Publication 3. 2021
This publication is for the greater part a repetition of our publication # 5 of last year. After having been through the experiences of the Covid 19 pandemic, it has become clear that the way of working and living has changed. From real digital nomads to others that opt to live, and where possible, have residence in more than one local place, things have changed forever.
With an open economy like the one we have in Curaçao, it is important to remain aware of these developments because they create opportunities to cater to the needs of these new world citizens. In the last two decades, we have seen an enormous rise of wealthy individuals worldwide. Wealthy individuals with an ever-increasing demand for travel and investment freedom on a global scale. This new category of wealthy traveling individuals, “Global High Net Worth Citizens”, often originates from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. The key concerns amongst these Global Citizens are visa-free travel, family safety, financial security, and where possible a “private” status in society. The same can be said for the digital nomads we referred to above.
Why would you live year-round in the same busy and extremely expensive big city? Why would you surrender to onerous daily travel to get to your workstation where you log on to a cloud server and the whole day do nothing but work from your machine on the cloud. Have not you just gotten the experience (forced upon you by Covid 19) that working from home also “works”? At least half of the time or so because you still do appreciate physical contact with colleagues and coffee machine or water cooler gossip.
Add to or combine this somewhat freer working environment with the global need and demand for investment opportunities, many countries have adopted a special “Investor Permit” program that provides solutions to one or several of these concerns. In return for often substantial investments in the ‘host’ country, an investor can often rapidly obtain either a residency or citizenship and thereby often even a passport of that country. Although the performance of these programs varies substantially, successful programs have resulted not only in significant increases in foreign direct investment in the ‘host’ country but also in an embedded knowledge migration.
Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean Island, and an autonomous country within the Dutch Kingdom also has its own Investor Permit Program. Curaçao is located in the Southern Caribbean, just off the coast of Venezuela. Curaçao has a warm, sunny climate all year round, with an average temperature of about 27°C (81°F).
Curaçao’s capital is Willemstad, a Unesco World Heritage City which takes up most of the central part of the island. You can travel to Curaçao by air with direct flights from North America, Europe, and South America.
The currency used in Curaçao is the Antillean Guilder (ANG), also called the Florin. The Antillean Guilder’s exchange rate is fixed to the US Dollar at a price of 1 USD = 1.80 ANG. When exchanging money at a bank the exchange rate is 1.78 or 1.82 ANG, depending on if you are buying or selling ANG to the USD.
The local population is known to often speak multiple languages including Dutch, the native language Papiamentu as well as English and Spanish. You will also encounter fractions within the community that understands and speak French, and Portuguese. The multilingual talent of the locals is of great value for international investors that decide to establish their business on the island or wish to seek residence. Another reason to invest in the island is its location. Situated between South America and Central America, it has a strategic and safe location, outside the hurricane belt, making Curaçao an excellent distribution center for the Caribbean area, South, Central, and North America, and the European Union.
In 2014, the government of Curaçao issued the Guidelines Investors Permit 2014 in an effort to increase foreign direct investment. As a result, Curaçao opened a gateway for high-net-worth investors to obtain a residence permit in Curaçao and in principle after five years be eligible for Dutch (EU) citizenship.
The Curaçao Investor Permit Program (hereafter “CIPP”) consists of residency a/o eventual citizenship programs for investments in Real Estate and Business Ventures. In 2019 the investment possibilities were expanded and now also include the possibility of investing in a DCSX listed entity, as long as certain conditions are met.
The CIPP offers three basic options which in very brief amount to:
This investor permit program offers a residence permit of three years and requires a minimum investment of at least USD 280,000 in real estate or (own) business venture. After three years the residence permit can be renewed if the conditions are still met.
This investor permit program offers a residence permit of five years and requires a minimum investment of at least USD 420,000 in real estate or (own) business venture. After five years the investor permit can be renewed if the conditions are still met. At this point, the investor also in principle becomes eligible for Dutch citizenship and passport through which the investor becomes an EU citizen providing (under the Dutch passport) visa-free travel to 156 countries including amongst others the Schengen countries, United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom).
This investor permit program offers an indefinite residence permit and requires a minimum investment of at least USD 838,000 in real estate or (own) business venture. After five years the investor becomes eligible for Dutch citizenship and passport through which the investor becomes an EU citizen providing (under the Dutch passport) visa-free travel to 156 countries including amongst others the Schengen countries, United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
To qualify for the residence permit, the investor must prove that he or she:
Within each of the above-mentioned three options, there are also three basic investment types now that the addition of the investment possibility into a DSCX listed company has been adopted.
The three types of investment that are qualified as being “eligible investments” under the Curaçao Investor Permit Program:
Curaçao is strategically located between North and South America, enjoys a mature financial sector, beautiful tropical weather, solid legal system, excellent airlift and is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch passport which can be obtained after the relevant “residence period” has been completed and no facts have come up that would impede such issuance, is ranked the 3rd most powerful passport worldwide in terms of visa-free travel.
So after a period of five years, the investor who participates in the Investor Permit Program becomes eligible for Dutch citizenship and passport provided that the investor officially lives and resides in Curaçao, adheres to the minimum investment under the investor permit program, and successfully passes the “inburgerings examen.” The latter refers to the fact that the investor shall dominate the basics of the language for instance.
The Curaçao Investor Permit Program:
Complementary to the regular business benefits, Curaçao offers an Investor Permit Program for individuals and families seeking residency, privacy, and asset protection in a well-connected safe living and working environment.
The CIPP offers a very interesting alternative for those investors seeking valuable opportunities where investments are coupled to the possibility of obtaining first residency in Curaçao and after 5 years the option to apply for a Dutch passport. And as said before, this goes for both our digital nomad world population and high net worth individuals.
The island’s position in the Dutch Kingdom, its strategic location as a hub between South America and Europe, and its talented multilingual workforce offers a unique package to the corporate global investor, residency seeker, and/or digital nomad worker.
In Curaçao, there are a few professional businesses offering investor permit assistance including some of our local-based listing advisors. Feel free to contact them for more information. You can find the complete list of our listing advisors on our website: https://www.dcsx.cw/listing-advisors
Curaçao: The Caribbean Getaway that sets you Free. Last visited May 7, 2021. https://www.curacao.com/en/
Society of Trust & Estate Planners (STEP) Curaçao “The Curaçao Investor Permit”.Last visited May 7, 2021. https://www.dcsx.cw/the-curacao-investor-permit/
Unesco. Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City, and Harbour, Curaçao. Last visited May 7, 2021. https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/819
This publication is presented to you by the Dutch Caribbean Securities Exchange
Published on May 7, 2021. Updated on August 31, 2021