Following what can only be described as a tumultuous year, British citizens face intensified uncertainty with the Brexit transition period ending on December 31st, 2020.
As the year winds down, many UK citizens are holding their breath in anticipation of what the change will mean. There is also much debate over what Brexit will mean for the strength of the UK passport and in turn, what travel limitations will be imposed, but people are making a plan.
Citizenship by Investment
The opportunity to acquire second citizenship via one of the Caribbean citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programmes is becoming increasingly popular with UK citizens. As a solid Plan B, families are afforded the opportunity to lay down roots in another country that offers financial stability, access to better healthcare and educational opportunities, greater global mobility, and most importantly, sound real estate investment options. Second citizenship also opens considerable doors to new entrepreneurial options thanks to the abundance of financial opportunities made available across the globe with visa-free travel.
Affordable Real Estate Investment
The countries of St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica dominate the Citizenship by Investment industry and are becoming increasingly popular as second citizenship destinations. While they consist of a smaller population, a slowed pace of life and tranquil surroundings are major pull factors for UK investors. Topping the list of advantages is the affordable real estate. Property in the UK is far from cheap, leaving those that can afford to purchase homes with limited options in terms of space and size of property and choice of area.
In the Caribbean, however, the cost of buying a good-sized home is far cheaper than in the UK, with the average selling price for a house in St Kitts and Nevis offering an average property sale price of GBP 189,479 for a property of 70 square metres.
“Put simply, Brexit has left people uncertain about their future. Whether it’s your business, family or just the security and stability that you want from your government. It has made many think of what their options really are,” says Paul Singh, Director of CS Global Partners, a legal advisory firm headquartered in London.
“What is the ‘Plan B’ if Brexit does not favour your personal situation or the overall economic state of the country? Citizenship by Investment provides that safety net and the financial freedom they crave. As a company, we have seen a marked increase from British citizens in applying to our programmes in the Caribbean; specifically to the Dominica CBI Programme,” Singh added.
Investing in a Caribbean Citizenship
The Commonwealth of Dominica has ranked number one in the world for the last four years by the comprehensive CBI Index, a rating system published by PWM, a publication by The Financial Times. Dominica offers a slice of paradise with true island-style living, reduced traffic and lucrative real estate investment options, not to mention the balmy weather being a welcome departure from the much cooler UK climate.
Similarly, the dual island nation of St Kitts and Nevis is the oldest Citizenship by Investment programme in the world. It offers an attractive three month turnaround time as well as the opportunity of citizenship for up to four people on a single application and the ability to pass your citizenship down to future generations. The Programme offers a highly palatable investment threshold, with the bonus of affordable property.
It is the passport — and the benefits of possessing it — that are desirable to many UK citizens as visa-free travel and ease of movement becoming a major consideration. Caribbean passports allow visa-free travel to more than 140 countries, which include the Schengen Area, Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia and the UAE.