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Citizenship by Investment – The Caribbean Solution

Individuals and families are becoming increasingly mobile and the ability to hold a second passport is becoming more relevant. The Caribbean is an attractive destination for a number of reasons, including the relaxing lifestyle, beautiful scenery and the climate. There are also opportunities to hold a second passport, even if the immediate intention is not to relocate to the Caribbean.

Why do Families and Individuals Require a Second Passport?

There are a variety of reasons why people wish to acquire a second or alternate citizenship:

  • To offer insurance against political, economic or fiscal change in the individual’s country of origin.  
  • To make international travel easier. Nationals of many countries have to endure lengthy waiting periods to obtain visas for travel. This may be because they are nationals of a developing country or there may be animosity between their country and another.
  • To allow the passport holder to avoid discrimination.
  • To present new opportunities for the tax structuring of personal tax affairs. Generally, an individual’s residence and citizenship are the ultimate basis for the majority of taxation rulings.
  • Citizens of the United States of America are subject to tax on their worldwide income, irrespective of their country of residence. They are denied the residence-linked tax planning opportunities that are available to others.  It is possible for such individuals to gain fiscal advantages by acquiring a new citizenship and renouncing their original citizenship.

Citizenship Options within the Caribbean

There are a number of different options for Citizenship within the Caribbean. The most popular passport schemes include St Kitts & Nevis, Grenada and Dominica.

These schemes each offer the option of residence in other CARICOM countries (Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago).

Dixcart is a licensed Service Provider for the St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment scheme and can also assist with the coordination of applications for the Grenada and Dominica schemes.

The key characteristics of each scheme are detailed below.

ST KITTS & NEVIS

Key Features of the Scheme

  • Passport holders enjoy full Schengen privileges and do not require a visa to visit the UK. A St Kitts & Nevis passport enables travel to approximately 156 countries worldwide either on a visa free or visa on entry basis.
  • The ability to reside in other CARICOM countries (please see detailed list above).
  • The following taxes are NOT levied in St Kitts & Nevis: personal income tax, gift tax, death duties, estate taxes, inheritance tax or capital gains tax on worldwide income.
  • Individuals do not need to visit St Kitts & Nevis to apply to the scheme, as long as a licensed service provider in St Kitts & Nevis, such as Dixcart, is used to coordinate the application.
  • There is no obligation to reside in St Kitts & Nevis or to spend any time there if the individual does not wish to do so.
  • The St Kitts & Nevis citizenship by investment scheme Is one of the oldest citizenship by investment programmes in the world.
  • The application process is simple and Dixcart can assist with the collection and completion of the various forms before submission.

Citizenship by Investment – Three Investment Routes

The St Kitts & Nevis Economic Citizenship Programme offers three alternate investment routes:

  • Real Estate Option

Investment in an approved real estate property worth a minimum of US$400,000. The real estate must be held for a minimum of five years after the citizenship has been granted. The property can then be re-sold with retained citizenship rights and could be available for a new buyer to use for their application.

OR

  • Luxury Real Estate

Investment in new luxury real estate worth a minimum of US$200,000. The real estate must be held for a minimum of seven years after the citizenship has been granted.

  • Hot News: introduced in July 2020, the stamp duty related to a property purchase has been reduced to 2.5% (from 10%), until 15 January 2021.

OR

  • Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) Contribution

A single applicant can contribute US$150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). The contribution for a family of up to four will be US$195,000. For additional dependants, regardless of age, the contribution requirement is US$10,000 per dependant.

  • Hot News: introduced in July 2020, a family of four only needs to contribute $150,000 (rather than $195,000), until 15 January 2021.

Fast Tracking

Usually, processing time for any of the routes above to gain St Kitts & Nevis Economic Citizenship is approximately three months. For an additional US$46,000, the applicant can be fast tracked, and the passport received in approximately 45 days.

GRENADA

Key Features of the Scheme

  • Minimal processing fees and no interview, education, or management experience required.
  • Grenada is on the list of countries that can apply for an E2 USA visa.
  • No requirement to reside in Grenada before or after citizenship is granted but with the ability to reside in other CARICOM countries.
  • Well-known, stable and established investment environment.
  • Same rights as other Grenadian Citizens and the right to hold dual citizenship.
  • Grenada has no foreign income, wealth, gift, inheritance, or capital gains tax. 
  • Grenadian citizens can travel, without visa restrictions, to more than 115 international and Commonwealth countries, which include the United Kingdom, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong and recently to the People’s Republic of China. 
  • Grenada is a beautiful island to live on, with many pristine beaches.
  • The application process is simple; Dixcart can assist with the collection and completion of the various forms, before submission.

Citizenship by Investment Options

To qualify for citizenship, applicants must choose from one of the following available options:

  • Real Estate

The purchase of real estate, with a minimum value of US$220,000 from an approved real estate project. The real estate must be held for a minimum of five years.

OR

  • The National Transformation Fund (NTF)

Applicants must contribute a set amount, which depends on the number of dependants they have. As an example, an applicant and his/her family, up to four members, would need to contribute US$200,000. For additional dependants, after the third dependant, the contribution requirement is US$25,000 per dependant.

DOMINICA

Key Features of the Scheme

  • Economic and efficient application process.
  • Dual Citizenship allowed.
  • Visa-free travel to over 120 territories, including Singapore and Hong Kong, the European Union and United Kingdom.
  • Minimal taxation, including no wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income, or capital gains tax.
  • Full residence status, with the right to live and work in Dominica if you so choose to.
  • Dominica is a signatory of double taxation treaties with the USA and the CARICOM.
  • Dominica Economic Citizens have the same rights as Dominica born nationals.
  • The ability to reside in other CARICOM countries
  • The application process is simple, and Dixcart can assist with the collection and completion of the various forms before submission.

Citizenship by Investment – Two Options

To qualify for citizenship in Dominica, applicants can choose from one of the following two options:

  • Real Estate

The purchase of real estate, with a minimum value of US$200,000 from an approved real estate project. The real estate must be held for a minimum of three years. If the applicant maintains ownership of the property for five years, they are eligible to re-sell the property under the Citizenship by Investment programme.

OR

  • The Economic Diversification Fund (EDF)

The following is an outline of the contribution costs to the fund.

Single applicant:                                                                              US$100,000

Main applicant and spouse:                                                          US$175,000 

Main applicant with up to three qualifying dependants:         US$200,000 

Additional dependants:                                                                 US$25,000 each       

Additional Information

Dixcart has an office in St Kitts & Nevis and is experienced in organising applications for the St Kitts & Nevis Economic Citizenship Scheme. We can assist with every aspect of an application from the gathering of appropriate documentation to the sourcing of property and schools and organising a move for those families who wish to relocate to the Caribbean.

Dixcart can also assist with applications to the Grenada and Dominica residence schemes.

Please contact Graham Sutcliffe in the Dixcart office in Nevis: advice.nevis@dixcart.com if you would like additional information about the residence schemes in St Kitts & Nevis, Grenada and Dominica.

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