Caribbean nations are embroiled in a hotly-contested battle as they try to attract high net worth individuals as candidates for their citizenship-by-investment programs.
St Lucia has just announced a plan to revamp and relaunch its program to try and compete with others including Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis and Dominica.
Estimates suggest these countries are competing for a slice of $2 billion in investment funds floating around the high net worth community.
St Lucia CIP Benefits
- Visa-free access to access to 105 countries including North America and the EU.
- Ranked as the best nation among English-speaking Caribbean nations from 2007 to 2014 by the World Bank.
- Stable political society with rule of law and a mature democracy
- High quality of life including access to reputed healthcare and education.
St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastnet believes Dominica is currently winning the competitiveness battle, with 3,000 of 71,000 citizens coming through the investment program.
Now St Kitts – which has the oldest CIP in the world – is attempting to play catch-up by slashing processing times.
St Kitts & Nevis CIP Benefits
- Visa free travel to Schengen Area.
- Visa free travel to Switzerland, UK and Ireland.
- No minimum residence requirements.
- Simple procedure with minimal red tape.
- No income or wealth tax.
- Option to reside in any of 15 Caribbean countries.
- No physical presence required.
Key attractions of all the programs are that they give investors the opportunity to protect their wealth from high taxes, and to travel visa-free to a significant number of countries.
A St Kitts passport, for example, allows travel to 126 countries including the European Union’s Schengen zone.
Dominica CIP Benefits
- No prior residence requirements.
- Ability to hold a second passport for convenient travel to other countries.
- Visa-free access to numerous countries including U.K. and other British Commonwealth countries along with ease of travel to Hong Kong, South Korea, and China.
- Liberalized tax regime.
- No requirement to renounce existing citizenship.
Dominica, by contrast, does not have Schengen zone access, but it does come out on top in terms of investment threshold. For $100,000, a single investor can get a Dominican passport in eight weeks.
St Lucia currently asks for a $200,000 investment, although that could change when the propose restricting is complete.
Antigua & Barbuda CIP Benefits
- Visa-free travel to Schengen zone.
- Citizenship for family members without additional investment.
- Second passport for ease of travel.
- Free movement through the Caribbean CARICOM countries.
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