The reduced costs of St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda passports have boosted the interest of investors in the respective citizenship by investment programs of these countries. These programs were already among the leaders, and the recent changes only strengthened their position in the investment immigration market. So which country’s offer will be more profitable in the long-term, and why are affluent foreigners seeking to obtain a Caribbean passport? Find the answers in our analysis below!
Why are Caribbean passport programs so popular with high net worth non-resident investors?
Let’s list the principle advantages of Caribbean passport programs in general:
- The total cost of obtaining a Caribbean passport is lower than that of a European passport. The minimum cost of a Maltese passport, for instance, is €880,000. To become a Cyprus resident, one would have to pay at least €2 million. In contrast, the cost of a Caribbean passport starts at $100,000.
- An extensive list of countries available for visa free or visa-on-arrival entry. Holders of a Caribbean passport can freely visit 100+ countries, including the UK and the 26 countries of the Schengen Area.
- Fast and simple processing. The personal presence of the applicant is not required neither at the stage of submitting the documents, nor while receiving the passport.
- The citizenship is issued within 3-5 months.
- Official dual citizenship recognition. There is no need to renounce one’s first passport.
- A Caribbean passport is a well thought-out move, since you’ll get an opportunity to create a Plan B in another part of the world in the case of force majeure in your home country.
- The opportunity to reduce the tax burden. The tax system of the Caribbean can be described as pretty permissive and sparing to taxpayers. Countries that offer citizenship in exchange for investment don’t have world income, capital gains, or inheritance taxes.
Saint Kitts and Nevis vs Antigua and Barbuda: Which country’s citizenship is cheaper?
In the fall of 2017, the Caribbean region was severely affected by two ruthless hurricanes. The authorities of both Saint Kitts and Antigua didn’t hesitate to revise the minimum investment amount specified in their respective passport programs. The goal was clear: to speed up the inflow of private foreign capital and sponsor reconstruction works. Currently, these two countries are most attractive options for investors interested in obtaining a second citizenship. Let’s determine which option is more profitable.
Saint Kitts and Nevis passport
The economic citizenship program of Saint Kitts and Nevis is one of the most respected in the world. It was launched in 1984. Over 11,000 foreign nationals have participated in this program.
The recent passport price reduction has supported the growth of investor interest. In September, 2017, the minimum investment amount in the form of a one-time non-refundable donation the Hurricane Relief Fund was reduced to $150,000.
Taking into account all additional fees, your second passport of Saint Kitts and Nevis will cost you around $158,000 if you’re a sole applicant, and around $167,000 if you’re applying with your family members – your spouse and two kids (aged 10 and 20). The discount is valid through March 30, 2018.
Meanwhile, there are two more investment options available according to the rules of the Saint Kitts and Nevis CBI program:
- a donation to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, starting at $250,000;
- acquisition of local real estate, starting at $400,000.
Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship status has no expiration date. The passport is issued for a period of 10 years with a subsequent 10-year automatic renewal.
Antigua and Barbuda passport
The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program was launched in 2013. According to the official data, close to 2,000 non-nationals have obtained passports of this country in exchange for injecting funds in the host country’s economy. To maintain the status, the investor must be physically present on the islands for at least five days within first five years of holding the passport.
In November 2017, the amount of the donation was reduced from $200,000 to $100,000. If we take into account additional government fees, a second passport for a sole applicant will cost around $133,000, and $145,000 for a family of two adults and two children aged 10 and 20 years. These payment conditions are valid through the end of October 2018.
Another option for foreign investors is to acquire real estate objects with the price tag of at least $400,000.
The passport is valid for 5 years with renewals for similar periods.
What is more preferable, donation to a govt fund, or real estate acquisition?
We’ll set the record straight. Investing in the Hurricane relief fund is the less expensive way of obtaining your Caribbean passport. But those donations are non-refundable. In contrast, a real estate object can be put back on the market after some time so that you get your investment amount back.
At first glance, the advantages of owning real estate in the Caribbean seem to be obvious. But one fact that cannot be ignored is that owning a villa in the region can be risky. The islands are located in the tropical hurricane-prone zone, with their economy and infrastructure in constant peril. This explains why most investors prefer the non-refundable donation option.
For those who are still willing to invest in real estate, the island of Antigua would be the more rational option. First of all, leasing real estate is likely to yield a pretty penny with the profitability of 4-6%. Secondly, in 2017, the island of Antigua has virtually painlessly survived the hurricane season, which, sadly, wasn’t the case with the island of St. Kitts.
Furthermore, located on Antigua is the V.C. Bird International Airport that boasts a modern terminal, and several large ports for yachts and cruise liners.
The well-developed tourist infrastructure and excellent transport links are also contributing factors to the prosperity of international tourism and a stable high influx of tourists. In 2015, about one million tourists visited Antigua and Barbuda, and this trend continues.
Every year, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta event is held on the islands, just a few days before the renowned Antigua Sailing Week. The island also hosts the Antigua Charter Yacht Show.
There’s no shortage of luxury real estate objects on Saint Kitts and Nevis. The Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport as well as ports of Basseterre and Charlestown help boost the tourism sector, and the construction of the Christophe Harbor marina, which accommodates super yachts up to 300 feet long, has recently been completed.
It should be noted, though, that one of the key factors for investors in real estate is location. The potential investors should be made aware of the fact that the islands don’t exactly lie in a hurricane-safe zone.
Who can be included in the application?
Saint Kitts and Nevis: One’s spouse, children under the age of 30, and parents aged 55 years and above can be included in the application for obtaining citizenship status through investment. Passports for newborn children are issued free of charge.
Antigua and Barbuda: The spouse, children under the age of 28, and parents aged 65 years and above receive their passports simultaneously with the principal applicant.
To summarize: Comparing passport programs of St. Kitts and Antigua
Comparing main nuances will surely help you determine which option suits you best:
In an effort to solidify their position in the immigration industry, the Caribbean countries are regularly altering the conditions of their passport programs that range from shortening the list of required documents to lowering the costs.
Today, Antigua and Barbuda’s CBI program is among most profitable for investors with families. You can obtain Caribbean citizenships for a family of up to 4 people for a price of a decent one-bedroom apartment. Saint Kitts and Nevis passport, on the other hand, is very popular and prestigious in the Caribbean. Given the temporary nature of the hurricane relief fund discount, their offer has gained additional weight from the perspective of investors.
Interested in more detailed information about St.Kitts and Nevis or Antigua and Barbuda CBI programs? Contact us!
- We offer free consultations, understanding how important it is for the client to make the only correct decision.
- We work only in the field of investment immigration, integrating gained experience into the investor’s goal.
- We work only with official programs of the European Union and Caribbean countries.
- Before signing the contract, we inform our clients about all additional fees and expenses.
- We conduct a screening to assess the investor’s chances of obtaining the desired citizenship.
- We oversee the process at each stage and work exclusively towards the result.
- We are in touch 24/7.