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Curaçao is a beautiful Caribbean island, closest to the Venezuelan coast, characterised by quiet beach coves and blue, clear waters, with a lush abundance of coral reefs, palm trees and a year-round warm climate. The island’s location, between central and southern America, presents an opportunity for business owners and investors to relocate, with a strategic position for international logistics and distribution.
The Dutch-Caribbean island is small and peaceful, with a broad expat community owing to immigration from across Europe, South America and elsewhere in the Caribbean, creating a diverse and vibrant island population bringing together multiple cultures.
In the capital and only city, Willemstad, the rows of Dutch-style buildings are renowned for their bright array of pastel colours. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, generous tax regimes mean that the EU considers Curaçao a ‘grey-listed tax haven’.
Global investors interested in Curaçao citizenship can purchase a property, invest in a business or buy approved securities, obtaining a residence permit with the potential to apply for full citizenship within five years through the Investor Permit Program.
Table of contents
The Curaçao currency is the Antillean Guilder (ANG), pegged to the US Dollar at roughly 1.8 ANG to $1 – dollars are widely accepted. ATMs dispense cash in either USD or the local currency.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Curaçao is $2.7 billion (£2.12 billion), with a diversified economy with major industries including logistics, financial services, oil refining, tourism, trade and shipping. The economy is supported by several trade agreements with the US, Europe and South America due to its strategic position.
Willemstad is the capital city, with an old town famous for colonial architecture and beautifully coloured houses. The city is in two parts, with the Sint Anna Bay in between, joined by the Koningen Emma Bridge, restored in 1974.
Towns and cities
The capital covers much of the island, although other areas have small populations, including Boka St Michiel, Soto and Tera Kora.
Curaçao has three official languages. Papiamentu is a local dialect formed from Portuguese, Spanish, English and Dutch influences, with English and Dutch as the other most-spoken languages. People also speak Spanish; the large expat community means other European languages, such as French and German, are also widely spoken.
The climate in Curaçao is warm and tropical, with the hottest weather in September, although rainfall tends to be heavier between September and November. The island is outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and rarely experiences severe storms. The temperature remains fairly stable year-round at an average of 28°C (76°F).
Curaçao is an island in the Southern Caribbean, closest to Aruba and Bonaire. It is a constituent nation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, around 37 miles from Venezuela. The country has an independent government and is the biggest of the six Caribbean islands that belong to the Netherlands.
Citizenship By Investment Options
The Investor Permit Program allows international applicants to apply for residency through three routes; buying a property in Curaçao, investing in a local company, or buying securities listed on the Dutch Caribbean Securities Exchange.
Each investment route has a separate residency permit with minimum investment values:
- $280,000 (£219,970) – three-year residence permit.
- $425,000 (£333,880) – five-year residence permit.
- $850,000 (£667,760) – permanent residence permit.
Provided the investment is retained throughout the validity period of the residence permit, this can be renewed indefinitely. After five years, expats can apply for Dutch citizenship as long as they have lived on the island for four to nine months a year within Dutch territory, either in the Netherlands, on Curaçao or on another Dutch-Caribbean island.
Citizenship applicants who receive a Dutch passport can travel to 185 countries worldwide without requiring a visa, including the US and Canada.
Most visas and permits take around three months to be processed.
Visitors to Curaçao can stay for up to 90 days per year without requiring a visa, although travellers can request a discretionary extension by contacting the immigration department. All visitors must have travel insurance for their stay, and longer visits require a visa, work permit or residence permit.
Expats hoping to take up employment in Curaçao need to apply for both a visa and a work permit, and those with an existing residence permit must also apply for a work permit with sponsorship from a local employer.
Work permits take three to four months to be issued, so those relocating for work are advised to apply as soon as they receive their residence card.
The tax system in Curaçao provides multiple advantages, particularly for high-net-worth individuals. Residents can apply double tax treaties as required to avoid duplicate taxation since Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Foreign national residents must live in Curaçao or other Dutch territories for nine months per year for five years to qualify for citizenship, normally making them eligible for tax residency based on close connection tests.
Cost Of Living
While a lack of accurate data makes it difficult to quantify the relative difference in living costs between Curaçao and the UK, most prices are cheaper, with property rentals 46.7 per cent more affordable in Curaçao and restaurant prices 1.3 per cent lower. Other costs, however, may be higher, such as groceries, where imported products make average expenses 15.7 per cent costlier in Curaçao.
Foreign nationals can purchase a property in Curaçao to qualify for residency, leading to citizenship, although they must retain the property for the duration and meet minimum investment thresholds.
Expats investing through another route can also purchase a home, with no restrictions on foreign buyers purchasing real estate, including freehold properties and land – self-builds are very common in Curaçao, buying land and then constructing a building.
|One-bedroom city centre apartment||ANG 1,048 / £456|
|One-bedroom apartment elsewhere||ANG 816 / £356|
|Three-bedroom city centre apartment||ANG 1,980 / £863|
|Three-bedroom apartment elsewhere||ANG 1,575 / £687|
Curaçao’s healthcare system is considered of a high standard, with two general hospitals and one surgical hospital on Curaçao, alongside a maternity unit and ongoing government investment in more modernised facilities.
Foreign nationals applying for citizenship or residency must show they have comprehensive private medical insurance before their permit, passport or residence card is granted, and short-term visitors are also expected to hold insurance.
Expats can purchase private insurance or contribute to the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) policies, with healthcare insurance financing island-wide healthcare treatments. Non-residents who are working in Curaçao with a valid contract and permit can enrol in the public healthcare insurance scheme provided they make contributions through payroll deductions.
Curaçao Citizenship By Investment FAQ
Explore the Curaçao Citizenship By Investment FAQ section for answers to common questions about obtaining citizenship through the Investor Permit Program. Discover the requirements, application process, and benefits of Curaçao citizenship by investment.
After five years of living primarily in Curaçao, expats may qualify for Dutch citizenship and a second passport. There are very few scenarios in which the government would revoke citizenship, but this could happen if a foreign national applied for citizenship on the grounds of renouncing their original citizenship status and failed to do so.
Curaçao residence applicants must fulfil several requirements to be accepted into the Investor Permit Program – they must:
– Prove they have sufficient financial resources to make the required investment.
– Present a clean criminal record.
– Show evidence of private health insurance.
– Include information about the source of their funds.
Any failure to comply or include the appropriate disclosures will usually mean an initial residency permit application is rejected, meaning the applicant will not be able to qualify for citizenship in due course.
Foreign nationals who cannot show that their funds have been obtained legitimately may also be rejected, and investors must commit to retaining the investment made for at least five years to progress forward to citizenship eligibility.
Most flights from the UK to Curaçao travel via Amsterdam, with a total flight time of roughly 11 and a half hours. Some airlines offer occasional direct flights from London Heathrow, including Xiamen Airlines and KLM, although most provide routes stopping at Paris or Amsterdam or both.
The local currency is the Netherlands Antillean Guilder (ANG), pegged to the US Dollar.
UK nationals can visit Curaçao for up to 90 days without requiring a visa. However, those intending to live, work or study on the island need an appropriate visa.
Below is a list of related articles you may find of interest.
- Government of Curaçao – Official website of the government of Curaçao: www.gobiernu.cw
- Curaçao Chamber of Commerce – Provides information on business registration and investment opportunities: www.curacao-chamber.cw
- Curaçao Tourist Board – The official tourism website of Curaçao, providing information for visitors and investors: www.curacao.com
- Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten – The central bank responsible for monetary and financial stability: www.centralbank.cw
- Curaçao Investor Relations – Offers information on investment opportunities, incentives, and regulations: www.curinvest.com