Caribbean citizenship is a chance to freely travel to the United Kingdom, the Schengen countries and many other jurisdictions. It also offers a wide range of opportunities for tax planning and protection of funds, including cryptocurrency. The recent modifications of passport programs both in Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada have triggered interest among high net worth foreigners. Which country provides a better offer, when it comes to costs and conditions of getting a second citizenship? Find the details in this article.
How much does a passport in the Caribbean cost?
Investors planning to obtain Grenada’s passport must contribute a non-repayable donation of at least $200,000 to a special state fund, this option works for a family of 2-4 persons. If there are more than 4 family members, the investor is to pay extra $25,000 for each financially dependent relative.
Important note: According to the official circular as of November 24, 2017, containing amendments to Grenada citizenship by investment program, the government reduced the amount of contribution for individual investors to $150,000.
After hurricanes Irma and Maria had struck the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda’s government also reduced the price of the country’s economic citizenship. Now the minimum contribution to the state fund totals $100,000, which is half of the previous amount. In summer of 2017, the government reduced state fees charged for the paperwork related to the applications processing.
Important note: The 50% discount is valid till October 31, 2018. After that, the minimum contribution sum will probably return to the previous amount of $200,000.
For a family couple with 2 children (one child under 18 years of age and another one over 18 years of age) the cost will be around $147,800. After the price reduction, the program of Antigua and Barbuda has become one of the best options in the Caribbean for a 4-member family.
Second citizenship for investing in property: Is it a cost-effective solution?
Contribution into a state fund is only one of the ways of participating in the economic citizenship program provided by Grenada / Antigua and Barbuda. One can also apply for a second passport by purchasing property. Not many investors choose this variant. However, if you think of buying some resort property, you should definitely consider Grenada or Antigua and Barbuda.
One should invest at least $400,000 in real estate of Antigua and Barbuda. It is worth noting that the selected property should be on the list of government-approved objects. The income from property renting in Antigua corresponds to 4-6% per annum. After a 5-year period, one can sell the object. Antigua hosts famous real estate owners, including Oprah Winfrey, Giorgio Armani, Silvio Berlusconi and Eric Clapton. Canadian billionaire Calvin Ayre has recently announced his decision to build a 5-star resort in Valley Church Beach using solely the income received from selling cryptocurrency. The new hotel is also expected to accept payments in bitcoins.
Antigua is a paradise for yachting lovers. Several world-class regattas and yacht shows are held here. Thanks to a big airport and 6 ports, it is easy to reach the island from the USA and Europe.
In 2016, 480,000 tourists visited Grenada. Tourism development has had a positive impact on the real estate market.
The minimum investment in Grenada’s real estate is $350,000. One should also choose an object out of the projects approved by the government. And there is really a wide range to choose from: it is usually a share or apartments and bungalows in luxury resort complexes. One has a good chance of selling the real estate after 5 years without losing invested funds and probably even multiplying the initial investment. There is a number of reasons for that:
- Geographical location. Due to the fact that Grenada is situated to the south of the hurricanes formation area, the possibility of blizzards on the island is very low. The risk of property destruction is minimal.
- Active development of tourism. In 2017, the number of tourists visited the island has increased by 8%, reports the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA).
- Real estate prices increase. According to Grenada Real Estate Market Report 2017, in 2015 real estate sales activity increased by 71%, and in 2016, there was a 23% growth as compared to the previous year.
- Infrastructure development. By 2020, room capacity in Grenada is expected to increase by 26%. There is also a plan to substantially extend Maurice Bishop International Airport using a $66,000,000 loan from China.
The opportunity to include additional relatives in the application
Main applicants for Grenada and Antigua citizenship programs may include in the application close relatives, the same terms have other Caribbean CBI countries. Both countries are gradually simplifying the requirements.
The Government of Grenada has eliminated an additional fee of $50,000 for the investor’s parents or parents of a spouse aged over 55. It was previously possible to include free of charge only parents over 65 in the application. Parents under 55 can also be included in the investor’s application, but for a fee. Moreover, the age threshold for the children financially dependent on the applicant was increased from 26 to 30.
Antigua has also increased the age threshold for dependent children. Since November 20, 2017, the investor’s dependent children under 28 can receive citizenship, while previously only children under 26 years of age could have been included.
Benefits of Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda citizenship
Antigua and Barbuda ranks 29th in the international Passport Index 2018, Grenada ranks 33th. Both countries provide noticeable visa-free travel opportunities. Antigua and Barbuda’s passport opens the borders of 127 countries to its citizens. Grenada’s passport allows its citizens to easily travel to 123 countries. The United Kingdom, the Schengen countries, Singapore and Hong Kong are on the visa-free list.
A great benefit offered by Grenada’s passport is a visa-free entry to China. This is why business people working with Chinese entrepreneurs often choose the citizenship of Grenada. Another benefit is that Grenada’s citizens can receive the E-2 investor visa to the USA. Citizens of China, Russia, South Africa, the UAE, among others cannot apply for this type of visa, but the limitation does not apply to foreigners with Grenada’s passport.
For quite a time Antigua and Barbuda could boast of a huge advantage offered by its passport, which was a visa-free regime with Canada. However, in summer of 2017, the Canadian government re-introduced visas for the citizens of this Caribbean country. Justin Trudeau has recently mentioned that Canada may return a visa-free regime if the system of due diligence is improved. Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne expressed the country’s willingness to cooperate with the Canadian authorities and take all the required measures in this regard.
Antigua and Barbuda gives one the opportunity to get a tax resident status. In order to receive it, one should own or rent property, live under the country jurisdiction 30 days a year and pay a fixed annual tax of $20,000. Taking into consideration the fact that there is no income tax in the country, the corporate tax is only 25% and VAT is 15%, this option looks quite attractive.
Real estate in Antigua and Barbuda is a step towards getting a second passport
As of today, the conditions of Antigua and Barbuda’s passport program are more beneficial for the family of 4, considering the donation option. The variant of investing into Grenada citizenship will work perfectly for those interested in having a business visa to the USA or for those who have working relationships with Chinese companies.
If you are interested in buying property in the Caribbean, you should opt for both Grenada and Antigua. Grenada is located to the south of the area of Atlantic hurricanes formation, which makes the risk of property destruction on the island minimal. Antigua’s real estate is a liquid asset. The island has the developed tourist infrastructure, an international airport and luxury yacht shows that annually attract high-income individuals from all over the world.