THE SUCCESS OF THE CARIBBEAN CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAMS
High net worth individuals spent nearly US$2 Billion to purchase passports through Citizenship by Investment Programs, according to a recent article of Christian Kalin at Henley & Partners. The Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs have raised millions of dollars in revenue.
The number of high net worth individuals in the Caribbean is increasing. One of the main reasons is that several destinations have programs to incentivize real estate investment offering residency permits and citizenship. In fact, there are currently five Citizenship by Investment Programs in the Caribbean (Saint Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, and Grenada) that generate millions of revenue for their respective governments each year.
St Kitts & Nevis launched the first Citizenship by Investment Program nearly 30 years ago in response to an economic downturn and offered immediate citizenship to immigrant investors. Because of that success of the Saint Kitts & Nevis program, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and this year St. Lucia have subsequently launched their own Citizenship by Investment Programs.
“There are many different reasons why an high net worth individual might seek a second citizenship including greater stability and security, tax efficiency, ease of travel, higher standard of living, increased options for children’s education, and investment opportunities that may not otherwise be available” according to a report commissioned by the World Economic Forum titled Global Citizenship: Planning for Sustainable Growth.
Antigua & Barbuda and St Kitts & Nevis passports provide visa-free travel to 133 countries (except Canada for Saint Kitts & Nevis) and territories including all 26 European countries in the Schengen zone. Dominica and Grenada passports provide visa-free travel to 91 countries and territories including all 26 European countries in the Schengen zone. These programs are also luring a growing number of applicants from China and Russia, who are seeking economic safety.