Myths and Reality: Top 5 Common Misconceptions about Caribbean Citizenship

Obtaining second citizenship is a world trend that is gaining popularity nowadays. The number of applicants is growing every year. The previous year the growth constituted almost 50 % with the total number of applicants amounting to 20,000 people.

A lot of people get second citizenship to travel around the world without restrictions. Apart from visa-free access to other countries, second citizenship provides additional opportunities for education and business. Of course, there are some disadvantages. For examples, in many countries people with dual citizenship can’t hold a position within public offices. But in general, citizenship programs have proven their usefulness. As the variety of such programs increases, they become cheaper and turn into an attractive option for more and more people. The businesspeople need second citizenship especially as it is an additional guarantee of safety and stability that is very important in case of any economic and political changes.

A typical business immigrant is a man in his 40es with a family. If we take Malta as an example, it is possible to obtain Malta passport for € 1,250,000, including costs from purchase of property or rent costs, investments into securities and contributions into the Malta development fund. The costs also include € 25,000 for each dependant in the family. So basically, you can legally buy a new passport.

Caribbean passports cost less now. For example, Dominica citizenship by investment program costs $ 200,000. The applicant will get a visa-free access to countries all over the world. Just as EU citizenship by investment program, Dominica citizenship by investment program allows to travel in the EU, but you will not be able to live there.

Caribbean passport grants unique opportunities for its owners that European residents don’t have. That’s why, small Caribbean countries become popular destinations for immigrants. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about Caribbean citizenship by investment programs that have nothing to do with reality.

1. Most Caribbean countries are in the offshore black list

It is not true. Such popular immigration destinations, like Antigua and Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, St Lucia, Grenada and St Kitts & Nevis are not included even in the “grey” list. These countries are proud of their business reputation. They attract investors thanks to flexible taxation regime and profitable and transparent business environment.

2. Caribbean passport does not bring enough benefits

This misconception arousing from the small size of the Caribbean countries is far from reality. Citizenship of the country that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations gives a person freedom of traveling around the world, including the Schengen Area, the UK, Hongkong and Singapore. With the Caribbean passport you will be able to obtain a long-term visa to the USA without any problems. Grenada passport also allows to obtain the USA work visa E2.

There are business benefits as well. The companies registered in the Caribbean countries have a certain reputation on the international market.

3. It is dangerous to buy real estate under Caribbean citizenship by investment program

This myth appeared because Caribbean countries periodically suffer from tropical hurricanes. For some people the names of the Caribbean countries sound like the names of the pirate islands. It is sometimes misinterpreted that life and culture in these areas have stopped their development in the 18th century.

These all are, of course, misconceptions. Thanks to citizenship by investment programs, underdeveloped agricultural countries have turned into exemplary tourism centres with modern infrastructure and transparent legislation.

The purchase of real estate in the Caribbean countries is safe because the authorities simply won’t allow investors to buy poor and old property. Money is invested only into the projects that are verified and approved by the authorities, like the projects in the sphere of resort and luxurious real estate construction. In most cases, such projects have insurance against the natural disasters. If you still have some concerns, you can invest into the real estate in Grenada or Antigua where natural disasters are rare.

The purchase of real estate in the Caribbean countries is profitable because:

  1. Minimum investment amounts to $ 200,000 – 400,000 that is lower than under similar EU programs.
  2. Investment costs can be recovered since the real estate can be sold in the future for higher prices. You return your investment costs and make profit.

4. It is not profitable to invest into Caribbean citizenship as you will have to spend a lot of time in the country you have chosen.

The situation is vice versa. In contrast to some other popular citizenship by investment programs, for example, in Malta, Caribbean citizenship by investment programs allow to obtain a passport from the comfort of your home. The only exception is Antigua and Barbuda that require applicant`s presence. For 5 years of a “probation” period, you have to stay in the country for only 5 days that you can spend as holidays enjoying exotic nature, sea and sand beaches.

5. You can obtain a Caribbean passport only through the company that is an authorised agent of the citizenship by investment program

It sounds like a fake advertisement of some legal company, but this myth is not a myth at all. In most Caribbean countries, you can’t send your application for second citizenship directly to immigration authorities.

However, these rules have certain advantages for applicants as well. Firstly, authorised agents conduct their own due diligence cheks for applicants and their families and help to collect the necessary documents. Secondly, thanks to your advisor, you will be able to obtain or prolong your Caribbean passport 100 % remotely.

How to obtain a Caribbean passport?

It is not so difficult to obtain a Caribbean passport, but the conditions under which it can be done vary in different Caribbean countries. To avoid mistakes, you can consult Imperial & Legal experienced advisors who know all the details of the immigration legislation of the country.

In the EU, naturalisation is a complicated process due to additional requirements (for example, you have to stay in the country for a certain period of time). In Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Dominic and Grenada the authorities are interested in attracting foreign investors as it promotes the economic growth. That’s why, obtaining Caribbean citizenship won’t entail many challenges for you. The only thing you need is to make an investment, either a non-refundable contribution to the government fund or a purchase of a real estate. It is also possible to invest into business or government bonds. Minimum investment amounts $ 100,000.

Additional requirements for Caribbean citizenship by investment program are almost identical for all Caribbean countries:

  1. The applicant must be 18 years of age;
  2. The applicant must have no criminal or immigration convictions;
  3. The applicant’s family must pass a due diligence check;
  4. All applicants must be in good health that must be confirmed by the medical note;
  5. The applicant must invest the money from a legal source.

Antigua and Barbuda has one more additional requirement: an applicant can obtain second citizenship if they spent at least 5 days in the country in a 5-year period. However, it is hardly a problem.

A successful businessperson can easily obtain a Caribbean passport that offers free traveling around the world and a lot of tax exemptions. Besides, investing into a real estate, governmental bonds or business you will be able to recover your money in 5 years.

Non-financial requirements for an applicant are minimum and realistic, especially if you consult Imperial & Legal experienced advisor. For example, you won’t even have to stay in the country on a permanent basis (the only exception is Antigua and Barbuda). You won’t have to worry. Our advisors will help you to obtain a Caribbean passport hassle-free and 100 % remotely.

Globalisation promotes travelling that is becoming more and more popular.  Legal assistance is of crucial importance now. Imperial & Legal advisors have rich experience in working with immigration issues and will be glad to answer all your questions and help you to reach your goals!

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