Increasing amount of applicants from China are looking to obtain a passport through Citizenship by Investment. Chinese investors are turning to the Caribbean and Europe where there are well known Citizenship by Investment programs. Some of the heads of the different citizenship by investment units have highlighted application statistics identifying people from China as comprising the highest volume of applicants. The former head of the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Unit cited that over 98% of applicants in 2018 were from China. Likewise, Les Khan the head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit in St.Kitts & Nevis stated in an interview that over 50% of the applicants for the St.Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit in 2018 were from China.
For the Chinese, some of the main criteria for selecting a citizenship program include affordability, visa free access and quick processing time. Chinese applicants are flocking to Grenada and St.Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean to do citizenship by investment. Both countries have citizenship that comes with a variety of advantages.
The St.Kitts passports allows visa free travel to over 150+ countries including Schengen Area, UK, Russia, Singapore and Hong Kong. With the passport there is facility to travel around the world without hassle. St.Kitts offers an accelerated application procedure whereby the applicant can obtain citizenship in 60 days from the time of submission of a citizenship application as opposed to the usual 3-8 month processing time. St.Kitts & Nevis is a tax neutral jurisdiction, applicants are not required to speak english or have any business experience and there is no requirement to visit or reside in St.Kitts & Nevis. The government requires that either citizenship be obtained through making a donation to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) for a minimum of US$150,000 or an investment of US$200,000 in real estate to be maintained for 7 years plus related due diligence fees and government fees.
Like St.Kitts, Grenada is a very popular citizenship by investment program for Chinese applicants. What is unique about the Grenada Citizenship by Investment program is that it is the only Caribbean citizenship by investment program that offers visa free travel to China. Another advantage for Chinese applicants is that Grenada has a E-2 Treaty with the United States. By having a Grenadian passport an investor can by making an investment enter the US in Treaty Investor status with the ability to work in the United States and with the ability for the spouse to also work in the United States and children have the ability to enrol in school in the United States. Applicants need to either invest US$200,000 as a donation or invest a minimum of US$350,000 in government approved real estate to be maintained for 4 years.
Also a sought after option for Chinese investors is the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program. The Cyprus passport offers European citizenship with the right to live and work in Europe. Cyprus citizens have visa free travel to over 150+ countries including However, obtaining a Cyprus passport is much more expensive when compared to other Caribbean programs and comes at a much higher price tag of a minimum of EUR 2 million. Cyprus citizenship can be obtained by investing in real estate which can be resold after 3 years with the exception of maintaining a property of just EUR 500,000.
Given the many advantages of Citizenship by Investment, it is likely that people from China will have a continued interest in seeking the benefits of obtaining citizenship through investment.
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