Caribbean citizenship by investment: an overview of programme changes by 2021

January 27, 2021
Caribbean citizenship programmes by investment: how to obtain a second passport in 2021
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Caribbean countries often revise the terms of citizenship programmes to make them more attractive to investors. We tell you about the current requirements for applicants.

Government citizenship programmes by investment are available in five Caribbean countries: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica or Saint Lucia. The programmes differ in investment options, procedures and requirements for relatives of the investor.

told about the changes in the Caribbean citizenship programs

St. Kitts and Nevis

Гражданство Сент-Китс и Невис за инвестиции в 2021 году
The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship programme was introduced in 1984. Since then, some 20,000 foreigners have been granted passports

The simplified participation procedure applies for the duration of the pandemic. The changes establish that:

  • Documents are accepted electronically through the department’s online portal;

  • the documents are processed immediately after payment of the due diligence fee;

  • electronic copies of documents are sufficient, but the investor needs to provide the originals before the application is approved;

  • the department accepts sale and purchase agreements and escrow agreements for real estate transactions without notarisation.

Investor due diligence remains the same, with six steps, despite the simplification of other procedures.

Document consideration time during the pandemic has been reduced to 2 months. Previously, the process took 3—4 months.

The Department is temporarily not providing a fast-track review service. But when the pandemic is over, the service will cost $ 20,500 for each applicant over the age of 16.

Siblings of an investor and his spouse can now obtain a St Kitts and Nevis passport. The investor can include relatives on the application if they:

  • under 30 years of age;

  • unmarried;

  • no children;

  • financially dependent on the investor.

To add siblings, the investor pays an additional contribution. Its amount depends on the investment option the investor has chosen: $ 20,000 per sibling when paying the contribution and $ 40,000 when buying the property.

The schedule of payments to developers will appear from 1 March 2021. The builder will only receive money when the next stage of construction of a property under the citizenship programme has been completed. This means that contractors will have to report on their progress to the programme department and meet strict deadlines.

The cost of participation under the programme options remains unchanged. St. Kitts and Nevis offers two investment options: the Sustainable Development Fund or real estate. Participant also pays for due diligence, fees and bank charges.

Costs for the investor and family of four

Cost item Investor 🤵🏻 Investor with spouse and children under 16 years of age 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦
Minimum investment amount: contribution or purchase of real estate 150 000 $
or 200 000 $
195 000 $
or 200 000 $
State fee: contribution or purchase of real estate 0 $
or 35 050 $
0 $
or 75 200 $
Preliminary due diligence 300 $ 300 $
Due diligence 7500 $ 11 500 $
Passport fee 361 $ 1444 $
Fee for processing forms 250 $ 1000 $
Bank charges 200 $ 400 $
Issuing a certificate of naturalisation 50 $ 200 $
Total 158 661 $
or 243 711 $
209 844 $
or 290 044 $

The St Kitts and Nevis passport is a convenient travel document for visa-free travel to 156 countries around the world, including the Schengen states, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. Citizens can also obtain a 10-year visa to the United States and benefits to study at UK universities.

Grenada

Гражданство Гренады за инвестиции в 2021 году
The capital of Grenada, St George’s is a major Caribbean port. The city also has an international airport

The procedures for participation in the programme have also become simpler and quicker. The changes apply until the end of the pandemic. For example:

  • applications are accepted online;

  • the programme department considers the application when it receives scans of documents and the originals can be sent later;

  • copies of documents can be certified by the investor’s lawyers and legal advisers;

  • results of the HIV test can be submitted within six months of receipt
    criminal record certificate can also be submitted within 9 months of receipt;

  • documents can be notarised and sworn in online – via a video link with an authorised person.

Control over the distribution of real estate investments. The Programme Department will open special deposit accounts from which it will transfer money to property developers under the programme. As in St. Kitts and Nevis, developers will report on construction progress and provide financial reports to the Department.

We talked about the change in the article ‘Grenada will have stricter control over how contractors spend their investments’.

Participants in the Grenada programme invest in the country’s economy in two ways: contributing to the National Transformation Fund or investing in real estate.

Costs for the investor and family of four

Cost item Investor 🤵🏻 Investor with spouse and children under 16 years of age 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦
Minimum investment amount: contribution or purchase of real estate 200 000 $
or 220 000 $
200 000 $
or 220 000 $
State fee: contribution or purchase of real estate 0 $
or 50 000 $
0 $
or 50 000 $
Due diligence 5000 $ 10 000 $
Application fee 1500 $ 6000 $
Application processing fee 1500 $ 4000 $
Passport fee 250 $ 2000 $
Total 208 250 $
or 278 250 $
222 000 $
or 292 000 $

Grenada’s citizenship programme for investment has been in place since 1997. With the investor’s passport, it is possible to travel visa-free to 144 countries, including Schengen, the UK and China. Grenadian citizens can also apply for an E-2 business visa in the US.

Antigua and Barbuda

Гражданство Антигуа и Барбуды за инвестиции в 2021 году
The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are one of the region’s fastest-growing tourist destinations. In 2020, the country won prestigious awards such as The Caribbean Travel Awards

A new option with a contribution to the University of the West Indies Foundation was launched in May 2020. The option is only available to families of six or more people and the minimum contribution is $ 150,000. In return for the investment, any member of the family can study at the University for a year free of charge.

The minimum transaction amount to purchase a property under the programme has been reduced from $ 400,000 to $ 200,000. 

The requirements for investor relatives have changed. From November 2020, an Antigua and Barbuda passport can be obtained:

  • the investor’s spouse;

  • children under 30 years of age;

  • parents and grandparents over 55 years of age;

  • siblings, if unmarried.

Revised rules for accession of relatives after an investor has obtained citizenship. What has changed:

  • family members can be accessioned at any time, not just in the first 5 years after obtaining a passport;

  • the fee for accession of adult relatives is now $ 50,000, for children and grandchildren under 5 years of age $ 10,000 and for children and grandchildren from 6 to 17 years of age $ 20,000.

We talked about the new requirements for relatives in the article “New rules for the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship programme”

Accepting documents online and deferring payments. The programme department only accepts applications through the online portal. The application will be processed as soon as copies of the documents are received electronically. Fees and due diligence can be paid after the quarantine period is over.

Cancellation of the requirement to stay in the country. Under the terms of the programme, the investor has to come to the islands to take the oath in person and stay on the island for at least 5 days in the first five years after receiving the passport. This requirement has been suspended until 31 August 2021.

A new property for investment. Two hotels are being expanded in 2021. Construction of new cottages will begin at the approved Cocos Hotel and Keyonna Beach Resort. To become a participant in the citizenship programme, an investor needs to invest from $ 200,000 in construction. We talked about the hotels in the article “New real estate projects for investors”.

Cocos Hotel is located on the west coast of Antigua Island, next to Valley Church Beach
Source: cocoshotel.com

Keyonna Beach Resort is located on the beachfront of Turner’s Beach
Source: keyonnabeachresortantigua.com

Antigua and Barbuda leads all programme states in the number of visa-free agreements. With the country’s passport, you can freely visit 165 countries around the world, including popular European and Asian destinations.

Dominica

Гражданство Доминики за инвестиции в 2021 году
Roseau City, the capital of Dominica, home to about 15,000 people

The Dominican government has made a bid for larger families. Under the new terms, they can get a discount on the state fund contribution and add more relatives to the programme.

A discount for families of four appeared in July 2020. If a family participates in the state fund contribution option, the subsidy amount for them will be $ 175,000 instead of $ 200,000.

The option to add siblings applies if they are unmarried and have no children. The investor can also now add newborn children and new spouses of any applicant to the programme.

The application and documents must be submitted online. The programme department does not wait for the original documents to start processing the application. But the investor may be asked for physical copies of documents.

Biometric passports will begin to be issued in Dominica from March 2021. This will further protect passports from forgeries and speed up customs checks at borders.

Costs for the investor and family of four

Cost item Investor 🤵🏻 Investor with spouse and children under 16 years of age 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦
Minimum investment amount: contribution or purchase of real estate 100 000 $
or 200 000 $
175 000 $
or 200 000 $
State fee: contribution or purchase of a real estate 0 $
or 25 000 $
0 $
or 35 000 $
Due diligence 7500 $ 11 500 $
Fee for processing information 1000 $ 1000 $
Naturalisation certificate fee 250 $ 1000 $
Passport fee 300 $ 1200 $
Set of government forms 250 $ 1000 $
Total 109 300 $
or 234 300 $
190 700 $
or 250 700 $

A foreigner transfers $ 100,000 or more to the Economic Diversification Fund or invests $ 200,000 or more in real estate to become a citizen of Dominica. In return, the investor receives a passport and the ability to travel visa-free to 141 countries.

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia

Гражданство Сент-Люсии за инвестиции в 2021 году
Saint Lucian citizenship programme is the youngest in the region, with around 800 foreigners receiving a passport since 2016

A 50% discount on the purchase of government bonds is available until 31 December 2021. To buy special interest-free Covid-19 Relief Bonds, investors invest $ 250,000 instead of $ 500,000. The bonds can be redeemed after 5 years.

The administrative fee for purchasing a government bond has also decreased: from $ 50,000 to $ 30,000. We talked about this in the article “Discount on St Lucian citizenship in 2021”.

The reduced non-refundable fee for families of up to four people. The minimum contribution is $ 100,000, the amount increases as relatives are added.

Contribution to the Saint Lucia State Fund

Applicants Under the old rules Under the new rules
Investor 100 000 $ 100 000 $
Investor and spouse 165 000 $ 140 000 $
Investor with spouse and two children 190 000 $ 150 000 $

The fee for each relative from the fifth onwards is $ 15,000. Under the old rules, investors paid $ 25,000 each in this case. And the accession of a newborn after obtaining a passport will now cost the investor only $ 500.

A deferral of payment for 90 days is given to investors in the event of force majeure. The administration fee can be paid not immediately after the approval of the application, but within 60 days.

Siblings under the age of 18 can obtain a St Lucia passport with the investor. The age limit for children and parents has also changed. Therefore, children under 30 and parents over 55 are now allowed to be included in the application. And new family members can be joined at any time, not just in the first 5 years after obtaining the passport.

Participation in the programme is now entirely online, from application to the payment of costs. Namely:

  • all documents are uploaded electronically on the official programme portal;

  • the email from the department serves as the basis for issuing the social number and passport;

  • a scan of the oath form with the investor’s signature is uploaded to the portal; the original remains with the programme agent;

  • online payment of the contribution to the state fund, due diligence and administrative fees.

The purchase of real estate and government bonds cannot be paid for via an online portal. We talked about this in the article “Saint Lucia has simplified payments”.

Costs for the investor and family of four

Cost item Investor 🤵🏻 Investor with spouse and children under 16 years of age 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦
Minimum investment amount: contribution, purchase of real estate or government bonds 100 000 $
or 300 000 $
or 250 000 $
150 000 $
or 300 000 $
or 250 000 $
State fee: contribution, purchase of real estate or government bonds 0 $
or 30 000 $
or 0 $
0 $
or 55 000 $
or 0 $
Due diligence 7500 $ 12 500 $
Application processing fee 2000 $ 4000 $
Passport fee 500 $ 1000 $
Passport postage fee 250 $ 250 $
Bank charges and fees 300 $ 300 $
Total 110 550 $
or 340 550 $
or 260 550 $
168 050 $
or 423 050 $
or 268 050 $

St. Lucia’s passport opens up access to visa-free travel to 146 countries, including Schengen states and the UK. Citizens of the country can also obtain a tourist visa to the US for 10 years through a simplified procedure, which is not available to Russians.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of Caribbean citizenship programmes by investment. If you want a second passport, seek advice from experts in investment programmes.