CSL monthly Industry Updates

September 2017

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Grenada Announces Amendments to Government Fees

Last week Grenada has announced changes to its Citizenship-By-Investment Regulations, effective immediately.

Application Fee of $1,500 per each applicant, which was due upon submission of citizenship application, has been repealed.

Government Due Diligence Fees were waived for dependent children under 17 years of age. Any applicant 17 and older will be charged $5,000 per person. Previously only children under 12 were exempted from due-diligence.

Government Processing Fees are increased from $500 to $1,500 for dependent children aged 17.

Please note that investment minimum for National Transformation Fund and Approved Real Estate remain unchanged.

Where invoices have been issued prior to the issuance of this notice, in any applicable case, they may need to be amended accordingly, in particular to the category of due diligence fees for children 0 – 16 and for children 17 and over. Please contact your CSL citizenship advisor when in doubt.

To see the revised list of all applicable fees follow this link: Grenada Fees and Requirements.

DOWNLOAD the revised Grenada Citizenship Guide (scroll down to the bottom of page for download button).

Dominica Issues a Limited Time Special Offer

Following the announcements made by Antigua & Barbuda and Grenada, the Citizenship Unit of the Commonwealth of Dominica has released a communique informing the industry of a new special offer valid for 1 year only as of September 1st, 2017. As per the offer, the minimum non-refundable Donation amount is lowered for large families:

  • Applicant with up to 3 qualifying dependents regardless of age – $200,000 (previously this minimum qualified an applicant, spouse and 2 children under 18);
  • For any additional qualifying dependent regardless of age – $25,000 (versus to $50,000 previously).

In addition, for a period of 12 months only the Government is implementing an adjusted Government Fee payable by applicants opting for the pre-approved real estate option. The new fees will apply as follows:

  • $25,000 Single Applicant  
  • $35,000 Main applicant with up to 3 dependents
  • $50,000 Main applicant with up to 5 dependents
  • $70,000 Main applicant with 6 dependents or more

Real Estate investment minimum remains unchanged at US$200,000, making Dominica the most affordable economic citizenship program in the world. To see the revised list of all applicable fees visit Dominica Fees and Requirements.

DOWNLOAD the revised Dominica Citizenship Guide (scroll down to the bottom of page for download button).

The Commonwealth of Dominica is known as the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean’. It is boasting a remarkably unspoiled natural beauty, along with a wide variety of flora, fauna and extensive natural park system, a heaven for hikers and photographers. The island is home to pristine tropical rainforests, 365 rivers, countless streams, waterfalls and lakes. Today, the Government of Dominica is investing heavily in tourism to drive economic development, focusing on the island’s unsurpassed natural beauty, and the popularity of diving, hiking and eco tours. To learn more about the destination visit Discover Dominica.

Low fees as well as recent reforms to Dominica’s programme have paved the way for it to become one of today’s most popular routes to second passport. Passport of the Commonwealth offers many benefits, including visa-free travel to about 100 countries.

We encourage all clients and agents to start preparations to submit your citizenship applications as early as possible to take advantage of the lowered fees. Contact CSL advisors today to initiate the process.

Which IS THE BEST Caribbean Passport To Get?

Traditionally, countries such as Canada and the US topped the list as primary options for international investors and wealthy families. With recent geo-political events such as Brexit and the US administration under President Donald Trump posing possible limitations to global mobility, there has been a significant shift in popular destinations. The increasing number of wealthy individuals are turning to countries like Grenada and Saint Kitts to leverage their wealth and gain residence or citizenship by investment, without the need to wait for some 5-10 years.

By securing an additional passport, these HNWIs can experience greater travel mobility, and focus their time on financial growth, business opportunities and travel freedom.

In 2014 Barclays has published “Barclays Wealth Insights: The Rise of the Global Citizen” survey. It found that among high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs are twice as likely to be planning a move to a different country in the next five years. While financial and business considerations remain an important motivation for some wealthy individuals planning to relocate, lifestyle factors such as climate and economic security take precedence when determining migration choices.

Reasons for planning or considering a move to a different country, as per the findings from 2014 “Barclays Wealth Insights: The Rise of the Global Citizen?”:

  • 35% are motivated to migrate for a desirable climate
  • 25% are motivated to migrate for economic security
  • 24% are motivated to migrate for retirement
  • 20% are motivated to migrate for an international career
  • 20% are motivated to migrate for education/opportunities
  • 20% are motivated to migrate for the experience of another culture
  • 19% are motivated to migrate for economic opportunities
  • 18% are motivated to migrate for a lower cost of living
  • 18% are motivated to migrate for a better work-life balance
  • 12% are motivated to migrate to start their own business
  • 10% are motivated to migrate for political security

But how does one navigate in the mass of information and chose the right program? This month CSL citizenship advisors are talking about factors one should consider when selecting a program.

While all five Caribbean Citizenship-by-Investment programs (CBI) have similar structure, they differ in requirements and benefits. Each client’s situation is unique and depending on their personal requirements the applicant may select a program that is best catered to the needs of his family. 20 years of experience in Citizenship-by-Investment helps us foresee possible bottlenecks and provide our clients with a professional advice that accounts for all potential risks.

Family composition. Large families should choose programs of St. Kitts & Nevis or Grenada as the government fees and minimum investments both for the single applicant or its qualifying dependents are lowest in these jurisdictions. Such structure of fees makes the total investment amount for large families much lower than in other, historically “cheaper” jurisdictions. Hence, large family application in St. Kitts & Nevis may be cheaper than the same family’s application in Dominica. Moreover, St. Kitts & Nevis or Grenada CBI programs provide wider age frames for the eligible dependent family members — children up to the age of 25 in Grenada and up to the age of 30 in St. Kitts & Nevis, as well as parents over 55 years old in both programs. In addition, St. Kitts & Nevis CIP is the only one that does not charge a non-refundable government fee upfront. To view the breakdown of fees see Investment Requirements.

Single applicants should avoid Saint Lucia CBI as it is the only program that doesn’t allow adding newborn babies and new spouse after citizenship is granted. Maximum flexibility for adding dependents is guaranteed by St. Kitts & Nevis and Grenada CBI. These jurisdictions offer naturalization of newborn children immediately for a small fee. Antigua & Barbuda and Commonwealth of Dominica also allow adding dependents after the main applicant’s citizenship has been long granted, however some physical residency and heavier extra fees are required.

Visa-free travel. Business travelers would find St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda passports to be the strongest as it relates to visa-free travel. Furthermore, St. Kitts & Nevis CBI provides the longest period of passport validity (10 years for adults and 5 years for children) and has simple passport renewal process. By contrast, applicants who obtain the second passport to facilitate their international travel should avoid applying for a passport of Dominica as it has the lowest number of visa-free countries among the five Caribbean CBI jurisdictions.
Applicants from China might prefer Grenada for its E-2 visa treaty with USA and the benefits it brings. Grenada also is the only Caribbean Program that offers visa-free entry to China, so it is suitable for those who maintain business ties with China.

Restricted nationalities. Only Grenada and Dominica programs accept applicants of all nationalities, provided they successfully pass enhanced due-diligence checks. Both jurisdictions remain the go-to option for nationals of Iran, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and others. For example, applicants from Iran have a choice between the programs of Grenada and Dominica, while applicants from Afghanistan may choose between Grenada, Dominica and Saint Lucia.

Education. For many nationalities getting their children a second passport is a way to provide additional access to the best schools or universities where strict geographical quotas apply. All five Caribbean CBI jurisdictions are a part of British Commonwealth, which offers certain benefits for passport holders when applying for admission to the prestigious schools in the UK, EU and even USA, where there are enrollment caps based on nationality. This option is particularly relevant for Chinese students.

Investment options and exit strategy. St. Kitts & Nevis is the best place to invest in real estate, as it carries no risk when it comes to reselling the property in five years. Historically real estate market in St. Kitts & Nevis is the most developed one due to the fact that it boasts well established and the longest running program. Speaking of exit strategy, at present the real estate hold period in Grenada is the shortest, three years compared to more common five year hold term in the other Caribbean. However, at the end their real estate investment does not qualify the new buyer for citizenship, unlike in Saint Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica or Saint Lucia, where the new buyer qualifies for citizenship and therefore has to meet the RE investment minimum requirement. This provision secures your investment from depreciation risk.

Dominica offers the cheapest real estate investment option, however its RE market and infrastructure are largely undeveloped. Most properties in the country are still sold off-plan. Besides, Commonwealth of Dominica does not have an international airport, so accessibility by air is limited by domestic flights from neighboring islands like Antigua.

Saint Lucia is the second cheapest option. Having launched its CBI program just a year ago, Saint Lucia has no constructed real estate developments to date. All real estate units are sold off-plan and do not bring rental income or offer its owners an opportunity to visit.

Hence, when it comes to the viable real estate investment options we recommend our clients to turn to well established real estate markets of St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda.

Freedom of movement within Caribbean region. All five of CBI jurisdictions are full members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which in turn unites twenty countries (fifteen of which are Member States, while five are Associate Members). Investors have an option to open a business, settle or retire in any of CARICOM countries, which are safe, clean and welcoming.

Experienced CSL citizenship advisors will analyze your individual requirements and help you select the program that is right for you. Contact CSL today for a complimentary no-obligation consultation.

Second Passport Scams and How to Avoid Them?

A growing demand for second passports has created a lucrative field for passport fraud market. Scammers claim to issue cheap instant passport and omit identity varification. Internet is booming with adds offering a passport of Belize, Panama, Uruguay, etc for US$10,000 or less. Although getting a dual citizenship for a price of a second-hand car sounds tempting, in the citizenship-by-investment world the rule is “if it sounds to good to be true – it is a scam”. Knowledge is the power and this month we would like to shed some light on the passport fraud scenarios to help you stay safe. What are the most frequently used passport scams?

Diplomatic passport 
A frequent offer is to become a diplomat of a country for a certain amount of money.  Such an offer is definitely a scam. Purchasing a post of diplomat is not possible from the constitutional point of view. A person has to meet high standards in order to be conferred the rank of diplomat.

Cancelled economic citizenship programs 
An important tip is to check weather a CBI program is still valid. Some scammers still speculate about Irish or Belize citizenship-for-investment programs that have been withdrawn years ago.

Non-existent passport  
Another approach is to sell applicants a passport of a country that has changed its name or don’t exist anymore e.g. Rhodesia or British Honduras.

Gray market 
Promoters who hint to “their friends” in the immigration department are not trustworthy. In effect they bribe an employee in the department who provides the promoters with stolen passports. Obtaining this kind of passport imposes the applicant to a significant risk. A bribed employee can be revealed. Another threat is that an owner is not legally able to reissue your expired passport if the government changes or the bribed “friend” loses his job, not even mentioning being able to pass this citizenship by descent. With the official government approved citizenship-by-investment programs you have full citizenship rights just as any native citizen.

Black market 
Those passports that are often claimed to be “instant” are completely illegal. Means of making such passports can involve stealing, counterfeiting and fraud. Consequences of getting such a passport in case of revealing a crime can be deportation and imprisonment.

“Banking passport” 
As a rule companies that offer a “banking passport” recommend you not to travel with it. If a passport holder crosses the border, he/she will be indicted for passport fraud.
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Tips to escape second passport scams:

  1. Check weather citizenship through investments is constitutional in the country. There are several countries (e.g. St Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Saint Lucia) where obtaining economic citizenship requires official procedure. So make sure of governmental CBI programs in the country.
  2. Never trust promoters who offer an “instant” passport. The official procedure requires a list of documents and takes 3-6 months to process an application.
  3. Find a reliable and governmentally registered agent of this program. There are names of authorized agents on the Government Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) websites. For instance, CSL is authorized to represent all 5 Caribbean citizenship-by-investment programs and is therefore listed on the CIU website of each jurisdiction.

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Contact CSL advisors to learn about the legitimate ways of obtaining lifetime citizenship for you and your family trough Government approved citizenship-by-investment programs in the Caribbean. 

Become a CSL Certified Partner

CSL is recruiting sales partners to promote Caribbean Citizenship-By-Investment solutions.

The majority of our business is based on long term partnerships with global agents and we continue to seek collaborative opportunities with agents from around the world. With a proven 6 step process and a number of hand picked property investment models we can offer your clients a safe, secure investment with guaranteed clear strategy as well as excellent rates of commission to help grow your business.

Our company has over 20 years of experience in Caribbean Citizenship Programs and Real Estate and we are the largest most trusted service provider, headquartered in the Caribbean. Our commitment to clients and global agents has resulted in a consistent track record of success and we have processed thousands of applications for high net worth, reputable individuals from all around the world including the Middle East, China, Russia and North America.

Whether you are in the legal, real estate, tax planning, wealth management, banking, accounting, concierge or luxury travel business, partnering with CSL can help you increase your services offered, win more clients, strengthen existing relationships and expand your business.

To learn more and submit an application to join the WW network of CSL partners visit Become a CSL Partner page.

If you would like to receive more information or assistance preparing your Citizenship by Investment application, please feel free to contact us directly for a complimentary 30-minute consultation.