Five OECS jurisdictions increase minimum investment thresholds, aim to enhance transparency

In a historic move, the five OECS countries offering CBI have increased the minimum investment thresholds equivalent to or more than US$200,000 to qualify for Citizenship by Investment Programmes.

Five OECS jurisdictions increase minimum investment thresholds, aim to enhance transparency
Five OECS jurisdictions increase minimum investment thresholds, aim to enhance transparency

Caribbean: In a historic move, the five OECS countries offering CBI have increased the minimum investment thresholds equivalent to or more than US$200,000 to qualify for Citizenship by Investment Programmes.

The decision was taken to implement the arrangements agreed in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which was signed by countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis in March this year.

According to the MOA, the countries were supposed to increase the minimum contribution for the investors to qualify for CBI within the set deadline of June 30, 2024. Effective July 1, 2024, all these countries have taken the decision and amended their legislations according to the new price adjustments.

The main aim of the agreement was to enhance the transparency of the CBI Programmes and tackle the problem of cost-cutting as the discount at the agreed minimum price is titled “unethical”. In order to enhance the standards of best practices and cooperation, the MOA has been put in place among the five OECS countries.

Download the MOA from the link

Considering a landmark move, the MOA is also aimed at enhancing the due diligence processes and other aspects which are related to the integrity of the programmes.

CBI Countries and their minimum investment thresholds

St Kitts and Nevis- become the first nation to implement

Leading the CBI industry, St Kitts and Nevis agains showcased its commitment in maintaining the long-standing reputation of the CBI Programme among the international community. The Citizenship by Investment Unit of the Federation has increased the minimum contribution even months before the actual MOA came into place.

Effective July 2023, St Kitts and Nevis increased the minimum investment threshold to US$250,000 and amended several new regulations in the CBI Programme. The unit has taken several steps to promote transparency, efficiency, and other regulatory developments.

Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew made efforts to push other countries to sign the agreement and bring them together at one platform to enhance common practices to make the CBI Programmes better and more efficient.

St Kitts and Nevis CBI
St Kitts and Nevis CBI

In the amendments, the government put forth a Sustainable Island State Contribution under which a US$250,000 investment has been set for a single applicant. While the main applicant with up to three dependants will be qualified for citizenship with an investment threshold of US$350,000.

In addition to that, the applicants with additional dependant of under 18 will have to invest US$50,000, and for those over 18, an additional US$75,000 will be required under the investment option.

Talking about the real estate, the contribution of US$400,000 shall be paid for the Citizenship by Investment Programme which is the highest among the five islands. The investment will be divided as the US$25,000 is set for the main applicant, US$15,000 shall be paid by those with a spouse, US$10,000 is required for applicants with dependants under 18 and for dependants over 18 will come under the contribution of US$15,000.

Dominica and CBI amendments

Dominica has also announced the amendments to its minimum investment threshold and issued the new Gazetted Regulations. Effective July 1, 2024, the single applicant will now have to contribute US$200,000 under the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) as outlined in the MOA.

For an applicant with up to three dependants, the contribution of US$250,000 has been announced, while US$25,000 shall be paid by the applicant with an additional dependant of under 18. A US$40,000 contribution has been set for those with dependant of over 18.

Dominica CBI
Dominica CBI

Under the real estate, the contribution stands at US$200,000 and the government fees for the single applicant will be US$75,000.

The investment for the main applicant with up to three dependants will be US$25,000.

Grenada

The third country in the historic move was Grenada which has also issued the regulations of increasing the minimum contribution under the donation options. As per the new arrangements, US$235,000 has been set as the investment for a single applicant, while, it will be US$235,000 for the applicants with up to three dependants.

An investment of US$25,000 has been decided for the applicant with an additional child or parent aged over 55, while US$50,000 will be paid by the applicants with parents under the age of 55.

Grenada CBI
Grenada CBI

To qualify for the Citizenship of Grenada, the applicant with siblings will have to contribute US$75,000 under the donation option.

In addition to that, the contribution under the real estate option for a single applicant will be US$50,000 and the same will be applied for those with up to three dependants. The contribution of US$25,000 has been decided by the authorities for each additional parent with over 55 or child and each parent under 55 will have to contribute US$50,000.

Antigua and Barbuda

The prices have also been increased for Antigua Citizenship by Investment Programme under the donation option and real estate investment. A contribution of US$230,000 has been set for the main applicant and same has been decided for the applicant with up to three dependants.

The contribution for additional dependants in terms of family of 5 or more will be US$245,000. Also, the Processing fees for the family of 4 will be US$30,000 and the applicant with additional dependants will have to invest US$10,000.  

Antigua and Barbuda CBI
Antigua and Barbuda CBI

The real estate investment in Antigua and Barbuda will be at the minimum investment threshold of US$325,000 and the government fees for the family of 4 will be US$30,000 and in case of additional dependants – US$10,000 each will be asked for. 

In addition to that, the UWI has also been increased to US$300,000 which is inclusive of processing fees.

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia also signed the MOA and increased the investment thresholds for a single applicant with a contribution of US$240,000 and the same will be applied for the applicants with up to three dependants.

The contribution for an applicant with additional dependants under the age of 18 years will be US$10,000 and for dependant of over 18 will be US$200,000. This will also include any processing fees.

Under the real estate options, US$300,000 has been set for the single applicant, while for the main applicant and spouse, a contribution of US$45,000 shall be required.

Saint Lucia CBI
Saint Lucia CBI

But for the applicant applying with spouse and more than four dependants Saint Lucia will charge the government fees of US$ 10,000. 

Saint Lucia has also approved the enterprise option at US$250,000 and the National Action Bond at US$300,000 remains unchanged in the additional price amendments. 

The amendments by the OECS countries are amendment enhancing the transparency of the programmes and maintain their standards among the international community.