Caribbean Citizenship by Investment

Citizenship by investment is a fantastic opportunity both professionally and personally. It essentially means that you and your family can achieve full citizen status in a country where you have no family ties or previous connections, and gain a second passport at the same time.

Caribbean nations in particular have long been favourites for investors who wish to gain dual citizenship in this way. Thanks to the fantastic sandy beaches, laidback lifestyle and thriving, stable economies, top places include Antigua, St Lucia and Dominica amongst many others.


What exactly is Citizenship?

Normally, a person’s citizenship relates to where they were born, who they are married to, or where they’ve spent most of their life living. In real terms, it’s the relationship between a person and a country, whereby the country grants the citizen certain rights. These generally include the right to work, own property and vote. In return, the individual agrees to adhere to the laws of the country and respect its customs. It gives people a common identity.

Some people may achieve citizenship of a country by a process of naturalisation. This usually involves having to live in that country for a certain number of years, or by investing a large amount into the country to support its economy. In this latter case, it is known as ‘citizenship by investment’.


What is Citizenship by Investment?

Citizenship by investment is a method of securing a second citizenship (and passport) by ploughing money into the host country’s economy. This is usually by purchasing particular types of property, or by making a substantial contribution to a particular government fund.

Citizenship by investment programs often provide citizenship status much more quickly than standard immigration processes which is great for investors who simply want to get on with it.


Why do people want to obtain a second citizenship?

There are all sorts of reasons why somebody might want a second citizenship, particularly in a Caribbean nation.These can range from increased global mobility and better trading opportunities to simply wishing to pursue a more comfortable way of live.

It’s quick too. An application may well be approved in as little as three months and offers citizenship for the rest of that person’s life. This in turn provides visa-free travel via a new valid passport as well as the chance for the applicant’s family to achieve the same. Indeed, economic citizenship opens up a fantastic world of possibilities to any investor of high net worth.


Security

For many investors, a second passport from a peaceful, stable country can literally be a life-saver if any kind of political or economic unrest should occur in their own country. It effectively acts as an insurance policy which many investors and their families hold in high regard.

Global Mobility

Not all passports are created equal, and many are actually quite restrictive when it comes to visa-free travel. This forces citizens to require visas whenever they wish to travel abroad which can be a real headache.

A second passport – and dual nationality – can therefore provide many individuals with greater mobility. For instance, a Pakistan passport allows entry visa-free into only 26 countries, whereas a Cypriot passport provides visa-free entry to 145 countries. This difference in international mobility can all add up to a huge amount of time saved on visa application forms and is therefore very attractive to business people across the world.

Business and tax management

Citizenship by investment programs open up all sorts of business opportunities to investors that were not previously available. This is largely due to the fact that they can now conduct their business in the host country as well as travel abroad more easily.

Dual citizenship in the Caribbean is also often advantageous for tax purposes. Many of these countries do not subject their citizens to income or capital gains tax, as well as gift tax or inheritance tax. This of course all means that people can manage their wealth more effectively and efficiently.

Family

Citizenship by investment programs in Caribbean countries also extend citizenship to the family members and dependants of the main applicant. This allows investors to enjoy a better, more prosperous future for their spouse, children and even older parents/grandparents. Second citizenships also provide access to world-class education, health care and an improved lifestyle.

Education

As a global citizen, education is the foundation of a happy, financially successful life. Investment in a second citizenship can mean instant access to the best schools and universities in the world. For applicants and their children, it makes them eligible for domestic fees instead of the much more expensive international tuition fees.

Which Caribbean countries offer Citizenship by Investment Programs?

Although a number of countries provide citizenship by investment programs, the Caribbean islands were some of the first ones to do so and they are very well established. Having been growing in popularity ever since their inception in the 1980s, citizenship programs have thrived in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis especially. The number is only set to increase as more and more countries realise the economic benefits of opening their doors to overseas investors.

What do Caribbean countries gain from Citizenship by Investment Programs?

The main attraction is simply because these schemes bring in much-needed direct foreign investment. Caribbean nations can use the resulting funds to invest in essential projects of their choosing, such as business development, real estate development and the creation of jobs. CBI programs are also very appealing to the world’s finest talent and with this talent comes great financial knowledge.

For instance, St. Kitts & Nevis applicants can choose to invest in the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation as part of their CBI. The idea of this is that it assists the government in diversifying the nation’s economy so boosting economic growth. The foundation is in support of the government, but also takes on new projects independently. To date, the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation has invested over US$55 million into the development of St. Kitts & Nevis.

 

How much does it cost for second citizenship in the Caribbean?

The below tables provide an indication of the costs involved in obtaining a second passport from certain Caribbean countries. They both apply to a single applicant.

Table 1 – Non-Refundable Contribution to Government Fund:

Fee typeAntigua and BarbudaDominica GrenadaSt. Kitts and NevisSt. Lucia
Non-refundable contribution$200,000$100,000$200,000$150,000$100,000
Government fee$25,000$1,000$3,000$0$0
Due diligence fee$7,500$7,500$5,000$7,500$7,500
Other fees$300$825$270$355$2,000
Total$232,800$109,325$208,270$157,855$109,500

Table 2 – Real Estate Purchase:

Fee typeAntigua and BarbudaDominicaGrenadaSt. Kitts and NevisSt. Lucia
Real estate purchase$400,000$200,000$350,000$400,000$300,000
Government fee$50,000$53,000$50,000$50,047$50,000
Due diligence fee$7,500$7,500$5,000$7,500$7,500
Other fees$300$825$3,000$355$2,000
Total$457,800$261,325$408,000$457,902$359,300

Interested?

With investment in the Caribbean offering such a huge range of advantages for both you and your family, it may just be the best decision you have ever made.

For more information or to discuss your plans for Citizenship by Investment with us, please do fill out our further information form and get the balling rolling today.