Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Comparison

A Caribbean citizenship by investment comparison reveals both the similarities and differences between the programs. Primarily, the pros and cons may seem identical at first glance, however there are some huge divergences in the types of dependents permitted on the application, program pricing and constitutional protections.

Generally speaking, the primary advantages of the Caribbean citizenship by investment programs is the absence of conventional requirements such as marriage, residency, family descent and language requirements.

This allows investors to benefit from lower expenses and save lots of time with a much more efficient Caribbean program. Additionally, all of the Caribbean programs allow visa free access to the EU and Schengen area.

Common Advantages Regulations
Language Fluency
Not Required
Family Descent Not Required
Personal Interview Not Required
Place of Birth Not Required
Dual Citizenship Permitted
Marriage
Not Required
Approval Time 3-4 Months
Tax on Global Income
None
Conscription
No
Visa Free EU Access
Yes

Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Cost Analysis

For investors, quality and cost of the programs are usually the most important factors. Indeed, a proper Caribbean citizenship by investment comparison essentially requires investors to identity the selling point variations between the programs.

As a result, a general price comparison is very prudent starting point. However, investors must be certain the program they choose aligns with their personal situation.

For example: if US immigration is the ultimate objective, your focus should be on the Grenada citizenship by investment program because of US E-2 visa eligibility. However, if renunciation of your current citizenship and global access are the primary objectives, then your options are not so limited. 

There are two primary methods to acquire a Caribbean passport. The first is a non-refundable donation to the island’s economic development fund.

Non-Refundable Donation Cost Comparison
(Family of Four – Main Applicant + Spouse, 2 child dependents <16 years)

Program Cost
Grenada NTF US$226,080
Dominica EDF US$198,300
St Kitts and Nevis SGF US$172,500*
St Lucia NEF US$182,500
Antigua and Barbuda NDF US$161,200

*limited time offer expires December 31, 2020 normal price US$222,500

Furthermore, investors can choose to invest in government approved real estate. If so, they can recoup their investment capital at the end of the holding period by selling the property to a new citizenship investor who can use it to qualify for the citizenship program.

Real Estate Program Cost Comparison
(Family of Four – Main Applicant + Spouse, 2 child dependents <16 years)

Program Cost
Grenada US$296,080
Dominica US$278,300
St Kitts and Nevis US$307,500
St Lucia US372,500
Antigua and Barbuda US$265,000

Beyond Price Analysis – Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware!

Indeed, the cheapest citizenship by investment option is not always the best choice. In order to make the right decision, investors must include more than only price analysis. Therefore, before leaping at the low cost option, there are a few pitfalls investors must consider.

  1. Constitutional Protections – the St Lucia citizenship by investment program provides highly uncertain constitutional protection. The Prime Minister has the power to revoke citizenship by executive fiat for matters of “opinion”. See clause 38(1)(c) of the St Lucia citizenship by Investment Act. Indeed, the Prime Minister of St Lucia already found it necessary to revoke citizenship granted by the program on multiple occasions. In comparison, the other Caribbean programs provide investors with a much more solid constitutional support.
  2. Limited Real Estate Market – St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda have extremely limited or non-existent (St Lucia) CBI real estate markets. If you purchased local property to qualify, it may be very difficult to sell it after the holding period for a fair price, or any price at all.
  3. Residency Requirement – In order to retain citizenship, successful applicants of the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program must visit the island for a minimum of five days within five years after receiving citizenship. For the indefinite future, traveling to Antigua and Barbuda will be expensive or even impossible in the age of COVID-19. This residency requirement is still in effect and should be appropriately considered before committing to the program.

Inclusion of Dependents in Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Comparison

Applications for Caribbean citizenship by investment can include, single investors, married couples and also larger extended families. Indeed, family applications have been extended to include more than just the nuclear family.

As a result, the list of potential dependents includes adult children, parents, grandparents and unmarried/childless siblings of the main applicant or spouse (additional fees may apply).  

Siblings Limitations
St Kitts and Nevis Not Allowed
Grenada Allowed (age >18 years )
Dominica Allowed (age <26 years)
St Lucia Allowed (age <18 years)
Antigua and Barbuda Not Allowed
Parents and Grandparents Limitations
St Kitts and Nevis Allowed (age 55 and above)
Grenada Allowed
Dominica Allowed
Antigua and Barbuda Allowed (age 58 and above)
St Lucia Allowed (age 55 and above)

Furthermore, all programs are by nature hereditary and the addition of newborn children is expected. However, the price can fluctuate significantly from as low as US$500 in Dominica to as much as US$25,000 in Grenada. Additionally, certain programs allow the retroactive addition of qualified dependents and also new spouses or adopted children. 

Nuclear Family of Four - Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Comparison for families