Caribbean island nations have been particularly innovative in response to the global pandemic — the new offerings below were all introduced in 2020.
St. Lucia innovated during the lockdown by introducing a Covid-19 Relief Bond option that runs until 31 December 2021, enabling one to invest a minimum of USD 250,000 in a non–interest-bearing government bond that is held for five years to qualify for citizenship. The number of years rises according to the number of dependents (maximum of four). If there are more than four additional dependents, the investment amount rises to USD 300,000 to be held for five years — highly attractive to investors with large families.
St. Lucia does not have a residence or visitation requirement for applicants, which makes it particularly appealing in the current time when mobility is restricted. Furthermore, a spouse, dependent children under 31, dependent siblings under 18, and dependent parents aged 55 and over can be included in the application, making it an excellent family relocation mechanism.
The island’s high-speed broadband network, direct flights to the US and London, favorable legislation, and visa-free access to 146 destinations worldwide at a competitive investment level have all helped make the St. Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment Program attractive to international investors as well as companies looking to move their headquarters to the Caribbean.
Last but not least, St. Lucia has launched the region’s first e-payment and processing platform, meaning applications can be made entirely online.
Another Caribbean offering tailored for large families is the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship-by-Investment Program’s University of West Indies (UWI) Fund option. Only applicable for families of six or more, it entitles one family member to a one-year scholarship at the UWI. The inflows from this option will be used to finance UWI’s fourth campus, demonstrating the dual island nation’s commitment to education and developing home-grown talent.
Established in 1948, UWI is the largest and longest standing higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean. As part of its globalization agenda it has established partnering centers with universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Alumni include renowned business leaders, innovators, heads of state, Rhodes Scholars, and Nobel Laureates.
Advantages of citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda include visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 151 destinations including Europe’s Schengen Area, and a spouse, dependent children under 29, dependent parents, and grandparents aged 58 and over can be included in the application.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment Program introduced a time-limited option to make a non-refundable contribution of USD 150,000 (for up to four persons) to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), which was valid until 15 January 2021. For those who missed out on this opportunity, the SGF requirement has reverted to USD 195,000 (for up to four persons).
The SGF represents the ongoing development of the dual island nation and funds are used to advance the economy to the benefit of all citizens. Citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 156 destinations, and citizenship-by-descent is available for future generations. A spouse, dependent children under 31, dependent parents, and grandparents aged 55 and over can be included in the application.