How to buy a property in the Caribbean to get a second citizenship

Five Caribbean countries offer citizenship to investors who buy real estate. In return, investors get visa-free or simplified entry to more than 140 countries worldwide, including the UK and the Schengen Area.

Government-run Caribbean citizenship programs offer investors to put money into real estate or make a non-refundable contribution to a government fund. Since 2018, investors have been increasingly choosing real estate.

Purchase of apartments, villas, and shares in resort complexes for $200,000 or more will help with getting a Caribbean passport in at least two months without staying on the islands. For comparison, a Portugal Golden Visa Program participant can apply for citizenship if they purchase real estate for at least €500,000.

What Caribbean countries offer citizenship by investment?

Grenada, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda — these Caribbean countries have government programs where it is allowed to get second citizenship in exchange for investments.

The Caribbean economy depends on tourism, so governments work on attracting investors to the industry. One of the citizenship program options stimulates investment in tourist-accommodating real estate, like hotels and resort complexes. As a result, in addition to the Caribbean passport, investors receive a liquid asset and the opportunity to return the invested money in a few years. After the property is sold, the investor's citizenship status will remain.

Benefits of a Caribbean citizenship

Applicants choose Caribbean citizenship for several reasons:

  • possibility to travel visa-free to more than 140 countries of the world. A passport from one of the five Caribbean countries is sometimes called a "permanent Schengen visa";
  • entry and stay for up to 180 days a year in the UK and up to 90 days within six months in the European Union;
  • obtainment of a long-term US tourist and business visa;
  • opening European banks accounts in foreign currency;
  • optimisation of taxes as a Caribbean country resident;
  • option for investors to add their close relatives to the passport application: spouses, parents, grandparents, siblings, or children under 30;
  • remote process: coming to the island to submit documents is not necessary since Due Diligence checks and passport registration are carried out remotely; 
  • no need to take a language proficiency test or live in the country to get and maintain citizenship;
  • investors' first names and first citizenship countries are not disclosed.

Cosmopolitans choose Caribbean citizenship primarily for the opportunity to move around the world freely and without a visa.

What real estate is eligible for obtaining Caribbean citizenship

Properties that can be purchased under Caribbean citizenship programs should be pre-approved by the government. Usually, these are hotel shares, apartments, villas, and even yacht marinas.

Investors prefer real estate built by legitimate developers with a positive reputation.

Investment properties for sale in the Caribbean

Investment properties in the Caribbean

Shares in a 5-star hotel complex managed by Hyatt. The ultra-luxury project is one of the best hotels in Banana Bay, on the island of St Kitts and Nevis. The share price is $220,000

Investment properties in the Caribbean

Shares in a 4-star boutique hotel. The seafront project is a 20-minute drive from both Dominica airports. The share price is $220,00

Investment properties in the Caribbean

Townhouses in a St Kitts and Nevis landscape park. Investors can chose a townhouse with 2 or 3 bedrooms, furnished, with private gardens, in full ownership. Prices start at $1,795,000

Expenses and ownership terms of real estate in the Caribbean

To become a Caribbean country citizen, an investor purchases a government-approved property and does not resell it for a certain period of time, which is set by the chosen program.

Minimum ownership period. Real estate resale under the Dominica program is allowed after three years of citizenship. An important note: the new property owner will be able to participate in the citizenship program if the previous owner kept the property for at least 5 years. This moment affects the property's liquidity. Therefore, Dominica real estate investors remain owners for 5 years, not 3 years.

Saint Kitts and Nevis program allows reselling a property in 5 years if it's worth at least $400,000 and in 7 years if it's worth at least $200,000. 

Other Caribbean programs prescribe owning a property for at least 5 years.

Real estate investment conditions under Caribbean citizenship programs

CountryInvestment amountOwnership period
Antigua and Barbuda $200,000+
5 years
Dominica$200,000+3—5 years
St Kitts and Nevis$200,000+5 years
$400,000+7 years
Grenada$220,000+5 years
Saint Lucia$300,000+5 years

Subsequent resale. Properties can participate in investment programs twice. This means that the first investor can sell the property to the next participant of the program 5 years after obtaining citizenship. This approach ensures a high real estate demand.

The exception is Saint Lucia: real estate can participate in the program only once under its program.

How to choose real estate under Caribbean citizenship by investment program

Investors choose real estate to minimise the risk of investment loss, as well as to get rental income and live in a purchased house during vacations. Let's go over the tasks that investors set when choosing real estate, and give examples of eligible properties.

Minimise the loss of investment risk to zero. In this case, investors buy finished properties, like shares, apartments, or villas in already operating hotels. 

Antigua and Barbuda, for example, has a plethora of properties like that, including luxury beachfront real estate. Investors can buy a hotel share for $200,000.

Investment properties for sale in Antigua and Barbuda

Caribbean real estate market: getting citizenship by investment

Shares in an oceanfront resort. Investors can choose from luxury apartments, villas, or townhouses. All properties are fully furnished and overlook the garden, the mountains, the river, and the bay. The share price is $200,000; the annual yield is 3—5%

Caribbean real estate market: getting citizenship by investment

Hotel complex apartments with both share and full ownership options. Each apartment has one bedroom, one bathroom, a kitchen, and a terrace. Investors and their families can use their apartments as a permanent place of living or rent them out. Prices start at $200,000

Caribbean real estate market: getting citizenship by investment

Villas in a five-star resort. Investors can purchase a villa with 1 or 2 bedrooms in full ownership, or choose a ½ share. The resort is managed by a world-renowned hotel brand. Prices start at $400,000

Get the maximum return on investment. To do this, investors purchase properties under construction, such as hotel apartments or villas. 

With some projects, it's possible to purchase half of the property. When the property is put into operation, its cost will increase. On average, the value of Caribbean real estate is growing by 3—5% per year. Investors will also be able to earn income from renting their property out.

When buying a property under construction, it is important to consider the developer's reputation. Investors prefer world-renowned hotel companies like Hilton, Marriott, or Kempinski. Titles like that can be found among the investment properties on the Dominica cost, including under-construction projects. 

Investment properties for sale in Dominica

Caribbean citizenship by investment in real estate property

Shares in a Hilton oceanfront resort. Investors can purchase apartments or villas. Owners receive a Hilton Gold status of 1,250,000 Hilton Honors Points, worth approximately $15,000. Prices start at $220,000. Estimated annual yield is 3—7%

Caribbean citizenship by investment in real estate property

Shares in a five-star Kempinski hotel. The hotel is located in a tropical Cabrits National Park. The rooms offer a panoramic view. Investors receive the highest status in the Kempinski GHA Discovery Loyalty Program. The share price is $220,000

Caribbean citizenship by investment in real estate property

Shares or full ownership of villas on a 6-star spa resort. Investors can choose from 42 luxury villas. The unique resort is located on a picturesque cliff overlooking the Caribbean sea. Prices start at $208,000

Buy luxury vacation homes for rent. Luxury villas with a private beach or even an ocean pier are eligible for this. 

Grenada offers many premium properties: for instance, villa prices here vary from 2.5 to 7 million dollars. Renting premium real estate in Grenada brings their owners an annual profit of 3—5%.

Investment properties for sale in Grenada

Grenada citizenship by real estate investment

Shares in a new oceanfront resort complex. The premium-status resort will have more than 30 private suites with a view, a spa, a fitness centre, a gym, a pool, restaurants, bars, a conference hall, and more. The share price is $200,000

Investment real estate in the Caribbean

Studios or apartments in a premium residential complex. The gated property is located near Maurice Bishop International Airport and the prestigious St George’s University. Investors can choose a studio or an apartment with 1 or 2 bedrooms. Prices start at $370,000. Annual yield is 3%

Investment real estate in the Caribbean

Share or full apartment ownership options in a first-class residential complex. The futuristic-looking oceanfront project is a campus of a famous St George’s University. Investors can choose to buy a share or a full apartment with 1 bedroom. Prices start at $220,000. Projected annual yield is 3,5%

Process of buying real estate property in Caribbean countries

Step 1: choosing a suitable property. A Caribbean country's government must approve a real estate property for a citizenship program. Investors can save time on the title search and consult licensed agents of Caribbean government programs. They arrange remote consultations, property viewings, and sales and purchase agreement draw-ups. 

Step 2: reserving the property. The investor transfers a deposit to the real estate developer. The deposit amount is usually 10—15% of the total transaction amount. Thus the property won't be bought by anyone else while Caribbean authorities process the investor's citizenship application.

Foreign buyers that don't participate in any Caribbean citizenship by investment program are required to purchase an Alien Landholding Licence (ALL). Investors who apply for a Caribbean citizenship program don't have to buy this licence.

Step 3: drawing up the sales and purchase agreement. The buyer transfers the remaining transaction funds to the developer. If the buyer participates in a Caribbean citizenship by investment program, they transfer the funds after receiving citizenship application approval. 

A property sales and purchase agreement in the Caribbean can be signed either in a notary’s presence or remotely by the investor’s representative with a power of attorney. 

After the drawing up, the property’s new ownership is recorded in the country’s public register.

1 week
Average time to close on a Caribbean real estate

Additional expenses for buying a Caribbean property

Real estate purchase is the largest part of all the expenses that a citizenship program participant makes. In addition to the investment cost, applicants will have government fees, legal fees, mandatory Due Diligence checks, bank fees, passport processing fees, and document transfer costs.

It is with noting that the minimum real estate investment amount remains fixed regardless of the number of family members in the application. Only additional fees increase.

Government fees and other expenses for buying Caribbean real estate under a citizenship program

CountryGovernment feesDue Diligence feeOther fees and commissions
Antigua and Barbuda $30,000 for a family of up to four people

+$15,000 per applicant, starting with the fifth one
$7,500 for a single investor

$7,500 for a spouse

$2,000 per family member aged 12—17 

$4,000 per family member over 18
$600+ per applicant
Grenada$50,000 for a family of up to four people

+$25,000 per the investor’s child or parent over 55 if added to a family of more than four people

+$50,000 per the investor’s parent under 55

+$75,000 per the investor’s sibling
$5,000 for a single investor

$5,000 for a spouse 

$5,000 per applicant over 17
$3,000+ per applicant
Dominica$25,000 for a single investor

+$10,000 for a spouse or a family of no more than four people

+$25,000 for a family of five or more

+$25,000 per applicant, starting with the seventh
$7,500 for a single investor

$4,000 for a spouse 

$4,000 per applicant over 16
$800+ per applicant 

+$1,000 for family information processing
St Kitts and Nevis$35,050 for a single investor 

+$20,050 for a spouse

+$10,050 per child or parent

+$40,000 per sibling
$7,500 for a single investor

$4,000 for a spouse 

$4,000 per applicant over 16

$800+ per applicant
Saint Lucia$30,000 for a single investor

+$15,000 for a spouse

+$5,000 per applicant under 18

+$10,000 per applicant over 18 or per applicant under 18 if added to a family of more than four people 
$7,500 for a single investor

$5,000 for a spouse 

$5,000 per applicant over 16
$1,000+ per applicant

+$2,000 for application processing

Caribbean real estate management and investor's income

If an investor buys an apartment or villa, then the management company can take care of the property maintenance and rental. In this case, the management company will keep part of the rental income, usually half of it.

The rental rate varies from 3 to 5% per annum. In winter, during the high tourist season, it can rise from one and a half to two times.

Assistance with applying for Caribbean citizenship from Immigrants Invest 

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of Caribbean government programs. The company's specialists will help you choose a profitable program and reduce the risks of citizenship denial.

Since 2006, Immigrant Invest has helped obtain citizenship by real estate investment for more than 1,500 investors and their families. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best Caribbean island to buy a real estate property?

Choose the islands where you can receive Caribbean citizenship in exchange for buying real estate: Grenada, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, or Antigua and Barbuda. 

If you invest in real estate in Dominica, you can resell the property and return the investment in 3 years. To compare, the citizenship programs of the other four islands allow returning the investment in 5—7 years. Dominica also has one of the best minimum price terms among the other Caribbean programs: you can purchase real estate for $200,000.

Is real estate in the Caribbean a good investment?

Yes. Caribbean real estate properties are liquid assets: they grow in price by 2—3% annually. Owners who rent their property out can receive an annual income of 2—6%. 

Investors who buy government-approved real estate for at least $200,000 can participate in a Caribbean citizenship by investment program.

Can foreigners buy property in the Caribbean?

Yes, but they will also have additional expenses — such as purchasing an Alien Landholding Licence (ALL). Investors participating in a Caribbean citizenship by investment program don’t have to buy this licence.

Which Caribbean island is tax-free?

In Grenada, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda, there are no taxes on global income, wealth, inheritance, gifts, and capital gains.

What Caribbean country should I choose to earn a high rental income?

For renting out, investors are more likely to choose Caribbean properties with two or three bedrooms. Furnished villas close to the beach are popular. The rental rate is 3—5% per year. It is more profitable to rent out housing during the high tourist season: in winter, rental rates rise 1,5—2 times.

How many times can a Caribbean property participate in the citizenship program?

In most cases, real estate participates in Caribbean citizenship by investment programs twice. This means that both the first and second owners of the property will be able to apply for citizenship for investment in the country’s economy. For example, a wide selection of investment properties under the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program.

Stricter conditions apply in Saint Lucia, where a real estate property can only participate in a citizenship program once.

Can I get a Caribbean county passport faster than indicated in the citizenship program?

We recommend Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program. Here, investors can speed up the citizenship obtainment procedure for up to 60 days. In general, it is possible to complete the Caribbean citizenship obtainment process in a 3 to 6-month period.

Which Caribbean country should I choose if I plan to open a business in the US or China?

Grenada citizenship will allow you to apply for an E-2 business visa to the US with the right to live and work in the country for 5 years. Moreover, the entire investor’s family can join them. Also, a Grenada passport will allow you to enter China for up to 30 days without a visa.

Cosmopolitans often choose shares in large luxury resorts or residential complexes as Grenada investment properties.

Which Caribbean country has the most developed tourist infrastructure?

Pay attention to Antigua and Barbuda or Saint Kitts and Nevis: the islands with a mild tropical climate combined with a developed tourist infrastructure attract yachters, divers, and surfers from all over the world.

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Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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