A Caribbean citizenship by investment or a Vanuatu passport gives cosmopolitans access to visa-free entry to more than 100 countries. Citizens of these island states have access to benefits when studying at British universities. The tax residency helps to optimize taxation and run international business.
An investor can obtain a second passport for himself and his family in exchange for investments. Even parents and siblings can be included in the application. To take advantage of a second passport, an investor does not need to renounce his first citizenship.
Here are the reasons why investors choose Caribbean and Vanuatu citizenship programs.
Fastest path to second citizenship in the world
The Caribbean countries and Vanuatu offer the fastest path to citizenship by investment in comparison with other countries. The Vanuatu passport can be obtained in a month. The passport of Saint Kitts and Nevis can be ready in two months, subject to an expedited procedure.
For comparison: the Maltese citizenship law offers the fastest path to obtain a passport by investment in Europe - the process takes a year. However, it will cost ten times more than the cost of a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport.
The turnaround time for investment citizenship:
- From 1 to 2 months - Vanuatu
- From 2 to 6 months - Dominica and Saint Lucia
- From 3 to 6 months - Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Minimum investment in exchange for second passport
Obtaining Vanuatu or Caribbean citizenship is cheaper than one of the EU countries. A passport can be obtained in exchange for investments in the local economy from $100,000. For comparison: the cheapest European passport will cost the investor more than one million euros considering all the fees.
All Caribbean citizenship programs offer several investment options: contributions to state funds, investments in real estate, bonds or business. Vanuatu citizenship can only be obtained by investing in the National Development Fund. Contributions in state funds are non-refundable. Governments direct these funds to the development of the country's economy, health care, education, energy and culture.
An investor can also buy securities or real estate objects approved by the government. These investments usually are stakes in luxury resort complexes or luxury residences. The investment amount is higher - from $200,000. But the money can be returned in 5-7 years. The investor will keep the passport for life.
Caribbean and Vanuatu Investment Options
|Country||Minimum Investment Sum|
|Vanuatu||$130,000 - contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF)|
|Antigua and Barbuda||$100,000 - contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF) |
$200,000 - real estate investment for at least 5 years
$1,500,000 - business investment
$150,000 - contribution to the University of the West Indies Fund (for a family of 6 people)
|Grenada||$150,000 - contribution to the National Transformation Fund (NTF)|
$220,000 - real estate investment for at least 5 years
|Dominica||$100,000 - contribution to the Dominica Economy Diversification Fund (EDF)|
$200,000 - real estate investment for at least 5 years
|Saint Lucia||$100,000 - contribution to the National Economic Fund (NEF)|
$300,000 - real estate investment for at least 5 years
$250,000 - government bonds purchase for at least 5 years
$3,500,000 - business investment
|St Kitts and Nevis||$150,000 - contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF)|
$200,000 - real estate investment for at least 7 years
$400,000 - real estate investment for at least 5 years
Money can be returned if invested in Caribbean real estate
Investments in real estate in Caribbean countries are higher than contributions to state funds. But the contribution sum will grow when adding family members, and the investment sum in real estate does not depend on the number of participants. Therefore, buying real estate can be a better option for a family of three or more.
An investor can profitably sell investment property to new citizenship by investment program participants after five years of ownership. But objects in Saint Kitts and Nevis worth $200,000+ can be sold only in seven years.
Potential earnings on real estate sales are 4%. If the property is sold after five years, then the costs of citizenship will be equal to the cost of fees and registration procedures. To sell real estate, an investor does not need to go to the country; it takes place remotely.
If an investor rents the real estate out, he can count on income from 2 to 5% per annum. Accommodation rent in hotel complexes and residences costs from $6,000 to $10,000 per month. The property is maintained and serviced by a management company – the investor does not need to worry about finding tenants or paying bills.
Real estate in the Caribbean is in demand among tourists all year round. During the pandemic the demand decreased, but it began to grow again after the opening of borders between countries.
Villa is located in the territory of a 5-star hotel. Each villa has an arearnof 120 m². The villas have panoramic windows, kitchens and bathrooms, washing machines, a private pool and an outdoor dining arearnwith BBQ facilities. It is maintained by a company operating for over 30 years in the real estate market in the USA, Central America and the Caribbean. Villas can be visited an unlimited number of times a year.
Visa-free entry to at least 100 countries in the world
Caribbean countries and Vanuatu citizens are allowed visa-free entry to the European Union with the opportunity to stay there for 90 days within half a year. To live, work or study in the European Union, citizens of Caribbean countries or Vanuatu will need to obtain a special visa.
How many countries can be visited without visas with a passport of:
Vanuatu - 109
Dominica - 141
Grenada - 144
Saint Lucia - 146
Antigua and Barbuda - 151
Saint Kitts and Nevis - 156
Visa-free destinations include the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Grenada has signed a Visa Waiver Agreement with China. Therefore, Grenada citizens can stay in China without a visa for up to 30 days a year. It is not possible with a passport from other Caribbean countries and Vanuatu.
Long-term visa to the United States
Caribbean and Vanuatu citizens can apply for a tourist visa B1/B2 valid for ten or five years. With such a visa you can spend 180 days in the country during the year.
Grenada signed an agreement with the United States on mutual investments. Therefore, Grenada citizens can obtain an E2 investor visa. The visa entitles the investor and his family to live, work and study in the United States without restrictions on entry. The visa can be renewed an unlimited amount of times, if the investor can confirm the annual income of his American company.
An investor can apply for a visa at the US consulate of any country in the world where visa-free travel is allowed with a passport.
Life and study in the UK
The Caribbean countries and Vanuatu are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Therefore, citizens of these countries can enter the UK without a visa and stay there for up to 180 days a year.
Chevening Scholarships are available for investor’s children with a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport. The scholarship significantly reduces tuition costs. Students with a bachelor's degree and work experience of at least two years can receive a scholarship for a master's degree in one of the universities in the UK.
It is not necessary to live in a country of second citizenship to receive the Chevening Scholarship. The scholarship covers the cost of travel to the UK, tuition fees, a student visa, rental housing and living expenses. As a rule, the scholarship is paid for no more than a year.
To study at a UK university, the investor's children will need to additionally apply for a student visa and parents will be able to come to visit at any time with passports of a Caribbean country or Vanuatu.
Become a client of international banks
For investors with a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport, a large selection of international banks are available including European ones. A bank account in an EU country will help transfer money faster, without currency control and additional fees.
Antigua and Barbuda citizenship for a successful IT business owners
Anton and Vitalina are a married couple, their daughter Svetlana is one year old. Anton and Vitalina own IT companies working with foreign and Russian partners. They are developing their business and planning to enter new markets.
In Anton and Vitalina’s companies, there were problems with currency settlements. They often happened due to currency control rules, money for their services was returned to the customer. At each stage of currency transactions, commissions were written off. This increased the time it takes to receive money and created additional costs.
Anton and Vitalina decided to create international companies, open accounts in European banks and optimize taxation. They wanted to visit Schengen and the United States quickly and freely on business matters. In the future, the family planned to send their daughter to a European university.
Six months later, Anton and Vitalina received Antigua and Barbuda passports. They obtained tax residency in the CARICOM zone and opened accounts with European banks. Their business is growing rapidly. Anton and Vitalina move around the world without visas, and spend the winter in a warm climate.
International business taxation
Caribbean and Vanuatu citizenship investment income is growing every year. In 2019, Dominica received an income under the program of 52%, Saint Kitts and Nevis - 48%, Vanuatu - 33%.
The governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis and Vanuatu are interested in attracting money to the country. Therefore, they have developed a tax system that is favorable for business development.
Caribbean tax residents do not pay equity and inheritance taxes. There is no income tax in Antigua and Barbuda or St Kitts and Nevis.
Vanuatu has the same taxes for residents and non-residents. Individuals do not pay taxes on income, wealth, inheritance, capital gains or capital export. VAT is 12.5%. International Business Companies (IBCs) registered in Vanuatu are exempt from taxes for 20 years and only pay an annual fee of $300.
There is no need to file tax reports and conduct audits in Vanuatu. Company owners only control cash flows and exchange rates. The country does not provide access to financial information about company owners. An exception will be made if the company is accused of fraud or terrorism.
Remote citizenship registration
Investors do not need to visit the country of a future second citizenship to submit documents. A licensed program agent will help prepare and submit the documents to the program department. The Immigrant Invest compliance department will also confidentially screen the applicant against international databases of legal and business information.
Due Diligence is the most important part of the program. It depends on whether the Caribbean country or Vanuatu's department will approve the investor's application for citizenship.
The Certified Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer will examine the investor's documents and warn about possible risks. If there are questions arise during the verification process due to which the investor's application may be rejected, the licensed agent will offer solutions.
It is enough to provide scans of the necessary documents to start the Due Diligence verification procedure. Originals will not be required for Antigua and Barbuda or Grenada programs. For the rest of the Caribbean and Vanuatu, the originals can be sent after the application's approval.
Simplified requirements to the documents. Antigua and Barbuda have shortened the application documents list. In the case of Saint Kitts and Nevis, an investor will not need to provide a diploma or any bank forms. Moreover, real estate purchase agreements and escrow account contracts can be submitted without notarization.
Grenada allowed lawyers and agents to certify copies of documents. The applicant can show the original documents on any online platform.
The deadlines have been extended to six months for certificates of clean criminal record and HIV test results. Previously, these documents were valid for three months.