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Citizenship in the Caribbean: Truth and Lies

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As of today, you can rely on our help in obtaining Caribbean citizenship by investment in Antigua, Grenada, Commonwealth of Dominica, St.Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis. For updates on all our services and further CBI opportunities in the CARICOM and other Caribbean countries with investment citizenship, please follow our posts.

Our clients who have obtained Caribbean citizenship recommend the Caribbean second passport as a perfectly legitimate and extremely useful vehicle. Caribbean citizenship provides a lot of much sought-after solutions and advantages. Besides, with our help, citizenship in the Caribbean islands as well as Caribbean passports can be obtained by investment and even at a distance.  

If you are looking for a ‘safe harbor’ in the face of adversities, this article offers you some important facts about the main benefits of the Caribbean second passport and dispels the most common falsehoods about citizenship by investment in the Caribbean.

Caribbean citizenship

The Caribbean region embraces 7,000 islands scattered across the tropical Caribbean Sea. It is home to 25 fascinating countries and territories, at least 5 local languages, and a variety of indigenous cultures, foods, and traditions. 

These beautiful, safe destinations attract many foreigners wishing to obtain dual citizenship in the Caribbean. All the more so as Caribbean investment citizenship is one of the easiest second passport options, coming with plenty of benefits.

Caribbean islands citizenship is a unique opportunity for wealthy individuals who want to acquire a Caribbean second passport and obtain access to wealth protection and international diversification in the fastest and easiest way, without having to migrate and change their usual lifestyle.

The 5 of the countries in the Caribbean that offer dual citizenship maintain utterly superb CBI (citizenship by investment) programs. Dozens of other states in the region are also willing to promote their RBI procedures leading to immigration and naturalization.

Misconceptions about Caribbean citizenship and Caribbean passport

In an effort to ensure maximum transparency of economic citizenship services, combat misconceptions about CBI and RBI programs, and dispel misinformation that has flooded the Internet, we have posted many articles on obtaining residence or citizenship by investment. Our experts wrote and offered free private online consultations on the Caribbean investment citizenship. And still, unfortunately, judging by the questions from our clients, the ridiculously popular myths about the Caribbean second passport have not been fully weeded out. That is why we decided to scrutinize the ropey yet lingering clichés and lies about the Caribbean citizenship by investment programs and debunk them in this article.

  • Myth 1: “Caribbean passports are phony”. Despite what you may have heard about ‘the illegitimate golden passport Caribbean’ and the ‘fake Caribbean citizenship certificates’ sold by the so-called ‘banana republics’, such claims are the most bogus sham.  In fact, we can easily refute the baseless assertions that the passports issued by Caribbean countries with investment citizenship are perceived worldwide as nothing but ‘fake’. All these are dishonorable speculative allegations fabricated to stigmatize Caribbean citizenship and disgrace the Caribbean second passport power in stark contrast to that of, for example, a U.S. passport. Such hard-hitting falsehoods can easily discourage U.S. citizens who are unaware of real facts and are the proud holders of the most reputable passports in the world. No doubt, everyone knows that it takes too much time and paperwork, many efforts, heavy expenses, and great patience to obtain a US passport as a coveted prize. There are many reasons indeed to cherish the U.S. passport as a ‘long-term relationship’. However, why should one consider Caribbean citizenship as a ‘hanky-panky affair’? The World Bank qualifies the Caribbean countries with investment citizenship as developing states with significant economic potential. These jurisdictions issue full-fledged national passports and grant real second citizenship by investment in the Caribbean that comes with many perks. The Caribbean countries are all relatively small in terms of population and area. But the size of a country does not make its national passport less legitimate. All Caribbean countries offering citizenship in exchange for investment aim to develop new sources of economic growth and offer high productivity jobs. So any investor with a Caribbean passport enjoys quite attractive incentives, including the visa-free travel across the world. For example, with a Grenada passport, you can travel in 2022 to 96 countries without a visa and to 28 countries with a visa on arrival. With a passport of Antigua and Barbuda, you can visit 100 countries without a visa and 40 with a visa on arrival.
  • Myth 2: ‘Without having lived in the Caribbean, one cannot obtain the Caribbean citizenship’. This is yet another fundamentally flawed assumption about the Caribbean islands citizenship. It stems from a popular yet wrong belief that any citizenship in the world, including Caribbean citizenship, can be acquired only through naturalization. However, there are more than 1 path leading to citizenship in the Caribbean islands. Whereas to become a naturalized citizen of a country one needs to obtain a residence permit and stay there for a certain period of time before applying for a passport, Caribbean citizenship by investment  does not work that way. Any trip to the ‘Caribbean paradise’ is surely a very rewarding experience, since all countries in the Caribbean that offer dual citizenship are the world-famous heavenly beautiful tourism destinations. But if your purpose is only to obtain a Caribbean passport, you will not even have to set foot on the soil of the chosen country. There is no need to book accommodation and air tickets, pack your bags, cross the world, and stay in the country – all that just for the sake of the Caribbean second passport and citizenship in the Caribbean islands. If you do not plan to reside permanently in the Caribbean region, the opportunity to apply remotely and obtain the Caribbean investment citizenship at a distance is a great advantage.
  • Myth 3: ‘The use of a Caribbean passport as your ID on a journey can expose you to jail/court charges’. This is utter, utter nonsense, as you will know. Nobody can be ever prosecuted for using a Caribbean passport at border crossings. Nevertheless, there is a common misperception by clueless travelers from larger and better-known countries, who are used to showing commonly known passports at border controls, that immigration officials would not accept a Caribbean passport issued by a small island state. But as practice shows, the passport control officers across the world are absolutely indifferent to whether the traveler is a citizen of Grenada, Vanuatu, Montenegro, St. Lucia, Serbia, Panama, USA, MaltaPortugal, Uruguay, Paraguay, Antigua, Turkey, Commonwealth of Dominica, or any other tiny or huge jurisdiction. What makes a difference is not your citizenship, but the passport validity and the proof of the proper grounds for entering the country. Immigration officials have better things to do than prosecute tourists for using a Caribbean second passport. The maximum complication that a Caribbean passport holder may expect is the chance to be asked to wait while an immigration officer double-checks whether citizens of the particular Caribbean country are eligible for visa-free travel to their country. In fact, holders of passports issued by almost any country can face such an inconvenience. So why worry about the validity and power of your Caribbean passport if your Caribbean citizenship is legitimate? 
  • Myth 4: ‘One citizenship is quite enough, and there is no need to apply for a Caribbean second passport’. Many skeptics refuse to obtain Caribbean citizenship in principle. They also discourage others, claiming that their home countries are superior to other states, and there is therefore no point in collecting passports of different jurisdictions. But don’t we know that perception of reality is skewed, and life is much more complicated than we all would like it to be? When an unforeseen emergency occurs, it can drastically worsen the quality of life in your homeland and even make it impossible to continue living there. One does not have to search very widely to appreciate the freedom to travel anytime, anywhere. It is especially true now that the world is fighting the deadly pandemic and mired in the political and social turmoil. The early decision to obtain a Caribbean second passport and Caribbean citizenship by investment can be one of the best things in your life. After all, under adverse circumstances, a Caribbean passport will allow you to instantly move to a safer place, and all Caribbean countries with investment citizenship are comfortable for permanent residence.
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What are the benefits of a Caribbean second passport? 

Having listed the most common misconceptions about obtaining the Caribbean citizenship and having dispelled the popular myths about the power of the Caribbean passport, let us explore the key benefits of Caribbean citizenship. Please note, that there are many more incentives to choose citizenship by investment in the Caribbean.

  • Personal security: Caribbean citizenship, at its most fundamental level, is the best insurance available to the Caribbean passport holders and their families. Considering the advanced organic food production with natural ingredients, superb ecology, tropical climate and emerging alternative energy industry, Caribbean countries with investment citizenship offer significant advantages to smart seekers of a ‘back-up airfield’ where they could move to in case of threatening events in their home countries.
  • Family and lifestyle: Caribbean citizenship by investment programs are available not only to investors, but also to family members of the principal applicants. Investors are free to include a spouse and children, parents, and grandparents in their applications, thus enabling a secure, opportunity-filled future for their loved ones. The Caribbean second passport guarantees access to world-class medical care, decent education and a comfortable lifestyle.
  • Wealth Protection: Citizenship by investment in the Caribbean and the Caribbean passport can be an important component of an international wealth protection strategy. Thanks to a long history of protecting the privacy of citizens, most countries in the Caribbean that offer dual citizenship are home to international banks/branches of major banking institutions, a developed financial services sector, and a favorable tax climate, including, in some cases, zero-rate or no personal income tax on worldwide income for their tax residents.
  • Business opportunities: 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies are members of the CARICOM/Caribbean Community – an equivalent of the European Schengen Area. Besides, there are 5 CARICOM associate member-states. On top of the tremendous potential for entrepreneurship in the host country and the region, the holders of Caribbean citizenship can enjoy great opportunities for international business development. Caribbean citizenship allows you to travel more freely abroad on business and expand the network of partners, establish contacts with the international business elite, and search for new markets. Many wealthy businessmen come to stay long periods in the Caribbean, so this fortunate circumstance also makes it easier to find business contacts.
  • An alternative to ‘toxic’ citizenship: By obtaining Caribbean citizenship, the new Caribbean passport holders can avoid being ‘tied’ to their ‘toxic’ citizenship of their historic homeland. A Caribbean second passport can facilitate an application for residency in a third country, where yet another citizenship could then be obtained after years of naturalization.
  • Visa-free travel: The Caribbean passport is a key to numerous privileges to international travelers by land, air and water. In particular, after obtaining a Caribbean passport, the new citizens of most of the Caribbean islands are guaranteed visa-free entry to 140+ countries, including Great Britain, Singapore, the EU states, and many other popular destinations. The possibility to enter China without a visa is available to holders of Grenada citizenship and Dominica passport and therefore deserves special attention. China is one of the most closed-off countries in the world. But if you acquire the Caribbean second citizenship, you will not have to be bothered any longer with getting a Chinese 30-day tourist visa when preparing to visit this Asian country.

Caribbean Passport for Investors/Philanthropists

How do you get a Caribbean passport? There are 2 options: the fast track and the slower/not so fast one. The first path to a Caribbean passport involves participation in an economic citizenship program in any of the following 5 countries:

  • Antigua
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Kitts and Nevis.

Applicants have the right to donate a nonrefundable contribution (which is easier and cheaper than other options) or make refundable investments (which is a more expensive and sophisticated path). The list of available options is country-specific. Donations to a government fund/refundable investments are made through a licensed agent, as the applicant is not allowed to interact directly with the host country authorities on his/her own. Let’s take a closer look at the available fast-track options:

  • Donation to the Caribbean government fund: It is generally cheaper in the short term to obtain Caribbean citizenship and Caribbean passports through charity donations to the government fund in the Caribbean than to invest in any Caribbean real estate/business/securities. The respective funds are usually set up in the Caribbean countries as non-profit organizations that are subject to parliamentary oversight and the requirement to publish annual reports on the use of funds. The money is channeled to the social and economic development projects of the host country.
  • Purchase of real estate in the Caribbean: Applicants are allowed to invest either in some optional residential property (only in St. Kitts and only for a limited period of time, ending in November 2022) or in some pre-approved property, mostly hotels and resorts. An investment in the purchase of approved real estate is in fact a direct investment in the tourist infrastructure of the host countries, whose economies are specifically tourism-oriented. By choosing Caribbean citizenship by investment in real estate, the future homeowner secures his family a place where they can stay and reside in a pretty resort location. There is a chance to return the investment after a minimum period of 3 / 5 / 7 years of ownership (depending on the country), as it is allowed to rent out the real estate in the Caribbean acquired for citizenship. Please note that if you choose a destination which is not attractive to tourists, you will reduce the liquidity of the asset and make it difficult to resell your property. Our team and partners, based in the Caribbean for decades, are well versed in the local real estate market and can help you obtain a profitable investment and help you recover your investment in the mid and long term.
  • Investment in government securities: This option is currently available only to applicants for St. Lucian citizenship for investment. Applicants are required to invest in public bonds. The mandatory holding period varies depending on the amount invested and the number of applicants for Caribbean citizenship. Please note: before the end of 2022, Caribbean citizenship through investment in bonds is available at a 50% discount.
  • Business Investment in the Caribbean: This is the most expensive and least popular option, available only in St. Lucia and Antigua. Applicants are required to invest in an approved business project for a 5-year period. Discounts are available to applicants who make business investments as participants of some large group of Caribbean citizenship applicants. Business projects are focused primarily on food and energy production, education and trade, thus helping to apply the untapped potential of their respective Caribbean countries. If you consider yourself a successful business person, we recommend that you consider this very option for obtaining a Caribbean passport and citizenship in the Caribbean islands. Our experts are ready to help with the project selection by its ROI and other features, as well as with the technical, legal and commercial assessment of any business idea, and provide the overall facilitation.

How else can I get Caribbean citizenship?

If none of the aforementioned fast-track options for obtaining the Caribbean investment citizenship appeals to you, you can take the slower route to your Caribbean passport –  through standard naturalization in the Caribbean. It will be appreciated by those of you who are interested in moving to a tropical paradise. But to start the process, you will need to obtain a residence permit/residency card. The good news is that you can simplify the registration procedure by making some investment. Several island countries in the Caribbean keep this option available to applicants.

Although the Caribbean citizenship by investment programs are known for being among the best in the world, you may simply not be ready for ‘going the golden citizenship Caribbean’ just yet. If so, you should take a look at the offerings of the following Caribbean countries that allow foreigners to gradually integrate into their society and become citizens upon naturalization:

  • Bahamas: If you are looking for an alternative to the Caribbean investment citizenship, you should consider the Bahamas. The path to your status of a resident by investment in the Bahamas is one of the easiest in the world. Typically, the approval of the application takes not more than 3 months. According to the rules introduced in July 2021, investors can be immediately granted the Caribbean permanent residence permits. They can invest in real estate, priority sectors of the economy (Tourism, IT, Public Infrastructure, and Medicine), or a combination of both types of investments. But in order to qualify for citizenship in the Caribbean, one needs to follow the rules: the holding period needs to be at least 10 years, and the investor is required to spend most of each year in the country (a similar residency requirement applies in other countries listed above).
  • Bermudas: The local investment residency plan, called the Certificate of Economic Investment, is one of the youngest in the Caribbean. First, the successful applicant receives a residence permit. In 5 years, candidates are allowed to apply for permanent residency in the Caribbean. Thus the total wait period for citizenship is 10 years. Applicants are allowed to invest in a variety of assets and industries, including the following:
  • Real Estate
  • Businesses
  • Government bonds
  • Charities
  • Trust Funds.
  • Cayman Islands: The country’s residency by investment program offers several paths leading to a residence permit. Although this option is one of the most expensive, such an investment pays off because of the tax benefits and the British Overseas Territory status. The money needs to be invested in real estate. Direct investment in some business / part of some business is also allowed. 30% of employees of the company need to be Caymanian. To maintain the status of a resident, the applicant needs to spend in the Caribbean a minimum of 1 day (in case of investment in real estate) or 90 days (in case of investing in business). In 5 years, an investor can apply for a British Overseas Territory passport.
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines: The local program allows both temporary and permanent residency options. Foreigners usually can expect to receive residency in 3 to 5 months from the date of application. A residence permit is less expensive and is granted for a 2-year period. After 7 years of residency, one becomes eligible for citizenship in the Caribbean.

Expert help with obtaining citizenship by investment in the Caribbean

Economic citizenship in the Caribbean/the Caribbean Golden Visa programs offer a relatively easy way to Caribbean citizenship. Of all the attractive citizenship by investment programs available in various parts of the world, the Caribbean investment citizenship options stand out as truly competitive and very beneficial ones.

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You are welcome to book our free one-on-one web-based counseling services. Just fill in and submit the brief clickable questionnaire called ‘Consultations on Foreign Citizenship by Investment‘ or contact us at the email address / in messengers given above. Please remember to provide your contact email address, to which we will send our guaranteed feedback.

Is it true that the Caribbean islands citizenship can be obtained remotely?

Yes, Antigua, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts offer these services. However, please note that some Caribbean states do not approve applications from certain (sanctioned) countries/regions. This rule is country-specific.

Is the Caribbean citizenship by investment the right choice?

While many skeptics look down on the Caribbean investment citizenship offers and programs, the idea to apply for the Golden Passport Caribbean can be an excellent strategy for many private persons. You should book a private session with our Caribbean citizenship expert and ask for a customized assessment of your chances to obtain the Caribbean islands citizenship, with consideration of your needs, preferences, and resources.

Who can help me move to the Caribbean / obtain Caribbean citizenship?

If you want to settle in the Caribbean or become a dual national through one of the Caribbean investment citizenship programs, you are welcome to take advantage of our professional services. Our seasoned experts will help you design the best customized strategy for making your Caribbean passport dreams come true in one of the Caribbean countries offering citizenship.

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