The Citizenship by Investment Programme of the small island countries has been becoming popular among foreign investors. Over the last decade, the demand for these programmes has been increasing among people who are looking to diversify their wealth. The economic programme is on the list of the investors because they offer benefits which are not provided by any other in the world.
Small island countries, such as Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia, are popular for their citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes in the Caribbean region. These countries offer profitable investment opportunities worth considering.
The alternative citizenship of these countries provides numerous benefits for the investors.
These benefits include favourable opportunities to plan and spread one’s wealth, reduced citizenship application timelines, extending citizenship to the family, wide range of investment programmes, high standard of living and enjoying the general benefits that come with living in modern, diverse countries. Additionally, the investment threshold is not as high as those of other countries. Individuals invest less to access the same benefits offered by relatively large countries.
- Shorter citizenship application timeline:
When seeking a second citizenship, the citizenship timeline, or the time it takes for one to move from investor to citizen makes a huge difference. According to the 2021 CBI Index, the speed that it takes to process citizenship application in small island countries is rapid compared to other countries offering the same program. According to the same report, fast track CBI processing options which are available at an additional fee.
This is particularly important for time poor investors looking for effective and trusted options with little or no residence.
It must be noted that fast track options do not reduce the amount of due diligence performed on individuals. The same multilayer approach conducted by various external and local firms along with international police authorities applies to these programmes.
- Obtaining citizenship with family:
The rise of increasingly complex family relationships is driving investors to seek CBI programs that allow for a more diverse range of family members to be included under a primary application. Even though a majority of CBI programmes provide for the inclusion of spouses and minor children, only a handful of countries do so for adult children and extended family. Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia were ranked high in this regard according to the CBI Index of 2021. These countries have multi-family member categories that can be considered with one primary application. The degree of flexibility in these categories means that points are awarded for adult children, parents, grandparents and even siblings. Investors who are seeking a second citizenship in these Caribbean countries do not have to worry about the breaking of family ties that comes with relocation and immigration.
- Wide range of investment programmes:
Every investment option is evaluated based on its rate of return. When considering a CBI option, the types of investments are thoroughly scrutinised because they form basis of the income that investors will receive in the foreseeable future. The broader the investment programmes are, the better the diversification of an investor’s portfolio.
Individuals applying for the Dominica CBI can make contributions to the Economic Diversification Fund and Real Estate. The former supports private as well as public projects within the country whereas the latter entails investment in approved real estate projects.
St Kitts and Nevis offers a wide range of CBI options such as the Sustainable Growth Fund. This option follows the Dominica CBI focus which is the public and private real estate development.
Key investments in St Lucia include the National Economic Fund Investment and real estate amongst others. This diversification of investment options is advantageous because it enables investors to select suitable investments that are in line with their risk appetite.
- High standard of living:
The United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), which encompasses factors such as life expectancy, education, access to healthcare, safety, and income is used to determine a country’s standard of living. Dominica, St Kitts, and Nevis, and St Lucia have an HDI of 0.742, 0.779, and 0.759 respectively. These country indices are higher than the countries where most investors come from, and they indicate fairly high standards of living.
Outside of economic factors, small island countries rank high in terms of freedom of expression, civil liberties, and political rights which all contribute to a high standard of living. Investments in these countries also tend to offer considerably stable returns because of reduced political risk from upheavals or conflict.
- Low minimum investment outlay:
According to the CBI report of 2021, small island countries offer relatively lower investment outlays for their CBI programmes. The minimum investment outlay is an important measure because it is one of the most practical and foremost considerations for all investors. Overall, small island countries had the lowest minimum investment requirements, with some as low as USD 100 000 in Dominica. The low investment outlay means that investors can access similar benefits that come with being a citizen of a country, without paying a fortune.