How can you relocate to the Caribbean and live a happy life in a tropical Paradise? The simplest way is to obtain citizenship by investment in Antigua, Grenada, Saint Kitts, Dominica or Saint Lucia. Each country offers its own unique benefits to foreign investors and we hope that the text below will help you make a balanced choice.
When you were born, you were not in a position to choose the country of your birth. However, a grown-up person is free to choose what country to make his/ her home. Or his/ her second home. In the modern world, you can build up a collection of foreign passports, as a matter of fact, and acquire citizenship of several national states at a time. Most countries of the world permit dual (and multiple) citizenship so this is possible indeed.
One of the fastest methods of acquiring foreign citizenship is to invest in the economy of a country that administers a citizenship-by-investment program. The five Caribbean states mentioned above offer such opportunities and these are worth considering. Yes, you will have to spend money on obtaining citizenship in the Caribbean but it is going to cost you as much as a luxury car would cost.
The number of ‘immigrant investors’ is growing year after year. Correspondingly, the number of consultants working in the industry as well as bankers, lawyers, realtors, and developers is also growing. International Wealth experts have vast experience in helping clients to obtain foreign citizenship and we would be delighted to be of assistance to you too.
Below we compare the citizenship-by-investment programs available in the Caribbean so that you can see what benefits you would obtain in each particular case and what costs these would entail. If you are interested in this or that option, please do not hesitate to request a free consultation on the matter. (Please click on the ‘Contact us’ icon at the top of the page and choose the means of communication that you prefer to get in touch with us.)
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Caribbean citizenship by investment: What do you get?
What images come to your mind when you think of the Caribbean? Probably, tropical forests, endless sandy beaches, coral reefs, and other enticing things… Now imagine this: you can become a rightful citizen of a Caribbean country! And the wonderful natural landscapes that you will find there will be among numerous other bonuses that a Caribbean passport can bring.
Would you like to have visa-free access to Schengen zone countries? You can, with a Caribbean passport. Would you like to use high-quality international banking services? You can, with a Caribbean passport (or with nearly any passport – you are welcome to apply for a free consultation right now).
Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and Saint Lucia charge less for their citizenship than European countries with similar immigration programs used to do (currently most of the European CBI programs are already closed down or are in the process of being closed down). Besides, the applications for citizenship are processed swiftly.
The minimum amount of returnable investment that will make you qualified for Caribbean citizenship is US$ 150,000. The shortest application processing timeframe is six weeks. No country except for Antigua requires that the foreign applicants for citizenship visit it. Ever. Antigua and Barbuda wants all new citizens to spend five days per year in the country for the first five years of holding the passport. In all cases, you don’t have to travel to the Caribbean to pick your second passport as it can be sent to you with a courier.
Saint Kitts and Nevis was the first country in the world to start a citizenship-by-investment program in 1984. Since that time, the program has been adapted to the needs of foreign investors several times. This is the country whose citizenship you can acquire within the shortest period (if you are prepared to pay a little extra for accelerated application processing).
The Saint Kitts and Nevis immigration program started gaining popularity at a fast pace after the country signed a visa-free travel agreement with the EU in 2009. Antigua and Barbuda made a similar agreement the same year while Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Lucia did so in 2015.
This means that if you come from a country that does not have a visa-free travel agreement with the EU, you will not have to apply for Schengen visas any longer when you have a Caribbean passport. You will not have to book a hotel in advance, buy airplane tickets in advance, submit the application for a visa, pay the application processing fee… Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?
Caribbean citizenship by investment: Earn from tourists visiting the region
All Caribbean states heavily rely on tourism. As you certainly understand, they are going through some hard times at the moment because the tourist industry has almost come to a stall due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the pandemic will be over sooner or later and when things are back to normal, the prospects to benefit from tourist flow in the Caribbean are quite promising.
You will become eligible for Caribbean citizenship if you purchase a piece of real property in one of the countries in the region. Now the authorities of all the five states are doing their best to promote tourism development. For this reason, a foreign applicant for citizenship has to invest in resort property only in order to qualify for citizenship in any of the countries. If you purchase a hotel suite or a villa, you will be able to rent it out to tourists (this is perfectly legal), make some passive income, and return your investment bit by bit.
In normal times, millions of tourists come to the Caribbean by air or by sea. Tens of thousands of yachts and hundreds of cruise ships call at Caribbean ports. Foreign tourists bring billions of Caribbean dollars to the region.
In addition to that, the quality of the tourist accommodations has been steadily improving over the recent years. New international hotel chains such as Hyatt Plans, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Marriott, and others are building their outlets in the Caribbean meeting the requirements of demanding customers from the US, Canada, Great Britain, and elsewhere. The occupation rates are high and the price per room per night has also been increasing.
So this could be an interesting option to consider if you are not attracted by the beauty of the Caribbean basin (it is a remote place, after all). You can invest in a hotel suite, for instance, have the hotel administration rent it to tourists on your behalf, and use your Caribbean passport to freely travel around Europe! We would like to stress that you will not even have to leave home if you want to make this sort of investment in a foreign passport.
Caribbean citizenship by investment: Choose the country
As we have noted above, five Caribbean states administer citizenship-by-investment programs. (The authorities of one more country in the region are currently considering the possibility to launch such a program too. We will keep you posted on that.) So how should you choose what program to apply to? Clearly, you have to compare the costs involved in each case and the benefits that you will acquire.
We have to note at this point, that the Caribbean citizenship-by-investment programs differ in small details only. All of them offer similar advantages. For instance, the passport of any country will let you visit over 130 foreign states without visas including the Schengen zone countries and Great Britain.
Citizens of Dominica, Saint Kitts, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Antigua can stay in the EU for 90 days within any 180-day period. So you can spend half a year in Europe with your Caribbean passport. Even though the UK is not an EU country any longer, all the five Caribbean states are members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Therefore, their citizens are welcome to Great Britain anyway.
Citizens of all the countries that we are discussing normally get 10-year visas to the USA stamped in their passports. We have to point out, however, that they have to visit Barbados or some other country that has a US embassy or consulate. Neither Dominica, nor Saint Kitts, nor Grenada, nor Saint Lucia, nor Antigua has a US diplomatic mission.
Other advantages that the five Caribbean countries have in common include the following ones:
- You do not have to visit any of the countries when filing an application for citizenship. Similarly, you do have to go there to pick your passport either.
- All the countries allow dual citizenship.
- You will have lifetime citizenship in any of the countries.
- No country is going to inquire about your educational certificates.
- Whichever country you choose, you will have the right of abode there and the right to freely visit all the CARICOM countries.
- All the countries welcome family applications for citizenship.
- No country requires that the applicant for citizenship have a personal interview with the immigration authorities.
Now let us look at small details that make the five Caribbean citizenship-by-investment programs somewhat different.
Caribbean citizenship-by-investment programs
|Grenada||· Visa-free travel to China· Easy access to an E2 investor visa to the USA|
· The program enjoys great reputation· Grenada is located outside the hurricane belt, which makes it safer than some other Caribbean states
· In addition to your spouse, children, and parents, you can include your (unmarried) brothers and sisters in a family application for Grenadian citizenship
· There are no official restrictions on the original citizenship of the applicants for citizenship of Grenada
|· If you decide to acquire Grenadian citizenship by investing in real estate in the country, the required investment amount is going to be comparatively high|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||· High speed of application processing: of an additional pay, your application for citizenship of the country can be processed within six weeks |
· Tax residents of Saint Kitts and Nevis are not subject to the personal income tax· The largest number of passports issued to foreigners on aggregate: since Saint Kitts and Nevis launched a citizenship-by-investment program before any other country did, the number of foreigners holding passports of the country is about 17 thousand at the moment
· A wide choice of development projects where you can invest in order to qualify for citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis· The local citizenship-by-investment program has a good image: some celebrities hold passports of Saint Kitts and Nevis
|· Saint Kitts and Nevis is not a very well known national state (some people will never have hear of it) |
· Some scandals have been associated with the local citizenship-by-investment program· Citizens of some countries are not eligible to apply for citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis (In particular, Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea)
|Saint Lucia||· The lowest required donation amount (US$ 100,000) |
· Diverse choice of investment options (donation, investment in real estate, in state binds, or in business)
· High living standards and advanced infrastructure
|· The program is quite new and it is still undergoing fine-tuning |
· Applications for citizenship are not processed fast· The most stringent due diligence checks (for a Caribbean country)
· Citizens of Iran are not eligible to apply· Higher tax burden in comparison to other Caribbean states running citizenship-by-investment programs
· Small choice of real property and business projects where you can invest to qualify for citizenship of Saint Lucia
|Commonwealth of Dominica||· The lowest required donation amount (US$ 100,000) |
· If you invest in real estate to qualify for citizenship of Dominica, you will be able to sell it back after three years only while keeping your passport of the country (this is the shortest property possession period in the Caribbean)
· You can pay for Dominican citizenship in US dollars, euros, or British pounds
|· Dominica is not a very well known nor a very reputable national state |
· Some scandals have been associated with the Dominican citizenship-by-investment program
|Antigua and Barbuda||· The lowest required donation amount (US$ 100,000) |
· Favorable taxation system: no personal income tax is payable regardless of where the income is made; no capital gains tax nor inheritance tax
· High living standards and advanced infrastructure
· Besides investing in real estate or making a donation, you can invest in a business venture in Antigua to qualify for citizenship of the country
· The possibility to pay for Antiguan citizenship in a cryptocurrency is probably going to become available soon
· A wide choice of development projects where you can invest in order to qualify for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda
|· Some scandals have been associated with the Antiguan citizenship-by-investment program |
· There is a ‘black list’ of countries whose citizens are not eligible to apply for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda. The list changes frequently and now citizens of the following countries cannot apply for Antiguan citizenship: Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan.
· You have to spend five days a year in the country over the first five years of holding the Antiguan passport if you want to keep it
Professional support in acquiring Caribbean citizenship
Would you like to take a closer look at the opportunity to acquire Caribbean citizenship? If you would, please apply for a free consultation on the matter with our investment immigration experts. You are welcome to request the consultation by writing to email@example.com or contacting us in any other way that you like (please click on the ‘Contact us’ icon at the top of the page). We always respond quickly!