Competition in the Caribbean citizenship by investment arena intensifies with Antigua announcing it will abolish personal income tax from 1st April (details to follow). Antigua seems determined to steal a march on its Caribbean rivals.
The number of countries in the Caribbean offering citizenship by investment recently increased to 5 following the announcement by St Lucia that it has entered the fray from January 1st. St Lucia is capping the number of second passports it will issue to 500 annually and requiring demonstrable net worth of US$ 3 million from applicants, thus seeking to elevate it’s programme to a more exclusive plane.
St Kitts is emphasising that it’s due diligence checks are more stringent than ever, stressing the integrity of its long-standing programme after a few recent scandals and embarrassing revelations.
That leaves Dominica and Grenada. Grenada seems content to remain low-key, being almost apologetic that it has such a programme and Dominica remains firmly placed in the value for money category.
All 5 Caribbean countries face competition from the residence and citizenship programmes available in Europe and with the Schengen countries reviewing policy on visa free access and travel within borders, the need to offer value over and above the utility of being an expensive but useful travel document has never been greater. Antigua appears to have grasped this and by positioning itself as a potentially viable tax haven it has raised the bar.