The number of high net worth individuals in the Caribbean is on the rise due to the several Citizenship by Investment Programs available. Applicants are awarded Citizenship to the destination in question by investing funds in real estate or other financial instruments that will benefit the country’s economy. Currently, there are four Citizenship by Investment Programs in the Caribbean that continue to generate significant revenue for each country’s government.
The first ever Citizenship by Investment Program in the Caribbean was established by St Kitts & Nevis in 1984 in an attempt to reverse the economic downturn. The program had so much success transforming the island’s economy that other islands soon followed suit and launched their own Citizenship by Investment Programs. The three other destinations are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada.
There are many reasons why an investor may choose to invest in a second passport in the Caribbean. One reason is the travel freedom associated with such citizenship. Antigua and Barbuda, for instance, offers visa-free travel to over 130 countries. Another reason to choose the Caribbean is its cheaper investment requirement compared to similar programs offered in Europe.
Below is a description of each of the four Citizenship by Investment Programs in the Caribbean:
Dominica is the least expensive as far as Caribbean countries are concerned. To attain citizenship, foreigners must make an investment of at least US$100,000 into the Government Fund with this amount increasing with each additional dependent, or at least US$200,000 into approved real estate development. Investors are required to attend an interview in Dominica, however, there is no physical residence requirement in order to maintain citizenship. Dominica offers the cheapest second passport and Citizenship by Investment Program.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda allows foreign investors to gain citizenship by investing at least US$400,000 in property, by making a generous contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF) of US$200,000, or by making a US$1.5 million investment into an eligible business (as a sole investor). Potential investors may be interested to know that Antigua passports offers visa-free travel to 132 countries including Canada and all European countries in the Schengen area. In order to maintain citizenship, investors are required to be physically present in the country for only five days over a five-year period.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis is the Caribbean Island that has the longest running Citizenship by Investment Program. Foreign investors are given two options to attain citizenship: making a contribution starting at US$250,000 to the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), or investing a minimum of US$400,000 in an approved real estate project. There is no physical residency or visitation requirement in order to maintain citizenship.
Grenada offers citizenship in exchange for either an minimum investment of US$250,000 in an approved real estate project, or a non-refundable donation of US$200,000 to the National Transformation Fund. There are no physical residency requirements in order to maintain citizenship.
Each of the above programs has their own due diligence checks and requirements. High net worth individuals, predominantly from the Middle East, continue to invest millions of dollars into the Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs. Which will you choose?
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