Last week, the Cypriot government made the decision to pull the nation’s golden visa investment scheme. However, from Thailand to Taiwan, Cape Verdi to Cambodia, there are a wealth of other options for high-net-worth individuals looking to invest in secondary citizenship programs in search of winter sun.
There are some 20 global destinations offering warmer winter temperatures and the ability to secure residency or citizenship by investing anywhere from £12,000 to £3.9m. Thailand is the most affordable with a little over £12,000 securing permanent residency providing the applicant has held a Thai non-immigrant visa for at least three years prior to submission.
However, there are a number of nations that provide a far quicker route to a winter spent on the beach, with the additional benefits of visa-free travel to a whole host of other countries.
Astons, the alternative residency and citizenship acquisition experts, has revealed that Caribbean nations are seeing their strongest increase in demand for Golden Visas in many years, with a 300% annual increase in Q3 driven largely by U.S investors. The unstable landscape in the states isn’t the only thing driving this investment, with demand also strong from Italian, French, South African, Chinese and Russian investors.
Of these Caribbean nations, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Saint Lucia provide the lowest investment cost for a Golden Visa at just £77,535, with citizenship secured in just 76 to 137 days depending on which you opt for.
However, it’s St Kitts and Nevis that continues to prove the most popular of all Caribbean Golden Visa investments. St Kitts is home to the older citizenship investment program in the Caribbean and Astons has seen an increase of 110% in demand for the program on an annual basis during the third quarter of this year.
|Nation||Type||Investment cost (currency)||Investment cost GBP||Visa-Free Acess||Average winter temperature (ave for UK winter – Dec/Jan/Feb highs and lows)|
|Barbados||Permanent residency||Net assets of 5m USD||£3,876,725||161||25 C|
|Australia||Permanent residency||5,000,000 AUD||£2,765,075||183||31 C|
|Cyprus||Citizenship||2,150,000 EUR||£1,960,584||174||20 C|
|Cayman Islands||Permanent residency||2.4m USD||£1,860,828||146||25 C|
|Malta||Citizenship||1,150,000 EUR||£1,048,684||184||13 C|
|Bahamas||Permanent residency||750,000 USD||£581,509||155||25 C|
|Mauritius||Permanent residency||350,000 USD||£271,371||148||26 C|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Permanent residency||from 300,000 USD||£232,604||112||24 C|
|Cape Verde||Citizenship||approx 250,000 EUR (between 200,000-300,000 EUR)||£227,975||66||23 C|
|Cambodia||Citizenship||1bn KHR||£188,632||54||27 C|
|Taiwan||Permanent residency||200,000 USD||£155,069||146||18 C|
|Grenada||Citizenship||150,000 USD||£116,302||143||26 C|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Citizenship||150,000 USD||£116,302||156||25 C|
|Vanuatu||Citizenship||130,000 USD||£100,795||130||26 C|
|Dominica||Citizenship||100,000 USD||£77,535||140||25 C|
|Saint Lucia||Citizenship||100,000 USD||£77,535||146||26 C|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Citizenship||100,000 USD||£77,535||157||25 C|
|Panama||Permanent residency||40,000 USD||£31,014||141||28 C|
|Thailand||Permanent residency||from 16,000 USD||£12,406||78||27 C|
Managing Director of Astons, Arthur Sarkisian, explains why. “There is no doubt that with Cyprus deciding to scrap its citizenship through investment scheme, demand and investment that would have been drawn to the nation will now go elsewhere.
St Kitts is improving incredibly popular with investors for a number of reasons. First of all, it is an extremely established program and so they are able to facilitate investment professionally, appropriately and more importantly, far quicker than other Caribbean nations.
The average time to secure citizenship is just 56 days and this appeals to those looking to move quickly with their investment. They have also accelerated the application process during the pandemic which appeals to those looking for a quick escape from other high-risk nations.
There is also no annual quota on the number of applications submitted to the program so they are able to service demand regardless of how much it increases. This demand is coming largely from international businessmen and wealthy, upper-middle-class families and with a minimum investment of £116,302 per person, it represents very good value.
However, the nation has also reduced the minimum donation from £195,000 to £150,000 for a family of four, which has increased popularity for those looking for an alternative option to Europe during the winter.
It isn’t just this family offering that has kept demand high though. Investing in citizenship in St Kitts and Nevis also provides visa-free travel to 156 other countries, one of the highest of all Caribbean programs and one of the highest outside of Europe.
This combination of speed, international access and family appeal has ensured St Kitts and Nevis remains one of the premier Golden Visa destinations. There are little signs of this changing and we expect to see investment grow by at least 200% this year. ”