Many people choose Caribbean citizenship by investment in order to travel around the world without visas, carry out international business projects and optimize their tax liabilities. In addition, it offers the opportunity to move to a secure country at short notice in the event of political or economic upheaval in their country of origin.
Five Caribbean countries are offering applicants from all over the world the opportunity to get a second passport by investment. Below, we point out the differences in their citizenship by investment programs.
Cost of Caribbean citizenship by investment
All Caribbean citizenship programs have two main investment options.
A non-refundable contribution to a state fund for national development of at least $100,000. This figure depends on the country and the composition of the family participating in the citizenship program together with the investor.
Contributions to government funds for Caribbean citizenship programs
|Country||Investor||Investor + spouse + 1–2 children||Additional participants|
|St Kitts and Nevis||$150,000||$195,000||$10,000—$20,000 depending on the degree of kinship|
|Antigua and Barbuda||$100,000||$100,000||$15,000|
|Dominica||$100,000||$175,000||$25,000 or $50,000 depending on age and degree of kinship|
|Grenada||$150,000||$200,000||$25,000, $50,000 or $75,000 depending on age and degree of kinship|
Investment in government-approved real estate projects worth at least $200,000. These are five-star hotels and resort complexes, sometimes including yacht marinas. Applicants can purchase a share in a project, an apartment or a villa on the territory of a hotel. After 5–7 years, the investment can be recouped by selling the share or property.
Caribbean real estate investments
|St Kitts and Nevis||$200,000|
|Antigua and Barbuda||$200,000|
The Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia citizenship by investment programs offer additional options. Antigua and Barbuda also invite families with 6 or more members to make a non-refundable contribution to the University of the West Indies Fund of at least $150,000. Saint Lucia offers applicants the additional opportunity to purchase government bonds for $500,000. Furthermore, both these citizenship programs also offer applicants the possibility of investing in a business: the minimum amount in Antigua and Barbuda is $1.5 million and in Saint Lucia, $3.5 million.
Other application costs for the Caribbean citizenship programs
Additional government fees and duties need to be paid by the applicant. A Due Diligence fee is always charged regardless of the option selected or the citizenship program. These costs vary by country, as well as the age and degree of kinship of the family members included in the application in addition to the main applicant.
Due Diligence fee for Caribbean citizenship programs
|Country||Investor||Spouse||Each additional family member over 16|
|St Kitts and Nevis||$7,500||$4,000||$4,000|
|Antigua and Barbuda||$7,500||$7,500||$2,000 per child aged 12–17; $4000 per dependent aged 18 and over|
In addition, there is a state fee for filing a citizenship by investment application. Some programs require an additional fee to be paid by applicants who decide to invest in real estate.
|Country||Charitable donation||Real estate purchase|
|St Kitts and Nevis||None||Minimum $35,050|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Minimum $30,000||Minimum $30,000|
|Saint Lucia||None||Minimum $30,000|
$100–$500, and for a family of four, up to $5,000.
Which family members can apply together with the main applicant
All Caribbean citizenship by investment programs allow the main applicant to include their spouse, children under 30, parents, brothers and sisters in the application. Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Dominica also allow the main applicant’s grandparents to be included.
The procedure for obtaining citizenship by investment in a Caribbean country
All the Caribbean citizenship by investment programs allow the process to take place remotely, without the applicant visiting the country or the office of Immigrant Invest. We conduct a preliminary Due Diligence check on the applicant to reduce the risk of their application being rejected to 1%.
Then our lawyers prepare the required package of documents and submit the application on behalf of the applicant to the government department dealing with the citizenship program. The applicant pays the Due Diligence fee.
The Due diligence check takes 1 to 3 months to complete. If the citizenship by investment application is accepted, the applicant needs to make the investment specified in the application. After that, naturalization certificates and passports are issued. We send them by courier to your address.
The entire process of obtaining a second citizenship by investment in the Caribbean lasts from 2 to 6 months, depending on the country selected.
You do not have to visit the country to which you have applied for second citizenship either before or after obtaining your second passport. Antigua and Barbuda is the only exception, as the terms of its citizenship by investment program requires the applicant to spend at least 5 days in the country during the first 5 years of citizenship.
Traveling with a Caribbean passport
Caribbean citizenship gives the right to travel without a visa to more than 140 countries, including the Schengen countries, Britain, Singapore and Hong Kong. Citizens of Grenada can also visit China without a visa.
Furthermore, any Caribbean passport entitles the holder to apply for a 10-year U.S. tourist visa. Applications can be made at any U.S. consulate and the visa takes 2 weeks to process.
Other advantages of Caribbean passports
- Relatively low cost of a second passport, which is issued quickly. For comparison, Maltese citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment costs at least 1 million euros and it takes 14 months for a passport to be issued.
- The opportunity to recoup the initial investment after 5–7 years if you buy a share in a hotel. Moreover, as prices for Caribbean real estate are currently growing by 1.5–2% per annum, the sale can generate a profit.
- Access to European banks. Opening an account at a European bank with a Caribbean passport is much easier than it is for citizens of a number of other countries. A bank account at a well-known European bank offers security, the opportunity to increase your savings and speed up foreign exchange settlements.
- Favorable tax rates: no taxes on capital gains, interest payments, dividends, donations or inheritance.
- Possibility of registering assets using your second passport rather than your original passport.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Caribbean citizenship by investment programs or getting a quote, please contact our lawyers.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Caribbean passport holder can travel without a visa to the Schengen countries and the UK, as well as many other countries throughout the world. A Caribbean citizen can also easily and quickly obtain a 10-year U.S. tourist visa.
The Caribbean countries are known for their favourable tax systems. The tax rates are low and there is no tax, for example, on gifts, foreign income, or inheritance.
Furthermore, Caribbean citizenship allows you to use the services of European banks. They are convenient and secure for keeping savings and speeding up foreign exchange transactions.
The Caribbean countries offering citizenship by investment programs — Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis—are also part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Therefore, the applicant's children will be able to study at some UK universities on preferential terms. The applicant/second passport holder will be able to visit their children enrolled in university in the UK at any time and stay in the country for up to 180 days in a row.
The programs offered differ in terms of the investment options, the terms on which citizenship is obtained, and the conditions for additional family members to be included in the application together with the main applicant. The cost of participation in each case is calculated individually, depending on the country, the investment option selected and the family members included.
The cheapest option is a non-refundable contribution of $100,00 to the state fund for the citizenship programs offered by Saint Lucia and Dominica. In comparison, participating in the Grenada Citizenship Program is more expensive. A non-refundable contribution costs at least $150,000, while the option of buying real estate costs at least $220,000. However, a Grenada passport also has additional advantages, including visa-free travel to China and the opportunity to obtain a long-term U.S. E-2 business visa.
We will help you choose the best option. Also, our lawyers will analyze your specific circumstances and advise you on the package of documents required for the application.
The citizenship programs of the five Caribbean countries offer several investment options. Each country offers the option of a non-refundable contribution to their government fund and a real estate investment that can be recouped after a few years.
The most popular and least expensive option is a donation to the country's national fund: the minimum investment is $100,000. The disadvantage of this option is that the contribution is non-refundable.
Investment in real estate is the next most popular option.
The minimum investment, depending on the country, is $200,000. The advantage of investing in real estate is that it can be recouped: the property can be sold 5–7 years later. Furthermore, the property can be rented out during the ownership period at 3–4% per annum.
An Antigua and Barbuda or Saint Lucia passport can also be obtained by investing in a business. The minimum investment is $1.5 million and $3.5 million, respectively. St Lucia also offers investors the option of buying the country's government bonds for $500,000.
- Immigrant Invest conducts a preliminary screening of the applicant. Our lawyers analyze the applicant’s circumstances, biographical facts and sources of income. Based on the results of this preliminary check, we give recommendations on the program/country to select and the package of documents required. This helps to reduce the risk of the application for citizenship by investment being rejected to 1%.
- The second stage is the preparation of documents. We help you collect the necessary documents and fill out the application forms.
- Next, the application with the required package of documents is submitted on behalf of the applicant for consideration to the country’s government department dealing with citizenship by investment. The department carries out a Due Diligence check on the applicant and makes a decision on issuing a passport to the applicant.
- On approval of their citizenship application, the applicant makes the investment as stipulated in their citizenship by investment application.
- The applicant is issued a certificate of naturalization and a passport of the Caribbean country.
All Caribbean citizenship by investment programs allow the main applicant to include in the application their family members — spouse, children, parents and siblings. Some programs also allow grandparents to be included. The differences in the terms offered by different countries are related to the age and degree of kinship of the additional family members included.
The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program includes the main applicant’s spouse, children, siblings under 30 and parents over 55.
The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program allows the main applicant’s spouse, children under 30 years old, parents, grandparents over 55 years old and unmarried siblings to be included in the application.
The Grenada citizenship by investment program allows the main applicant’s spouse, children under 30 years old, parents, grandparents without any age restrictions and siblings over 18 years old to be included in the application.
The Dominica citizenship by investment program allows the main applicant’s spouse, children under 30 years old, parents, grandparents of any age and siblings under 25 years old to be included in the application.
The Saint Lucia citizenship by investment program allows the main applicant’s spouse, children under 30 years old, parents at least 55 years old and siblings up to 18 years old to be included in the application.
In the Caribbean citizenship by investment programs, investments in real estate can usually be recouped after 5 years by selling the property.
The only exception is the Dominica citizenship by investment program, which requires the initial real estate investment to be owned for a minimum period of just 3 years. However, we nonetheless recommend our clients to sell their property at least 5 years after obtaining citizenship, as in this case the new owner will also be able to take part in the citizenship by investment program, which increases the liquidity of the property.
Eligible real estate investments for applicants in Caribbean citizenship by investment programs are usually limited to purchasing a share, apartment or villa in a government-approved five-star hotel project.
The property can be rented out, usually for an income of 3 to 5% per annum. Caribbean real estate is highly liquid, so it can be sold quite easily after the minimum ownership period, usually 5 years, is completed.