Why some niche investors eye CBI programs offering visa free access to China

The Commonwealth of Dominica is the latest Caribbean destination to sign a waiver for a visa-free deal with China. Citizenship by investment programs in countries that offer visa-free access to China may not be a huge factor for most investors looking for a second passport, but some investment immigration professionals say it is quite a useful incentive, especially for niche, business-oriented clientele who look exactly for such additional benefits. 

Richard Hallam, who is a CBI agent for Grenada, still gets inquiries from clients about the country’s visa-free waiver arrangement with China.

“I wouldn’t exactly say it was a big pull, but it is certainly a unique and very useful ‘add-on’ to being a Grenada citizen as there are only a handful of countries throughout the world that have visa-free access to China,” Hallam said. “Those people interested in the China access tend to be international businesspeople or people who already have interests in China. South Africans, Indians and Vietnamese nationals have all been a part of these enquiries in recent months.”

Grenada’s visa-free arrangement with China goes back to 2010 when both sides decided to allow their countries’ diplomatic and service passport holders to get the coveted access; this was extended to ordinary passport holders in 2015.


In late November, the Commonwealth of Dominica joined the Caribbean club of countries that maintain a visa-free deal with China for ordinary passport holders.

“The visa-free agreement is for all passport holders from Dominica, whether local or diplomatic,” said S.K.M. Isidore, a CBI agent for Dominica. “Once you have a passport from Dominica, you can simply purchase your ticket and move to China.”

Before, China only allowed diplomatic and service passport holders from Dominica to travel visa free under a 2014 bilateral arrangement.

Ordinary passport holders from the Bahamas too can visit China visa free after both sides signed a deal in 2014.

Diplomatic and service passport holders from Barbados could visit China visa free as far back as 2014, while ordinary passport holders from this Caribbean nation were allowed the same facility from 2017.


There are only a few other countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Ecuador, Fiji, Mauritius, Qatar, San Marino, Seychelles, Tonga and the UAE, whose citizens can travel to China visa free following separate bilateral agreements.

Citizens from other countries, such as Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Turkmenistan, too, can travel to China on ordinary passports, but only if they travel in tour groups organized by verified travel agencies.

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About the Author

Uglobal Immigration Magazine Staff
Uglobal Immigration Magazine Staff
Uglobal.com, along with its peer-reviewed magazines and conferences series, focuses on the global investment immigration market, offering the latest trends and analyses. Uglobal.com is a media platform built to provide professionals involved with global programs with the most comprehensive and credible sources of information in digital, print and seminar mediums. The platform was created out of the need for marketplace transparency and to more efficiently connect individuals interested in learning about the global programs - either as a potential capital source or as a solution for their immigration needs. The Uglobal publication collaborates with a network of leading experts and an authoritative board of advisors to uphold a high standard in all content delivered and events hosted by the organization.

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