Cost For Securing A Second Passport from the Caribbean

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One of my recommendations post-hurricanes Irma and Maria was for the five Caribbean governments that offered a second passport to high net worth individuals via a Citizenship by Investment Program in exchange for a sizable fee, was to set aside some of the millions of US dollars raised in an emergency fund for natural disasters. As with climate change, intense hurricanes in the Caribbean region are inevitable and so proactive action was needed to fund the recovery efforts.

Millions of US dollars raised from the Caribbean Citizenship By Investment Programs Millions of US dollars are raised each year via the 5 Caribbean Citizenship By Investment Programs.

Shortly after that, the government of St Kitts & Nevis, the first in the Caribbean region to launch a Citizenship By Investment Program in 1984, announced they would be setting a Hurricane Relief Fund with a portion of monies received from their program. This decision was met with praise and scorn as in the announcement, the St Kitts & Nevis government indicated they would be lowering the minimum investment required from US$250,000 to US$150,000. Some accused the St Kitts & Nevis government of accelerating the race to the bottom and helping to devalue the Caribbean Citizenship By Investment Programs. Others argued that it would hamper Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda who had worse hurricane damage from raising funds needed to rebuild through their Citizenship By Investment Programs.

The St Kitts government & Nevis government then clarified that the reduction was temporary and only valid through March 2018. But is this a sound strategy – reducing and then increasing pricing for the same product? A passport linked to citizenship which stirs up deep emotions in most isn’t after all like a regular product to be discounted. Plus the number of visa-free countries and other benefits don’t significantly change from year to year. And by lowering the non-refundable contribution to government fund, it puts added pressure to also reduce the other advisory, processing and due diligence fees that are critical to ensuring that the programs remain free of undesirables.

Couple on sailboat near St Kitts & Nevis. Photo Credit: © Nevis Tourism Authority. Couple on a sailboat near St Kitts & Nevis. Photo Credit: © Nevis Tourism Authority.

Having the programs remain free of undesirables is not just crucial to the global elite some of whom acquire second passports like country club memberships, but also natural born citizens of the five Caribbean countries who currently offer these programs. While the majority understand the need for foreign direct investment raised from these programs to support infrastructure and development projects, they don’t want new limitations put on their ability to travel and do business internationally brought about by disreputable persons being admitted to the programs.

That said, what does it cost to secure a second passport via one of the five Caribbean Citizenship By Investment Program? Below is a comparison of the fees for a single applicant making a non-refundable contribution to government fund or purchasing real estate.

Single Applicant: Non-Refundable Contribution to Government Fund

Fee Type Antigua & Barbuda Dominica Grenada St Kitts & Nevis St Lucia
Non-refundable Contribution $200,000 $100,000 $200,000 $150,000 $100,000
Government Fee $25,000 $1,000 $3,000 $0 $0
Due Diligence Fee $7,500 $7,500 $5,000 $7,500 $7,500
Other Fees $300 $825 $270 $355 $2,000
Total $232,800 $109,325 $208,270 $157,855 $109,500

Single Applicant: Real Estate Purchase

Fee Type Antigua & Barbuda Dominica Grenada St Kitts & Nevis St Lucia
Real Estate $400,000 $200,000 $350,000 $400,000 $300,000
Government Fee $50,000 $53,000 $50,000 $50,047 $50,000
Due Diligence Fee $7,500 $7,500 $5,000 $7,500 $7,500
Other Fees $300 $825 $3,000 $355 $2,000
Total $457,800 $261,325 $408,000 $457,902 $359,500

Note: Other fees may include those associated with applying for the actual passport, naturalization, etc. In addition to fees above, there will also be advisor fees as the programs don’t deal directly with individual candidates. For those who want to be more vested and real estate, there will also be additional fees such as conveyance, insurance, etc.

So does this pricing comparison tell us which Caribbean Citizenship By Investment Program is better for a single applicant? Sadly, no! But with very little public data to properly evaluate, it’s a starting point for potential candidates. The next step is for candidates to work with an advisor who understands their short and long-term goals and who can then make a recommendation accordingly. Ideally, the advisor should be one that is authorized and accredited to work with all 5 Caribbean Citizenship By Investment Programs, so they are not presenting biased recommendations.

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Find out what it cost for a single applicant to secure a second passport from the Caribbean by making a non-refundable contribution to government fund or purchasing real estate.

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Ursula Petula Barzey

Founder/Editor/Blogger/Digital Influencer at Caribbean & Co.
Ursula Petula Barzey is a digital marketing professional and Founder of Caribbean & Co. which has allowed her to reconnect with her Montserratian and Caribbean roots!

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