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Since You Asked: What Commissions Do Caribbean Citizenship Programs Pay Agents?

A long-time reader raises an important question:

How much do the different Caribbean CIPs pay in commission to agents? I am getting conflicting figures from different sources.

That’s a more difficult question to answer than you might think, for the following reasons:

First, different CIUs define “agents” differently. All five Caribbean programs have accredited local agents, who are authorized to submit applications. Several programs also have international marketing agents, and some have government marketing agents. In some instances, the government pays the commission to the local agent, while in others they pay it to the international marketing agent (sometimes called Promoters). For the purposes of this overview, we will consider only the commissions paid to local agents.

Second, CIUs tend to update their commission structures at irregular intervals. These changes are not always communicated publicly. In most cases, they are communicated to agents via the familiar CIU circular format. In other cases, they are shared with a few select, large-scale agents directly.

Third, several programs operate with sliding-scale commission structures where the commission percentage is determined by whether the submitting agent meets certain thresholds of the number of submitted applications.

Fourth, the different CIUs vary widely in terms of their level of transparency and the access they grant to media outlets (like this one). They run the gamut from accessible and forthcoming to opaque and tight-lipped. Saint Lucia’s CIU tends to be best in class; Grenada’s is a close second.

Below, we have endeavored to share what are, to the best of our knowledge, the currently applicable commission rates for each program, and provided direct documentation from first-hand sources where such is available.

Caveats: In those instances where we have not been able to obtain first-hand confirmation from CIUs, we have confirmed the commission structure amounts with three or more parties engaged in the program. If you have supplementary data or you find that we have incorrectly reported any figure, please inform us and we will correct the article.

Saint Lucia CIP

In the case of Saint Lucia, we have confirmation of the precise amounts directly from the proverbial horse’s mouth. For the donation route, Saint Lucia pays commissions on a sliding scale from 10 to 20 percent, depending on the volume of successful applications submitted.

Successful applications per calendar year Commission percentage
1-49 10%
50-99 15%
100-129 17.5%
130 and above 20%

For the COVID-Relief bond investment option, a different set of commissions apply, on a sliding scale from US$25,000 to US$30,000.

Saint Lucia can pay that commission to either a local agent or an international agent. When the local agent submits the application, he/she is asked to identify the international marketing agent (if any) that originated the application. The government then pays the commission to the international marketing agent (who may or may not share this with the local agent) or to the local agent if no marketing agent is identified.

Antigua & Barbuda

For applications under the University of the West Indies contribution option, the government pays a flat commission of 20% to the local agent.

For the NDF contribution option, Antigua & Barbuda pays commissions on a sliding scale, from 15 to 25 percent, as outlined below:

Successful applications per calendar year Commission percentage
1-50 15%
51-75 20%
76 or above 25%
Grenada

Local agents are not paid a commission by the government but international marketing agents are and they may share that with the local agent. International marketing agents are paid absolute numbers (rather than percentages) on a sliding scale as per the below schematic:

Successful applications per calendar year Commission per file
1-60 US$25,000
61-80 US$30,000
81 or above US$35,000
Dominica

Though we have not been able to produce an official document confirming the rates, a number of agents have indicated that Dominica pays a flat 10% commission on their donation option. The commission, to the best of our knowledge, is paid to the local agent only, who – we are informed – tends to pass on the lion’s share of this to the international marketing agent from whom the file originally came.

Saint Kitts & Nevis

As in Dominica, information on the commission structure in Saint Kitts & Nevis comes to us from second-hand sources and should, as such, be taken with a grain of salt. While some agents have mentioned a sliding scale in Saint Kitts & Nevis, we understand that in all but the most unusual of circumstances, the government pays a flat, 10% commission per approved application under the Sustainable Growth Fund option, but only to the international marketing agent, who may or may not share this with the local agent.

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