With all of the turmoil in the world over the past year, the effects of COVID have changed the landscape. One unimaginable change is that US Citizenship is not as powerful as it used to be in terms of visa-free travel. In the first half of 2020, more than twice the number of Americans with dual citizenships are casting off their US passports. This data is according to Bambridge Accountants who compared the numbers with all of 2019. Over 5,800 Americans have shown to have given up their citizenship. This number reflects the massive 1,200 people who have done this in the last six months alone. A partner with Bambridge Accountants in New York, Alistair Bambridge spoke with Forbes and explained much of this has been because of tax reasons.
There have been a number of US expats who have been demoralized with the effects of the pandemic and the current political climate. If politics and a pandemic are not enough, the annual reporting for US taxes in pushing a number of people over the edge. For many of them, the time away from the US gives them more time to reflect on what holds them there. In the meantime, wealth people are snatching up land and homes in the Caribbean as quickly as they can. Currently, it is unclear on how this will affect the island in the long term. With price increases affecting the island due to the demand, a potential problem could arise in the near future.
The Caribbean is being filled with Americans this winter
Quite often, wealthy Americans and Europeans go to the Caribbean for the winter sun. However, due to the events of the past year, more and more people are looking for longer stays than usual. Government agencies, citizenship advisers and real estate developers are currently seeing a rise in their business activities. They claim that the reason for the current boom is because of the high influx. This is the case even with luxury hotels which are currently taking in reservations for longer stays than normal.
Mohammed Asaria is currently working on the development of a new Six Sense resort for Range Developments. He states that the influx of Americans is the most astonishing. He reports that many of the new Americans are coming to get away from the madness in the US. With the election still without a clear winner, the looming dread of COVID and the challenges of working remotely, some Americans feel it is best to get away until things cool down.
“It is not only the issues surrounding the global pandemic”, owner of residential villas at Secret Bay in Dominica Greg Nassief suggests, “it is the first time America has seen such an event”. Nassief argues that the election is also one of the major factors. Americans are worried at what a left or right presidential election may become. There has been a jump of nearly 66 percent of inquiries made to the villas by Americans in the past few months.
However, not all Americans that are making to move are doing it for the same reasons. For example, a number of Americans are discovering a certain sense of freedom by working from home and becoming digital nomads. This is not something new, but no one really gave it much thought in the past. However, by July of 2020, Barbados decided to launch a program to capture remote workers. The program called the “Welcome Stamp” offered these remote workers to live and work in Barbados. Nearly 1,100 people have applied for this program since it became available. Currently, 42 percent of these applicants are those from the US, Canada and the UK.