Citizenship by investment is a highly popular venture in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and for good reason, the process awards applicants with a second citizenship and a robust passport in exchange for an affordable contribution to the economy.
Another major driver for citizenship by investment in the MENA is its inclusivity, as investors can add – theoretically – their entire family members to a Caribbean citizenship application, including their spouse, dependent children, siblings, parents, and grandparents, all under one investment.
However, in terms of large families, it becomes extremely important to understand which citizenship by investment program offers the most inclusivity and the best price. It is also crucial to understand the laws and regulations of adding family members to an application.
In terms of inclusivity, all five of the Caribbean nations offering citizenship by investment programs, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, and St Lucia, have similarly structured qualifications for dependent children, parents, and grandparents, albeit with slight variation.
In terms of affordability for large families, Antigua & Barbuda directly addresses the issue through its University of West Indies Fund (UWI), which is tailormade for families with six or more members.
The UWI investment option, which requires a USD150,000 donation for a family of six to qualify, makes Antigua & Barbuda the most affordable for large families. And as the family composition grows, so does the gap between Antigua’s option and the rest. Readers can check a comprehensive analysis on the matter in our dedicated blog piece about the cost for large families here.
Laws & Regulations
The laws and regulations concerning adding family members to a citizenship by investment application are roughly similar between all the Caribbean nations, with slight deviations in terms of age cutoffs and the addition of siblings.
There are, however, various similarities that one must take into consideration before pursuing an application, such as the definition of a dependent.
To qualify as a dependent, a person must be wholly financially reliant on the main applicant and/or spouse. This rule applies to all family members. The second qualification, which only applies to dependent children and siblings, is that they must not be married. The parents and grandparents of the main applicant and spouse can, of course, be married, but they must still rely financially on the main applicant or spouse.
There are some more components that one must consider. In the case of children from an older marriage or divorce for example. An applicant can add all their dependent children from current or previous marriages to the application as long as they meet the two main requirements, which are being financially dependent and single.
This also goes for children from multiple marriages, which is an important matter on its own. In the Caribbean, the governments do not recognize multiple marriages or polygamy, so they only consider the first wife of the main applicant as a spouse. To that end, an applicant can only add their first wife to an application.
Learn All You Need to Know About Second Passport for Large Families in this Video
However, it is noteworthy to mention that the main applicant can add all his dependent children, regardless of which marriage they hail from, as long as they meet the two major dependent rules.
An applicant who wishes to include his second, third, or fourth wife in an application cannot do so. However, He can sponsor separate applications for his other wives, albeit by making a separate investment on their behalf.
It is also worth mentioning that Turkiye has a citizenship by investment program, and although it has a much lower dependent child age limit (18) and does not allow the addition of dependent siblings, parents, or grandparents, it does give investors a little bit of flexibility in terms of polygamous marriages.
While Turkiye does not allow an investor to add more than one wife to an application, since polygamy does exist in Turkiye and the government does recognise it legally, an applicant can choose which wife to add to the application.
This differs from the Caribbean, which do not recognise the second, third, and fourth marriages of an applicant to be legal. The only way they would recognise a second wife is if the main applicant and his first wife got divorced.
Adding a large number of dependents and navigating the laws regarding who qualifies as a dependent may seem like a complex, exhaustive matter, but we at Savory & Partners make it simple.
Our years of experience dealing with Caribbean citizenship by investment programs, and focusing on MENA applicants, has given us the expertise needed to analyse any situation and provide the best possible solution. To know more about getting a second citizenship for yourself and your family, contact us today for a consultation with one of our experts.
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