Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Comparison

(Updated January 2021) 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 AdvantagesRegulations
Language Fluency
Not Required
Family DescentNot Required
Personal InterviewNot Required
Place of BirthNot Required
Dual CitizenshipPermitted
Not Required
Approval Time3-4 Months
Tax on Global Income
Visa Free EU Access

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)

Grenada NTFUS$226,080
Dominica EDFUS$198,300
St Kitts and Nevis SGFUS$207,500
St Lucia NEFUS$182,500
Antigua and Barbuda NDFUS$161,200

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)

Grenada US$296,080
St Kitts and NevisUS$307,500
St LuciaUS372,500
Antigua and BarbudaUS$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.
  4. Reduced Passport Validity – An additional aspect of the Antigua and Barbuda program is the reduced passport validity period of 5 years. Similar programs offer 10 years validity for adults and 5 years for children <16 years old.

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. Also, unmarried/childless siblings of the spouse of the main applicant may be permitted on certain programs.  

St Kitts and NevisAllowed (age <30 years)
GrenadaAllowed (age >18 years )
DominicaAllowed (age <26 years)
St LuciaAllowed (age <18 years)
Antigua and BarbudaAllowed 
Parents and GrandparentsLimitations
St Kitts and NevisAllowed (age 55 and above)
Antigua and BarbudaAllowed (age 58 and above)
St LuciaAllowed (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