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Caribbean CBIs

Caribbean Citizenship-by-Investment Programmes: Performance and Challenges

History and Growth of CBIs

Citizenship-by-Investment programmes began in 1984 in St Kitts and Nevis, followed by Dominica in1991, by Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada in 2013 and then St Lucia in 2015. Since 1984, several changes and adjustments were made to the various schemes. Basically, however, there are three types of programmes: a financial donation; real estate and an investment. The donation normally goes to the treasury or to a national development fund to finance strategic development projects. The real estate option which has become the most attractive in terms of demand involves the purchase of property which could be sold after an agreed length of time.

St. Kitts & Nevis

How Much is Shrouded in Secrecy?

The Citizenship By Investment Programme (CBI) of St. Kitts and Nevis seems shrouded in a troubling combination of secrecy, a lack of transparency and financial accountability.

The existing reporting by the government itself indicates the Commonwealth nation relies on its CBI programme for a large portion of its total revenue. Based on the Auditor General’s report of 2020, as much as 40% of the country’s revenue is derived from the CBI programme.

Antigua & Barbuda

CBI: Controversial...but Critical to the Future

Established in 2013 through an act of parliament, the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) was intended to increase foreign direct investment.  It was envisioned as a way to promote development without imposing any new taxes on the country’s 100-thousand citizens. 

Today, the program makes up about 10% of the country’s overall budget revenue.  Prime Minister Gaston Browne told CIJN  this kind of non-tax revenue helped the country “create fiscal space, [to] continue to fund government operations.”