Globalisation and uncertainties have created a new financial industry known as “Citizenship By Investment”, shortly “CBI”. Another term frequently used is “CIP” which stands for “Citizenship-by-Investment Programs”
If you haven’t heard about “CBI” perhaps it is about time. The demand for second passports for investments in tax free countries have grown exponentially over the years, hitting $5 billion each year.
It is one of a kind industry, born in St Kitts in 1984 where the first CBI law were enacted. It was not popular for another 26 years, only in 2010 the CBI gained popularity reaching mainstream momentum.
What drives such a demand for citizenships?
Uncertainties, chaos, protests, visa restrictions, covid lockdowns have fueled global demand for HNWI seeking citizenships offshore. These programs are also extremely popular with nomads and cryptocurrency investors.
CBI schemes have also become much cheaper over the years. For example in 2017, Turkey cut the minimum real estate investment by 50% (to $250,000) and Caribbean countries (eg. St Kitts and Nevis) slashing to $150,000 (from $250,000) making it easier foreign investors to easily acquire foreign citizenships abroad.
CBI works simple. All you need to do is pay one lump sum donation to a state or buy a real estate in exchange for permanent citizenship for life (incl all family members). Fast track citizenship certificate and passport are granted after background checks, in a matter of 2 months with no personal visit to these islands.
In 2020, Covid has hit many hard. With no tourism, no revenues, no exports, many caribbean countries look at “CBI” as a cash cow.
Turning crisis into opportunity, Covid hit countries in the Caribbean (West Indies), now offer limited time discounts to prospective citizenship investors.
Lets take a look at few of these exciting programs, with discounts available.
1. Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is one of the exciting CIP schemes in the Caribbean. It is a stunning beautiful country with beaches for a stress free living.
You can get Saint Lucia citizenship in a matter of 90 days costing $109,500 for one person (Donation + DD fees). Additional lawyer fee apply.
The Government has slashed costs for couples and families applying for National economic fund donation.
There is also a super interesting risk free Covid-19 bond which requires you to invest $250,000 fully returned to you after 5 years (guaranteed by government). Using this option you will pay cumulatively less than $50,000 as citizenship costs. The Government will continue issuing Covid-19 relief bonds until Dec 31, 2020. It will be your last minute opportunity.
You can also invest in real estate which requires $300,000 invested in Canelles resort or Alpina hotel. Both developments approved by CIP Saint Lucia for the purpose of CBI.
2. St Kitts and Nevis
St Kitts and Nevis, in short “SKN” is one of the smallest countries in the world with just a population of 55,000. It is also one of the top 10 richest countries in the caribbean. Being the birthplace of CBI, the country offers a powerful caribbean passport with visa free travel to over 150+ countries.
You can get SKN citizenship by investment by making one off donation to Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). You are looking at $157,000 (for one person) plus lawyer fee.
In 2020, the Team Unity Government announced limited Covid discount of USD 150,000 (family of 4), instead of USD 195,000. This is a $45K savings for families.
The Commonwealth of Dominica remains the most popular CIP in the world. After taking catastrophic damage by Hurricane maria, the has made significant progress from the proceeds of CBI revenues. Please do not confuse Dominica (DM) with Dominican Republic (DR)
You can become Dominican citizen by making one of donation US$ 109,950 (Donation plus DD fee) for single person. Additional lawyer/agent fee applies
In 2020, Dominica made a number of changes to CBI Regulations slashing costs for families and expanding the scope of inclusion of more family dependants post citizenship of main applicant. Now a family of 4 can donate USD 175,000 to EDF fund
4. Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua is also one of the most enticing caribbean islands with white beaches, blue waters overlooking the caribbean sea.
So far, Antigua remains the cheapest CBI program for families. This is because a family of four can acquire AB citizenship by donating USD 100,000 to Govt fund plus pay DD fee and $35,000 Govt processing fee. There are also additional lawyer charges.
Antigua has one of the valuable passports in the caribbean with visa free travel to over 140+ countries.