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Caribbean Citizenship by Investment: The Hottest Trend for the Wealthy

22 August 2016

Caribbean Citizenship by Investment: The Hottest Trend for the Wealthy
The Caribbean is not just a destination for tourists anymore. Foreign investors from around the world are calling the Caribbean their home, and are welcomed to the islands through Caribbean citizenship allows individuals to become global citizens, and obtaining a second passport to the islands is currently a global trend.
 
Caribbean islands including St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Lucia all offer their own Citizenship by Investment Programs as a means to entice high net worth individuals to contribute to their developing economies. The latest Caribbean island to offer citizenship through investment is St. Lucia, who implemented their program in January 2016.

Citizenship by Investment Programs are a popular method for high net worth individuals to obtain second citizenships. Each country that offers citizenship in return for an investment to help boost its economy has its own Citizenship by Investment program, with its own application process and requirements. Most destinations offer the option to invest in government approved real estate, but the required size of investment differs from country to country. Individuals who acquire citizenship through such program are granted the same rights as other citizens of the country in question.

So why are more investors trending toward the Caribbean for their second citizenships? The Caribbean has an upper hand in many factors, some of which are discussed below.

Caribbean passports are the most affordable in the world
 
The biggest advantage to obtaining citizenship in the Caribbean is that the investment required is much smaller when compared to similar programs in other regions. Dominica, for instance, offers the world’s cheapest second citizenship for single applicants, with only a US$100,000 investment into the Economic Diversification Fund required.
 
The other Caribbean islands have higher investment requirements than Dominica, however, are still much lower when compared to immigration by investment programs in other countries. The only passive investment to residence in Canada is through the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) which requires an investment of CAD 800,000, a steep processing fee of CAD 15,000, in addition to proving a minimum net worth of CAD 1.6 million. And all that is only to obtain Canadian residence, not citizenship. In comparison, a US$250,000 investment in the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) for a single applicant, or US$450,000 for a candidate with up to seven dependents, is all that is required to obtain citizenship to Saint Kitts and Nevis.
 
The Caribbean offers faster processing times

Investors can obtain citizenship to the Caribbean in as little as 90 days from the date of submission of their application. In other words, a second passport and global travel freedom is attained in this short timeframe. Compared to other programs in the USA, Canada, and Europe, the process of gaining citizenship can be not only lengthy, but uncertain as well. For instance, the USA EB-5 program grants permanent residency to applicants who invest US$500,000 to US$1 million in a business and create 10 jobs for Americans within the first two years. There is a risk that the minimum number of jobs is not met, at which point permanent residence will not be attained. Furthermore, applicants can only apply for citizenship after several years of being permanent residents.
 
Caribbean passports offer travel freedom
 
All Caribbean nations offering a citizenship by investment program allow visa-free travel to over 110 countries worldwide. Further, since the Caribbean nations with citizenship by investment programs are Commonwealth nations, citizens are granted special privileges in the United Kingdom. Citizenship to any of these Caribbean nations also offers visa-free travel to the Schengen region, which includes many countries throughout Europe.
 
In addition, these Caribbean nations are members of the Caribbean Community (or CARICOM), which includes 15 countries in the Caribbean. Citizenship to any of these countries grants rights to travel and live freely in any of the other member countries.
 
Caribbean economy is flourishing
 
Aside from the booming tourism industry, organic agriculture and renewable energy are also fueling economic growth in the Caribbean. The Caribbean’s fertile soil and prime growing conditions are key to organic farming. The Caribbean will be able to alleviate the growing demand of food due to the continuously growing world population. The already established trade ties with both Europe and the Americas will allow for growth of food exports.
 
Costa Rica is the first country to completely run on renewable energy, with the island of Nevis following suit in a few years. Solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources are abundant and the Caribbean is becoming a good example to the rest of the world.
 
Transparency of Caribbean citizenship by investment programs

As a country is only as strong as its citizens, investors can rest assured that shady characters are not accepted. All of the Caribbean programs contract independent due diligence firms to carry out criminal and background checks on each applicant. The reports are then submitted to the citizenship by investment program for review. Only law-abiding individuals will be granted citizenship and dishonest candidates need not apply.

Closing remarks

All of the above are reasons why one should look to the Caribbean when choosing a destination for a second citizenship. These islands will offer you a piece of paradise, financial rewards, and travel freedom. Contact our firm to discuss the best Caribbean destination to meet your needs.

For more information on Citizenship by Investment Programs in the Caribbean, please click here.

To compare Citizenship by Investment Programs, please use our citizenship comparison table.

Fill out our Free Assessment to find out if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered.
 

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