A second passport has become a valuable commodity for many, especially for entrepreneurs. Aside from reducing tax burdens, second passports and dual citizenship also offer a new level of freedom with certain travel benefits.
Of course, these perks come with a cost. For many people, becoming a dual citizen may seem next to impossible, considering the complex procedures and challenging requirements set by countries like the United States.
Citizenship by investment programs offered in the Caribbean nations, as their name suggests, involves paying money to secure a second passport. However, the second passport and dual citizenship obtained in this manner are by no means “fake,” like many may erroneously believe.
In this article, you will discover the most common myths about Caribbean dual citizenship and discern what is true from what is mere hearsay.
Myth #1: Passports “Bought” from the Caribbean Are Fake
While it is true that you would need to shell out money to get a second citizenship from Caribbean countries, it doesn’t mean that you are buying a false second passport. On the contrary, both successful applicants and the authorities alike attest to the legitimacy of these passports and the benefits that come with them.
The issue lies with the status quo in acquiring dual citizenship. Since the process is quite straightforward in Caribbean nations, it is not unexpected that people would compare it to the process set by more prominent countries like the U.S. The geographical size and influence of the country may also play a factor in this misconception.
Of course, it is worth noting that programs such as the Antigua citizenship by investment program still require applications to go through a thorough screening process and determine the veracity of the documents and background of the applicants.
Caribbean nations don’t let just anyone get their second passport. Certain circumstances merit the denial of citizenship by investment program applications, as follows:
- If an applicant provided false information in the application forms;
- If an applicant or his dependents are found to have a contagious illness or any serious medical condition after examination by a medical practitioner;
- If an applicant has previously been convicted of an offense with a maximum penalty of six months of incarceration without being given free pardon;
- If an applicant is being investigated for a crime;
- If an applicant is considered a national security risk for Antigua and Barbuda and any other nation;
- If an applicant is found to be involved in activities that may disgrace Antigua and Barbuda, and
- If an applicant has been denied a visa to another country linked to Antigua and Barbuda’s visa-free travel program and has never acquired approval for such a visa following the denial.
Myth #2: Getting a Second Passport from the Caribbean Requires Residency There
Another common misconception people have about Caribbean second passports is the potential residency requirement. This notion may have been born from the concept of naturalization – the most common method of acquiring dual citizenship.
Contrary to what you may have been told, you don’t need to live in countries like Antigua and Barbuda to be able to become an economic citizen of the country. In fact, you don’t even have to visit the country during the application process to get your second passport.
However, nations like Antigua and Barbuda still require citizenship by investment program applicants to spend at least five days in the country within five years following the approval of their application so that they can retain their standing.
Myth #3: Caribbean Passports are Less Impressive than Those from Bigger Countries
A major cause for concern among people wanting to apply for dual citizenship in Caribbean countries is the “quality” of the passport. Some may think that since these countries are small islands that don’t have that first-world country label, they won’t get as many benefits from them as they would from other passports.
This simply isn’t true. Caribbean passports carry with them the same weight in terms of international travel so long as the passport is still valid. How you are treated abroad is also not related to the type of passport you carry, and having top-tier passports doesn’t necessarily offer a better traveling experience.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Dual citizenships and second passports from different countries may offer differing benefits, and it’s up to you to determine which suits your needs and preferences best. Caribbean citizenship by investment programs come with truly exciting and rewarding benefits, as you have now learned from this debunking of common myths mentioned in this article.