Today’s global scape is changing—and changing rapidly. The international arena has morphed into an interconnected sphere with unprecedented information resources. Distance is no measure of the prospects at our reach. And with it, the notion of citizenship has expanded to encompass not merely our place of birth but, instead, our access to the world. 

The preeminence of high-net-worth individuals has grown exponentially over the past decade. But despite the increase in wealth—and with it, the significant economic and investment opportunities it allows— the presence of international security threats remains at the fringe of our worlds. From the recent attack in Paris, to the situations in Mali, Beirut, Ankara and across Nigeria, dual nationality is an insurance blanket unlike any other. In today’s ever-changing political landscape, the value of a second citizenship cannot be understated.  

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Indeed, the concept of citizenship and patriotism is one that must be clearly delineated. A second passport does not require renouncing your native citizenship, or giving up the heritage of your birthplace. Rather, dual nationality affords you the liberty of choice—of choice of where to reside, where to own property, and which passport to use depending on the country you’re visiting. This is where a second citizenship by investment program comes into play.

Attaining dual nationality offers some of the most rewarding advantages backed by the security a second haven can provide. This is especially true for Americans, who live so close to the heart of the Caribbean. Investing in St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica or Grenada grants you tremendous benefits while, in turn, supporting the economic developments of each respective island nation. The benefits work both ways.

St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and Grenada offer second citizenship by investment via an affordable, expedited process in some of most pristine locales across the Caribbean. From a $250,000 investment in St. Kitts and Nevis’ Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF); to a $100,000 contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) of Dominica; or a $200,000 donation to the National Transformation Fund (NTF) in Grenada, the three island nations provide second citizenship seekers some of the most inexpensive options to attain dual nationality. Each of these three nations also allow investments in pre-approved real estate, with a minimum investment of $400,000 in real estate in St Kitts and Nevis, a minimum investment of $200,000 in Dominica, and a minimum investment of $350,000 in Grenada. (As a comparison, it costs roughly $1.2 million for Bulgarian or Maltese citizenship by investment, or $10 million USD for an Austrian passport.)

The Caribbean is as beautiful in surroundings as it is valuable in benefits—both to you, the citizenship holder, and of course, the countries, which benefit from your investment and the resulting diversification of their economies. The contribution to St. Kitts and Nevis’ SIDF, as an example, supports the country’s transition away from its dependency on sugar as their main industry. The money invested spurs job creation and economic growth, thus allowing the country to move closer toward its social goals.

Second citizenship promotes convenience of travel with visa-free or visa-upon arrival options. A St. Kitts and Nevis passport grants you entry to about 130 countries and territories; Grenada to almost 120 countries and territories; and Dominica to more than 110.  For U.S. citizens, countries like China still require the arduous process of applying for a visa and paying the steep fees associated with its receipt. Grenadian citizenship, in contrast, enables visa-free travel to China.

With no residency requirements to attain or maintain the citizenship, U.S. citizens can receive a second passport in as few as 90 days—far shorter than the standard one to six years required by other countries. As a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica or Grenada, you are afforded the privilege of no tax on capital gains, inheritance or income from foreign earnings.

The Caribbean nations offer democratic rule, and adhere to individual privacy rights and international law. Measures are in place to preserve and protect your bank accounts, real estate investments, and business process. English is the official language and the time zone is the same as New York’s.

But of course, there’s nothing that compares to the tranquility of the Caribbean landscape: balmy stretches of sand cupping wisps of sea foaming at the fray of the island’s parameters. The luxury in experience, and not to mention the islands’ proximity for American residents (a mere 3 hour flight from Miami), makes St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica or Grenada homes away from home, and an insurance safeguard of the highest value in today’s volatile global environment. Second nationality here entitles your family citizenship for generations to come. It’s a legacy wrapped in the paradise of the Caribbean escape. 

Emmett is group managing director and senior legal adviser of CS Global Partners, advising on the leading citizenship by investment programs in St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, and Grenada.