Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs Undergo Changes in 2023
Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs in the Caribbean have been a popular choice among international investors for many years. These programs are the forefront of the citizenship by investment industry. Although each program differs in investment options, cost, eligibility, requirements and timeframes, they all ultimately offer investors citizenship in the participating country. However, in recent years, the programs individually and the industry at large has been subject to scrutiny, reformations and changes, with the most recent announced in mid 2023.
According to IMI, these changes are the aftermath of the US-Caribbean Roundtable on Citizenship by Investment. When meeting, the USA proposed six important changes for the citizenship by investment programs in the Caribbean.
- Collective agreement on the treatment of denials. Halt processing applications from persons whose applications have been denied in another CBI jurisdiction by proactively sharing information on denials.
- Interviews: Conduct interviews with applicants, whether virtual or in-person.
- More stringent due diligence. Each jurisdiction will run checks on each application with the Financial Intelligence Unit of its respective country.
- Audits: Audit the programs annually or bi-annually in accordance with internationally accepted standards.
- Retrieval of passports: Request law enforcement assistance in retrieving revoked/recalled passports.
- Treatment of Russians and Belarusians: Suspend processing applications from Russians and Belarusians.
Dominica CBI Changes in 2023
Dominica was the first Caribbean country to announce its program changes after the US-Caribbean Roundtable on CBI programs. On July 19th 2023, Dominican government announced they would conduct mandatory interview for all applicants over 16 years old. Due diligence fees have increased for Iranians citizens. Under the new rule, an Iranian family of four qualifying under the EDF contribution option will pay approximately $251,800 USD in comparison to $201,300 USD before. Lastly, they implemented a 5 day stay rule for newfound citizens.
St. Kitts and Nevis CBI Changes in 2023
Following the Dominica, St Kitts & Nevis also announced new changes in their CBI program on July 27th, 2023. They have replaced the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) donation option for the Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC) donation option and doubled the minimum donation price, from $125,000 USD to $250,000 USD. The price varies upon the number of family members added. The minimum real estate investment amount has been doubled as well. Rising from $200,000 USD to $400,000 USD and the hold period has been increased from 5 years to 7 years. While the minimum investment for an Approved Private Home (APH) for a single family has doubled from $400,000 to $800,000.
St. Kitts and Nevis also disclosed a number of other modifications, including:
- All candidates must now be interviewed.
- An increase in due diligence fees.
- Grandparents and siblings are no longer accepted as eligible dependents.
- Parents must now be at least 65 years old.
- Interviews are required of everyone who is enrolled in the process who hasn’t yet received their Certificate of Registration (COR).
- There will be a ban on adding dependents to applications that are currently being processed. After the initial application has been approved and the pertinent COR(s) have been provided, additions won’t be considered for 90 days.
- The Citizenship by Investment Unit will no longer accept “financially sponsored” applications.
Grenda CBI Changes in 2023
Grenada was the next Caribbean country to announce its changes. As expected, interviews are now also mandatory for all applicants over 17 years old. However, Grenada hasn’t made any cost alterations (as of now).
St. Lucia CBI Changes in 2023
The St. Lucia CBI Unit announced its program changes on August 30th 2023 through an official Memorandum effective from September 4th 2023. A new interview and identity verification stage will be implemented into the program’s application process.
Here are the key points of the St. Lucia citizenship by investment program changes:
- The changes are viewed as an extra form of identification rather than an opportunity to truly understand the applicant
- Along with the interview, an additional due diligence fee of $500 USD (half of what Grenada plans to change).
- Only the primary applicant will be required to attend the interview
The St. Lucian government stated this change aims to “enhance the authentication of critical bio-data information and eliminate any information gaps that can potentially exist in the application process.”
What do these CBI changes signal?
These CBI changes are influenced by powerhouse countries, the United States, EU and UK to ensure the safety and trusty level between the applicants and the involved government. It’s likely the remaining Caribbean nations offering citizenship by investment programs, such as Antigua and Barbuda, will soon implement similar changes.
Get in touch with us
If you are searching for your next passport, want to expand your global mobility and simply make smart investments abroad to increase your investment portfolio, contact Lincoln Global Partners. It’s our job to stay up-to-date on what citizenship by investment and residency by investment programs have to offer. We will strategically advise you based on your unique situation.