Many of these states have long been granting citizenship to foreigners in exchange for investment, as well as the opportunity to open offshore companies and thus minimize the tax burden on their business. It is possible to become the holder of a passport of a number of countries for a relatively small amount, and it is not always necessary to acquire real estate on the islands for this.
Compared to European Malta or Cyprus, applicants for citizenship of such countries are presented with rather modest requirements, the main of which is the absence of a criminal record and financial claims from individuals or legal entities. On the other hand, the list of preferences for such citizens is more than impressive, and freedom of movement (visa-free entry to 120-130 countries of the world), especially in the context of restrictions that were almost universally introduced in the second quarter of 2020, is just one of them.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a direct impact on the investment programs of most of the Caribbean countries, which were forced to reduce the size of payments and simplify the entire procedure as a whole. Among all the changes that have occurred to date, the following can be distinguished:
Antigua and Barbuda
Within the framework of the program, which has been in effect since 2013, it was possible to obtain a second passport through a non-refundable payment to the National Development Fund (from 100 thousand USD), the acquisition of real estate in certain regions (from 200 thousand USD in the case of group investments) or investments in the amount of 400 thousand USD in business projects approved by the state.
Now there is another investment option: a non-refundable contribution of US $ 150,000 to the fund of a branch of the University of the West Indies, which has a strong medical school. It is no coincidence that even Americans give their children a higher education here. The only condition is the participation of at least five more people, for the processing of personal data of each of whom you need to pay 15,000 USD.
The local program "Citizenship by Investment", operating since 1991, is one of the oldest and most reliable in the entire region, and at the same time, almost the most budgetary. It was possible to acquire a Dominica passport with the help of a charitable contribution to the Economy Diversification Fund (100 thousand USD per person and twice as much for a family of four) or by buying real estate for 200 thousand USD (in a group) or 400 thousand (individually).
Since July, the Dominica authorities have increased the list of family members who can qualify for citizenship along with the main applicant. It now includes adult children under the age of 30, parents, brothers, sisters and even grandparents, but under one important condition - they must all be dependents and have no sources of income. In addition, the contribution for a family of four has been reduced to USD 175,000.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
The investment program of this island state, which started in 1984, has always enjoyed increased popularity among foreigners, and during this time has undergone a number of changes. The last of them refers to July 2020 and will be valid until January 1, 2021. Now the size of the non-refundable contribution for a family of four will be the same as for one applicant - 150 thousand USD instead of 195 thousand.
True, this action did not affect another option - the acquisition of real estate in state-approved projects, which are usually located in resort areas. In the case of collective investments, the amount is 200 thousand US dollars, and in the case of an individual purchase - 400 thousand.
Although Saint Lucia only launched its Citizenship for Investment passport project in 2016, it was in high demand almost immediately. First of all, this was due to a wide range of options, which meant not only a non-refundable payment to the National Economic Fund (from 100,000 USD) or the acquisition of real estate (from 300,000 USD), but also such options as buying government securities for a period of more than 5 years (from USD 500,000) and investments in business projects in approved sectors of the economy (over USD 3.5 million).
From July until the end of this year, the Saint Lucia passport will be issued to investors who have invested not 500 thousand, but half as much in a special fund to combat the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19 Relief Bond). The size of the non-refundable contribution for couples and families with children has decreased by about 25%, and the payment for the inclusion of close relatives in the list of participants (they now include underage brothers and sisters, as well as parents over 55 years old) has decreased from 25 to 15 thousand per person.
The above list should not be taken as a direct guide to action, since there are other countries in the region that offer wealthy foreigners the opportunity to acquire local passports. First of all, these are Grenada, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands. At the same time, due to the changed reality, the entire document processing procedure can be completed online.