last twenty-five years, I have seen the market become more international, and the choice of destination real estate investment evolve from higher density resort offerings to communities of stand-alone luxury accommodations.
What differentiates the Caribbean CIP and luxury real estate portfolio from other regions?
The Caribbean has at least four generations of growth now as an aspirational luxury retreat destination for both Europe and North America. Having that kind of fundamental appeal to the two wealthiest geographic markets in the world is a distinct advantage for the region.
How would you sum up the advantages of embarking on an island lifestyle?
The pace of life is much less hectic, the environment is beautiful, and the international crossroads of Caribbean life invigorates you with a steady influx of new people, cultures, and ideas.
Why is having a second citizenship considered luxury?
If luxury is defined as ‘a state of great comfort or elegance, having a second citizenship can provide a lot of comforts when it comes to your lifestyle. I would argue there are times, like the one we are experiencing in Ukraine or like we saw in the pandemic, that having second citizenship is not a luxury but fundamental importance for those that can afford it.
And for you, what is luxury?
Nature, space, and privacy.
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