Published
March 22, 2024
Category
Citizenship by investment programs

How to Get Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs?

In an era where global mobility and international opportunities are more valued than ever, the appeal of Caribbean citizenship by investment programs presents a unique and advantageous path.

Key Takeaways 

  • Caribbean citizenship by investment programs are designed to offer citizenship through significant financial contributions towards the country, aiming to enhance local economies.
  • These programs are appealing for their straightforward process, lower investment thresholds, and diverse investment options.
  • Countries offering these programs include St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda, each with unique investment options and benefits.
  • Specialized service providers like Mirabello Consultancy, deliver comprehensive guidance throughout the entire process of applying for Caribbean citizenship by investment programs, ensuring a streamlined process and favorable outcomes.

What is a citizenship by investment program and how does it work in Caribbean countries?

Caribbean citizenship by investment programs offer individuals a unique opportunity to obtain citizenship of a Caribbean country through substantial financial investment. Unlike traditional ways of acquiring citizenship - based on birth, descent, marriage, or prolonged residency - Caribbean citizenship by investment programs focus on attracting significant foreign investment to boost local economies.

What makes these programs particularly appealing is their relatively straightforward and quick process, typically spanning just a few months from application to citizenship acquisition. Notably, they have lower investment thresholds compared to European programs, starting at 100,000 USD, thus being more accessible. Investment options range from non-refundable contributions to national funds, and purchasing approved real estate, to investments in government bonds and direct business ventures.

Why should you consider citizenship by investment to get a Caribbean passport?

Obtaining Caribbean citizenship by investment presents an attractive and practical way for investors looking to broaden their global access and enhance their lifestyle. Let’s see what the Caribbean citizenship benefits are. 

Access to a Variety of Countries

Caribbean citizenship grants you visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to approximately 150 countries worldwide, including the Schengen area, major destinations in Europe, United Kingdom, Asia and many more. With such extensive reach, the Caribbean passport opens the door to remarkable travel freedom and enhanced global mobility. 

Favorable Tax Regimes

Many Caribbean countries are renowned for offering advantageous tax regimes. This tax-friendly environment is largely attributed to their financial privacy laws and low tax implications. For instance, Nevis, as part of the St. Kitts and Nevis Federation, is a hub for tax-efficient formation of offshore entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs), trusts, and foundations. It's also known for its robust offshore banking and insurance services. 

Enhanced Quality of Life

The Caribbean Golden Visa grants access to stunning natural landscapes, including beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant coral reefs. These countries, known for their popularity as tourist destinations, offer a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, diving, snorkeling, and sailing.

Cultural Richness

Adding to the appeal of these countries is their rich cultural heritage and the warm, welcoming nature of the Caribbean people. The diverse cultural experiences and relaxed lifestyle make Caribbean citizenship an ideal choice for those seeking to enjoy a peaceful and fulfilling life.

Investment Opportunities

The Caribbean Golden Visa offers an outstanding investment opportunity in regions characterized by political and economic stability, high living standards, and advantageous tax policies for businesses.

A major draw for investors is the potential for rental income. The Caribbean's popularity as a tourist destination creates a high demand for vacation rentals. Properties purchased as part of the citizenship by investment program can be rented out to tourists, providing a steady stream of income, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Moreover, the Caribbean real estate market has shown a consistent trend of appreciation, suggesting substantial opportunities for capital gains over time.

Simplified Process

Unlike traditional immigration processes, citizenship by investment in the Caribbean is typically more straightforward and faster. Some programs offer citizenship within a matter of months, without the need for prolonged residency requirements.

Political and Economic Stability

The Caribbean nations offering these programs are known for their political stability and growing economies. This stability is crucial for investors looking for a secure and prosperous environment to invest and potentially reside in.

Caribbean countries offering citizenship by investment program

Talk about all of them, create a comparison table

  St Kitts and Nevis Grenada Saint Lucia Antigua and Barbuda
Investment Amount USD 250,000 USD 150,000 USD 100,000 USD 100,000
Government Processing Time 46 - 90 days 4 months 3 months 3 months
Visa Free Travel 158 countries including Schengen and the UK 145 countries including Schengen, the UK, and China 148 countries
including Schengen and the UK
150 countries including Schengen and the UK
Physical Stay Requirement No No No No
Family Inclusion Yes Yes Yes Yes

St Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis offers Caribbean citizenship by Investment program with multiple avenues for investors looking to obtain a second passport. 

Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC): Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC): This is streamlined for efficiency and supports sustainable development projects in the country, like the economy, education, and healthcare. With a contribution of USD 250,000, it promises an expedited process, allowing for the receipt of citizenship promptly.

Real Estate Investment: Here you can invest in government-approved real estate projects. This not only provides citizenship but also an asset that may appreciate over time. The minimum investment is usually substantial, around US$400,000, which can be resold after seven years.

Private Home Sales Investment Option: This option is tailored for those seeking to invest in private real estate for their own residence. It offers the benefit of customization, with the added advantage of potential long-term value appreciation.

Public Benefit Investment Option: This route enables investors to contribute to projects that have a social impact on the local community, enhancing both your reputation and the prosperity of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Caribbean citizenship by investment programs of St. Kitts and Nevis are highly appealing due to their fast processing times, often within two months. The St. Kitts and Nevis passport is quite powerful, allowing visa-free travel to 161 countries, including the Schengen Area and the UK.

Moreover, the tax benefits are significant. The country offers a low-income tax environment, no capital gains taxes, and a competitive corporate tax rate. The combination of fiscal incentives and the passport's strength makes St. Kitts and Nevis an enticing destination for investors seeking dual citizenship.

Grenada

First, let’s understand the investment options provided by Grenada as part of the Caribbean citizenship by investment programs. 

Non-refundable Contribution: This is a straightforward investment into Grenada's economy, where you provide a one-time contribution to the National Transformation Fund. For an individual, this amounts to USD 150,000. It's a direct investment in the country's developmental projects, aiding in sectors like healthcare, education, and infrastructure.

Real Estate Investment: For a more tangible investment, Grenada offers the option to invest in approved real estate projects. The minimum investment is USD 220,000, which must be maintained for a minimum of five years. This investment can potentially appreciate in value, providing you with a return on investment in addition to citizenship. A fixed government fee of USD 50,000 is also required.

Unique among Caribbean countries, Grenada has an E-2 Investor Visa Treaty with the U.S., which allows Grenadian citizens to apply for a working visa in the U.S. and potentially reside there in the future.

Notably, in Grenada, there is no taxation on worldwide income, dividends, interest, or royalties, which means that income generated outside of Grenada will not be taxed locally. Furthermore, there are no taxes on inheritance or capital gains, allowing for wealth to be preserved and passed down without incurring additional costs.

Saint Lucia

The Caribbean citizenship by investment program in Saint Lucia presents diverse options for savvy investors, offering a passport within just 4 months.

National Economic Fund (NEF): A contribution of USD 100,000 here is direct support to the country's economic initiatives, particularly in sectors like tourism and infrastructure.

Real Estate: Investing in government-approved real estate projects in Saint Lucia not only promises a return on investment with the nation's thriving market but also allows you to sell the property after five years.

Government Bonds: A newer option, the National Action Bond, requires a $300,000 investment in a refundable Government Bond with a holding period of five years at 0% interest.

Saint Lucia also stands out for its tax benefits, as it imposes no income, inheritance, or gift taxes, nor on dividends or capital gains, which enhances the financial attractiveness of its program.

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda offers diverse ways for you to obtain Caribbean citizenship by investment.

National Development Fund (NDF): With a non-refundable minimum donation of $100,000, this option is the most cost-efficient, especially for families, contributing directly to the nation's development.

Real Estate Investment: This involves a minimum investment of $200,000 in approved real estate projects, offering returns and the ability to sell after a five-year holding period, fostering a potential for profit in a thriving market.

Business Investment: Those inclined towards business ventures can obtain Caribbean citizenship by making a business investment of at least $1.5 million or by joining a collective investment of a minimum of $5 million, where each participant invests at least $400,000.

Investment in Universities: For families with six or more members this option is particularly noteworthy. Alongside a required real estate investment, it includes a $100,000 government processing fee contribution to the University of the West Indies. This provides one family member under the age of 29 with a year of tuition-free education, making it an attractive proposition for those looking to combine the benefits of property investment with educational opportunities for their children.

Antigua and Barbuda is also recognized as a tax haven, making it an attractive financial hub.

How to get a caribbean passport

First off, you need to choose the country and the investment option that aligns best with your aspirations and needs. Each program has unique requirements and benefits, so it's crucial to evaluate these carefully. And don’t forget to thoroughly assess the costs. Beyond the primary investment or donation, there are application fees, due diligence fees, and legal costs, which can vary depending on the country and the number of family members included in your application.

Next, you will need to complete and submit the required application along with all necessary documentation. This step typically involves extensive background checks to comply with international standards and regulations. It's essential to ensure full compliance to avoid any legal complications.

Furthermore, it's important to consider how acquiring new citizenship might impact your tax status, reporting obligations, and estate planning.

This is where Mirabello Consultancy, your trusted advisor, can be of immense help. It offers a comprehensive suite of services to guide clients through every step of the citizenship by investment process. Initially, a free consultation helps pinpoint the best program based on your individual preferences. Once on board, a dedicated processing expert assists with document organization and government form completion, ensuring a smooth application process. They manage due diligence and facilitate all aspects of payment and documentation for citizenship initiation. Post-approval, Mirabello Consultancy provides ongoing support for passport renewals, family additions, and navigating tax and estate implications, maintaining a commitment to tailored, client-focused assistance throughout the entire journey to new citizenship.

FAQ

Which Caribbean country is best for foreigners?

According to the Human Development Report 2021-2022 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis are all in the High human development group. These countries have Human Development Index (HDI) ranks of 70, 71, and 76, respectively. This indicates a high standard of living, education, and life expectancy, making them attractive options for foreigners seeking to live in the Caribbean.

What is the fastest Caribbean citizenship by investment program?

The fastest Caribbean citizenship by investment program is typically that of St. Kitts and Nevis. Applications are being processed within a timeline of 45-60 days, although some cases may vary.

What is the cheapest Caribbean citizenship by investment program?

It's important to note that the cost of the cheapest Caribbean citizenship by investment program can vary based on the type of investment and whether the applicant includes family members in the application. Typically, for both Saint Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda, the non-refundable direct donation to the government starts at $100,000 for a single applicant.

Caribbean citizenship by investment programs serve dual purposes: they significantly contribute to the economic development of the host nations and offer investors a wide range of benefits, including enhanced global mobility, favorable tax regimes, and improved quality of life. Each program across different Caribbean countries presents unique advantages, making them highly attractive for those seeking dual citizenship.

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