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Biz Memos

Expand your global mobility with a second passport in the Caribbean

Philstar.com
Expand your global mobility with a second passport in the Caribbean
Successful Filipino applicants obtain access to 93 more jurisdictions, with a total visa-free access of 160 destinations. 
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MANILA, Philippines — Citizenship by investment has become one of the fastest and most effective ways to futureproof your family, your wealth and your business interests. By significantly expanding your global access, you create more opportunities for growth, and you also mitigate the risks of regional volatility and being limited to a single jurisdiction. 

With a Filipino passport, you can only access 67 destinations around the world without needing a prior visa, but when combined with a Caribbean citizenship by investment passport, your visa-free or visa-on-arrival access increases by almost 100 jurisdictions.

This brings your total global mobility access score to more than 160 destinations worldwide—from the UK to Europe’s Schengen Area, to key financial markets in the rest of Asia. 

The Caribbean has five independent Commonwealth countries offering citizenship by investment programs that: 

  • Allow dual citizenship so you do not need to renounce your Filipino nationality 
     
  • Have efficient processing times allowing you to acquire citizenship within three to six months
     
  • Allow investors to include children under 30 and their parents (and/or their spouses’ parents) in the applications, and some even allow qualifying siblings and grandparents as well
     
  • Provide passport holders with visa-free access to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and the UK, as well as e-visa access to Australia India, and the UAE, among others
     
  • Grant visa-free access to Europe’s Schengen Area, thereby enabling investors to take advantage of the business opportunities available in the region  
     
  • Do not require you to reside in the Caribbean nation to maintain your citizenship status (Antigua and Barbuda requires a minimum stay of only five days within the first five years of citizenship, while the others have no physical presence requirements neither during nor after the process)
     
  • Are Commonwealth members, which entitles their citizens to certain privileges in the UK and other member states

The following programs are the top Caribbean citizenship by investment options. 

1. St. Lucia, the only program with a refundable bond backed by the government

St. Lucia requires a minimum contribution of $100,000 to secure citizenship in three to four months. Another attractive option is a recoverable investment in government bonds with a minimum value of $250,000 under St. Lucia’s limited COVID-19 Relief Bond offer, valid until Dec. 31, 2022. A St. Lucian passport adds visa-free access to 94 jurisdictions for Filipino investors, with a total of 161 destinations accessible with both passports in hand. 

2. St. Kitts and Nevis, the only fast-track route in the Caribbean

Having recently bolstered its governance and due diligence processes to protect investors, St. Kitts and Nevis has positioned itself as a frontrunner for citizenship by investment opportunities.

Citizenship can usually be acquired in three to six months, but St. Kitts and Nevis also offers the region’s only accelerated application option, enabling a processing time of 45 to 60 days.

Applicants from the Philippines either make a minimum contribution of at least $150,000 or invest in real estate with options starting from $200,000, and gain access to 102 more jurisdictions, bringing their total visa-free score to 169 destinations worldwide. 

3. Grenada, the only Caribbean program with E-2 Investor Treaty with USA

Citizens of Grenada are eligible to apply for a USA non-immigrant visa thanks to Grenada being the only Caribbean country with a citizenship by investment program that holds an E-2 Investor Visa Treaty with the USA.

For a minimum contribution of $150,000, Filipino investors can gain a second passport and visa-free access to a further 93 jurisdictions within three to four months, with total visa-free access of 160 destinations. 

4. Antigua and Barbuda, one of the most competitive programs in the region

With a processing time of three to four months, Antigua and Barbuda offers an excellent choice for high-net-worth families who wish to take advantage of real estate or business development opportunities.

For a minimum contribution of $100,000 (or real estate worth a minimum of $200,000), you gain access to 100 more jurisdictions, bringing your total visa-free score to 167 destinations worldwide. 

5. Dominica, a safe and secure location

Dominica offers citizenship in three months, a friendly population, and an almost non-existent crime rate. Applicants can choose between a minimum contribution of $100,000 or approved real estate valued at a minimum of $200,000.

Successful Filipino applicants obtain access to 93 more jurisdictions, with a total visa-free access of 160 destinations. 

Thanks to Henley & Partners’ extensive network of offices, you do not need to visit the citizenship host nations during the application stage, since we can manage the government process on your behalf.

 

To find out how to become a citizen of one of these Caribbean islands and expand your visa-free access to the world by almost 100 destinations in less than six months, reach out to Scott Moore, head of the Philippines office at Henley & Partners—the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment.

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