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January 10, 2018

Citizenship by Investment: A Win-Win for Investors and Caribbean Countries Alike

Posted by:
Elevay Global

While wealthy investors seeking citizenship by investment are rightfully focused on the advantages offered to themselves and their families through these programs, it is also a certainty that citizenship by investment programmes are of tremendous benefit to the Caribbean countries offering them. In many cases, citizenship through investment has proven to be a new avenue for growth.

Citizenship by Investment: An Avenue for Growth

In terms of countries that have smaller populations and/or minimal geographical area, citizenship by investment can offer a major boost to the economy. The dual-islands of St. Kitts & Nevis benefit from the investments of foreign individuals into, for example, the Sugar Diversification Fund. While other options involve investments that go straight into property ownership on St. Kitts & Nevis, boosting local infrastructure and tourism. Other countries benefit from investment citizenship programmes by funding local maritime infrastructure, or the reassignment of professional jobs in the HR or administration fields.

Citizenship by Investment Programmes in Times of Need

Of course, Caribbean countries derive significant portions of their revenue via the tourism industry but, as we unfortunately witnessed with recent natural disasters, this is not always a reliable source of capital. In some cases, however, citizenship by investment programmes have been leveraged in order to assist with disaster relief.

Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment helps support hurricane relief efforts

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne and Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres visit Codrington on the island of Barbuda just a month after Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, October 7, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

In the aftermath of this year’s hurricane season, Antigua & Barbuda made a significant reduction to their citizenship programme’s donation option in order to help provide much needed funds for the Barbuda recovery effort. The funds will be used to help promote sustainable development and infrastructure on the islands.

The newly reduced fee option for Citizenship by Investment through Antigua and Barbuda entails a minimum investment of $100,000 USD in the National Development Fund for a family of four and $125,000 for a family of 5 (plus applicable fees). In comparison, Citizenship by Investment through real estate in Antigua and Barbuda costs $400,000 USD, while the business establishment option requires an investment of $1.5 million USD into an approved business.

Visa-free travel with citizenship by investment

For investors from countries with restrictive passports, one of the many benefits of citizenship by investment is the ability to travel visa-free.

Benefits of Citizenship by Investment to the Investor

Visa-free travel from citizenship by investment

Just as there are significant benefits for the countries offering such programmes, there are significant benefits for investors. A major enticement is the freedom that accompanies having a passport that allows one to travel without restriction. Not only can professionals travel for business without the need to apply for a travel visa, they can also circumvent pre-existing bans that may have prevented them from accessing certain parts of the world with the passport issued by their own country of origin. For example, one from a particular place in the Middle East may not be permitted travel to a neighbouring place where strained relations exist. No matter where the investor hails from, a second citizenship can offer greater freedom along with greater peace of mind.

Enhanced Safety through second citizenship

In other circumstances, one who finds himself in trouble and in need of consular support would benefit greatly from having the support system that accompanies a powerful passport. As many news articles have noted, from a practical perspective, the influence and resources of a nation like the United States means that holding a US passport could increase the possibility that one would obtain help in a crisis. Hence the popularity of programmes that allow individuals to enhance freedom while also increasing the likelihood of their own safety, should the need ever arise.

Streamlined process for Obtaining Citizenship

Lastly, nations often welcome asylum seekers for a limited period before they are required to formally apply for citizenship. In many cases, legal proceedings and paperwork can take years. Often the smallest obstacle can prevent one from obtaining citizenship. Rather than endure the stress of the unknown year after year, one could streamline his own path toward citizenship via a citizenship by investment programme. In some cases, obtaining a second citizenship in as little as four to six months—which is possible with a variety of programmes—could mean the difference between life or death.

While there have been many recent news articles about the competitive nature of these citizenship programmes throughout the Caribbean, it is clear that they must remain competitive to ensure the offering country continues to benefit from the foreign investment.

Speak to an Elevay Consultant Today

Take the first step towards a second passport. Our consultants will guide you through the available programmes and help find the second citizenship that is right for you and your family. The benefits listed above are only the beginning, so be sure to request your free no-obligation consultation today.

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