Citizenship by Investment Programs (CIPs) in the Caribbean islands provides a host of benefits other than enabling you to indulge in a luxurious getaway or obtain a home away from home.
- For anyone who is highly mobile for business, a second passport makes traveling so much easier.
- Investing in businesses overseas also provides individuals with additional sources of income. By investing in another country, a part of your wealth can be protected, securing a portion of your assets in the event of a crisis in your home country.
- Plus, there is the allure of paying lower tax should you decide to become a permanent resident. Compared to countries such as the US, the UK, Canada and Australia, the taxes for residents in the Caribbean islands are significantly lower. As such, some applicants apply for a second passport as part of their tax strategy.
How Can You Begin Enjoying the Program’s Benefits?
Individuals who are interested in getting a second passport by investing in the Caribbean islands have several options. They can make a donation to the government’s fund, or invest in an approved business or an approved Caribbean property. A more recent option is investing in Antigua’s campus for the University of the West Indies.
There are several countries in the Caribbean that offer the Citizenship by Investment Program. Out of the list, Antigua and Barbuda offers some of the most unique benefits.
Antigua and Barbuda’s CIP offers the best value for money. A minimum investment of $100,000 to Antigua’s National Development Fund, plus fees, covers applications for a family of four. Compared to other CIPs that require donations of $150,000 and more, Antigua’s CIP may provide the best bang for your buck.
CIP applications include more than making an investment to the chosen option. As with any program, there are additional fees that need to be paid by each family member included in the application.
These include the following:
Ten percent of this non-refundable fee is paid at the time of submitting the application and is charged per family member included. The remaining balance is paid once the approval letter is received by your Licensed Agent. Applications must be made via a government-licensed agent.
This fee is paid to cover the cost of creating the applicant’s second passport. Each person included in the application is expected to pay $300.
Due Diligence Fees
To ensure that only the most exemplary applicants are given second citizenship, a due diligence fee must be paid along with the application. This non-refundable fee is charged for every applicant over the age of 11 years.
Due diligence fees vary depending on the applicant’s age. Both the principal applicant and the spouse pay $7,500 each, dependents aged 12-17 years are charged $2,000 each, and seniors over 65 and dependents up to the age of 25 are charged $4,000 each. All fees are quoted in US dollars. A thorough Licensed Agent will also carry out their own diligence to ensure you are cleared to make an application.
The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are making it easier for applicants to fund their applications. Other than cash in US dollars, soon Antigua will also accept payment using cryptocurrency.
Applicants wishing to donate to the new university campus will be required to pay US$150,000 for this CIP option.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment program provides a more cost-efficient option for individuals and families looking to obtain a second passport and citizenship. Unlike in other countries, aspiring applicants need not learn the local language or history to obtain their second citizenship. However, it is important to pay all the additional fees and charges that come with the application and make a one-time five-day visit at some point in the first five years of citizenship.
By working with a company that specializes in CIPs and is based in the Caribbean, applicants will likely have a much more efficient experience. Such companies have access to approved business and real estate options in the islands and can provide quality application assistance on the ground.
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.