The Caribbean is a well-known travel destination for cruises. In fact, it is widely considered as the foremost option for tourists who want to go on a cruise. The Greater Caribbean alone is visited mostly by American (71 percent), Canadian (12 percent), and British (six percent) tourists, according to data from cruise ship passengers’ surveys cited by the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).
On top of that, the region’s cruise tourism has grown from a 500,000-passenger industry in 1970 into one with almost 23 million tourists in 2015. With these astounding statistics in mind, it isn’t surprising to see more and more people not only wanting to visit the region but also applying to become economic Caribbean citizens and raise a family there.
If you’re just starting a family and are considering the region as your new home, here are three of the best Caribbean countries you may want to look into:
Antigua and Barbuda
The Caribbean region is often associated with translucent turquoise waters and stretches of white sand. Although this holds true, couples could get all this and more on the 108 square miles of the picturesque tropical land of Antigua.
To get the most out of this island and its sister island, Barbuda, you should consider officially residing in the country by applying for the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program. The fastest way to do this is by contributing to the National Development Fund (NDF) or investing in a real estate property or business.
Antigua offers the ultimate luxury of relaxation, untainted by issues like fighting for towel space on the beach with crowds of people. This is because there are plenty of beaches you can visit on the island alone, earning Antigua the right to be known for its “365 beaches for 365 days.” Even if you do visit a different beach for every day in one year, you will still have more to look forward to because there are more stunning spots you can check out in Barbuda.
Of course, this famous Caribbean nation has more than just beaches. It also houses Nelson’s Dockyard located on English Harbour and is the centre of international yachting in the region.. There, you’ll find several forts, yachts, and century-old structures that will satisfy your thirst for a nautical adventure.
But that’s not the best part yet. Below are the several other economic and lifestyle benefits you can get when you get an Antiguan passport:
- Plenty of space as it is home to over 100,000 residents only
- Ease of travel without the need for a visa to more than 150 territories
- Tax-free global personal income and other tax benefits should you become a permanent resident in the future
Nature-loving couples would have a blast living the rest of their lives in Grenada as it is home to more pristine forests and fewer people. On top of that, you would get to enjoy a daily view of the mountainous terrain, verdant valleys, majestic mountains, and crystalline sea waters as you travel through the island.
Located in the Southern part of the Caribbean just below the hurricane belt, this country experiences less devastating weather extremes. Despite this, it is one of only a handful of Caribbean territories offering hurricane insurance for boats.
Aside from the lack of weather disturbances and financial protection just in case, the country is a popular mooring spot for sailors due to the abundance of marinas and repair and maintenance service providers for boats of all shapes and sizes. This may also be the very reason why it has established quite a massive yachting community, making it a great option for couples who love to cruise.
Like Antigua and Barbuda, the nation, famously known as the “Spice Island,” also offers plenty of business and lifestyle benefits to economic citizens, such as:
- A quick second passport application process in a span of four to six months
- Visa-free travel to more than 130 countries around the globe, including the European Schengen zone
- Tax-free global income – citizens are not charged any taxes and you have the option to become a permanent resident in Grenada in the future which can completely streamline your global taxes.
Dominica is an island oasis that is gaining more props for its volcanic landscapes, untouched forests, rich history and culture, and the unique experiences it has to offer. Officially known as the Commonwealth of Dominica, this country has been independent since 1978.
And while its official currency is Eastern Caribbean dollar, you won’t have to worry too much about not fitting in because the official language in the country is English. You might also hear some natives speaking Creole – a language that mixes African, German, French, and English – which serves as a remembrance of the island’s colonial past.
Dominica is home to nine picturesque volcanoes, which means you can expect plenty of black sand beaches and steaming hot springs. In fact, it is home to the world’s second-biggest boiling lake.
Discovered in 1870, the Boiling Lake – as it’s so aptly named – is basically a flooded fumarole situated in the middle of a volcanic crater. The interesting part is that the water changes colors depending on the current volcanic activity.
Aside from these natural attractions, the Commonwealth of Dominica also offers similar economic citizenship benefits, such as:
- Visa-free access to over 120 nations
- Minimal taxation and exemption from gift, wealth, inheritance, capital gains, and foreign income taxes
- Full residence status
Cruising and Living in the Caribbean
Cruise tourism is one of the primary contributors to the Caribbean’s growing reputation as a tourist destination. Add that to the fact that many countries in the region already offer citizenship by investment, and you’ll probably decide to make it your second home.
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean, North America and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.