Money is not everything: A comparison of Caribbean citizenship-for-investment programs

Money is not everything: A comparison of Caribbean citizenship-for-investment programs

Vikram Iyer
17 March 2023

The word "Caribbean" conjures up images of verdant islands, long white sandy beaches with clear blue water, coves with stunning views, friendly people and delicious food and drink. It's no wonder that many people wonder if they should escape the hustle and bustle of the city and make this popular vacation spot their permanent home.

Caribbean citizenship-for-investment programs are a simple, quick and relatively inexpensive way to live in paradise. All the countries of the famous "Caribbean Five" - Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis - have their own investment programs, you just have to choose the one that best suits your needs. However, this choice can be a surprisingly daunting task. Of course, everyone looks first at passport strength and minimum investment requirements, but if you want to not only get a passport, but also live - at least from time to time - in a new country, other factors may be more important.

We've put together a comprehensive guide to living and investing in the Caribbean Five to tell you what to look for besides passport value and help you choose.

Strength of Passport

Country Visa-free access to
St. Kitts and Nevis 143 countries
Antigua and Barbuda 141 countries
St. Lucia 136 countries
Grenada 135 countries
Dominica 133 countries

Investment Requirements

Several investment options are available to individuals seeking citizenship in the Caribbean. One of the most popular is the Sustainable Growth Fund investment option, which the Caribbean Five offer. This fund allows investors to contribute a certain amount of money to a national development fund in exchange for citizenship.

Other options include real estate investment, government bonds, and enterprise investment. Each option has its unique benefits and requirements.

St. Kitts and Nevis

Sustainable Growth Fund

  • $125,000 for a single applicant ($150,000 from July 1, 2023)
  • $150,000 for the applicant and spouse ($175,000 from July 1, 2023)
  • $170,000 for a family of four ($195,000 from July 1, 2023)
  • $10,000 and $25,000 per additional dependent aged under 18 years and 18 & above, respectively

Real Estate

  • $200,000 purchase of a unit of an approved development
  • $400,000 purchase of an approved private home

Public Good Investment

  • $175,000

Antigua and Barbuda

National Development Fund (NDF)

  • $100,000 for a family of four or less
  • $125,000 for a family of five or more

Real Estate

  • $200,000 for Single Ownership
  • $400,000 in case of joint purchase, with each applicant investing at least $200,000

Business Investment

  • $1.5 million for a single applicant
  • $400,000 if a joint investment provided the total investment is $5 million or more

University of the West Indies (UWI) fund

  • $150,000 for a family of six or more. Option not available for smaller families

Saint Lucia

National Economic Fund

  • $100,000 for a single applicant
  • $140,000 for the applicant and spouse
  • $150,000 for a family of four and $15,000 per additional dependent
  • $25,000 per additional qualifying dependent

National Action Bond

  • $300,000 plus a non-refundable administration fee of $50,000

Real Estate

  • $200,000

Enterprise Project

  • $3.5 million for a single applicant
  • $1 million per applicant in a joint application of a minimum of $6 million


Economic Diversification Fund

  • $100,000 for a single applicant
  • $150,000 for the applicant and spouse
  • $175,000 for a family of five
  • $25,000 and $50,0000 per additional dependent under 18 years and 18 & above, respectively

Approved Real Estate Project

  • $200,000


National Transformation Fund

  • $150,000 for a single applicant
  • $200,000 for the applicant and spouse
  • $200,000 for a family of four
  • $25,000 per additional dependent after the third dependent

Real Estate

  • $350,000 in an approved project
  • $220,000 for each share in the unit of an approved project

Passport strength and the required minimum investment amount are all things to keep in mind if you don't plan to live in the Caribbean and just want a spare passport. However, those who want to move to the islands completely or spend some part of the year there should consider other things such as the country's tax policies and broadband internet access. For families with young children and retirees, the quality of health and education infrastructure, public safety and cost of living will also be important. Those who want to improve their quality of life will try to choose the most premium destination among these five countries.

What projects approved for the citizenship-by-investment program look like

Cost of Living

The cost of living in the Caribbean is relatively high for two reasons. First, Caribbean countries import all goods. Second, the government levies high duties and fees on imports, which further increases the cost of goods and services for residents.


% of Cost of Living in the US

Antigua and Barbuda


St. Kitts and Nevis


St. Lucia







The cost of living for a citizenship investor can be significantly higher than for an ordinary resident in the Caribbean. Antigua’s interior regions have affordable homes, but the CIP-approved projects in the coastal region are comparable to the prices of those in destinations like Miami.

Ultimately, the cost of living in a country depends on your financial resources and lifestyle. However, this data gives you a general idea of how costly or cheap it will be to move from a country like the US to one of the five CBI countries in the Caribbean.


St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda have zero income tax, meaning living in these countries for more than 183 days a year will result in zero income tax on your local and foreign incomes.

On the other hand, Grenada, Dominica, and St. Lucia have a peak income tax rate of 28%, 35%, and 30%, respectively. Further, dividends, royalties, and interest are tax-free except in Dominica and St. Lucia.

Tax residents in the Caribbean don’t pay any tax on capital gains and inheritances. In other words, moving to St. Kitts and Nevis or Antigua and Barbuda can lead to significant tax savings.

But don’t forget to consider the cost-of-living angle to ensure the money you save on taxes does not end up financing your routine life in your new country.


Suppose you want to move to one of the Caribbean countries after obtaining citizenship. In this case, you should definitely consider the quality of healthcare and medical infrastructure. Choosing the country with the best medical infrastructure can be a wise decision in the long run, regardless of your age or family composition. An effective way to compare options is to look at the number of hospital beds and doctors in relation to the population of each country.


Hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants

Physicians per 1000 inhabitants








Antigua and Barbuda



St. Kitts and Nevis



St. Lucia



Source: World Bank

Dominica has the most hospital beds but performs very poorly on the availability of physicians. In this respect, Grenada is better than Dominica. However, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis offer the best balance regarding their medical infrastructure’s physical and human components.

Irrespective of your choice, private health insurance with coverage for emergency evacuation is a must for all those planning to settle in the Caribbean.

Read also: Top-5 countries for investors with the best healthcare systems


If you have young kids, quality education is a crucial factor that you should consider when choosing an investment program.

St. Kitts has multiple international schools offering American, Canadian, and UK curricula. Most Caribbean countries follow the UK curriculum and have a mix of public and private schools for primary and secondary schooling.

The All Saints University School of Medicine makes Dominica a good choice for giving your child a quality education at a reasonable cost. There are both public and private schools for young children, and the healthcare infrastructure is robust.

International students have to pay significantly higher fees, which means choosing the right country today can help you save thousands of dollars in the future.

If your child is interested in studying medicine, the American University of Antigua College of Medicine is an option. The tuition fees for citizens range up to $25,000, which is less when compared to $75,000+ in the US and other countries.

Broadband Internet

Nowadays, it’s impossible to imagine a life without access to high-speed broadband Internet. People moving to the Caribbean are highly likely to work remotely. So a stable and reliable internet connection is necessary for working with customers and clients worldwide and staying in touch with loved ones.


Fixed broadband subscriptions (per 100 people)


St. Kitts and Nevis






St. Lucia


Antigua and Barbuda


Source: World Bank

It is clear from this data that St. Kitts is far ahead of other countries in terms of internet quality. The low scores in other countries suggest that you should be prepared to put in the time and effort to get good high speed internet at home.

Caribbean: where to invest?


If you love beaches and are willing to pay a little extra for a premium vacation, Antigua and Barbuda is a great option. Antigua is known as the "island of 365 beaches" and its residents say it's not just a tempting advertising slogan, "It seems like a winged phrase, but we actually have literally hundreds of beaches with pure white sand."

And if you're looking for more than sun and surf, consider St. Lucia: this island is rich in attractions ranging from Sulphur Springs to an active volcano.

Choose Wisely

Choosing the most suitable investment program for you in the Caribbean is much more complicated than comparing the number of hospital beds and the cost of real estate. There are many nuances to consider that will depend on your age, family composition, work patterns, health habits and even personal leisure preferences. It is worth starting by determining the priority factors specifically for you, and to study the details of programs and living conditions in the Caribbean countries already based on these points.

It is also worth remembering that not always the program with a smaller amount of minimum investment will be the most profitable. For example, St. Kitts - a great place to live, and the minimum real estate investment of $ 200,000 make it in the eyes of many idelaynym option. However, a modern, spacious home with a nice design and amenities to suit your lifestyle can cost anywhere from $2 million to $5 million or even more.

To avoid getting confused by all the details and pitfalls, contact professionals with years of experience with Caribbean citizenship-by-investment programs. Migronis experts will help you choose the program that is right for you and will guide you through all stages of citizenship.

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