April 9, 2024

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Caribbean Passport: How to Get and FAQ

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Caribbean Passport: How to Get and FAQ

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The Caribbean region, well-known for its stunning scenery and dynamic cultural scene, has emerged not just as a popular tourist spot but also as a destination for those seeking additional citizenship. With their beautiful beaches, mild climate, perfect sailing, and relaxed way of life, Caribbean nations are increasingly appealing to investors seeking a backup plan in an uncertain global environment. Among the few Caribbean nations offering citizenship by  investment, such as Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia, individuals can acquire citizenship and a passport by either making a charitable donation or investing in real estate, with entry costs starting at $100,000.

On March 20, 2024, the prime ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Kitts and Nevis signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the Citizenship by Investment Programs (CBI). This MOA stipulates that by June 30, 2024, the signatory parties will collectively raise and standardize the minimum investment threshold for CBI to $200,000. Additionally, a regional competent authority will be established or identified to ensure better  compliance with international requirements and best practices, as well as to regulate the programs.

The figures provided in this article for the CBI programs are all derived from the most recent official data available as of April 2024 and will be updated once new changes take place.

What are the 5 Caribbean Passports?

The CBI programs are very popular among foreigners who are looking for a second passport. These programs offer lots of perks, like being able to travel without visas, tax benefits, access to banking, real estate opportunities, and options to invest money. Here is a summary of the 5 best Caribbean passports by investment:

St Kitts and Nevis Passport

St. Kitts and Nevis CBI was created in 1984. This is the oldest and most prosperous CBI program globally. It is recognized for its speedy application process and appealing investment choices, requiring a minimum investment of $250,000 in the Sustainable Growth Fund or $400,000 in endorsed real estate. It grants visa-free entry to more than 150 nations, including the UK and the EU, including the Schengen area.

Saint Lucia Passport

The St. Lucia CBI was introduced in 2016. St. Lucia's citizenship program provides various investment avenues, including real estate, bonds, and contributions to the National Economic Fund. Offering visa-free access to over 140 countries, it's a highly attractive option for investors. To acquire a St. Lucia passport, investors must make a minimum non-refundable investment of $100,000 in the National Economic Fund, $200,000 in a pre-approved real estate project, or $300,000 in National Action Bonds.

Antigua and Barbuda Passport

Antigua and Barbuda CBI was initiated in 2013. This program provides diverse investment opportunities, including real estate, business ventures, and contributions to the National Development Fund. It offers visa-free entry to approximately 150 countries, including China, and features a simple application procedure. The minimum investment required is $100,000 in the National Development Fund or $200,000 in endorsed real estate.

Grenada Passport

Grenada CBI was introduced in 2013 and presents various investment avenues like real estate and contributions to the Government Fund. It allows visa-free travel to more than 140 countries, including China, and enables access to the United States' E-2 investor visa program. To acquire a Grenada passport, investors need to make a minimum non-refundable investment of $150,000 in the National Transformation Fund or invest $220,000 in a pre-approved real estate project.

Dominica Passport

Dominica CBI program, which has been operating since 1993, stands out for its cost-effective investment choices. With a minimum investment of $100,000 in the country's Economic Diversification Fund, it attracts many investors. The program offers multiple investment pathways, such as real estate and contributions to the Economic Diversification Fund, and grants visa-free access to over 140 countries, including China.

Caribbean Passport Comparison

The table below provides a concise comparison of the different Caribbean passport programs available today.

Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Comparison
Caribbean Citizenship
by Investment Country
Minimum
Investment Amount
Application Processing Time Requirement to Reside Passport Validity Family Inclusion Dual Citizenship
Grenada From $150,000 4 - 6 months None 5 years Spouse, children under 30 years old, parents, grandparents, siblings 18 years of age and older, not married Allowed
Saint Kitts and Nevis From $250,000 From 6 months None 10 years Spouse, children under 30 years old, parents 55 years and older, grandparents, siblings under 30 years old, unmarried Allowed
Dominica From $100,000 3 - 6 months None 10 years Spouse, children under 30 years old, parents 65 years and older, grandparents Allowed
Antigua and Barbuda From $100,000 3 - 6 months None 5 years Spouse, children under 30 years old, parents 55 years and older, grandparents, siblings, unmarried Allowed
Saint Lucia From $100,000 3 -4 months None 10 years Spouse, children under 30 years old, parents 55 years and older, grandparents, siblings under 18 years old, unmarried Allowed

What is a Caribbean Passport by Investment?

A Caribbean passport by investment program provides individuals with the opportunity to acquire citizenship in a Caribbean nation through a qualifying investment in the country's economy. This avenue provides an expedited route to citizenship compared to traditional naturalization processes. By making a qualifying investment, individuals gain access to citizenship privileges, including visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to numerous countries, potential tax advantages, and the cultural richness of the Caribbean region. These investments include options such as making a donation to a national development fund, investing in approved real estate projects, or contributing to government-approved business ventures.

Which Caribbean Islands Allow Dual citizenship?

Several Caribbean islands allow for dual citizenship, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Dual citizenship allows individuals to enjoy the benefits of being citizens of both their home country and their adopted Caribbean nation, inclusive of the right to live, work, and travel freely in both jurisdictions. 

Will I Lose my US Citizenship if I Get a Caribbean Passport?

No, you will not lose your US citizenship if you get a Caribbean passport. U.S. law generally does not require a U.S. citizen to choose between U.S. citizenship and another nationality. This principle is often referred to as dual citizenship, or dual nationality. 

The United States generally recognizes and permits its citizens to hold dual citizenship, meaning they can be citizens of both the United States and Caribbean countries simultaneously.

What is a Caribbean Community Passport?

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) passport is a travel document issued by the 15 member states of CARICOM for their citizens. It serves as both an identification and travel document, facilitating both intra-regional travel among CARICOM member states and international travel beyond the Caribbean region. CARICOM comprises the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

While originally intended to streamline travel within the CARICOM region, citizens of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which includes Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Guyana, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, may also use alternative forms of identification such as a member-state issued driver's license, national identification card, voter registration card, or social security card for travel within the OECS area. This passport promotes regional integration and ease of travel for Caribbean citizens, enhancing connectivity and cooperation among member states.

What are the Caribbean Passport Requirements?

Below are the typical prerequisites for acquiring a Caribbean passport via CBI programs:

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be of good character and possess no criminal record.
  • They must be in good health and be able to pass general medical exam.
  • Age restrictions may apply, usually requiring applicants to be at least 18 years old.

Investment Options

Applicants must choose one of the investment options approved by the respective country's government, which typically include:

  • Making a non-refundable donation to the country's National Development Fund (NDF).
  • Investing in government-approved real estate projects.
  • Putting funds into government bonds or other endorsed investment vehicles.

Financial Requirements

  • The minimum investment amount varies depending on the chosen investment option and the number of accompanying family members.
  • Additional fees, such as due diligence fees, processing fees, and passport fees, may also apply.

Documentation

Applicants must provide a set of documents, including:

  • Completed and signed application forms provided by the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU).
  • Clear, colored copies of the passport(s) of the main applicant and all family members included in the application.
  • Certified copies of birth certificates for all applicants.
  • If applicable, provide certified copies of marriage certificates or divorce decrees.
  • Police clearance certificates issued by the police authorities of the applicant's country of residence, or any other country where the applicant has resided for more than six months in the past ten years. This certificate should be recent, generally within the last six months.
  • A medical certificate attesting to the applicant's good health, typically including HIV test results.
  • Evidence of the source of investment funds, such as bank statements, investment portfolios, or business ownership documents.
  • Certified copies of educational certificates or qualifications held by the main applicant and dependent children, if applicable.
  • Documents proving the relationship between the main applicant and dependents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.
  • A declaration stating the lawful source of the funds used for the investment.
  • Depending on the chosen investment option (real estate, donation, or business investment), relevant documents such as sale and purchase agreements, donation agreements, business incorporation documents, etc., will be required.

All documents must be in English and be accurately filled out, certified, and submitted according to the requirements outlined by the Citizenship by Investment Unit. 

Due Diligence

All applicants undergo a thorough due diligence process to ensure they meet the requirements and do not pose any security risks to the country.

What are the Benefits of Caribbean Passports?

Some of the key benefits of obtaining a Caribbean passport through its CBI programs include:

Visa-Free Travel

Caribbean passports offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 140 countries worldwide, including the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, and China. This facilitates hassle-free international travel, eliminating the need for tedious visa applications and fees. Such convenience not only broadens travel horizons but also streamlines business operations for entrepreneurs and investors.

Favorable Tax Regime

Caribbean countries typically impose no taxes on foreign income, wealth, gifts, inheritances, or capital gains. This presents a significant advantage for individuals seeking to optimize their tax planning strategies. Moreover, Caribbean passports grant access to favorable business and investment opportunities, along with potential tax breaks.

Fully Remote and Fast Application Process

The application process for Caribbean passports is entirely remote and typically takes up to six months, all handled online. This expeditious and accessible procedure enhances convenience for applicants. The applicants will take an oath on the island or at the Embassy in their home country.  

Dual Citizenship

Caribbean passport applications do not necessitate renunciation of prior citizenship, allowing individuals to hold dual citizenship. This flexibility offers added security and mobility options for passport holders.

Return on Investment

Investors can leverage Caribbean citizenship by acquiring fractional shares in high-end hospitality properties, such as luxury hotels, resorts, or private villas. These investments can yield annual returns ranging from 2% to 4%, with a typical recovery period of three to seven years.

Regional Mobility

Caribbean passports often provide free movement privileges within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), comprising countries like Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, among others. This facilitates seamless travel and employment opportunities within the region.

Natural Beauty and Lifestyle

The Caribbean region is renowned for its stunning beaches, tropical climates, and breathtaking landscapes. Holding a Caribbean passport can grant individuals the opportunity to reside, work, or retire in picturesque settings, enjoying a relaxed and idyllic lifestyle.

Education and Healthcare Systems

Caribbean passport holders may access quality education and healthcare systems within their home countries. This is particularly advantageous for families seeking affordable education options or individuals in need of reliable healthcare services. Additionally, internationally renowned universities such as the University of the West Indies in Antigua and Barbuda and St. George's University in Grenada offer further educational opportunities.

Family Inclusion

The CBI programs enable applicants to include their family members in the application, encompassing spouses, dependent children, as well as dependent parents or grandparents. 

No Residency Requirement

Differing from certain other CBI programs, there is no obligation to reside in the country prior to, during, or subsequent to the citizenship application process. This affords investors greater flexibility, allowing them to uphold their current place of residence or business endeavors elsewhere without constraint.

Backup Plan

A Caribbean passport serves as an essential lifeline in times of instability, offering a secure haven and maintaining access to global markets, safeguarding your personal and financial interests against unforeseen global and local changes.

Freedom of Choice

This extends beyond travel to the right to establish a home, business ventures, and educational opportunities in diverse cultures and economies, enriching personal and professional life, and going where you will be treated best.

Independence from Political System

Diversifying your citizenship dilutes the risk associated with the political, economic, and legislative changes of a single nation, contributing to your overall stability and security.

Peace of Mind

Knowing you have a dependable alternative for residence or citizenship provides a sense of security and well-being, offering solace that you have prepared for yourself and your family against global challenges, ensuring a better and more stable future.

Caribbean Passport Visa-Free Countries

Visa-free access for Caribbean passport holders can vary depending on the specific country. Please see the table below (the information is based on the Passport Index 2024).

Caribbean Passports - Visa-Free Access Table
Europe North America South America Asia Africa
Grenada
(148 visa-free access countries)
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland E-2 Visa to the USA Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and more China, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, and more Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, and more
Dominica
(143 visa-free access destinations)
Same as above Tourist Visa (B1/B2) to the USA, Canada and Mexico Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and more China, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, and more Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, and more
St. Lucia
(148 visa-free access countries)
Same as above Tourist Visa (B1/B2) to the USA, Canada, and Mexico Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, and more Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, and more Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, and more
Antigua and Barbuda
(154 visa-free access countries)
Same as above Tourist Visa (B1/B2) to the USA, Canada, and Mexico Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, and more China, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, and more South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, and more
St. Kitts and Nevis
(156 visa-free access countries)
Same as above Tourist Visa (B1/B2) to the USA, Canada, and Mexico Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and more Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, and more Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, and more

How to Get a Caribbean Passport?

Acquiring citizenship in a Caribbean nation through CBI programs has become an increasingly popular option for individuals seeking to expand their global opportunities, enhance their travel freedom, and secure a brighter future for themselves and their families. The process is straightforward and includes the following steps:

Step 1. Research and Consultation

You should begin by thoroughly researching the citizenship by investment program of your chosen Caribbean country. It is advisable to consult with a professional advisor who specializes in citizenship by investment, such as Golden Harbors, to assess whether the program aligns with your objectives and family's needs.

Step 2. Choose Investment Option and Prepare Documentation

At this stage, you will select your preferred investment option, whether it's making a donation to the National Fund or investing in real estate. Gather all required documentation, including proof of funds and a completed application form, as per the program's guidelines.

Step 3. Submit Application

A licensed local agent will submit your application, along with the necessary documentation and fees, to the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) of the respective Caribbean country.

Step 4. Application Review and Due Diligence

The CBIU will review your application and conduct a thorough due diligence background check. This process typically takes between three and six months, depending on the complexity of your case and the efficiency of the due diligence procedures. 

Step 5. Investment Requirement

Upon approval of your application, you will be required to make the specified investment within the designated timeframe outlined by the program.

Step 6. Citizenship Acquisition 

Once you have fulfilled the investment requirement, you will take an oath and be granted citizenship of the Caribbean country. At this point, you can proceed to apply for your Caribbean passport, which typically accompanies the citizenship grant.

How Much Does a Caribbean Passport Cost?

Below is a summary table outlining the expenses and charges linked with obtaining Caribbean passports via citizenship by investment initiatives in Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis:

Caribbean Citizenship Price Comparison
Country Grenada Antigua and Barbuda Dominica St. Lucia St. Kitts and Nevis
Minimum investment amount $150,000 (single applicant)
$200,000 (a family of 3)
$100,000 (single applicant)
$125,000 (a family of 5)
$100,000 (single applicant)
$175,000 (a family of 4)
$100,000 (single applicant)
$150,000 (a family of 3)
$250,000 (single applicant)
$300,000 (a family of 3)
Application Fee $1,500 per person - - $2,000 (main applicant)
$1,000 (dependent)
-
Due Diligence Fee $5,000 (applicants aged 17 and over) $7,500 (main applicant)
$7,500 (spouse)
$2,000 (per dependent 12-17)
$4,000 (per dependent 18 and over)
$7,500 (main applicant)
$4,000 (spouse)
$4,000 (per dependent aged 16 and over)
$8,000 (main applicant)
$5,000 (dependent aged 16 and over)
$10,000 (main applicant)
$7,500 (dependent aged 16 and over)
Processing Fee $1,500 per person $30,000 for a family of up to 4 persons with incremental payments of $15,000 for each additional dependent $1,000 per person - -
Interview Fee $1,000 (applicants aged 17 and over) - $1,000 (applicants aged 16 and over) - -
Passport Fee - $300 per person $500 per person - $350 per person

*Fees may vary based on individual circumstances and are subject to change. Additionally, some fees might not be applicable depending on the specific citizenship by investment program chosen.

What is the Cheapest Caribbean Passport to Buy?

If you are the only applicant and looking for a low-cost citizenship option in the Caribbean, consider Dominica and St. Lucia citizenship by investment (CBI) programs. The floor price for real estate investments is $200,000, while the threshold for investments in the National Fund is $100,000. For families of 4 or more, Antigua and Barbuda CBI will be the most affordable option, with an entry point of $125,000.

What is the Easiest Caribbean Passport to Get?

Among the Caribbean countries with CBI programs, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, and Saint Lucia are often considered to have relatively straightforward processes. Each nation has its own specific requirements and criteria for granting citizenship. In general, these countries offer similar pathways to citizenship, typically involving investment in real estate, a government fund, or other approved investments.

They also tend to use the same third-party international firms to conduct due diligence checks on applicants to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and do not have a criminal background. Due diligence is an essential part of these programs to maintain the integrity of the citizenship process and safeguard the interests of the host countries. Rejection in one country's program may imply rejection in another or raise red flags during the application process.

What is the Strongest Caribbean Passport?

St. Kitts and Nevis has historically had one of the most established and widely recognized citizenship by investment programs, which has been in operation since 1984 and is well-known for its visa-free travel to over 155 countries.

The CBI Index report of 2022 ranked Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis jointly as the top CBI programs for that year. Following closely behind were St. Lucia, Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda, in that order. This ranking takes into account factors like passport strength, the simplicity of obtaining citizenship, visa-free travel privileges, due diligence procedures, and overall program effectiveness. 

Antigua and Barbuda

Residence Benefits

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Visa free travel to 151 countries

Including the E.U. and Schengen area, the U.K., Hong Kong, Singapore, and others. Easy procedure for obtaining long-term US and Canada tourist visas

00000002

Global mobility and freedom

We take care of the paperwork and help you prepare and submit your application - you receive your passport via DHL Express. No residency requirements to maintain citizenship status

00000003

Fast application processing

within 6 months

00000004

Global mobility and freedom

Zero personal tax. No tax on inheritance, capital gains, foreign income, dividends, interest, or royalties

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Dual citizenship is permitted

There is no need to renounce your previous citizenship when obtaining an Antigua and Barbuda passport

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Global mobility and freedom

From $125,000 donation amount for a family of five

Antigua and Barbuda

Citizenship

Processing Time and Terms

Enter your estimated application start date for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship and receive a clear timetable for the entire procedure

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1

Sign a service agreement, fill out application forms, and pay the initial service and due diligence fees.

14

We compile a document package and submit it for due diligence performed by Antigua and Barbuda CBI unit

90

Due diligence and background check conducted by the state

30

We submit your citizenship application once we receive the approval, and you make payment of the outstanding investment amount, government fees, stamp duty, and other fees.

14

We supervise the issuance of your passport by Antigua and Barbuda and send your Certificate of Citizenship and passport by DHL Express.

There are Always Options to EXPAND YOUR BOUNDARIES! Let's Discuss Yours

Every client is unique

Every case requires an individual approach and solution. Our years of experience in the industry allow us to provide both.

We will answer all your questions and provide detailed information about the available second passport and residency programs to help you make the right choice.

Victoria

Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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Victoria

Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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