Island Nation Passport: How to Get It and Why You Need It

Grenada, Vanuatu, Commonwealth of Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and Malta – any of these jurisdictions offer the opportunity to quickly get an island nation passport by investment. But it’s worth hurrying! Economic citizenship programs in island countries are often closed abruptly and without warning.

Island Nation Passport

Why do you need an island nation passport?

With limited natural resources, a small area, and being far from the mainland, most island nations cannot rely on agriculture, industry (due to logistical difficulties), and mining to build economic power. Therefore, such countries are heavily dependent on tourism and the financial sector.

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In addition, island states offer numerous benefits to citizens and residents to increase the number of solvent inhabitants and thus support local businesses. These bonuses turn an island nation passport into a valuable trophy. In particular, it is recommended to acquire such a document for the following reasons:

  • Government flexibility: Due to their small population and correspondingly modest bureaucracy, many island nations are relatively quick to introduce beneficial innovations. For example, they create immigration mechanisms to attract innovative entrepreneurs (a start-up visa to Malta), digitize administrative procedures, and adopt laws to increase crypto-friendliness. Accordingly, an island state passport will allow you to be among the first to benefit from such tools and innovations.
  • Low taxes: Many small island states have achieved tax haven status. This helps attract wealthy people who transfer their tax residency there. Island jurisdictions are also in demand when registering/relocating international companies seeking to reduce the fiscal burden. In addition, various ships, from yachts to huge dry cargo ships, often sail under island flags for the same reasons. For example, many Caribbean states offer tax residents a favorable fiscal regime, freeing them from paying personal income tax on income from sources around the world. An island nation passport simplifies relocation to one of these countries and, accordingly, the optimization of the tax burden to preserve and increase assets. Many jurisdictions in the region also have no tax on real estate, wealth, inheritance, gifts, and capital gains.
  • Neutrality and friendliness: Small island states do not have geopolitical ambitions and often do not even have their own armies. Accordingly, such countries do not participate in military conflicts and do not collect additional taxes necessary to maintain the armed forces.
  • Freedom of movement: Neutrality allows island countries to equally build beneficial relations with both the West and the East. An example is Grenada. Thanks to the efforts of local diplomats, Grenadian citizens can travel visa-free to China, Russia, the UK, and the Schengen states in Europe. Accordingly, obtaining an island state passport in Grenada is an excellent idea if you need to build a multi-vector business that requires frequent travel around the planet.
  • Diplomatic protection worldwide: Many island states are members of the British Commonwealth of Nations, being former colonies of Great Britain. Such an island nation passport provides additional protection during travel around the planet due to access to diplomatic missions (embassies and consulates) of other Commonwealth members, including Canada, Australia, and the UK.
  • Escape hatch and plan B: An island nation passport is the basis for the ultimate plan B. The new homeland can be used as an escape hatch if the situation in the state of current residence/citizenship deteriorates sharply. Thanks to the removal of visa restrictions, such a document holder will be able to easily and quickly evacuate to a safer place as a full-fledged citizen and not a refugee.
  • Privacy and simplicity: An island nation passport in Grenada and several other jurisdictions (see below) can be issued as simply as possible (remotely in a couple of months) and completely anonymous. You can be sure that information about obtaining second citizenship will not leave the jurisdiction that granted it. This, combined with the financial infrastructure of the country of new citizenship, simplifies asset protection from the homeland authorities, as well as creditors and dishonest partners.
  • Banking, business, investments: As citizens of some unreliable countries, entrepreneurs and investors often face difficulties when trying to open bank accounts and make investments abroad. Even citizens of developed West countries can faced this. For example, many bankers and crypto-entrepreneurs are reluctant to do business with Americans, as doing so typically entails burdensome and often business-damaging reporting to US officials. The passport of a neutral island nation with an impeccable reputation will allow you to disguise your country of origin, making it easier to open accounts in other jurisdictions, do business, and invest in any corner of the world.

Where can you get an island passport?

Many island countries are located in an archipelago (such as Indonesia and the Philippines) and consist of thousands of islands. Others occupy only one island (for example, Barbados or Nauru) or even part of the island (for example, Brunei Darussalam or the Dominican Republic). Some of such states are characterized by limited diplomatic recognition (for example, Northern Cyprus and Taiwan).

In total, there are about fifty such jurisdictions. A complete list of jurisdictions where you can get an island state passport is in the table below (including data on area, population, and other parameters). Australia is not included in this list because it is considered a continent, although it was historically called an island due to the absence of land borders.

NameGeographic configurationArea (sq. km.)PopulationPopulation density (per sq. km.)Geographic locationDate of formation/obtaining independence
UN Member States      
Antigua and BarbudaTwo large islands and several small ones442 97,120220Caribbean Sea, Lesser AntillesNovember 1, 1981
BahamasArchipelago13,939389,48028Atlantic Ocean, Lucayan archipelagoJuly 10, 1973
BahrainArchipelago (centered around the island of Bahrain)7781,641,1702,109Persian GulfDecember 10, 1971
BarbadosOne island430287,020667Caribbean Sea, Lesser AntillesNovember 30, 1966
Brunei DarussalamPart of a large island (Borneo)5,765433,29075Southeast AsiaJanuary 1, 1984
Cape VerdeArchipelago4,033549,930136Atlantic Ocean, MacaronesiaJuly 5, 1975
Commonwealth of DominicaOne island75471,81095Caribbean Sea, Lesser AntillesNovember 3, 1978
Comoros (Union of the Comoros)Archipelago1,861850,890457Indian Ocean, Africa, ComorosJuly 6, 1975
CubaOne main island and several smaller islands (Isla de la Juventud, etc.)109,88411,346,346103Caribbean Sea, Greater AntillesOctober 10, 1868
CyprusPart of a larger island (Cyprus); has de jure sovereignty over the entire island9,251888,005       96Mediterranean SeaAugust 16, 1960
Dominican RepublicPart of a larger island (Hispaniola) and several smaller islands (Alto Velo, Catalina, Saona, Beata, etc.)48,67110,738,960221Caribbean Sea, Greater AntillesDecember 1, 1821
East TimorPart of a large island (Timor)14,9191,293,12087Southeast Asia, Lesser Sunda IslandsMay 20, 2002
Federated States of MicronesiaArchipelago702113,810162Pacific Ocean, MicronesiaMay 10, 1979
FijiArchipelago18,274889,95049Pacific Ocean, MelanesiaOctober 10, 1970
Great BritainOne main island, part of a second island (Ireland), several minor islands244,82067,886,004277Atlantic Ocean, British IslesMay 1, 1707
GrenadaOne main island and two smaller ones (Carriacou and Petit Martinique)344112,000326Caribbean Sea, Lesser AntillesFebruary 7, 1974
HaitiPart of a larger island (Hispaniola) and several smaller islands (Gonaives, Tortuga, Les Cayemites, etc.)27,75011,743,017423Caribbean Sea, Greater AntillesJanuary 1, 1804
IcelandOne main island102,775361,3104Atlantic Ocean, Arctic CircleDecember 1, 1918
IndonesiaArchipelago including parts of larger islands (Borneo, New Guinea, Sebatik, Timor)1,904,569270,625,570142Southeast Asia, Indian and Pacific OceansAugust 17, 1945
IrelandPart of a larger island (Ireland) and several smaller islands70,2734,977,40071Atlantic Ocean, British IslesApril 24, 1916
JamaicaOne main island and several small islands (Port Royal Cays, etc.)10,9912,734,092249Caribbean Sea, Greater AntillesAugust 6, 1962
JapanArchipelago (Japanese archipelago)377,976126,264,930334Pacific Ocean, East AsiaFebruary 11, 660 BC
KiribatiArchipelago811117,610145Pacific Ocean, MicronesiaJuly 12, 1979
MadagascarOne main island587,04126,969,31046Indian Ocean, AfricaJune 26, 1960
MaldivesArchipelago298383,9761,289Indian Ocean, Laccadive SeaJuly 26, 1965
MaltaThe two main islands (Malta and Gozo) and other smaller islands316502,6501,591Mediterranean SeaSeptember 21, 1964
Marshall IslandsArchipelago18158,790325Pacific Ocean, MicronesiaMay 1, 1979
MauritiusArchipelago2,0401,265,710620Indian Ocean, Africa, Mascarene IslandsMarch 12, 1968
NauruOne island2112,580599Pacific Ocean, MicronesiaJanuary 31, 1968
New ZealandTwo main islands (North Island and South Island) and other smaller islands270,4675,125,45119Pacific Ocean, PolynesiaSeptember 26, 1907
PalauArchipelago45918,01039Pacific Ocean, MicronesiaJanuary 1, 1981
Papua New GuineaPart of a larger island (New Guinea) and several smaller islands462,8408,776,11019Pacific Ocean, MelanesiaSeptember 16, 1975
PhilippinesArchipelago300,000       108,116,620360Southeast AsiaJune 12, 1898
Saint Kitts and NevisTwo islands26152,830202Caribbean Sea, Lesser AntillesSeptember 19, 1983
Saint LuciaOne main island616182,790297Caribbean Sea, Lesser AntillesFebruary 22, 1979
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesArchipelago389110,590284Caribbean Sea, Lesser AntillesOctober 27, 1979
SamoaArchipelago2,842197,10069Pacific Ocean, PolynesiaJanuary 1, 1962
Sao Tome and PrincipeTwo main islands (Sao Tome Island and Principe Island)1,001215,060215Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Guinea, AfricaJuly 12, 1975
SeychellesArchipelago45597,630215Indian Ocean, AfricaJune 29, 1976
SingaporeOne main island and several smaller islands7285,703,5707831Southeast AsiaAugust 9, 1965
Solomon IslandsArchipelago28,400669,82024Pacific Ocean, MelanesiaJuly 7, 1978
Sri LankaOne main island and other small islands65,61021,803,000332Indian Ocean, South AsiaFebruary 4, 1948
TongaArchipelago748104,490140Pacific Ocean, PolynesiaJune 4, 1970
Trinidad and TobagoTwo main islands and several smaller ones5,1311,394,970272Caribbean Sea, Lesser AntillesAugust 31, 1962
TuvaluArchipelago2611,650448Pacific Ocean, PolynesiaOctober 1, 1978
VanuatuArchipelago12,189299,88025Pacific Ocean, MelanesiaJuly 30, 1980
Partially recognized states      
Northern CyprusPart of a large island (Cyprus)3,355313,62693Mediterranean SeaJuly 20, 1974
TaiwanOne main island and several smaller islands36,19323,603,121652Pacific Ocean, East AsiaJanuary 1, 1912

How to get an island state passport as quickly and easily as possible?

The quickest and easiest way to get an island state passport without breaking the law is to make a large investment in the host country’s economy or a subsidy to the local state fund. But only seven states from the list above offer such an opportunity. We will consider their proposals in detail.

JurisdictionRemote passport issuanceProcessing time (months)Entry threshold (minimum allowable investment/ donation)Possibility to return the invested moneyMandatory holding period of an investment asset (years)
Antigua and Barbuda3-6USD 100,0005-7
Commonwealth of Dominica3-6USD 100,0003-5
Grenada3-6USD 150,0005
Malta12-36EUR 715,000Partially5
Saint Kitts and Nevis2-6USD 125,0005-7
Saint Lucia3-6USD 100,0005-7
Vanuatu1,5-2USD 145,000

Special programs for obtaining island nation passport and citizenship, operating in the seven jurisdictions listed above, offer at least two financial routes. The applicant can make a donation or invest in the purchase of real estate/securities/business to obtain a second passport. Regardless of the option chosen, you will have to pay administrative fees (for due diligence and application processing) and the licensed immigration agent fee (through which the application is submitted).

Vanuatu ‘Golden Passport’ (another name for citizenship by investment program) is available only through a donation, while a combined investment is required in Malta. In states that issue economic citizenship by real estate purchase, investing only in development projects previously approved by the authorities (hotels, spa resorts, etc.) is possible. The exception is St. Kitts, where you can buy any residential property.

The easiest and cheapest way to get an island nation passport is a non-refundable donation to the state fund. The applicant will not be able to return the money, but their contribution will go to the development of transport infrastructure, the preservation of cultural heritage, and the construction of new hospitals and schools in the host state.

Foreign investors applying for an island state passport are entitled to include their family members in the application: spouse, children (including from previous marriages), parents, and grandparents. Often unmarried underage siblings are allowed to be included in the application. Exceptions are the Commonwealth of Dominica, Vanuatu, and Malta. There are additional administration fees for adding relatives.

Governments in the Caribbean and other jurisdictions with accelerated island nation passport programs have established strict rules for screening applicants. Applications are submitted through authorized agents who conduct due diligence and assess the legitimacy of applicants’ sources of capital. Additional checks are carried out by the host state authorities and independent international detective agencies hired by officials.

Why is it worth hurrying up with an application for an island nation ‘golden passport’?

The Caribbean island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis has been offering citizenship to investors since 1984, pioneering the global ‘golden passport’ market. The local program has been running smoothly for almost four decades. But few jurisdictions can boast of such constancy.

Similar programs operate on average for about a decade. Examples: Tonga (1982-1996), Marshall Islands (1987-1996), Ireland (1988-1998), Samoa (1991-1997), and Union of Comoros (2001-2017). Vanuatu previously had several island nation ‘golden passport’ programs that are closed now. The Grenada program, which opened in 1996, was on pause between 2001 and 2013.

As a rule, the reason for the closure was the pressure of the West developed countries, which were losing taxpayers because of those programs. Western officials have often accused states with citizenship by investment programs of not effectively weeding out unreliable candidates.

We help to choose and obtain island state passports

Find out more about the conditions for obtaining an island nation passport through investment in each of the above jurisdictions by consulting with our experts. A team of professionals is ready to quickly assess your chances of success and provide you with the best licensed immigration agent in your chosen host jurisdiction.

Contact the experts now using one of the phone numbers above. You can also contact us via the feedback form or corporate email!

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