Has anyone gotten citizenship by investment in a Carribean nation?

Have any NomadGaters completed, or looked seriously at, one of the citizenship by investment programmes in the Caribbean?

There are a bunch countries offering this, I know of at least Antigua, Dominica, Grenada and St Lucia an St Kitts.

I’d be very interested to hear the experiences of anyone who’s gone through with one of them or gotten close - I am sort of casually curious in a passport in that region, as somewhere to have a vacation property and add to my options.

I was considering Costa Rica - but also would consider Argentina these days. Not quite what you want but similar ish

Costa Rica iirc was only two or three years which seems doable, and that was before I was looking at investment options

Argentina is super easy but a bit turbulent these days, on a good path though imo. And southern hemisphere so you get ideal winter weather

Upside of Caribbean is immediate citizenship - not a visa :blush:

I love Argentina and visit there a few months every year. Kind of a home away from home. But what’s stopped me from actually taking the plunge is their wealth tax - 2.25% of global net worth per year. Ouch!

Oh, I had no idea Argentina had a wealth tax - not surprised, but hopefully Milei will get rid of it. Really rooting for them, despite some concerns with him, if anyone needs shock therapy it’s Argentina.

And I see what you mean - I hadn’t considered caribbean countries really, so that makes sense that I’d miss the distinction. Also, apparently Costa Rica is 7 years, I am not sure why I thought it was substantially less.

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If Milei does ditch the wealth tax, that would probably change my calculus and make me want to spend enough time in Argentina to naturalise… but barring that, better to stay away. Uruguay has a favourable tax situation and similar culture, though, if that’s your thing.

But at any rate both of those options require physical and tax residency for some amount of time - the Caribbean programmes could be tempting in that it’s 2-3 months to citizenship, and any of us could do it with no impact or disruption to the Portugal GV process in parallel. Hmm…

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To my understanding, the caribbean CBI options are all donation based, and therefore may only be good for someone who:

  • has a poor passport and wants a better one at least for travel;
  • has only one ‘good’ passport but wants to get rid of it and needs an ‘intermediary’ one for travel etc. while working on an alternative ‘good’ one.

For me personally none of the above applies.
So I am sticking to the CBIs which do not have a donation element (except the application fees) and therefore present investment and/or lifestyle opportunities with an added bonus of citizenship.

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Having completed applications on behalf of my clients from start to finish for most of the Citizenship by Investment programmes in the Caribbean (Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia and St Kitts & Nevis) for over 5 years. This pretty much sums up an overview in Caribbean citizenships.

There are two routes in which you can become a citizen:

• Donation Option: This is a one-time non-refundable contribution to the Government and is used for infrastructure development which starts at $100,000 ( Fees vary per country)
• Real Estate Option: This is by investing in pre-approved real estate areas and the starting fees are from $200,000 ( Fees vary per country)
In terms of owning a Vacation property , The Real Estate Investments are mostly time-shared apartment where you get to use it for 7-10 days a year. You have an option of holding the Investment for a minimum of 5 years after which you can resell it to another investor and your citizenship status isn’t affected.
The Property also generates income annually between 3-5% depending on occupancy rate.

And the good thing about Caribbean Citizenships, you do not need to pay tax on Global Income or Capital gains.

And Citizenship is inheritable by future generations.

I hope this helps.

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Costa Rica RBI is not at all hard, $150k and show up once a year, permanent residence in 3 years with a light in-country requirement. Finding a house you can buy for 150k isn’t that hard, finding one that you like in a good place for 150k is much harder. It can be even cheaper if you go with other options.

However there is a monthly social-security contribution requirement (the CAJA, funding for the health care system) of what can be several hundred dollars a month, whether or not you are there. There are ways out of it but it’s a bother from what I understand.

Costa Rica citizenship is 7 years with a serious boots-on-ground requirement and a pretty stiff culture/history exam. There’s no CBI that I’m aware of.

Ah I must’ve been thinking of permanent residency, good post thank you

Thanks, great summary of the available programmes. In this case I was curious to hear if anyone I “know” on the forums has personal experience with it; but looking like not, so far.

Yea, despite them having a “real estate” option on paper, in reality I heard only ~3% of applicants pursue RE due to:

  • the real estate is not free to choose but has to be picked from the pre-approved (aka overpriced) govt. list
  • the yield is apparently not so great, while the appreciation is non-existent (see point one above)
  • there is still a hefty ‘admin fee’ element to pay in $$$ of dollars
  • the RE apparently cannot be shared, so the CBI cost has to be multiplied if a family applies (I am not sure about this one as I did not get to explore that deeply)

I’ve done some more digging up in the past few months that might or might not be relevant:

Of the Caribbean and pacific island nations providing CBI,

  1. Vanuatu is both the cheapest and most notorious. Most EU countries have or are threatening to shut doors to Vanuatu CBI passports given their poor due diligence, so maybe stay away from them.

  2. Similar threats are being sent by EU to the rest of the gang but not as harshly as Vanuatu, the future of Carribean CBI looks pretty uncertain unless they step up their investment amounts to make it more selective or start sharing or getting approvals from EU/USA before approving their future citizens.

  3. For the Caribbean CBI countries, their passports give you access to CARICOM which is their own little EU like structure in the Caribbean. CARICOM has pretty decent perks and some parts of Caricom like Barbados now qualify as higher income countries, but if you are from any other part of the world, CARICOM probably doesn’t have much to offer.

  4. Most people get Carribean CBI’s solely for travel but if you peer into these countries, there are some interesting trends:

a) St Kitts is the richest of the Caribbean CBI countries so maybe their reputation might go the farthest. It is also the fastest growing Caribbean CBI country so the future of their passport looks promising

b) St Lucia is the largest GDP of the Caribbean CBI countries so maybe they might have more say in their Caribbean community but recently their growth is stagnant and plateauing.

  1. LGBTQ freedoms and rights are non-existent in most of these Caribbean CBI countries and are much further behind than USA and some of their other caribbean peers.

  2. Not all Caribbean CBI passports are equal. St Kitts CBI passport doesn’t allow you to vote in St Kitts election creating a kind of an exclusionary system for CBI citizens, whereas St Lucia CBI citizens are more equal and can vote in St Lucia elections. I know, no CBI applicant cares about voting in these elections, but it does give insight on how these countries discriminate against CBI citizens.

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