Individuals from all across the world share the same desire for visa-free travel, financial security, family safety, and privacy above all. One way to reach those desires is through the Curaçao Investor Permit Program – which is a citizenship by investment scheme aimed at qualifying non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss individuals who are seeking second citizenship and access to the world at large.
In exchange for an investment in the nation’s economy, successful applicants to this scheme, and their immediate family members, are awarded residency and citizenship rights in the Dutch-Caribbean island. While there are a handful of programs out there that adopt their own variations of this concept, the Curaçao Investor Permit Program is certainly a unique scheme.
In this article, you will learn about:
Curaçao Investor Permit Program: Brief Overview
Launched in 2014, the Curaçao Investor Permit Program is a government initiative aimed at attracting foreign investors to boost the nation’s economy. It grants high-net-worth individuals and their immediate family members with residence permits that lead to Dutch citizenship in as little as five years.
While there are many residency and citizenship by investment programs out there like Grenada citizenship by investment or Grenada citizenship by investment, few government programs offer dual citizenship benefits like Curaçao. Indeed, not only can investors gain residency in a beautiful, tranquil Caribbean island, but they can also possess a Dutch passport in little to no time, which grants them access to the entire European Union including the Schengen countries. All for a qualifying investment worth at least $280,000.
Curaçao is a Dutch-Caribbean autonomous country that forms part of the Dutch Kingdom. It is perfectly situated in the Southern Caribbean, just off the coast of Venezuela, and is lush with beaches tucked into glorious coves. The island enjoys an abundant diversity in nature, expansive coral reefs, and thriving marine life, all of which make it an ideal location for anyone who loves the beach and specifically diving.
While graced with palm trees, calm, crystal-blue waters, and endless sunshine, the true gem of this nation lies with the local population. Dutch, Papiamentu, English, and Spanish are all widely spoken in Curaçao, where certain communities also speak French and Portuguese.
Being strategically situated between Latin America and Central America, it is incredibly convenient for high-net-worth investors looking into establishing a distribution center that bridges Central, North and South America with the European Union. All of that, coupled with a skilled and friendly local population, makes the Curaçao Investor Permit Program the ideal scheme for international investors looking to set up their businesses ashore or settle down on a tranquil island.
To obtain a residence permit through the Investor Permit Program, applicant investors must meet the following criteria:
- Have sufficient financial resources to place an investment, and have the sufficient means to support themselves as a resident in Curaçao
- Hold a clean criminal record and possess good behavior
- Posses a private health insurance policy
- Have a general interest in Curaçao
- Prove that the investment was made legitimately and that the investment has a real economic benefit to the nation
The three investment options provided under the Curaçao Investor Permit Program are as follows:
- Real estate acquisition – The main applicant and primary investor may purchase a local property and qualify for a residence permit.
- Business Investment – The applicant may incorporate or buy shares in a locally-operating company, where the establishment has at least one local director and local financial administration to qualify as a business.
- Purchase of Securities – The applicant may invest in a company that’s listed on the Dutch Caribbean Securities Exchange (DCSX). The issuer of the securities can be a local company or a foreign entity, however, the local substance has to be proved. In that, at least one local director or legal representative has to be present, and financial administration must be performed locally.
Note that each investment option comes with its own residence permit category. In each case, a residence permit can be renewed if the investor’s circumstances remain unchanged.
- Three-year renewable residence permit for a minimum investment of $280,000
- Five-year renewable residence permit for a minimum of $425,000
- Immediate residence permit for a minimum investment of $850,000
$280,000 investment option
Applicants are granted a three-year renewable residence permit for a minimum investment of $280,000. This can be placed in real estate or their own business. Provided that your investment is maintained, you can renew your permit until you become eligible for a Curaçao citizenship application.
$425,000 investment option
Applicants are granted a five-year renewable residence permit for a minimum of $425,000. This can be placed in real estate or a business. Investors are capable of renewing their permits and applying for Dutch citizenship to acquire an EU passport.
$850,000 investment option
Applicants are granted an immediate residence permit for a minimum investment of $850,000. Qualifying investors acquire an indefinite residence permit valid for an indefinite period, provided they place the investment in real estate, business ventures, or purchase securities listed on the Dutch Caribbean Securities Exchange.
By renewing and maintaining their residence permits for five years, applicants become eligible for Dutch citizenship, provided they have lived in Curaçao for four months there out of every year, and five months anywhere in the Netherlands – totaling nine months every year.
There are a host of benefits to applying to Curaçao’s investor program besides acquiring a residence permit and obtaining EU citizenship after five years. These are as follows:
Dynamic Investment Opportunities
The Curaçao economy is growing alongside its established business infrastructure which is built to accommodate international business operations. This, along with its investor-friendly policies, make an investment in the nation an attractive prospect for anyone. Opportunities to invest in businesses or real estate are ripe, with anticipated high return rates.
Excellent International Trade Relationships
Curaçao is committed to its investors, boasting investment-friendly government policies that protect foreign investments. Since the country has international trade agreements with many other nations, trading here is welcomed.
High-Quality Education Systems
If you’d like to bring your family in for residency, it’s perfectly possible with the Curaçao Investor Permit Program. You can rest assured knowing that your children will have plenty of advantageous, and rich education prospects. One such prestigious example is the International School of Curaçao (ISC), which offers an excellent international curriculum.
Entry requirements to the program are extremely flexible. All that’s required is to prove you have enough funds to make the investment, hold a clean criminal record, and possess private health insurance coverage. In return, you are granted immediate visa-free travel to 172 destinations and become eligible for a Dutch passport in five years.
Curaçao’s official currency is Netherland’s Antillean Guilder (ANG) which has a solid exchange rate.
Dutch, Papiamentu, and English are the official languages in Curaçao, making it easy for expats to settle down or conduct business in the island nation.
The Curaçao tax system provides residents with plenty of tax advantages. There are low tax rates on exports, and certain businesses linked to export or import are exempt from paying import duty tax, turnover tax, and excise tax. Moreover, anyone who plans to retire in Curaçao may be please to know that residence permit holders avoid double taxation as Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Obtaining a Work Permit in Curaçao
One of the drawbacks of the Curaçao Investor Permit Program is that when you obtain the residence permit, you are not automatically granted the right to work in the country. Instead, you must separately apply for a work permit.
To obtain the permit, you have to find an employer to sponsor your work permit and launch the application process on your behalf. Generally speaking, it takes around three months for your work permit to get approved, so if you’re eager to work in the nation, make sure you start the process as soon as you have your residence permit.
Health Insurance Deposit
To successfully acquire the investor’s permit, you and your immediate family must have adequate health insurance coverage. This includes coverage of being admitted to a sanatorium or institution that provides psychiatric care.
In addition to having a private health insurance policy, the investors must pay a security deposit in order to obtain residence permits. The deposit amount varies in accordance with the applicant’s nationality.
An EU Golden Visa in the Caribbean
The beauty of the Curaçao Investor permit is that it automatically grants you the same rights of movement and settlement within the Netherlands, similar to Dutch residents. This means that not only will you be capable of indefinitely residing on a Caribbean island with your residency permit, but you can also spend as much time as you want in the Netherlands as well.
Since the Curaçao Investor Permit is regarded similarly to Europe’s Golden Visas, individuals who hold their temporary residence permits and respective investments for five years can obtain EU citizenship.
Official Documents for the Temporary Residence Permit
To obtain the temporary permit and be on your path towards citizenship, the following official documents are required:
- Declaration of Source of Funds
- Proof of health insurance
- Declaration of good behavior
- A certified copy of your original birth certificate
- A legible colored copy of your valid passport
- A certified copy of your utility bill to demonstrate proof of home address
- Bank statement from a local bank stating that you have made a local business investment of at least $280,000
- A bank reference letter not older than three months showcasing the integrity and sound business reputation of the applicant investor
Frequently Asked Questions about the Curaçao Investors Permit Program
What is the investor permit in Curaçao?
The Curaçao citizenship program was created to increase foreign direct investment in the nation. The program enables investors to obtain renewable residence permits and become eligible for Dutch citizenship, provided that the minimum investment threshold is met.
With the investor permit, where can I travel?
You can enjoy visa-free access to 172 countries including the EU and the Netherlands with your Curaçao investor permit, and have the right to live freely in Holland.
What eligible investments qualify for the investor permit?
You can choose to buy real estate, invest in an established business, or invest in securities and qualify for the investor permit.
What’s the minimum investment to qualify for the Dutch Golden Visa?
You must make an investment of at least $280,000 to qualify for the investor permit in Curaçao, whereby you become eligible for Dutch citizenship in five years.
Can I do the application alone?
While you can apply independently, we recommend seeking advice from a legal representative. They’ll be able to advise you on the document requirements, eligibility requirements, and the application process.
How can I get permanent residency in Curaçao?
You can get an immediate, indefinite residence permit for a minimum investment of $850,000 in Curaçao’s economy.
Can foreigners live in Curaçao?
Yes, holders of the Curaçao investor permit are able to live in Curaçao and the Netherlands indefinitely, as long as their permits are viable.
Can US citizens work in Curaçao?
Anyone who wants to work in Curaçao must acquire a specific Curaçao visa that permits them the right of employment there, regardless of whether or not they are Investor Permit holders.
Are Curaçao residents Dutch citizens?
Curaçao is a Dutch-Caribbean island, which makes any resident of Curaçao a resident of the Netherlands as well. Successful applicants acquire Dutch citizenship and have the right to obtain a Dutch passport.