Caribbean citizenship by investment: how to choose a program

Investors can get a Caribbean passport in 2—6 months if they contribute to the economy of one of the following Caribbean countries: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia, or Dominica.

Investors can choose to include their families in the application. With Caribbean passports, investors and their relatives can travel visa-free to more than 140 countries.

Compare the programs Calculate the cost

What is Caribbean citizenship by investment?

Caribbean citizenship by investment (CBI) is an opportunity to legally obtain a passport in exchange for contributing to the country’s economy. Five Caribbean countries — Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Dominica — offer citizenship by investment programs.

The minimum investment under Caribbean CBI programs is $100,000. Depending on the program, investors can choose from the following options:

  • making a non-refundable state fund contribution;
  • making a business projects donation;
  • purchasing government bonds;
  • purchasing real estate. 

As a result of participating in a Caribbean citizenship by investment program, investors get Caribbean passports and become nationalised. Their families can participate in the program and become Caribbean nationals, too.

Caribbean government units curate CBI programs. To participate in a program, investors need to contact a licensed agent.

Benefits of Caribbean citizenship

Caribbean passports are among the strongest in the world based on their global mobility opportunities alone. But there are other benefits for high-net-worth individuals, cosmopolitans, and their families.

140+ visa-free countries. Caribbean passport holders can have visa-free access to the Schengen Area, the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Grenada and Dominica citizens can also enter China without a visa.

Caribbean citizens can obtain B-1/B-2 visitor visas to the US for 10 years. Grenada citizens also qualify for an E-2 business visa to the US.

Caribbean passports travel features by country

St Kitts and Nevis Antigua and Barbuda  Grenada  St Lucia Dominica
Number of visa-free countries 157151144147145
Visa-free Schengen Area YesYesYesYesYes
Visa-free UK YesYesYesYesYes
Visa-free China NoNoYesNoYes
Visa-free Singapore and Hong Kong YesYesYesYesYes
B-1/B-2 visitor visa to the US for 10 yearsYesYesYesYesYes
E-2 business visa to the US for 5 yearsNoNoYesNoNo

Global banking access. Caribbean citizens can open bank accounts not just in the Caribbean but also Europe and the US. This allows them to keep their savings in hard currency and not lose money on foreign transfer fees.

Tax burden reduction. Caribbean nationals don’t pay taxes on global income, wealth, inheritance, gifts, and capital gains.

Broad education opportunities. Caribbean countries are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and Caribbean citizens can get educational benefits in the UK. 

Dual citizenship. Caribbean countries such as Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Dominica allow their nationals to hold multiple citizenships — and therefore use the benefits of more than one country.

How to buy a Caribbean passport
Like other Caribbean countries with CBI programs, Antigua and Barbuda doesn't require investors to live permanently on the islands. However, a new Antiguan citizen must visit the country to spend at least five days within the first five years after getting a passport

How much does a Caribbean passport cost?

The investment is the most significant part of a citizenship program's expenses, but it is only part of them. Program participants pay additional government fees and duties, bank fees, and Due Diligence fees. The expense amount increases if investors decide to add their family members to the application. 

Minimum investment. Each program has at least two investment options. Investors can choose to make a non-refundable government fund contribution of at least $100,000 or to buy real estate in the country for at least $200,000. With the real estate option, investors can get their money back in an average of 5 years.

$100,000
The minimum investment for a Caribbean passport

The Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia programs have additional options along with the government fund contribution or real estate purchase. 

Antigua and Barbuda allows investors with a family of 6 or more to make a minimum contribution of $150,000 to the University of the West Indies Fund. Saint Lucia allows investors to buy government bonds for at least $250,000. Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia citizenship can be obtained by investing at least $1,500,000 in a local business.

Investment for a family. The programs allow investors to include their families in the application: their spouses, children, parents, grandparents, and siblings. 

There are exceptions. Grandparents cannot be included in Saint Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia citizenship program applications. Dominica's program doesn't allow the inclusion of siblings. 

Children, parents, grandparents, and, in most cases, siblings must be financially dependent on the investor or their spouse.

If investors include their families in the application, the non-refundable fund contribution option will increase its amount.

State fund investment amount, depending on the investor’s family size

CountryInvestorInvestor and spouse Investor, spouse, and two children 
Saint Kitts and Nevis$150,000$175,000$195,000
Antigua and Barbuda$100,000 $100,000$100,000
Grenada$150,000$200,000$200,000
Saint Lucia$100,000$140,000$150,000
Dominica$100,000$150,000$175,000

With the real estate option, the investment amount remains unchanged for a family of any size. For example, to obtain Dominica citizenship, investors need to pay at least $200,000 for real estate, regardless if they are applying for the program alone or with their spouse or children.

In addition to investing in real estate, investors pay a special state fee, which is not in the state fund donation option. Depending on the program and family size, the fee is up to $75,000.

Investment amount and state fees for the real estate purchase

CountryInvestorInvestor with a spouse Investor, spouse, and two minor children 
Saint Kitts and Nevis$200,000 + $35 050$200,000 + $55,100$200,000 + $75,200
Antigua and Barbuda$200,000 + $30,000$200,000 + $30,000$200,000 + $30,000
Grenada$220,000 + $70,000$220,000 + $70,000$220,000 + $70,000
Saint Lucia$300,000 + $30,000$300,000 + $45,000$300,000 + $65,000
Dominica$200,000 + $25,000$200,000 + $35,000$200,000 + $35,000

Additional expenses. In addition to investing, program participants pay state fees, passport fees, bank fees, and security checks. Here is an example.

For getting the Antigua and Barbuda passport via the real estate option, an investor will pay $238,100, of which:

  • $200,000 is the real estate cost;
  • $30,000 is a state fee;
  • $7,500 is Due Diligence;
  • $300 is a passport fee;
  • $300 is a bank fee.

Total expenses, depending on a Caribbean citizenship program

Non-refundable state fund contribution
Country Investor Investor and spouse  Investor, spouse, and two children 
Saint Kitts and Nevis $158,661  $163,722 $164,844
Antigua and Barbuda $138,100 $146,200 $147,400
Grenada $158,250 $216,000  $221,180
Saint Lucia $109,700 $155,700 $168,050
Dominica $108,750 $163,000 $188,500
Real Estate Investment
Country Investor Investor and spouse  Investor, spouse, and two children
Saint Kitts and Nevis $243,711 $295,844 $295,844
Antigua and Barbuda $238,100 $246,200 $249,400
Grenada $278,000 $286,000 $290,000 
Saint Lucia $339,600 $360,600 $372,600
Dominica $233,750 $248,000 $248,500

Return on investment

Buying real estate under the citizenship program is profitable because investors can return the expenses. In most cases, they can sell the asset after 5 years.

Suppose an investor got an Antigua and Barbuda passport for buying a hotel complex share worth $200,000. With additional expenses, they spent $234,300. After 5 years, the investor sold the property and returned $200,000. As a result, the Antigua and Barbuda passport cost the investor just $34,300.

Return on investment in real estate

CountryResale periodMinimum investment amount
DominicaIn 5 years$200,000
Antigua and BarbudaIn 5 years$200,000
GrenadaIn 5 years$220,000
Saint LuciaIn 5 years$300,000
Saint Kitts and NevisIn 7 years$200,000
In 5 years$400,000

Countries' governments approve all citizenship properties. 

As long as investors own the property, they can receive rental income from it. In the Caribbean, rental income ranges from 3 to 5% per year. 

Property examples in the Caribbean

Dominica citizenship by real estate investment

Shares in a five-star resort from $220,000 in Portsmouth, Dominica. The hotel complex includes presidential suites, guest apartments with private pools, bars and restaurants, a spa, boutiques, and a conference hall. The hotel brings 3,5% in annual profit

Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship by real estate investment

Sea-view apartments for $550,000 at a hotel in Cotton Ground, Saint Kitts and Nevis. The apartment has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The hotel has two swimming pools, a bar, a restaurant, and a spa

Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by real estate investment

Shares in an oceanfront villa for $495,000 in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis. The villa has two master suites, four bedrooms, and four bathrooms and is fully furnished

Grenada citizenship by real estate investment

Shares in a resort complex for $220,000 in St David, Grenada. The beachfront complex is managed by the Intercontinental group, has 150 rooms, a pool, restaurants, a spa, a fitness club, a business complex

Caribbean passport issuance period

2—6 months is the period in which investors receive a Caribbean passport. 

About three months of these are usually spent on Due Diligence checks. If an investor wants to get their passport faster, they can pay for an accelerated application process — and receive a passport within two months. Such an option is offered under the St Kitts and Nevis program.

Terms for obtaining a Caribbean passport
Up to six months to get second citizenship is fast. For comparison, the fastest that investors can receive a Malta passport is 14 months

How to choose a Caribbean citizenship program

Each Caribbean citizenship investment program offers applicants visa-free entry to more than 140 countries and US visas. A Caribbean country passport also means a simple and fast procedure for a second passport obtainment. It costs 5—10 times less compared to the cost of obtaining EU citizenship. 

To help you make a choice, we will highlight the stand-out features of each program.

The largest number of visa-free countries. Entry to 157 countries without a visa is available to Saint Kitts and Nevis passport holders only. 80% of the world’s countries are open to its investors, including the UK, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Schengen Area.

Visa-free entry to China. With passports from Grenada or Dominica, investors can stay in China for up to 30 days a year without a visa. Other Caribbean citizenship programs don’t provide this opportunity. 

E-2 visa to the US. Grenada citizenship also provides the right to get an E-2 business visa in the US. Other Caribbean passports provide access to a B-1/B-2 visa to the US, which is suitable for frequent US visits.

With an E-2 visa, investors can live, work, and conduct business in the US. An E-2 visa also applies to investors’ family members. They can study and work in the US. The visa is extended every 5 years under a simplified procedure. 

Minimal expenses for families. Most of the program participants are people with families. Therefore, it is important to estimate the minimum costs and expenses for the entire family.

The most favourable offer for investors with a family of up to four people is provided by Antigua and Barbuda. A state fund contribution will remain the same: at least $100,000 for a single investor, an investor and their spouse, or a family with two children. There will only be a slight difference in additional fees and stamp duties. They will range from $38,000 for a single investor to $47,000 for a family of four.

Minimum real estate investment option costs, including additional fees and duties per investor — under the Dominica program, for a family of four — under the Antigua and Barbuda program.

Expenses for Caribbean citizenship investment programs
The expenses include the investment, Due Diligence, stamp duties, as well as passport and bank fees

Fast passport issuance. 2—6 months is a Caribbean passport obtainment period for investors. St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program is the fastest one, as it has an accelerated procedure for application processing within 60 days.

For comparison, an EU country's passport issuance will take several years. For instance, Portugal residence permit program participants can apply for citizenship only 5 years after obtaining the permit. Meanwhile, investors receive a Caribbean passport remotely and confidentially.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Caribbean passport provide?

The ability to travel without a visa to more than 140 countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Schengen Area. A 10-year US visa is another advantage of a Caribbean passport.

A Caribbean passport holder can open an account with a European bank to keep their savings in hard currency.

Investors get these and other benefits from participating in Caribbean citizenship by investment programs.

How do I get a Caribbean country passport?

To obtain a passport of St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia, or Dominica, investors participate in citizenship by investment programs. 

Caribbean programs offer investors two main options in exchange for a passport. These are either a non-refundable contribution to the state fund from $100,000 or the purchase of real estate worth $200,000 or more.

How much money will I pay to get citizenship in the Caribbean?

$100,000 is the minimum investment in a Caribbean country’s economy for getting a Caribbean passport under the state citizenship program. 

Investment is the biggest part of the total amount. The investor also incurs additional expenses: state fees and duties, Due Diligence checks, and passport and bank fees. The expense amount increases if investors add their families to the application.

For example, to obtain Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship for a family of four, an investor will pay $164,844. The amount includes a non-refundable state fund contribution of $150,000, Due Diligence fees, passport issuance fees, and bank fees.

Calculate the cost of obtaining a Caribbean passport

Can my family get Caribbean citizenship?

Yes, Caribbean citizenship investment programs allow an investor to include a spouse, children under 30, parents, grandparents, and siblings in the application. 

Children, parents, and, in some cases, siblings must be financially dependent on the investor or their spouse. 

Can you trust Caribbean citizenship investment programs?

These are government programs through which governments attract investment in the economy. The conditions of the programs are fixed in the legislation of the states.

Caribbean programs are in the world’s top 5 best citizenship by investment programs. Investors choose Caribbean passports for the opportunity to travel visa-free to more than 140 countries worldwide and fast access to a 10-year US visa.

How quickly can I get a passport from one of the Caribbean countries to travel without a visa?

Investors get Caribbean passports in 2—6 months if they participate in Caribbean citizenship by investment. St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program is the fastest one.

A Caribbean passport provides the right to travel freely to more than 140 countries around the world, including the UK, the Schengen Area, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Which Caribbean country is the easiest to get citizenship?

St Kitts and Nevis offers the shortest citizenship obtainment period: a passport can be received in just 2 months if you participate in the citizenship by investment program. 

If you’re looking for the lowest investment requirement, look into Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, or St Lucia programs where the minimum investment is $100,000. 

Compare all five Caribbean citizenship programs using the guide.

Which Caribbean citizenship is best?

Depends on your goal. 

For example, if you value travel mobility, St Kitts and Nevis provides visa-free entry to 157 countries. Grenada and Dominica citizens also can spend up to 30 days in China visa-free, and Grenada citizens qualify for the E-2 business in the US. 

If you’re looking for the best family solution, the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program allows investors to include their spouse, children under 30, their —  and the spouse’s — parents, grandparents, and siblings in the application. The minimum investment is $100,000 for a family of four and $125,000 for a family of five or more. 

If you need a Caribbean passport as soon as possible, St Kitts and Nevis citizenship can be obtained in just 2 months. 

Does the Caribbean allow dual citizenship?

Yes, but it depends on the Caribbean country. Dual citizenship is permitted in  Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Dominica — the five Caribbean countries that have citizenship by investment programs.

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Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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