Investment Migration: the Right Path to a Secure Future
Choosing the best Investment Citizenship program is a multifaceted decision influenced by numerous factors, including affordability, visa-free travel, US E-2 treaty eligibility, taxation, reputation, processing speed, and investment options.
“In over 30 years of advising on investment migration all over the world, at HLG we have learned that every individual’s needs are different,” says Jean-François Harvey, Founder and Managing Partner of Harvey Law Group (HLG). “We find it essential to do comprehensive research on your requirements and available choices to ensure that you can make an informed decision and unlock the full potential for the future of you and your family.”
Investment Citizenship Key Points
- Affordability: Dominica and St. Lucia offer the lowest minimum contributions. Antigua & Barbuda is good for families.
- Real Estate Investment: Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica offer the best options. Grenada is also a good choice.
- Other Investment Options: St. Lucia offers government bond investment. Antigua & Barbuda and St. Lucia have business enterprise options. St. Kitts & Nevis has a public benefit enterprise option.
- Inclusiveness: All programs allow spouses and children under 18. Antigua & Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Grenada allow children up to age 30. Grenada also permits parents and grandparents, and siblings of any age.
- Visa-Free Travel: All programs offer visa-free travel to over 140 countries. St. Kitts & Nevis is the best for global mobility. Grenada has USA E-2 treaty eligibility.
Which are the top citizenship-by-investment programs to consider in each area?
1. The Best Citizenship Programs for Affordability – Donation Investment Options
For a single applicant, 2 programs stand out: Dominica and St. Lucia. Both are donation programs with a minimum contribution of only USD 100,000, the lowest requirement of any program worldwide. Note that associated fees may vary.
Antigua & Barbuda has the same low basic donation requirement of at least USD 100,000 for a single applicant, applicant and spouse, or a family of 4. Therefore, it is the preferred option for many who want to apply for 2 to 4 people. The other programs all increase the donation requirement for 2 or more people.
Finally, for 5 or more people, it is also recommended for apply for the Antigua & Barbuda program as the minimum donation investment option rises to only USD 125,000 for 5 or more eligible people on 1 application.
2. The Best Citizenship Programs for Affordability – Real Estate Investment Options
Antigua & Barbuda, as well as Dominica, each has a minimum investment level in approved real estate projects of USD 200,000 to qualify for citizenship. At this price, they become the best real estate investment option. That is followed by Grenada with a USD 220,000 minimum for a share-based investment in a government-authorised project.
However, Dominica requires only a 3-year real estate investment whereas the others are 5 years. Please note that conveyancing and other fees entailed in real estate purchases can be significant. Discuss them with your advisors or an authorised immigration lawyer to get precise information about your situation.
All the real estate investment programs are genuine investment options, offering a reasonable chance to recover your investment, typically with interest. This differs from donation options where the money is unrecoverable.
3. The Best Citizenship Programs for Other Investment Options
Although St. Lucia is another country that offers a real estate investment route it has only a single approved real-estate project available. St. Lucia does however also give eligibility for a minimum investment in government bonds of USD 300,000, recoverable after 5 years, with no interest. There are also additional administrative fees that are not recoverable.
Additionally, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Lucia have business enterprise investment options. However, the funds required are comparably higher and may not be suitable for many. St. Kitts & Nevis has also recently introduced an investment option of at least USD 250,000 in an approved public benefit enterprise to qualify for eligibility.
4. The Best Citizenship Programs for Inclusiveness
All Caribbean Investment Citizenship programs allow the inclusion of a spouse and children under 18. Antigua & Barbuda notably allows the addition of a new spouse and their children at a later date. Antigua & Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Grenada allow all children up to age 30 with no other conditions. Other citizenship programs may restrict children by age, dependency status, and marital situation.
All programs allow the inclusion of parents, but most restrict eligibility to those over 55 or even 65 years of age. Grenada alone permits parents and grandparents, of both applicant and spouse, regardless of age.
Antigua and Barbuda extend eligibility to siblings of any age for the applicant and the spouse. All other programs may either prohibit or restrict siblings.
5. The Best Citizenship Programs for Visa-Free Travel
All of the Caribbean programs come with strong passports offering visa-free travel or visa-on-arrival access to over 140 countries. St. Kitts & Nevis is marginally the best for global mobility, granting entry currently to around 150 countries, including the Schengen Area and the United Kingdom.
Grenada, with just under 150 countries visa-free or visa-on-arrival, deserves a special mention as it alone has USA E-2 treaty eligibility. This allows successful applicants of the Grenada citizenship program to then invest and live in the United States.
6. The Best Citizenship Programs for Taxation Situations
Every one of these Caribbean countries provides an attractive tax regime. Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis levy no personal income tax, no capital gains tax, no inheritance, and no gift taxes. These attractive tax incentives are highly advantageous for individuals and businesses seeking tax efficiency. Again, this is a complex topic and you will need expert advice.
7. Programs with the Best Reputation
This is a more subjective category but in general, Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis have excellent reputations for transparency and reliability.
8. The Best Citizenship Programs for Quick Processing
This is another area that can vary. Typically, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica and St Lucia offer the fastest processing times of 2 to 4 months, depending on the complexity of the application. In addition, applicants should also allow at least 1 month for preparation of an application and 2 to 3 months from approval of an application to the granting of citizenship.
9. Advice on the Top Investment Citizenship Programs
Harvey Law Group (HLG) has been advising clients on Investment immigration and business law since the early 1990s and has offices in a number of countries, including the United States.