Second citizenship – from status symbol to insurance policy

CBI programs are global, but the Caribbean islands reign supreme

While the CBI programs offered today, 14 and more, span the globe – from Montenegro, Malta and Turkey in Europe, to Vanuatu in the Pacific, Cambodia in Asia, and Jordan and Egypt in the Middle East – the most popular are courtesy of five Caribbean nations.

Not only is the Caribbean the birthplace of the CBI industry, with St. Kitts and Nevis pioneering the program in 1984, but it is home to the five most competitive and consistent programs in the world, according to FT Annual CBI Index.

The CBI programs of Saint Kitts and NevisDominica, Antigua and BarbudaSaint Lucia and Grenade consistently achieve top scores for affordability, efficiency, transparency, reliability, global mobility and family friendliness, not to mention offering an attractive return on real estate investment given their credentials tourist. They are popular with all nationalities, but especially with HNWIs from Africa and the Middle East thanks to the family inclusion of the programs; and also with Americans, as currencies are pegged to the US dollar, providing economic stability for business-minded people.

Although many programs offer similar options, processes, and costs, there are clear differences, giving each a unique selling point that appeals to different demands.

If cost is the deciding factor, DominicaAntigua and St. LUCIA offer the cheapest routes for single applicants, at only 100,000 USD; but if speed matters most, St. Kitts offers the world’s fastest route with an expedited 60-day application process.

St. Kitts is also the best of the Caribbean islands for global mobility thanks to a passport that is the 25e The Strongest, with access to 156 countries. For the ultimate in global mobility, look no further than EU member state Malta, which provides access to 185 countries, although it will cost you – a 13 month wait and a cost of 1.47 million US dollars. Meanwhile, Turkey, Grenada, Egypt, and Montenegro all offer the ability to work, study, and live in the United States under the E-2 Investor Visa Treaty.

For those looking to include their families, Dominica, Grenada and Antigua offer both the best value and the broadest inclusion of family members. For US$150,000, Antigua gives second citizenship to a family of six and also offers a university place for one family member, through its unique university UWI option. And while all Caribbean countries allow the inclusion of spouses, blood children and siblings (under 18) of the applicant, Grenada and Dominica have extended citizenship to spouse’s siblings, siblings over 18, parents and grandparents and, in the case of Dominica, adopted siblings.

Road to citizenship – gift or real estate investment

So how does the process work? Unlike some CBI programs, which have only one pathway to citizenship, the Caribbean islands, as well as JordanEgypt and Montenegro, offer two or more routes – a one-time payment to the country or an investment in real estate.

There are advantages to both paths. Donations offer applicants not only the cheapest route (starting at just $100,000) but also the most philanthropic, with donations supporting the socio-economic development of the country. With funds from its CBI program, Dominica has built primary schools and health centers and constructed an international airport. Antigua and Barbuda used funds from its program to help rebuild Barbuda after the devastation of a hurricane in 2007, as well as to launch many of the island’s sustainable initiatives.

The second way, via investment in real estate, is more expensive (from 200,000 dollars), but with obvious added value, offering candidates a source of income or a second home if they wish to move.

Investment is only permitted in government-approved real estate, from resorts to hotel rooms, from serviced apartments to offices, with specialist companies on hand to manage them and most offering a return on attractive investment.

Take Antigua and Barbuda, where the value of property on the island is increasing by 1.5% to 3% per year due to the growth of island tourism with over 300,000 tourists each year. St. Kitts also enjoys a thriving tourist industry with a busy cruise season and is a popular off-grid destination for American vacationers.

The potential for return on investment is even greater when you consider that many of these Caribbean countries place sustainability and nature conservation at the top of their priorities.

As Dominica, aka “Nature’s Island”, and home to the world’s second-oldest CBI program, aims to become the world’s first climate-resilient nation, Antigua has been named an emerging sustainable destination. of the year 2021 by planet alone for his pioneering initiatives in favor of the preservation of the beauty of the island. The twin island nation has created the Green Corridor, a collection of eco-friendly hotels, resorts and businesses on its southwest coast.

This emphasis on sustainability is making these islands increasingly attractive to travelers as green travel becomes the predominant choice, which also makes investing in real estate in these countries attractive.

And most Caribbean CBI programs only allow investment in resorts or sustainable projects. In Antigua, there is the five stars Callaloo Cay Resort, located in the Green Corridor, which includes a 5-acre national park and allows building heights no higher than a palm tree. Whereas Sugar Ridge Resort offers rooms that wrap around an exotic tropical hillside and are built to blend into the 43 acres of lush native flora and fauna without disturbing them.

Then there’s Dominica’s only six-star all-villa resort, Secret Bay Residences, which offers the purchase of a ready villa with award-winning ecological credentials. Named number one in the Caribbean and number six in the world by The Travel + Leisure World Best Awards 2020Secret Bay is made up of stand-alone luxury villas enveloped in a rich rainforest embrace and has a track record of over eight years of strong rental demand returns.

According Gregor Nassiefowner of Secret Bay and CEO of GEMS Holdings Limited, investors get “completed villas, proven financial performance and a competitive exit strategy with a robust resale market” giving them confidence in their investment.

“We are seeing strong demand from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and are receiving increasing interest from the US market looking for a plan B,” he adds.

Second life – from educational opportunities to a laid-back lifestyle

And if life gets unpredictable in your part of the world, you can just get up and move on. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in one of these places? The Caribbean islands are safe, offer a good standard of living, developed business infrastructure, excellent educational and medical facilities, international airports (with the exception of Dominica) and they have all coped effectively with the recent pandemic, resulting in few deaths.

Saint Lucia claims the best economy in the Caribbean, while Antigua has the most technologically advanced hospital in the region, and Grenada – which has an extremely high literacy rate (98.6%) – is home to the best university American offshore, the internationally accredited St George’s University, considered one of the best schools of medicine, veterinary medicine and arts/sciences in the world.

They also offer idyllic year-round destinations with endless sunshine, laid-back lifestyles and plenty to do – good news whether you rent or live there.

Antigua is home to 365 beaches, one for each day of the year, offers hikes and ziplines through its rainforest, and hosts one of the best regattas in the world. Grenada boasts one of the top 10 beaches in the world, Grande Anse, according to Conde Nast Traveller, a dozen waterfalls, numerous spice plantations and is widely known for having a culturally vibrant and very friendly community. Dominica, with its UNESCO-listed rainforest, 26 golf courses and the second largest hot lake in the world, is the ultimate destination for relaxed, healthy and sustainable living.

James V. Hayes