Citizenship
May 18, 2024
Reading Time: 6 min

Rights and obligations of Caribbean and Vanuatu passport holders

Caribbean passport holders can travel without visas to more than 140 countries, and Vanuatu citizens can travel visa-free to 95 countries. Passports of these countries can be obtained by an investment of $100,000 in the country’s economy. Furthermore, investors can include their entire family in the same citizenship application.

We explain the rights and obligations related to citizenship by investment in a Caribbean country or Vanuatu.

Lyle Julien
Lyle Julien

Explains the rights and obligations inherent in citizenship by investment in a Caribbean country or Vanuatu

Rights and obligations of Caribbean and Vanuatu citizens

Rights and obligations of Caribbean and Vanuatu passport holders

The rights and opportunities attached to a Caribbean and Vanuatu passports

Visa-free travel in the Schengen zone. Citizens of the Caribbean countries have the right to visit the Schengen countries and stay there without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Visa-free entry to the UK. The holder of a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport can travel to the United Kingdom without a visa and stay there for up to six months as a tourist. However, in order to study, work or do business there, you need to obtain the appropriate visa.

Visa-free entry to Asian countries. Citizens of a Caribbean country and Vanuatu can travel without a visa to Hong Kong for up to 90 days and to Singapore for up to 30 days.

Grenadian and Dominica citizens can also travel to China without a visa for up to 30 days, because these two countries have signed visa-free travel agreements with China.

U.S. visa freely available. A U.S. tourist visa can be easily obtained by Caribbean citizens for 10 years, and by Vanuatu citizens for 5 years. In comparison, similar U.S. visas to citizens of numerous other countries are issued, if at all, for just three years.

A 5-year U.S. E‑2 business visa is offered to Grenadian citizens, allowing the holder to not only live and do business in the United States but also freely enter and leave the U.S.

Are the Caribbean programs worth the investment? Revealing their benefits in the video

Safe haven. A second citizenship also offers the holder a safe haven in case of need. It allows you to easily change your place of residence at any time without seeking additional permission and travel to the country of second citizenship even when its borders are closed to tourists.

Opening an account in European and American banks. With a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport, it is easier to open accounts in European and American banks. Banks that check foreign clients strictly or even decline to open an account for them, deal with Caribbean or Vanuatu passport holders much more easily and willingly.

Citizenship for a relative. A relative of a citizen of a Caribbean country or Vanuatu is also eligible to become a citizen on grounds of family reunification by kinship, marriage, or citizenship by investment.

Citizenship of a Caribbean country or Vanuatu based on family reunification

1. Marriage

Conditions: spouse is a Caribbean citizen or Vanuatu citizen.

Documents:

  • marriage certificate.

2. Kinship

Conditions: a parent or grandparent is a citizen of the Caribbean country or Vanuatu.

Documents:

  • proof of relationship. For example, original birth certificate;

  • confirmation that the applicant’s parent or grandparent is a citizen of the relevant Caribbean country or Vanuatu. For example, a birth certificate or citizenship certificate.

3. Citizenship by investment

Conditions: Caribbean or Vanuatu citizenship obtained by investment; spouse, children, parents, grandparents, siblings of the investor can join their family; family members other than the spouse must be financially dependent on the investor.

Documents:

  • proof of relationship;

  • proof of financial dependence on the investor;

  • proof of payment for adding family members to the citizenship program.

Family members can be reunited with their family more easily through citizenship by investment programs than on grounds of kinship or marriage. The investor has the option to add eligible relatives to the citizenship at the same time as their application or after they are granted citizenship.

Individual cost calculation of the Caribbean passport

Individual cost calculation of the Caribbean passport

However, adding a family member after the investor gets citizenship is more expensive. For example, if an investor and their spouse apply together for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship, the total cost is $146,200. However, if the spouse is added to the application after the investor receives their citizenship, the total cost will be $221,400 ($138,100 for the investor and $83,300 for their spouse).

Relatives who can obtain passports together with the investor or later through family reunification

Country

At the same time as the investor

Family reunification

ag-flag

Antigua and Barbuda

  • Spouse

  • Children under 30

  • Parents, grandparents over 55

  • Siblings

  • Spouse

  • Children under 17

  • Parents (within 5 years after investor gets citizenship)

dm-flag

Dominica

  • Spouse

  • Children under 30

  • Parents and grandparents

  • Siblings under 25

  • Spouse

  • Children born or adopted after the investor obtained citizenship

  • Siblings aged 18 to 25

gd-flag

Grenada

  • Spouse

  • Children under 30

  • Parents and grandparents

  • Siblings over 18

  • Children who were born or adopted within a year of the investor getting citizenship

kn-flag

St Kitts and Nevis

  • Spouse

  • Children under 25

  • Parents over 65

  • Spouse and any close relative dependent on the investor

lc-flag

St Lucia

  • Spouse

  • Children under 30

  • Parents over 55

  • Siblings under 18

  • Spouse, if the marriage took place after the investor was granted citizenship

  • Child born after the investor obtained citizenship

  • Dependent close relative, ​​within 5 years of the investor getting citizenship

vu-flag

Vanuatu

  • Spouse

  • Children under 25

  • Parents over 50

  • Spouse

  • Children

  • Parents

Inheritance of citizenship is allowed if one parent was granted citizenship by investment in St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada or St Lucia. Inheritance of citizenship is a legal term that does not mean the transfer of rights after the death of the investor. Citizenship is inherited by a child who was born to the investor after they obtained citizenship by investment.

St Kitts and Nevis restricts the transfer of citizenship by descent to children up to 18 years old, who were born after the investor received citizenship. Grenada and St Lucia allow the child of an investor, born after the investor was granted citizenship, to apply for citizenship at any age.

Obtaining citizenship through inheritance costs $5,000 per child in St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and Grenada.

Dominica does not allow inheritance of citizenship. However, it is possible to add an investor’s newborn child to the original citizenship by investment application after they have received their second passport. However, in this case, it is considered that the child is granted a second citizenship on grounds of family reunification rather than inheritance of citizenship.

Change of name in the passport. Citizens of St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica and Vanuatu can change their name in the passport. St Kitts and Nevis allows passport holders to change their name in the second passport without having to make the same change in their country of birth or in the country of second citizenship. However, Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica and Vanuatu do not allow passports in different names.

For clarity, in the table we give examples — in which documents the name of the applicant will change. Suppose Ivan Romanovich Kuznetsov wants to be called Simon Jacquard in his second passport.

The cost of the name change procedure is paid.

An example of a name change in Caribbean and Vanuatu passports

Country

Name in the national internal Russian passport

Name in the Russian international passport

Name in the second passport

Cost

ag-flag

Antigua and Barbuda

Does not allow a name change

kn-flag

St Kitts and Nevis

Kuznetsov Ivan Romanovich

Kuznetsov Ivan

Simon Jacquard

$4,000

gd-flag

Grenada

Simon Jacquard

Simon Jacquard

Simon Jacquard

$5,685

lc-flag

St Lucia

Simon Jacquard

Simon Jacquard

Simon Jacquard

$1,000

dm-flag

Dominica

Simon Jacquard

Simon Jacquard

Simon Jacquard

$2,000

vu-flag

Vanuatu

Simon Jacquard

Simon Jacquard

Simon Jacquard

$10,000

Obligations of Caribbean and Vanuatu citizens

Replacing a passport. Caribbean and Vanuatu citizens must change their passport every 5‑10 years and children under 16 need to change their passport every 5 years. Using an expired passport for traveling or any other purpose is an offence and can result in imprisonment.

When to change a passport for a citizen over 16 years old

Country

First replacement

Subsequent replacement

ag-flag

Antigua and Barbuda

After 5 years

Every 10 years

gd-flag

Grenada

After 5 years

Every 5 years

lc-flag

St Lucia

After 5 years

Every 10 years

dm-flag

Dominica

After 10 years

Every 10 years

kn-flag

St Kitts and Nevis

After 10 years

Once every 10 years

vu-flag

Vanuatu

After 10 years

Once every 10 years

You do not need to travel to the country to renew your passport, as this can also be done at the nearest consulate. You need to fill out an application form and attach the required package of documents, including your original certificate of citizenship, birth certificate, previous passport of the country and 2‑4 passport photographs. Each of these countries may also request specific additional documents.

Passport renewal takes 2‑4 weeks to complete. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers recommend starting the procedure no later than two months before the passport expires.

Participants in the Caribbean and Vanuatu citizenship by investment programs can ask Immigrant Invest, a licensed agent, to arrange for a replacement passport. Our lawyers remind you in advance about the upcoming renewal date for your passport, prepare the documents required and arrange the delivery of the new passport to the address specified by you.

Compliance with the law. Citizens of the Caribbean countries and Vanuatu must comply with local laws, respect the rights and freedoms of others, and protect the environment. The duties of citizens are enshrined in the Constitution of each country.

Constitutions of Caribbean countries and Vanuatu

There is no conscription in the Caribbean countries offering citizenship by investment or Vanuatu.

Grounds for revocation of a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport

A passport obtained illegally can be revoked. Fraud or the deliberate use of a fake passport is also punishable by law.

Passports can be revoked for committing serious crimes, incitement to extremist activities and rebellion, and treason. For example, if a Grenadian citizen fights against Grenada in alliance with another state.

Participants in Caribbean and Vanuatu citizenship by investment programs can also have their passports revoked for the following reasons.

Grounds for revoking an investor’s citizenship in a Caribbean country or Vanuatu

  1. Providing false or incorrect information in the citizenship application.

  2. Concealing important information in the citizenship application. For example, hiding a criminal record, rejection of visa or citizenship applications in the past, the presence of an additional source of income.

  3. Non-fulfillment of investment conditions. For example, selling a property before completion of the minimum agreed investment period.

Additionally, Antigua and Barbuda may revoke an investor’s citizenship if they do not spend five days there within five years after obtaining citizenship. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government has temporarily withdrawn the requirement to reside in the country until August 31, 2022.

Grenada has the right to revoke citizenship if the investor is sentenced in any country to imprisonment for a period of 12 months or more within five years after obtaining citizenship.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Choose the best investment program considering 25 criteria

Passports of different countries

Frequently asked questions

  • How often do I need to renew my Caribbean or Vanuatu passport?

    Citizens of the Caribbean countries and Vanuatu must renew their passport every 5‑10 years. Children under 16 need to renew their passport every 5 years. You can apply for a replacement passport at any local consulate. Traveling on an expired passport is punishable by law.

  • What are the obligations of an investor who has been granted a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport?

    The investor must comply with the Constitution of the country and renew their passport every 5‑10 years. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers will remind you two months before the expiration of your passport, collect all the necessary documents and send your new passport to the address specified by you. If you got a Caribbean passport by investment in real estate, you must maintain the investment and not sell it for five years.

  • What rights does a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport holder get?

    Caribbean citizens can travel visa-free to more than 130 countries, including the Schengen area, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. With a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport, you can apply for a US tourist visa for 5‑10 years. In comparison, citizens of many other countries can apply for this visa for just three years. Participants in Caribbean and Vanuatu citizenship by investment programs can obtain passports not only for themselves but also for their whole family: spouse, children, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters.

  • How can I get a Caribbean passport quickly?

    Citizenship by investment programs are the fastest way to get a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport. Applicants invest $100,000 in the country’s economy and can be granted a second passport in 2‑6 months.

  • How can an investor get a second passport reissued if it is lost or stolen?

    The procedure for reissuing a passport that is stolen or lost is almost identical to the procedure for replacing a document. You need to contact the nearest local consulate and submit an application together with the documents required for reissuing a passport:

    • an affidavit that contains information about the passport and the conditions under which the document was lost or stolen;

    • two passport photographs;

    • proof of payment of the state fees.