What is Caribbean citizenship by investment?
Only five Caribbean countries offer citizenship by investment: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia. Becoming a Caribbean citizen means obtaining a passport from one of these countries by contributing to the economy. The minimum investment sum is $100,000.
Caribbean citizenship programs are government-sanctioned and secure, with an excellent global reputation. Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia investment programs are ranked the best in the global Citizenship by Investment Index edition.
Benefits of a Caribbean passport
Travel mobility. Caribbean citizens can visit more than 140 countries visa-free. This includes the Schengen Area, the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Citizens of Grenada and Dominica can also enter China without visas.
Long-term US visas. Caribbean citizens can obtain a B-1/B-2 visitor visa in 2—3 weeks; the visa is issued for 10 years. Grenada citizens can get an E-2 investor visa and open a company in America.
International banking access. Caribbean citizens can open accounts in European and Commonwealth banks with more ease. Foreigners are usually asked to submit more documents to open a bank account, and only some Caribbean banks work with non-residents.
Tax optimisation. For Caribbean citizens, there are no inheritance or capital gain taxes.
Taxation depends from state to state, but the systems are generally favourable. A few examples: St Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda have no income tax. Individuals won’t pay property transfer taxes in Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda.
Global education opportunities. All Caribbean states with citizenship programs are British Commonwealth of Nations members. Caribbean students can obtain grants and other benefits for studying in the Commonwealth countries, including the UK.
Keeping the first passport. Dual citizenship is permitted in the Caribbean states with investment programs. This means that Caribbean nationals that have citizenship of another country, or countries, don’t have to give it up.
“Plan B”. Citizens can move to the Caribbean any time, even if the borders are closed.
All Caribbean countries that offer citizenship by investment are island states. They are surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and are the definition of a tropical paradise.
Requirements for Caribbean citizenship by investment program applicants
When applying for Caribbean citizenship, there are no condition differences for European Union and non-European Union citizens.
The investor is considered the primary applicant. The requirements for them include the following:
- age over 18 years;
- no criminal record;
- legal income;
- funds for the investment conditions fulfilment;
- good health.
Family members. The investor can include their family in the application: their spouse, parents, and children under 18, as well as disabled children of any age.
Different Caribbean states have different rules for that. For example, in Antigua and Barbuda, non-disabled adult children must be no older than 28. The investor’s parents must be at least 55 in Dominica and 58 in Antigua and Barbuda.
The investor’s siblings can’t be included in Dominica, and the investor’s grandparents can’t be included in Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Everyone but the spouse, children younger than 18, or disabled children of any age must be financially dependent on the investor.
Benefits of real estate options in the Caribbean citizenship program
There are two to five investment options across all Caribbean citizenship programs. The real estate option is presented in all of them.
Available real estate includes government-approved projects; depending on the country, it can be villas, tourist accommodations, hotels, resorts, and even yacht marinas.
Investors buy shares or obtain full ownership. Average real estate prices vary from $5,000 to $8,000 per 1 ㎡, depending on the Caribbean country.
Profitability. Investors can earn money on the purchased property. Residential and commercial investment property in the Caribbean can be rented out and operated for profit. Annual yield is usually 3—5%.
Convenience. Management companies handle most investment properties. Thus, investors don’t have to search for tenants and look after real estate while earning passive income.
Liquidity. Investors can resell their property in 5—7 years and return the investment.
Affordability. The minimum investment requirement in Caribbean real estate starts at $200,000. Investors who want to become Caribbean citizens are exempt from additional expenses: for example, they don’t have to buy an Alien Land Holding License.
With Caribbean real estate investment, the minimum amount doesn't depend on the number of applicants. However, the state fee will be different for single applicants and applicants with families.
Real estate expenses in the Caribbean by country
|Country||Minimum real estate investment||State fee for a single applicant||State fee for a family of 4: spouses with two underage children|
|Antigua and Barbuda||$200,000||$30,000||$30,000|
|St Kitts and Nevis||$175,000||$35,050||$75,200|
Some Caribbean states impose restrictions on property types for investors. For example, in Antigua and Barbuda, a property can only participate in a citizenship program twice, and Dominica doesn’t allow buying land plots to construct custom houses or marinas.
Such nuances, as well as the legality of a property that an investor wants to purchase, can be confirmed by a licensed real estate agent.
Investment real estate for sale in the Caribbean
Other investment options in the Caribbean
The state fund contribution is a non-refundable investment option. The minimum investment is $100,000 in Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Lucia, and $150,000 in Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis.
in the Caribbean countries
The University of the West Indies Fund contribution is a non-refundable option available in Antigua and Barbuda. Only families of six or more can choose this option. The minimum investment is $150,000.
Government bonds purchase is a refundable investment option available in St Lucia. The minimum investment is $250,000. But after December 31st, 2022, it will be $500,000.
Business investment is a refundable option available in St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda. The minimum investment starts at $1,000,000 in St Lucia and $400,000 in Antigua and Barbuda.
How to obtain Caribbean citizenship by investment in real estate
Four steps lead to Caribbean citizenship by investment. The whole process usually takes 2 to 6 months.
The agent runs the preliminary Due Diligence checks with the investor and other applicants and helps prepare the documents. This can be done remotely. You can’t apply for a Caribbean citizenship program directly.
The lawyers of Immigrant Invest submit the documents to the Citizenship by Investment Unit of the chosen Caribbean country. The unit studies the documents and runs its own Due Diligence check.
The investor chooses a government-approved property in the Caribbean, enters into a preliminary agreement and buys the property when their citizenship application is greenlit.
This, too, can be done remotely with the assistance of the Immigrant Invest real estate team.
In 2—6 months, after investment conditions are fulfilled, the country issues passports for the investor and other applicants.
Frequently Asked Questions
First, you need to contact an agent licensed by Caribbean states: you can’t apply directly. Then you need to choose citizenship by investment program of one of five countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, or St Lucia.
The agent helps you prepare documents and send them to the Citizenship by Investment Unit.
You can choose one of the investment options:
- State fund contribution of at least $100,000.
- The University of the West Indies Fund contribution of at least $150,000.
- Real estate purchase for at least $200,000.
- Government bond purchase for at least $250,000.
- Business investment of at least $400,000.
Yes, they can. However, non-resident foreigners will also have to purchase an Alien Land Holding License. Buyers who purchase real estate for the citizenship by investment program, as well as Caribbean nationals, don’t have to buy that license. They also can get other benefits.
Yes, they can. But suppose they don’t have second citizenship of a Caribbean country or don’t plan to participate in any Caribbean citizenship by investment program. In that case, they will also have to buy an Alien Land Holding License.
Five countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia. Investment options include depending on the country, one or several options:
- non-refundable state fund contribution of at least $100,000;
- non-refundable contribution to the University of the West Indies Fund of at least $150,000;
- refundable purchase of a real estate for at least $200,000;
- refundable government bond purchase for at least $250,000;
- refundable business investment of at least $400,000.