Investment options in the Caribbean

A Comparative Guide to CBI Programs

Choosing the right Caribbean Citizenship

The Caribbean has a vast assortment of different jurisdictions. Several of these operate Citizenship by Investment (CBI program) programs which allow successful applicants to obtain citizenship in return for making a qualifying investment plus payment of various Government, legal and third-party fees.
This article compares the various CBI programs explaining the key elements that could influence an applicant’s decision when selecting one of these programs.

A Comparison of Citizenship by Investment options in the Caribbean Investment requirements caribbean passport

The programs explored in this article are as follows:

  • Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment
  • Dominica Citizenship by Investment 
  • Grenada Citizenship by Investment
  • St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment
  • St Lucia Citizenship by Investment

Benefits common to all Caribbean CBI programs

Caribbean Citizenship provides the applicant and qualifying family members with visa free travel to over 140 countries and territories and allows them to live, work and settle in any other CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) member states.

All of the states, benefit from wonderful weather and beautiful scenery and a low cost of living coupled with a low crime rate. All jurisdictions allow multiple citizenships to be held and are extremely tax friendly and do not have any tax on overseas income, wealth tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax.

All Jurisdictions allow for applicants from most countries (with a few exceptions) and also allows for parents and dependent children (subject to age and other limits) to be included in the application.

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    The Antigua & Barbuda CBI program investment options

    Investment requirements

    Applicants can make a government donation of USD 100,000 for up to 4 family members or USD 125,000 for 5 family members. Where there are 6 applicants or more there is a further option of USD 150,000 for 6 applicants. Alternatively, the applicant can invest in approved real-estate with a minimum investment of USD 200,000. Both the donation and real estate routes require payment of USD 30,000 Government fees (for up to 4 applicants).

    Key Features

    Antigua and Barbuda is the most cost effective program for a family of two or more applicants via both the Donation and real-estate routes. Furthermore, the program allows for applications with prior minor criminal convictions to still apply. A key item to note is that after being granted citizenship, the new citizens must visit Antigua & Barbuda for at least 5 days within the first 5 years to be able to renew their passports.

    Restricted applicants

    The Antigua and Barbuda CBI program does exclude or restrict applicants from Russia, Belarus, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. 

    Dependents 

    This is the most flexible program when it comes to including extended family members such as siblings, married children, grandchildren and grandparents. 

    Passing on Citizenship to future generations

    Children born within 5 years of an applicant obtaining citizenship can be registered as a citizen subject to payment of prescribed fees. 

    Sponsorship

    The Antigua & Barbuda CBI program allows for applicants to be sponsored by a 3rd party without any additional costs. 

    The Dominica CBI program investment options

    Investment requirements

    Applicants can make a government donation of USD 100,000 for an individual, USD 150,000 for an applicant and spouse, or USD 175,000 for a family of four. Alternatively, the applicant can invest in approved real-estate with a minimum investment of USD 200,000 plus payment of USD 35,000 Government fees (for a family of 4).

    Key Features

    The Secret Bay real-estate option has an excellent track record of providing excellent returns to investors and is one of the top ranked resorts in the Caribbean.  Dominica is also generally the fastest program to obtain approval for an application. It should be noted that unlike the other Caribbean CBI programs Dominica does not currently have visa free access to the UK.

    Restricted applicants

    The Dominica CBI program does exclude or restrict applicants from Russia, Belarus, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Somalia, and Yemen, but does allow for applicants from Iran and Sudan (subject to extended Due Diligence fees).

    Dependents 

    Adult children must be under 30 and studying and fully supported by the main applicant or spouse, and parents/grandparents must be over 65. Dominica does not allow siblings to be included in an application. 

    Passing on Citizenship to future generations

    Children born within 5 years of an applicant obtaining citizenship can be registered as a citizen subject to payment of prescribed fees. 

    Sponsorship

    The Dominica CBI program allows for applicants to be sponsored by a 3rd party (subject to additional fees). 

    The Grenada CBI program investment options

    Investment requirements

    Applicants can make a government donation of USD 150,000 for an individual or USD 200,000 for a family of four. Alternatively, the applicant can invest in approved real-estate with a minimum investment of USD 220,000 plus payment of USD 50,000 Government fees.

    Key Features

    Grenada citizens can apply for the USA E-2 Visa (subject to 3 years residence in Grenada) if they desired. The Grenada passport also grants Visa Free access to China. One significant advantage of the Grenada CBI program is that only electronic copies of documents are required for the application avoiding the need to send documents via international courier services. 

    Applicants should be aware that the Grenada program is typically more complex and lengthier in obtaining approval compared to other programs. This is due to the requirement to obtain bank approval prior to submission of an application and because the Grenada citizenship unit will only accept complete applications with all required documents available at the time of application

    Restricted applicants

    The Grenada CBI program excludes citizens of Russia, Belarus, Iran and North Korea from applying. 

    Dependents 

    Grenada is the only program that allows parents and grandparents of any age (additional fees apply to parents under 55 years of age). Grenada also allows siblings of the main applicant or spouse that are over 18 years old. 

    Passing on Citizenship to future generations

    A child may be registered as a Grenada citizen under the CBI Laws if born within one year of the parents submission of application subject to payment of any fees that would have applied if the child had been born at the time of application. As long as the parents have obtained Grenada citizenship and not renounced it, subsequent generations are also entitled to be registered as citizens of Grenada under their citizenship laws.

    Sponsorship

    The Grenada CBI program allows for applicants to be sponsored by a 3rd party (subject to additional fees). 

    The St Kitts & Nevis CBI program investment options

    Investment requirements

    Applicants can make a government donation of USD 250,000 for an individual, USD 300,000 for an applicant and spouse or USD 350,000 for a family of four. Alternatively, the applicant can invest in approved real-estate with a minimum investment of USD 200,000 plus payment of USD 35,000 Government fees (for a family of 4).

    Key Features

    St Kitts & Nevis is the only program that allows for private homes to be purchased and offer an alternative donation option in the form of the Public Benefit Option for a flat donation sum of USD 250,000 regardless of the number of family members making the PBO option more cost effective for multiple applicants than the donation option. Real estate must be held for at least 7 years and cannot generally be resold to new CBI applicants.

    Restricted applicants

    The St Kitts & Nevis CBI program does not allow applicants from Afghanistan, Belarus, Chechnya, Iran, North Korea and Russia.

    Dependents 

    Adult children must be under 25 and studying and fully supported by the main applicant or spouse, and parents/grandparents must be over 65. St Kitts & Nevis does not allow siblings to be included in an application. 

    Passing on Citizenship to future generations

    Children born after an applicant obtains citizenship can be registered as a citizen subject to payment of prescribed fees. 

    Sponsorship

    The St Kitts & Nevis CBI program DOES NOT allows for applicants to be sponsored by a 3rd party. 

    The St Lucia CBI program investment options

    Investment requirements

    Applicants can make a government donation of USD 100,000 for an individual, USD 140,000 for an applicant and spouse or USD 150,000 for a family of four. Although real-estate is listed as an option this is not generally recommended due to the limited projects available. However, St Lucia does offer a government bonds option at USD 300,000 which is very suitable for applicants wishing to ensure the can recover their capital outlay.

    Key Benefits

    Together with Dominica St Lucia offers the lowest cost donation option for an individual and is the only Caribbean CBI program to provide a bond option (must be held for 5 years).

    Restricted applicants

    The St Lucia CBI does not allow applicants from Belarus, Chechnya, Iran, North Korea and Russia. 

    Dependents 

    Adult children must be under 30 and supported by the main applicant or spouse, siblings under the age of 18 and parents/grandparents must be over 55. 

    Passing on Citizenship to future generations

    Newborn children, spouse and other dependents may be added within 3 years of an applicant obtaining citizenship subject to payment of prescribed fees. 

    Sponsorship

    The St Lucia CBI program allows for applicants to be sponsored by a 3rd party (subject to additional fees). 

    SUMMARY

    The Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs provide a great opportunity for applicants to obtain an alternate citizenship to provide greater freedom of movement, increased business opportunities or a backup plan in case there is a need for urgent relocation to a different jurisdiction.  The following table provides an overview of the key features of each program.

    If any of these programs appear like they could be appropriate, please get in contact with Harvey Law Group via email at [email protected] and we can review any queries you have and proceed to assist you from there.

    Request more information about the investment options in the Caribbean

    If you have questions or would like a FREE consultation,

    please contact HLG Miami office at [email protected]
    or call
    +1 352-331-7554.

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