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Caribbean citizenship program investment options explained

PUBLISHED: 24 February 2020
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Citizenship guide
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Why people choose to get a second citizenship?

Before we begin exploring today’s topic, let’s establish why people need second citizenship at all. There are many reasons why foreign nationals might want to get a second passport. Here are some of them.

Main benefits of second citizenship

  1. Citizenship of another country is a great way to get rid of visas and travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival to many countries in the world.
  2. Second passport can come along with tax residency to help you reduce your tax burden. In this case, you should be looking for countries with tax laws that would be beneficial both to individuals and businesses.
  3. Second or third nationality can serve as a back-up plan, a safe haven that you can revert to for safety and security. Economically developed countries offer cutting-edge infrastructure, high quality of education and healthcare. doors of many world bank would be open to a holder of such a passport.

Why choose a Caribbean passport

What would be your ideal solution for getting citizenship by investment in a foreign country?

  1. Low entry threshold, i.e. reasonable investment amount required from an investor
  2. Possibility to get your money back is a few years, if necessary
  3. Citizenship for the whole family and not just an investor
  4. Minimum requirements
  5. Remote processing – getting a passport from the comfort of your home

All this and more you can expect from five Caribbean countries that offer their citizenship by investment programs. What you get:

  • Visa-free travel to 120-150 states including the UK, Schengen area, Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • Real estate is cheaper than in Europe.
  • Beneficial taxation for individuals and special regime for international business.

Преимущества карибского паспорта

A choice of Caribbean investment options

Not all Caribbean countries are good for obtaining citizenship by investment. At the moment, there are five jurisdictions that operate such programs offering foreign nationals a passport and all benefits coming with it in exchange for their contribution to the local economy. They are Saint Kitts & Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Dominica and Grenada.

The choice of investment options and jurisdictions is shown in a table below.

Country Minimum Investment Investment Options Processing Time
Antigua & Barbuda $100,000

$1,500,000 – investment in business

$400,000 – in property for 5 years

$100,000 –  donation to National Development Fund

$150,000 – contribution to the Education fund

3 – 6 Months
St Kitts & Nevis $150,000

$200,000 – in real estate for 7 years

$400,000 – in real estate for 5 years

$150,000 – contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund

45 – 60 Days
St Lucia $100,000

$3,500,000 – investment in enterprise project

$300,000 –  in real estate for 5 years

$100,000 – donation to the National Economic Fund

$500,000 – investment in government bonds

3 – 4 Months
Grenada $150,000

Investment in real estate for 3 years

$350,000 – for single investor

$220,000 –  if 2 or more investors

or

$150,000 – donation to the National Transformation Fund

3 – 4 Months
Dominica $100,000

$200,000 – in real estate for 5 years

$100,000 – donation to the Economic Diversification Fund

4 Months

Let’s have a look at main investment options for obtaining Caribbean citizenship.

Contribution to a national fund

The economies of former British colonies have achieved great results in the last ten years, but they do not stop at that. They have established development and diversification funds to help their countries thrive. Your contribution to such a fund will be non-refundable, i.e. you will not get your money back. But this is the only drawback of this investment, everything else are advantages.

Benefits of non-refundable donations

  1. As a rule it is the cheapest investment in a second passport. Even if you add all extra costs on top, Dominica citizenship through contribution to a national fund will be only $108,500 for a single applicant.
  2. There is no maintenance costs like with real estate or associated risks that come with a business. A funddonation is a one-off payment. You get your second passport and enjoy life without additional headache.
  3. By contributing $150,000 to the University of the West Indies Education Fund on Antigua and Barbuda, one family member receives a one-year free tuition there.

Buy an apartment or a house

Investment in Caribbean real estate is a good way to make money. Economic reforms and foreign investments are playing out well for the islands and attracting more visitors, holidaymakers and businessmen.

Therefore, if you buy an approved property in Dominica or Antigua, in 5 years you might get more than the $400,000 you have bought it for. Not to mention any rental income on top that you can get during these five years of ownership. If you are not selling, this Caribbean property can become your second home, safe and secure, whenever you need it. you can always rent it out to earn a good rental income.

Многообразие вариантов инвестирования в карибское гражданство

What you should know before buying a property

First of all, if you want to take part in a citizenship by investment program, remember that you can only buy properties from the government approved developers.

Secondly, the minimum investment of $200,000 (Dominica, St Kitts & Nevis) will not buy you an entire property. Though real estate prices in the Caribbean are nothing compared to those in Europe for similar seaside properties, they are still higher than the above amount. Therefore, if you have limited resources, consider the second option – buy a share in a hotel or an apartment.

Next, bear in mind that you will be paying the price for ownership – property tax (if applicable), as well as maintenance fees and charges. However, if you are going to rent your flat or house, rental income should cover the above.

Important!

It is possible to bring annual rental income up to 3% of the purchase price. Interested? Talk to our experiences financial experts that know the Caribbean real estate market. We will recommend high-potential projects, developers and respectable and reliable managing companies.

Buy a share in a hotel or resort off-plan

Here are the reasons why this option may be appealing:

  • A share can be purchased for the minimum required amount.
  • You invest in an approved investment property.
  • You can forget about paying taxes and maintenance fees – this will be responsibility of hotel management or a managing company.
  • You get monthly income from renting your share in a hotel. There is no need to communicate with other co-owners and get their approval for anything.
  • A discount will be provided to you if you decide to live in your room or apartment. If it is for a short period of time during a holiday, you can stay there for free.

Same as with an entire place, you will be able to sell your share after a certain time. Recent trend in growing prices shows that you can even gain on resale.

Invest in government bonds

Another reasonably cheap way of getting a Caribbean passport by investment is buying non-interest-bearing bonds in Saint Lucia for $500,000. Duties and charges apply.

Bonds will be issued in your name and you must hold them for at least 5 years. And as you might have guessed already, you will not get any interest from them.

If you want to apply for citizenship by investment for the whole family, the minimum amount for a couple will increase to $535,000, for a couple with two kids – $550,000.

Good thing about this option is that you spend similar amount of money that you would spend on a property, but it is protected by government guarantees. On the other hand, you are freezing half a million dollars for 5 years that would not bring you income.

Conclusion

We have not mentioned another option here, contributions to government funds, because that investment are non-refundable. Neither have we talked about business investments that start at $1.5 million in Antigua and Barbuda, because the same amount could buy you a Maltese passport.

Whichever option you choose, it is always advisable to consult expert immigration lawyers, especially if you want to make an investment and apply for a second passport remotely. Our qualified advisers will answer all your questions, help you choose a country of second citizenship to your requirements and take care of the whole process and paperwork till you get your passport.

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