Which Caribbean Country Offers the Best Citizenship by Investment Program?

Which Caribbean Country Offers the Best Citizenship by Investment Program

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Getting citizenship by investment in a Caribbean is straightforward process. A country offers you a passport and the accompanying rights and privileges in exchange for your investment in the country.

It’s a win-win for both you and them.  

In this guide, we’ll cover all the popular Caribbean countries in which you can apply for a citizenship through investment program, so that you can get a second citizenship, earn tax breaks, and much more. 

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Why Caribbean Countries?  

Caribbean countries have a lot of great citizenship through investment opportunities. The biggest two incentives to are that they’re inexpensive and fast.

Also, many of these countries are highly recommended for a second passport.  

Compared to other nations, Caribbean countries have the cheapest passport through investment programs that can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

Most other countries have a multiple-year waiting time. However, Caribbean countries that offer citizenship through investment programs all have wait times of less than six months.  

But there are many other reasons to choose a Caribbean country.

In general, they have a straightforward procedure when it comes to processing citizenship applications. They require little-to-no residency in the country and have few other conditions.

You just have to provide a criminal background record, be of sound mind and health, and have a high net worth or steady income stream.  

Lastly, people who choose to do a citizenship through investment program in Caribbean countries can travel visa-free or with a visa-upon-arrival to over a hundred different countries.

Having said all that, let’s look at some specific Caribbean countries and the citizenship by investment programs they offer.

Antigua and Barbuda 

Antigua and Barbuda is a nation of two large islands along with several small islets. Antigua is a more developed island and is a greater draw for tourists, who make up about 60 percent of its GDP.  

Antigua and Barbuda 

With over 350 beaches, this lush island paradise is an attraction for tourists from the United States, Canada, and much of Europe. Barbuda is full of beaches and flat lands that lay relatively low.  

An Antigua and Barbuda passport would let you travel visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival to 150 destinations around the world, including the United Kingdom, the European Schengen area, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Africa.

Antigua and Barbuda are part of the Commonwealth of Nations, allowing privileges in the U.K. and other member nations. Moreover, there are excellent airports with several destinations throughout Europe. 

Antigua and Barbuda is the cheapest investment option for families. A donation of at least US$100,000 to the National Development Fund (NDF) covers a family of four (you, your spouse, and two children). A large family of six members can all obtain citizenship for a donation of at least US$150,000 to the University of the West-Indies (UWI).  

This is the most cost-effective way for a family to obtain citizenship by investment.  

There are many different options for obtaining citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda. In addition to the donation option already mentioned, you can invest in real estate.  

Requirements include a minimum investment of US$200,000, and the property must be located in an approved development area and must be held for at least five years.  

Another option is to invest at least US$1.5 million in an approved company. That company has to be either a proposed company or an existing company approved by the Citizens by Investment Unit. Most of the qualifying companies are focused on real estate and tourism. 

In addition to the costs of the initial requirement — whether it’s a donation, real estate, or business investment — there are also government processing fees, passport application fees, certificate issuance fees, and professional and legal fees that need to be paid. 

The processing fees are US$30,000 for a single applicant or a family of up to four members. The processing fees are US$15,000 for each additional family member. The due diligence fee is US$7,500 for the initial applicant, an additional US$7,500 for a spouse, US$2,000 for each dependent age 12 to 17, and US$4,000 for each dependent age 18 and older.  

The only real downside to obtaining a passport by investment through Antigua and Barbuda is the residency requirement. All members of your family who apply for citizenship together are required to live together for at least five days every five years to maintain the conditions of their citizenship. 

Antigua and Barbuda is the cheapest option for citizenship by investment for families, investors in real estate, and those investing in business ventures.

With the large variety of places that can be visited with a passport from Antigua and Barbuda and the accessible flights to many locations, this island nation is a favorite with those looking for a passport by investment. 

Dominica 

Dominica is often confused with the Dominican Republic, another Caribbean nation. The Dominican Republic does not have a citizenship by investment program. Dominica, on the other hand, does.

Dominica

It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the Caribbean and has an ideal climate, especially during the cooler period between December and March.  

This island is about 750 square kilometers with a population of over 72,000. Three thousand of those people are the last surviving native Carib people in the Caribbean.

Moreover, there is very little crime in Dominica. Even though agriculture makes up the majority of their economy, tourism is a growing market on the island. 

A citizenship through investment program with Dominica allows visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 144 nations. Citizenship can even be passed on to children and grandchildren. Dominica has no restrictions on dual citizenship and it grants you the right to live, work, and study in Dominica. 

Dominica’s citizenship through investment program for real estate is the least expensive in the Caribbean and requires the property to be held for the shortest duration — they ask for an investment of at least US$200,000 in property that must be held for at least three years.

After those three years have elapsed, they even allow the investor to sell their investment to another passport by investment individual. This is a great deal for single applicants. 

The other option for citizenship by investment in Dominica is to make a donation to the government’s Economic Diversification Fund. The minimum requirement is US$100,000, but the qualification increases if you wish to include your family. The minimum requirement is US$150,000 for a couple and US$175,000 for a family of four. 

Regardless of which option you choose, the process can take as little as three months. About halfway through the process, you have to either donate your set amount or make your real estate investment. 

Citizens of Dominica can enjoy their gains on tax-free foreign income, even if you don’t reside on the island.  

Dominica has a lot of hidden fees in their citizenship by investment programs, though. For the real estate option, there are additional government fees of US$25,000 for you, US$35,000 for a couple or a family of four, US$50,000 for a family of five or six, and US$70,000 for a family of more than six.  

Regardless of the method of citizenship by investment you choose, you’ll be expected to pay due diligence fees, a processing fee, naturalization fees, and passport fees. For a family of four, these fees currently total over US$17,000.  

Grenada 

Grenada is another Caribbean island nation that offers a citizenship by investment program. It’s called spice island because they produce nutmeg and mace. Despite this misnomer, Grenada’s main economy is based on tourism, in part, because it’s a frequent cruise ship destination. 

Grenada

A passport from Grenada has the benefit of visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 144 countries, including the U.K., Europe’s Schengen area, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, and Sri Lanka.  

This is the only Caribbean passport by investment program that lets you apply for a non-immigrant visa with the U.S., allowing successful applicants and their families the right to enter, live, work and study in the country.  

Citizenship in Grenada is transferable to new spouses, future children, and grandchildren. 

There are two ways to qualify for a second passport by investment in Grenada — they are real estate investment and donation.  

You can invest at least US$350,000 into real estate. The advantage of this option is that there are no additional fees. It will cover your family regardless of its size. There is the option to split this cost with another investor, each taking on the burden of US$220,000 in real estate investments. 

For a US$150,000 donation to their National Transformation Fund (NTF), you can acquire citizenship through investment in Grenada. A family of four would need US$200,000 to acquire Grenadian citizenship through investment. 

Even though there are no taxes for wealth acquired from foreign investments, there are taxes for locally-produced revenue. Grenada employs a flat tax system.  

For revenue that’s locally produced, the first XCD$36,000 a year is tax-free, the next XCD$24,000 is taxed at 10 percent, and the remainder is taxed at 28 percent. Business gains on the island are subject to a 30 percent flat tax rate.  

Grenada has lighter fees for due diligence and processing than some of its Caribbean counterparts when applying for citizenship by investment. You must pay US$5,000 for due diligence and US$1,500 for processing. 

St. Kitts and Nevis 

St. Kitts and Nevis are part of the Lesser Antilles island chain that sits between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It’s known for beaches and mountains enshrouded in clouds. The former sugar plantations are now quaint inns or scenic ruins.

Saint Kitts and Nevis 

St. Kitts is the more developed of the two islands, while Nevis is less cultivated. Tourism, some light industry, and banking make up the economy of this small nation. St. Kitts and Nevis is known for being the smallest sovereign nation in both landmass and population. 

St. Kitts and Nevis is a great passport to have for travelers, as it allows for either visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 156 counties, including the U.K, the European Schengen area, Singapore, Russia, and Hong Kong. 

It offers the most countries that can be traveled to by a Caribbean passport of all of the citizenship by investment programs in that area.  

Citizenship in this country can be passed down to both children and grandchildren. St. Kitts and Nevis is a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, which garners certain privileges in the U.K. and other member countries.  

There are a number of flights available to Europe and North America from St. Kitts and Nevis as well. Dual citizenship is allowed in this dual-island nation. There is no minimum amount of time that you must stay in the country to obtain either a passport or citizenship.  

Moreover, you can include your siblings in the citizenship through investment program.  

St. Kitts and Nevis offers two options to obtain a passport by investment — donation and real estate. Donations can be made to the country’s Sustainable Growth Fund.  

The donation amount starts at US$150,000, an additional US$25,000 for a spouse, US$20,000 for each sibling, and US$10,000 for each additional dependent. 

The second option involves buying a piece of government-approved real estate. There is the option to invest at least US$400,000 in a property and hold it for at least five years or invest at least US$200,000 in a property and hold it for at least seven years.  

There are additional government fees for this program. For the real estate option, there are additional fees of US$35,050 for the initial applicant, US$20,050 for a spouse, and US$10,050 for other qualified dependents.  

There are also due diligence fees of US$7,500 for the main applicant and US$4,000 for all dependents over the age of 16. Passport fees are US$350 per person. There are also lawyer and agency fees that can vary based on the lawyer and/or agency. 

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Read our review on the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program for more info.  

St. Lucia 

St. Lucia is a scenic island destination in the Caribbean that’s known for its two volcanic mountain peaks, the Pitons. Recognized for its beaches and dramatic scenery, St. Lucia is often a destination for cruise ships and yachts.  

St. Lucia

It’s home to just over 180,000 people and is largely a tourism-based economy with 70 percent of its GDP being generated by the services sector. Their official language is English.  

A passport from St. Lucia lets you travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival to 146 nations. There is no residence or visitation requirement for a passport from Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia allows for dual citizenship for those pursue it.  

You are able to include a spouse, siblings under the age of 18, dependents under the age of 31, and parents 56 years and older in your citizenship application. 

St. Lucia boasts four different options when it comes to securing a passport through investment, which we’ll cover in the following paragraphs. 

A donation can be made to the National Economic Fund. The requested amounts for donation are US$100,000 for you, US$140,000 for you and your spouse, and US$150,000 for a spouse plus two qualifying dependents. 

An investment in real estate could be made. There aren’t many requirements other than investing a minimum of US$300,000 in real estate that must be held for at least five years. 

There’s an enterprise project option that requires approval for a business plan. This choice needs a hefty investment of at least US$3.5 million for a single applicant. For joint applications, every applicant must contribute at least US$1 million in investments.

Your choices for the enterprise project option are specialty restaurants, cruise ports and marinas, offshore universities, agro processing plants, research institutions and facilities, pharmaceutical products, roads and highways, ports, and/or bridges. 

St. Lucia is the only Caribbean country to offer a citizenship by investment option for investing in bonds. You must hold onto the bond for at least five years and the bond does not pay interest.

If you are a single applicant, the investment must be at least US$500,000. If you are married, you need to purchase at least US$535,000 in bonds. For a spouse and up to two qualifying dependents, you need to invest at least US$550,000 in bonds. 

As with other Caribbean citizenship by investment programs, you can expect to pay government processing fees, passport application fees, certificate issuance fees, and professional and legal fees. 

Side-by-Side Comparison 

Program Antigua and Barbuda Dominica Grenada St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia 
Investment for one person US$100,000 for family of four US$100,000 US$150,000 US$150,000 US$100,000 
Investment for a family US$150,000 for a family of six members US$150,000 with spouse US$175,000 for a family of four US$25,000 for additional dependents US$50,000 for siblings 18 to 25  US$200,000  for a family of four US$25,000 for additional dependents US$25,000 added for a spouse US$20,000 for each sibling US$10,000 for each additional dependent US$165,000 with spouse US$190,000 for a family of four US$15,000 for additional dependents 
Processing time 3 to 4 months 3 months 4 months 3 months 3 months 
Business optionyes no no no yes 
Business option requirements US1.5 million in approved ventures n/a n/a n/a US3.5 million in approved ventures 
Real estate option yes yes yes yes yes 
Real estate requirements  US$200,000 in pre-approved real estate for five years US$200,000 in approved real estate for five years US$350,000 in approved real estate for five years US$400,000 in approved real estate for five years US$200,000 hotels for seven years US$300,000 in approved real estate for five years 
Residency requirement 5 days in five years0 days 0 days 0 days 0 days 
Countries can travel to 150 144 144 156 146 

Now, on to You

The Caribbean is a beautiful place with several fantastic options for citizenship by investment. However, it’s really important to take the time and decide which option works best for you.  

If you’re looking for an inexpensive family, real estate, or business option, then Antigua and Barbuda is a good fit for you.

Dominica is the choice with the shortest period required to hold real estate. Grenada has ties to the U.S. and the lowest fees.  

St. Kitts and Nevis has the most countries that can be traveled to, either visa-free or visa on arrival. St. Lucia has the most options for obtaining citizenship by investment.  

There are so many reasons to get citizenship by investment in a Caribbean country. With tax breaks, a large number of accessible countries, a scenic locale, a number of different options, a quick turnaround time, investment requirements that are some of the lowest in the world, and little-to-no residency requirements, it’s tough to find a reason not to get a citizenship by investment in a Caribbean country.  

If you need help applying for or choosing the right country for the citizenship by investment program, you can contact an agent using this form.  

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