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27 January, 2021

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

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.

Caribbean citizenship programmes by investment: how to obtain a second passport in 2021
Photo: Adobe Stock

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.

St. Kitts and Nevis

Citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis by investment in 2021
The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship programme was introduced in 1984. Since then, some 20,000 foreigners have been granted passports
  • Investments: from 150 000 $
  • Participation: fully remote
  • Processing deadline: from 2 months
  • Accelerated review: cancelled during the pandemic

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 itemInvestorInvestor with spouse and children under 16 years of age ‍ ‍ ‍
Minimum investment amount: contribution or purchase of real estate150 000 $
or 200 000 $
195 000 $
or 200 000 $
State fee: contribution or purchase of real estate0 $
or 35 050 $
0 $
or 75 200 $
Preliminary due diligence300 $300 $
Due diligence7500 $11 500 $
Passport fee361 $1444 $
Fee for processing forms250 $1000 $
Bank charges200 $400 $
Issuing a certificate of naturalisation50 $200 $
Total158 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 citizenship by investment in 2021
The capital of Grenada, St George's is a major Caribbean port. The city also has an international airport
  • Investments: from 150 000 $
  • Options: non-refundable contribution, real estate
  • Participation: fully remote
  • Processing deadline: from 4 to 6 months
  • Accelerated review: No

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 itemInvestor Investor with spouse and children under 16 years of age  ‍ ‍ ‍
Minimum investment amount: contribution or purchase of real estate200 000 $
or 220 000 $
200 000 $
or 220 000 $
State fee: contribution or purchase of real estate0 $
or 50 000 $
0 $
or 50 000 $
Due diligence5000 $10 000 $
Application fee1500 $6000 $
Application processing fee1500 $4000 $
Passport fee250 $2000 $
Total208 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

Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment in 2021
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
  • Investments: from 100 000 $
  • Options: non-refundable contributions, real estate, business
  • Participation: oath of office on the island, spend 5 days in the first 5 years
  • Processing deadline: from 3 to 6 months
  • Accelerated review: No

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".

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Real Estate Investment: Share in Cocos Hotel

Cocos Hotel is located on the west coast of Antigua Island, next to Valley Church Beach

Keyonna Beach Resort is located on the beachfront of Tu er's Beach

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Real Estate Investment: Share in Cocos Hotel

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 citizenship by investment in 2021
Roseau City, the capital of Dominica, home to about 15,000 people
  • Investments: from 100 000 $
  • Options: non-refundable contributions, real estate
  • Processing deadline: from 2 to 6 months
  • Accelerated review: There is $1,200 when purchasing a property

The Dominica 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 itemInvestor Investor with spouse and children under 16 years of age  ‍ ‍ ‍
Minimum investment amount: contribution or purchase of real estate100 000 $
or 200 000 $
175 000 $
or 200 000 $
State fee: contribution or purchase of a real estate0 $
or 25 000 $
0 $
or 35 000 $
Due diligence7500 $11 500 $
Fee for processing information1000 $1000 $
Naturalisation certificate fee250 $1000 $
Passport fee300 $1200 $
Set of government forms250 $1000 $
Total109 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 citizenship by investment in 2021
Saint Lucian citizenship programme is the youngest in the region, with around 800 foreigners receiving a passport since 2016
  • Investments: from 100 000 $
  • Options: non-refundable fee, real estate, government bonds, business
  • Participation: remote
  • Processing deadline: 3 to 4 months
  • Accelerated review: No

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

ApplicantsUnder the old rulesUnder the new rules
Investor100 000 $100 000 $
Investor and spouse165 000 $140 000 $
Investor with spouse and two children190 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 itemInvestor Investor with spouse and children under 16 years of age  ‍ ‍ ‍
Minimum investment amount: contribution, purchase of real estate or government bonds100 000 $
or 300 000 $
or 250 000 $
150 000 $
or 300 000 $
or 250 000 $
State fee: contribution, purchase of real estate or government bonds0 $
or 30 000 $
or 0 $
0 $
or 55 000 $
or 0 $
Due diligence7500 $12 500 $
Application processing fee2000 $4000 $
Passport fee500 $1000 $
Passport postage fee250 $250 $
Bank charges and fees300 $300 $
Total110 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.

New conditions for St. Lucia citizenship program for investment

St Lucia’ Citizenship by Investment Unit announced changes for investors since Jan. 1, 2023:

  • purchase of government-approved real estate — $200,000 instead of regular purchase of real estate from $300,000;
  • new bond purchase offer — $300,000 instead of regular government bonds for $500,00.

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.

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