Most of our clients find it difficult to choose between the citizenship by investment programs offered by the Caribbean countries. We help them decide after studying their situation and requirements in individual consultations.
It often turns out that an investor comes to us wanting to apply for citizenship by investment, for example, in St Kitts and Nevis, but after consultation with us chooses to apply for citizenship in another country, such as Grenada.
Head of the Austrian office and a Caribbean investment programs expert
Benefits of a Caribbean passport
One of the main benefits of Caribbean citizenship is travelling around the world visa-free. With a second passport, the investor can travel without a visa to the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore and 120 other countries worldwide. A Grenadian passport also offers visa-free travel to China and the opportunity to obtain a 2-year US E2 business visa for the whole family. The visa can easily be extended.
Freedom of movement is essential for those interested in travelling and business people who want to enter the global markets. In addition, a Caribbean passport allows you to quickly travel to another country in the event of unforeseen circumstances in your country of origin.
Furthermore, these Caribbean countries do not charge taxes on inheritance, gifts, capital gains or foreign income. Moreover, if you become a tax resident in one of the Caribbean countries, you also pay taxes at their low rates.
A Caribbean passport can be obtained remotely without the investor travelling to the country. You only need to provide your original documents to our lawyer by courier or in person
Citizenship by investment also creates opportunities for the investor’s children. Since the Caribbean countries are part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, the investor's children can get a student visa and study at universities in the United Kingdom on preferential terms. At the same time, the investor and their spouse can visit their children and stay in the UK for 180 consecutive days without any additional permission.
In which country is it easier to get a Caribbean passport?
Each of these five Caribbean countries has attached similar conditions to their citizenship by investment programs, which also offer the same benefits and opportunities. We advise our clients to choose based on their goals and requirements.
If your investment budget is limited, we recommend that you consider the citizenship by investment programs offered by Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia. In these countries, the minimum non-refundable investment for one applicant is $100,000.
If you are interested in being able to recover your initial investment, it would help if you considered buying property in Grenada or St Kitts and Nevis rather than in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica or St Lucia, as hurricanes often strike the latter three, resulting in damage and destruction of buildings there. The minimum investment in real estate is $200,000, which can be returned to the investor after five years.
An alternative option is to purchase 5-year bonds issued by St Lucia for $300,000. Previously, the minimum investment in these bonds was $500,000.
If you need a business visa to the United States, it is advisable to consider Grenadian citizenship.
If you need to get a second citizenship urgently, we recommend considering St Kitts and Nevis, which launched its citizenship by investment program in 1984. Applications for citizenship by investment can be processed in 3-4 months and can be passed down to the next generation. Applicants also can pay extra and get a passport in just a couple of months
If you want to give a high quality education to your child free of charge, we advise you to consider the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program. A family of at least six applicants can apply by contributing $150,000 to the University of the West Indies fund. In return, one of the family members is allowed to study at the university for free for a year.
Can I apply for Caribbean citizenship remotely?
Yes, you can get a passport in one of the Caribbean countries without travelling there. Applicants can select the citizenship by investment program that suits them, bring the required documents to our lawyer in person or send them by courier so that we can apply on your behalf.
However, please remember that when applying for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment, you need to visit the country and take an oath within five years of an approved application.
Can other family members participate in the program?
The following family members can be included in a citizenship by investment application:
- spouse: in any country;
- children under 18: in any country;
- children under 30 years old: the exceptions are St Kitts and Nevis, where only children under the age of 25 are included and Antigua and Barbuda, where only children up to 28 years old are included;
- parents: in all countries;
- grandparents: except for St Kitts and Nevis;
- brothers and sisters: in all countries.
Eligible family members can be included when the application is made, and they can also be added later. However, the cost of adding family members is different in each country. As an example, we calculate the costs for a family of four.
Cost of Caribbean citizenship for a family of four
|Antigua and Barbuda||$151,000|
|St Kitts and Nevis||$165,500|
How to prove that a child aged 24-30 is completely financially dependent on the investor?
The principal applicant has to prove that their adult child is financially dependent on them: this can be done by showing checks used for payments or bank statements. In Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis, the main applicant also has to offer that they pay for their child’s education at university.
Conditions for the participation of an adult child of an investor in a Caribbean citizenship by investment program:
- Grenada: financial support;
- Dominica: financial support;
- St Lucia: financial support;
- Antigua and Barbuda: financial support and university education;
- St Kitts and Nevis: financial support and university education.
Comparison of investment options in Caribbean citizenship programs
If you want second citizenship with the minimum investment for applications consisting of at least six family members. In that case, we recommend one of the programs offering a non-refundable contribution to a national fund.
If your priority is to recover your initial investment in a citizenship program, then buying real estate, bonds, or investing in a business would suit you.
Investment for participation in a Caribbean citizenship program:
- contribution to a national fund: $100,000;
- contribution to the University of the West Indies fund: $150,000;
- buy real estate: $200,000; or
purchase bonds: $250,000 until the end of 2022;
- open a business: $1,500,000.
What is easier and more beneficial: a non-refundable contribution or buying real estate?
The easiest way to apply for second citizenship by investment is to make a non-refundable contribution of $100,000. However, it is difficult to say whether this is the most advantageous option since the investment is non-refundable. If you include additional family members apart from the principal applicant, the investment required is higher; however, all the family members had to receive their passports simultaneously as the investor.
Although the minimum investment in real estate is $200,000, which is more expensive than the option of a non-refundable contribution, the property can be used or rented out and then sold at a profit a few years later.
Yes, you can invest in a government-approved real estate project. In this case, you are a co-investor and buy a stake in the project. The price per square meter of living space is $5,000-8,000. This option is advisable for investors who do not plan to have a holiday with their family in the country of their second citizenship or live on their own property there. The investor earns income from the project and can sell their stake at a profit a few years later.
How is it safe to purchase St Lucian government bonds?
The risk of losing your investment in St Lucian government bonds is minimal. This option is usually chosen by investors who are experienced in trading on the stock market.
Please note that the minimum investment of $500,000 in bonds has been reduced to $300,000.
Comparison of Caribbean countries: where it is more profitable to open a bank account and conduct business
If you become a tax resident of a Caribbean country, your global income is taxed at 0%. However, to become a tax resident, you need to spend at least six months in the year in the country.
You can legally reduce your tax obligations and open foreign currency accounts in any of the 5 Caribbean countries. Therefore, it is better to select a citizenship program based on the additional options offered by individual countries: for example, eligibility for a U.S. E2 business visa, which is offered by the citizenship by investment program in Grenada.
Starting a business in a Caribbean country is slightly more complex. Applicants need to detail the business activity, understand taxation-related issues, and prove the investor's source of income.
What is the fastest way to get citizenship in the Caribbean?
St Kitts and Nevis offers expedited citizenship processing by investment applications in just 60 days. The additional cost for an expedited application for one applicant is $25,000. For comparison, the standard process in St Kitts and Nevis takes 3-4 months, and St Lucia citizenship by investment takes 4-6 months to process.
Which country is best for long-term residence?
All five countries are similar in terms of their economy, the social life in the country, the level of the medical and education systems, and the number of tourists that visit. Therefore, the investor should select the country that attracts and suits them. However, please keep in mind that the Caribbean countries are different from Europe, and the levels of the infrastructure and services offered are lower there.
Which Caribbean country should I choose?
If you want to get citizenship to travel around the Schengen countries and the United Kingdom, any Caribbean country will do. However, only Grenadian citizens can travel to China without a visa among these five countries.
If your goal is to earn income from your initial investment, the most profitable option is to invest $200,000 for five years in real estate in any of these countries.
If you need to start a business in the United States, then we recommend considering Grenadian citizenship, as you can then apply for a 10-year U.S. E2 business visa for the whole family.