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Comparison of Citizenship by Investment Programs in the Caribbean

 

The Caribbean islands present some of the most beautiful scenery and coastlines in the world, many with stable economies and a good standard of living.  Offering some of the lowest cost Citizenship by Investment programs, coupled with attractive tax arrangements, it is no wonder that they are so popular with investors looking to gain a second citizenship for themselves, their families and their businesses.

 

Each of the following countries have their own Citizenship by Investment programs with slightly differing rules. Below we take an overview of the programs available, followed by a useful table offering a quick comparison. For more personalised guidance, Astons’ team of international experts are able to give detailed, up-to-date advice on all aspects of Citizenship and Residency in the Caribbean and worldwide, to ensure investors are provided with all the tools they need to make the right choice for them. Contact us here for a free initial consultation.

 

Antigua and Barbuda

 

 

Antigua and Barbuda offers the most economical Citizenship by Investment program in the Caribbean, with a minimum requirement of just US$100,000.

 

There are four options available for Citizenship by Investment:

 

  • A minimum non-refundable investment of US$100,000 donated to the State’s National Development Fund for projects benefiting the people. This amount covers a single applicant or a family of up to four people. 
     

  • An investment of a minimum US$200,000 – US$400,000 into real estate on one of the islands, which must be kept for a minimum of five years, after which time they can sell the real estate without affecting their own citizenship status. US$200,000 is the minimum investment into a shared ownership project, while a single owner would need to invest US $400,000 into the real estate.
     

  • The purchase of an eligible business for a minimum sum of US$1.5million as an individual or US$400,000 as part of a joint purchase.
     

  • A minimum US$150,000 contribution to the University of the West Indies (for a family of six or more).

 

Benefits include:

 

  • visa-free travel to 150 countries including the EU, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore;

 

  • no residency requirements except for a requirement to stay in Antigua and Barbuda for five days only, within five years of acquiring the passport;

 

  • member of the Commonwealth offering advantages in the UK and other Commonwealth countries;


 

The entire family are eligible for citizenship including spouse, children under 18 years old, financially dependent children under 28 years old plus their spouses and children, unmarried siblings of the main applicant plus their spouses, parents and dependent grandparents over 58 years old.

 

Applicants must be 18 years old or older and must not have a criminal record in any country.

 

Timescale for citizenship to be granted is approximately 6-8 months.
 

 

Dominica
 

Like Antigua and Barbuda, the island of Dominica requires a minimum investment of US$100,000 to their Economic Development Fund.  However, this is for a a single person only.  Adding a spouse would require an extra US$50,000, while a family of up to four people would need to contribute US$175,000. 
 

An alternative contribution would be investment in a government-approved real estate development, to a value of US$200,000. The period of three years in which the investment must be maintained is one of the shorter investment requirements in the Caribbean and worldwide. After this time the property can be sold without affecting the citizenship. There is also a state fee payable in addition to the property investment, of US$25,000 for the main applicant or US$35,000 for a family of up to four people, rising according to number of people.
 

Benefits include:

 

  • Vsa-free access to 145 countries worldwide including the EU Schengen states, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong;
     
  • Beneficial tax regime with no tax payable on income, existing wealth or inheritance;
     
  • Families included in the application and citizenship by descent granted to future generations;
     
  • No residence requirements;
     
  • The allowance of dual nationality;
     
  • The ability for the application process to take place remotely.
     

Those eligible for citizenship must be over 18, have no criminal record, be able to prove they are in good health and be able to prove they have legally obtained funds available to proceed. They must also have a basic knowledge of English.
 

Family members can be included in the citizenship including spouse, unmarried children under 31 years old who are substantially dependent on the main applicant; parents and grandparents over the age of 65, and unmarried siblings under the age of 25.
 

Processing time is generally around 6 months, making it one of the speediest routes to second citizenship.

 

 

Grenada
 

Grenada offers two popular routes for Citizenship by Investment. The first is a minimum donation of US$150,000 to the Government’s National Transformation Fund, which provides money for projects to strengthen industries such as tourism, agriculture and alternative energy. To include a spouse in the application the minimum donation is US$200,000 while for families of over four people the cost rises by an additional US$25,000 per person. 
 

The second route to citizenship is by an investment into a Government-approved project, which currently is in real estate. The minimum investment is US$200,000 for a shared ownership or US$350,000 for a single buyer of property. The investment has to be kept for a minimum of five years, after which it can be sold without affecting the citizenship status. 

 

Benefits of Grenadian citizenship include:

 

  • all the rights associated with being a member of the Grenadian state and the Caribbean community (CARICOM);

 

  • visa-free travel to 144 countries including the EU Schengen area countries, the UK, China, Russia and Singapore;

 

  • the only country in the Caribbean offering a fast-track route to USA citizenship via the coveted E-2 visa;

 

  • families can be included and the citizenship can be passed on to descendants;

 

  • the allowance of dual nationality;

 

  • beneficial tax arrangements with no tax payable on income, wealth or inheritance, and no residency requirement.
     

Applicants for Grenadian citizenship must be at least 18 years old, be in good health, be able to demonstrate that they have enough legally acquired funds to proceed, have no criminal record that would carry a term of imprisonment for six months or more, in any country, must not be considered a security risk and must not have been denied a visa by any country with which Grenada has a visa-free travel arrangement.
 

The timescale for an application for Citizenship by investment in Grenada is a speedy 7-8 months.

 

 

St Kitts and Nevis

 

The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program is regarded as the “platinum standard” of such programs, with a relatively low-cost investment requirement and a speedy processing time.
 

Citizenship by investment can take place via three routes. 

 

  • A donation of a minimum US$150,000 to the state’s Sustainable Growth Fund. This donation increases according to the number of participants in the application, with a family of four people contributing a donation of US$190,000.
     

  • A donation of a minimum US$175,000 to social infrastructure facilities, usually in the form of investment in social housing. This amount of donation covers a family of up to four people.
     

  • An investment of US$200,000 - US$400,000 into real estate. The amount of US$200,000 is for a joint ownership investment, while for a single owner the investment would be a minimum US$400,000. The investment is required to be held for a minimum of five years, after which it can be sold without affecting citizenship status.

     

Benefits of St Kitts and Nevis citizenship include:

 

  • visa-free access to 157 countries worldwide, including the EU and the UK, Hong Kong, Russia and Singapore;

 

  • families can be included;

 

  • St Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Commonwealth, which offers advantages in the UK and other commonwealth countries; 

 

  • no residency requirements and the application process can take place remotely.


 

Families can be included in the citizenship application or added once citizenship for the main applicant has been granted, including spouse, children under 31 years old, parents, grandparents over the age of 55, and unmarried dependent siblings under the age of 31 years old, without children.
 

To be considered for citizenship, applicants must be 18 years old or over, not have any criminal record, must not make a false statement or omit any relevant information on their application, and must be able to demonstrate that they have the legally acquired required funds to proceed with the application.

 

Citizenship is usually granted within 4 months of the application, with an accelerated 60 day process available upon payment of an additional fee.

 

 

St Lucia

 

The beautiful island of St Lucia is another attractive option for Citizenship by Investment, with one of the least expensive programs and a speedy processing time.

 

There are a variety of routes towards Citizenship by Investment in St Lucia:
 

  • A donation of a minimum of US$100,000 (for a single applicant) to the Government’s National Economic Fund. Currently and for a limited time only, the donation for a couple (who need to be legally married to be considered part of a family group) is held at US$140,000 (usually US$165,000), while the donation for a family of four is currently US$150,000 (usually US$190,000). Additional applicants would for a limited time, pay US$15,000 (usually US$25,000)
     

  • A donation of a minimum of US$250,000 to government bonds
     

  • An investment of at least US$3.5 million into an approved enterprise in areas such as agriculture, infrastructure such as roads and bridges, research institutions and others
     

  • An investment into a government-approved real estate development, with a value of at least US$330,000. This investment would need to be kept for a minimum of five years, after which it may be sold with no effect on citizenship status.
     

  • St Lucia Covid-19 Relief Bond: a temporary bond launched in May 2020, providing the opportunity to deposit into a refundable government bond, which must be kept for five years, after which the investor may claim their capital back. The minimum investment required is US$250,000 for a single applicant, or US$300,000 for a family.  However, this scheme is about to end in December 2022.

 

Benefits of the St Lucia program include:

 

  • a speedy processing time of around 8-10 months;

 

  • visa-free travel to more than 157 countries worldwide, including the EU Schengen area, the UK, Singapore and the UK;

 

  • beneficial tax arrangements with no tax payable on income earned overseas, capital gains tax or inheritance tax, and a low rate of income tax, VAT and Corporate tax;

 

  • no residency or minimum stay requirements;

 

  • no language requirements;

 

  • the allowance of dual citizenship;

 

  • and the entire family eligible for citizenship.

 

The applicant must be 18 years or over, have no criminal convictions, must not be under any criminal investigation, must not be deemed a security risk or do anything that might bring St Lucia into disrepute.

 

Families can be covered in the application, including spouse, children up to 21 years old, dependent children up to 30 years old; children or parents with mental or physical disabilities, parents and grandparents over 55 years old, plus siblings of the main applicant provided they are under 18 years old and have consent from the parent or guardian. Families can be included in the main application or added after citizenship has been granted to the main applicant.

 

The application process for Citizenship by Investment in St Lucia takes approximately 6 months.

 

For more detailed advice and a completely personal service tailored to your individual requirements, please contact one of our trusted expert ASTONS advisers here for a free, no-obligation consultation.