How to get a second passport in the Caribbean – Business Insider – Business Insider

At the beginning of 2020, the US passport enjoyed a relatively high ranking on the Henley Passport Index, an annual report that ranks the strength of passports based on how many countries it grants holders visa-free access to. A person with US citizenship could gain visa-free access to 185 countries.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed that. Now, the US passport is rapidly losing some of its status. In July, CNN reported that the US passport is about as powerful as the Mexican one, which is currently ranked 25th in the world and allows visa-free entry to 159 countries.

For US citizens looking to explore secondary passport options, Caribbean countries present an appealing opportunity. Of the 13 Caribbean countries, it's possible to obtain citizenship for the cost of $150,000 or less in five of them: St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, and Antigua & Barbuda.

The Dominican Republic offers the next-most-affordable option for people seeking second passports; permanent resident status there can be obtained through an investment of $200,000 in a local business.

For comparison, as of November 2019,obtaining an EB-5 immigration visa to the US could set you back by about $1.8 million.

Jennifer Malin, an attorney and citizenship-by-investment expert based in St. Kitts and Nevis, told Business Insider that since the beginning of the pandemic, she has seen has an increase in interest from US citizens exploring second citizenship options.

"There's recently been an increase in applicants that are applying, particularly because they lowered the price for a family of four, and many of the citizenship programs have made changes to their programs that are more beneficial to applicants," Malin told Business Insider. The amount was reduced to $150,000 from almost $200,000 in July 2020.

Paddy Blewer, Public Relations Director with Henley & Partners, told Business Insider that one of the first steps in obtaining a passport via a citizenship-by-investment program in the Caribbean is proving that you have the capital to make that investment. Applicants will also have to go through a rigorous background check.

The result, Blewer said, is that applicants tend to be wealthy.

"Almost certainly the people that acquire alternative citizenship are quite wealthy because you're talking about having at least just over a hundred thousand us dollars to make this investment, at the very least," Brewer said. "The reality is, is it may well be more because it won't necessarily just be for you. So it very quickly racks up into early six figures."

The whole process takes two to three months.

Citizenship by investment is not the only way to get a second passport, however. You can also become a citizen through descent, marriage, and naturalization.

Here's everything you need to know if you're thinking of getting second citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, and Antigua & Barbuda. Note that the US and each of these five Caribbean countries allows dual citizenship, which means you do not have to give up the passport of one country in order to become a citizen of the other.

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How to get a second passport in the Caribbean - Business Insider - Business Insider

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