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Rising Costs: Five Caribbean Citizenship Programs Align Investment Minimums

3 min read

Rising Costs: Five Caribbean Citizenship Programs Align Investment Minimums

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs are initiatives some countries offer that allow individuals to obtain citizenship through economic contributions. These contributions can take various forms, including investments in real estate, government bonds, or donations to national development funds. 

CBI programs attract high-net-worth individuals seeking greater global mobility, tax optimization, and the ability to reside in a more favourable political or economic environment. In exchange for their investment, successful applicants and their families receive full citizenship rights, often including visa-free travel to many countries.

The Caribbean region, known for its stunning beaches, vibrant cultures, and favourable climates, also offers CBI programs. Five Caribbean countries—Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, and St. Lucia—have established CBI programs that attract global investors. These programs are particularly appealing due to their straightforward application processes and the added benefit of visa-free travel to numerous countries.

However, recent regulatory changes have been implemented that affect these programs. As of June 30th, 2024, all five Caribbean countries offering CBI programs have agreed to harmonize their regulations, resulting in higher investment thresholds and increased oversight. This article will explore these changes in detail and what they mean for potential investors.

 

The goal of the agreement to align CBI programs is to standardize investment amounts, improve regulatory oversight, and strengthen the integrity of the programs

The goal of the agreement to align CBI programs is to standardize investment amounts, improve regulatory oversight, and strengthen the integrity of the programs

RECENT CHANGES TO CARIBBEAN CBI PROGRAMS

Starting June 30th, 2024, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, and St. Lucia have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to align their CBI programs. Antigua & Barbuda is also making changes but has requested a 30-day extension for implementation. The primary goals of this agreement are to standardize investment amounts, improve regulatory oversight, and enhance the integrity of the programs. We know that the minimum investment requirement for an individual is $200,000 USD, but find out now what the minimum real estate investment and donation amounts are for the five countries:

 

Country

Minimum Real Estate Investment

Minimum Donation

Dominica

$200,000 USD

$200,000 USD

Antigua & Barbuda

$325,000 USD*

$230,000 USD*

Grenada

$270,000 USD

$235,000 USD

Saint Lucia

$300,000 USD

$240,000 USD

Saint Kitts & Nevis

$400,000 USD

$250,000 USD

 

Note that Saint Kitts & Nevis updated their prices last year, and Antigua & Barbuda's* new pricing can be approved until August 1st, pending parliamentary approval. However, the overall cost will differ when considering government and processing fees.

 

Country

Real Estate Investment - Family Of Four

Donation - Family Of Four 

Dominica

$300,000 USD*

$250,000 USD

Antigua & Barbuda

Unknown****

$230,000 USD

Grenada

$320,000 USD*

$235,000 USD

Saint Lucia

$300,000 USD**

$240,000 USD

Saint Kitts & Nevis

$460,000 USD***

$250,000 USD

 

*The price includes the government fees

**The price does not include administration fees because the fees are not available

***The price of real estate investment for St. Kitts & Nevis does not specify if it is for a single applicant or for a family of four, but it already includes the minimum post-approval fees.

****The price of real estate investment in Antigua & Barbuda is not specified for a family of four in official sources

 

The highlight is Dominica, where, among the Caribbean CBI programs, the fees for a family of four are lower than those for a single applicant

The highlight is Dominica, where, among the Caribbean CBI programs, the fees for a family of four are lower than those for a single applicant. This is a point to consider if you have two children

COUNTRY-SPECIFIC CHANGES

 

DOMINICA

Dominica published new Citizenship by Investment Program (CBI) regulations on June 28th, 2024, which took effect on July 1st. These updated regulations include increased thresholds for the donation option and revised fees for real estate investments:

  • Contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF):

      • Single applicant: $200,000 USD

      • Main applicant with up to three dependents: $250,000 USD

      • Additional dependent under 18: $25,000 USD

      • Additional dependent over 18: $40,000 USD

  • Real Estate Investment Government Fees:

    • Main applicant: $75,000 USD

    • Main applicant and up to three dependents: $100,000 USD

    • Additional dependent under 18: $25,000 USD

    • Additional dependent over 18: $40,000 USD

Dominica stands out among Caribbean CBI because the fees for a family of four are lower than those for a single applicant. Other fees related to due diligence, processing, and certification of naturalization remain unchanged.

 

ST. KITTS & NEVIS, GRENADA, AND ST. LUCIA

St. Kitts & Nevis has already implemented similar changes. Grenada and St. Lucia will enforce their new regulations starting July 1st, 2024. Key adjustments include aligning their investment thresholds with Dominica's and standardizing additional fees for dependents.

 

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

Antigua & Barbuda has asked for a 30-day extension to implement their new regulations. However, they will follow the same guidelines as the other four countries, including a minimum investment of $200,000 USD and stricter regulatory measures.

 

My advice remains the same: if you are looking for a CBI in the Caribbean or anywhere else, avoid surprises and take action immediately

My advice remains the same: if you are looking for a CBI in the Caribbean or anywhere else, avoid surprises and take action immediately

CONCLUSION

For expats dreaming of Caribbean citizenship, the clock won't turn back. Caribbean nations have united to standardize their citizenship-by-investment programs, setting a fixed minimum investment price. My advice has been and remains to be to act quickly to act quickly if you are seeking a CBI in the Caribbean or anywhere else because prices will only continue to rise. This is why it’s crucial not to dilly-dally around when it comes to crafting your Plan-B; the time to act is always now. 

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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