Citizenship for descendants in the Caribbean: Why Grenada is the best choice
July 16th 2019
Heritable citizenship has been a regular discussion topic for those concerned about the citizenship by investment (‘CBI’) programmes of the Caribbean. However, a little research on the internet will quickly land the information seeker on a host of websites making misleading claims. One easily finds the catchphrase “citizenship lasts forever”, and “all your future generations are guaranteed a passport” provided that they are your lawful offspring. Other exaggerated claims can be found.
To clarify matters, except for Grenada, no country in the Caribbean, to date, grants an immediate right of citizenship to the future generations. All of them, however, do allow it to pass to your second generation, that is the children of the applicant (if the main applicant was accepted), with a small fee payable.
However, that's where the cycle of citizenship ends. Once your offspring are granted citizenship, no more future generations (such as your grandchildren) are eligible for this unless they were born in the country, again, of course, except Grenada (which grants citizenship to all future generations).
When researched in depth, the rules and regulations of the naturalization process can indeed be difficult to understand. But, after seeking legal advice from qualified professionals, the facts become clear. The following is a future generation chart for the main Caribbean countries. It contains their costs for CIP programmes and everything else that interested persons should know. This can serve as a go-to guide whenever a person needs to know anything about Caribbean CBI programmes.
In the chart above, it can be seen that there is no ‘donation’ to be paid for newborn children or future spouses under the Grenada CIP and that third generation family members are also in line for citizenship. All other islands charge a ‘donation’ for adding a new spouse, ranging from $35,000 to $75,000, and all charge a ‘donation’ for newborn children except Dominica and Grenada.
According to the chart, you will see that Grenada does not charge anything for adding a future spouse, but there does seem to be a small fee for the inclusion of newborn children. Notwithstanding this, your third generation and their offspring, will automatically be entitled to receive citizenship. Beyond that you will need to make a further donation of $25,000 for each applicant.
On the other hand, all the other islands have also included costs for the addition of a new spouse, and that ranges from a minimum of $20,000 to a maximum of $75,000. There is a further rule which needs to be understood. Grenada is the only place that requires a separate application for the inclusion of parents (if you make this at a later stage).
Knowledge and understanding of these naturalization laws, their various costs and conditions is critical in advising and assisting clients to help them decide the best possible CBI programme for their short, medium or long term needs. For example, countries like St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts may not be the prime choice for a recent graduate who wants to start a family in the future as the costs mentioned may be prohibitive unless you are from a very wealthy background.
Costs aside, the CIP programme offered by Moldova is heritable, irrespective of the number of future generations, but you cannot add a future spouse, assuming that you get married later. A completely new application would need to be filed for any more dependents unless they are your newborn children, who are eligible for citizenship through you at no further cost.
CBI programmes invariably evolve over time and become more attractive to new investors. Heritability is an important factor which is often neglected, but experts believe it is important for developing a competitive edge. The know-how of how naturalization laws work in these islands, the fate of the future family members and the relevant costs are undoubtedly crucial components.