There’s a war going on in the Caribbean, and it’s a brutal one.
Five tiny island nations that most people can’t find on a map are locked in intense battle with one another vying for supremacy.
Fortunately it’s not a shooting war, it’s a price war— but one with serious economic implications for all five.
It started back in 1984 when, newly independent from the UK, St. Kitts and Nevis chose to use its sovereignty to raise revenue.
It became the first Caribbean nation to offer citizenship and a passport to anyone who made a sizable investment in the country.
Dominica followed suit in 1993.
It wasn’t until twenty years later that both Antigua and Grenada launched their own economic citizenship program in 2013, followed by St. Lucia in 2016.
So the number of options increased from one, to two, to five. And this immediately meant intense competition.
When hurricanes Irma and Maria brought widespread devastation to the area in 2017, St. Kitts and Nevis became the first to drop its prices.
As always happens in the face of competition, this eventually sparked a full-blown price war.
While $500,000 was once a common price for citizenship by investment, certain programs came down to a previously unthinkable $100,000 price tag.
The rest of the world is experiencing uncontrolled high inflation. But these five Caribbean nations— St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Antigua, Grenada, and St. Lucia— are seeing incredible deflation with their citizenship by investment programs.
(Economic policy makers should take note. If they want prices to come down, they need to promote free and unfettered competition in the marketplace. It does wonders.)
Bear in mind that granting citizenship in exchange for an investment in the country is not some illicit cloak and dagger scheme.
These are fully transparent government programs approved by parliamentary legislation and each country’s prime minister.
After all, as sovereign nations it is up to them to decide how best to raise revenue.
There are typically three types of qualifying citizenship investments offered by Caribbean countries:
One, typically these Caribbean citizenship by investment programs come with the option to purchase a zero-interest government bond which you must hold for several years. At the end when the bond matures, you’ll receive your full investment back, but with no interest.
This is not risk free of course because it’s possible the government could default on the bonds, although doing so would essentially destroy their citizenship by investment program forever.
Presuming they repay the debt, which so far they all have, the final investment ultimately amounts to the government fees, which can cost around $70,000 for an application with multiple dependents.
The second option is to purchase real estate.
In the Caribbean most real estate purchase options are in government approved projects, which are quite frankly overpriced in my opinion.
But many people find them appealing. The idea of buying a house on the beach somewhere and getting citizenship on top of it is very attractive.
This option also has government fees associated with it.
The last is a very straightforward donation option, where an investor can simply make a donation to a government development fund. And these have dropped down to as low as $100,000 and the fees are much lower.
When the travel industry ground to a halt in the wake of COVID-19, Caribbean nations became even more reliant on their citizenship by investment revenue.
Once again, competition spurred some to drop their prices and introduce discounted programs.
St. Lucia halved the price of its bond investment option from $500,000 to $250,000 and cut its government fees, while Antigua also slashed its government fees.
As soon as that happened, we published an alert to our premium members stating very clearly that if anyone had been on the fence leaning towards one of these citizenship by investment programs, this was an incredibly attractive entry point, and to take advantage of the opportunity because it might not last.
Many of our members did take us up on that, and they locked in an incredible deal. But as we predicted, that deal did not last and those special COVID discounts expired.
But that doesn’t mean the Caribbean citizenship price wars have ended. In fact they’re still raging.
Now St. Kitts and Nevis has introduced a $25,000 discount to the option to donate to its Sustainable Growth Fund— this is option three, the donation option which I mentioned above.
Including the discount, that now brings the total cost for a single applicant for the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program to $133,900 including the government fees (but not professional/ service provider fees) via its donation route.
St. Kitts and Nevis has a B grade passport offering visa-free access to 135 countries, including the Schengen Area and the UK.
An added benefit to St. Kitts’ discounted offer is an accelerated application process of just 60 days at no additional cost— about half the usual timeline.
But this discount is only good for applications received before June 30, 2023.
So if you were thinking about this and looking for a deal, this $25,000 discount is a great opportunity.
This isn’t the only good news in Caribbean citizenship by investment, however.
St. Lucia also dropped the price of its citizenship by investment real estate option.
The minimum investment in real estate was previously $300,000 to qualify for citizenship, but has now been reduced to just $200,000.
These governments are still locked in competition with each other. Just like airlines have price wars, these Caribbean island nations are engaged in price wars for their citizenship by investment programs.
Like any business they open and close discounts, they open and close incentives, and so when there’s a great opportunity, procrastination is not a great idea.
As with anything, you want to research and fully understand the programs, and make sure it is right for you. But once you have made that decision and there is a great opportunity in front of you, it makes a lot of sense to take decisive action.
And if you’re not yet a premium member, you can learn more here.