St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment

St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program is the oldest in the world, existing since 1984. The program allows foreign investors to gain citizenship after meeting certain pre-determined conditions. The island’s citizenship program is very reputable. Interested applicants are allowed to either invest in real estate or contribute to the SIDF-Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation. The passport of St. Kitts and Nevis is well-regarded globally, with visa-free travel to Canada, EU, Hong Kong, and Switzerland, among many other countries.

St. Kitts provides comparatively good opportunities for immigrant investors. The island’s workforce speaks in English, are friendly and well-educated. St. Kitts government offers tax breaks, profit repatriation, and import duties concessions. The country doesn’t tax personal income, capital gains, gifts, and inheritance.

St. Kitts and Nevis

Map credit : http://www.freeworldmaps.net/centralamerica/stkitts/

Destination Facts

The federation of St. Kitts & Nevis is located in the Leeward Islands. St. Kitts and Nevis is a dual island state in the Caribbean region. It is the smallest independent nation in the Americas, both in terms of population and surface area. The nation is part of the commonwealth, and its capital city is known as Basseterre, located on the bigger island of St. Kitts. Nevis, the smaller island, lies roughly 3 km southeast of Kitts, across a relatively shallow channel known as “The Narrows”.

The two-island state of St. Kitts & Nevis boasts clear blue ocean waters, tropical temperatures, bustling trade and tourist economy. The nation is directly connected by flights to the U.S. and Europe through two international airports. St. Kitts-Nevis has high literacy rates standing at up to 98%, and broadband is widely accessible.

Main Benefits

As one of the oldest citizenship programs in the world, St. Kitts citizenship program has a number of notable benefits:

  • Applications are processed promptly, usually within 4-6 months
  • No requirements for physical residency
  • No interviews, educational or management experience required to apply
  • No requirements to travel to the destination during the application process
  • No tax on worldwide income
  • Visa-free travel access to over 120 nations, including the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Schengen member states, and others
  • Kitts and Nevis allows dual citizenship, thus, you don’t have to renounce your existing citizenship
  • Application includes dependent children under the age of 25, as well as dependent parents over 65 years old
  • No taxation on capital gains, wealth, gifts, and inheritance
  • No restrictions based on nationality
  • More privacy in a small, peaceful country
  • Successful applicants get to live in St. Kitts & Nevis, and in most of the CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market) countries, for as long as they wish.

Investment Requirements

To be considered for the St. Kitts citizenship, interested applicants may pursue either of the following routes:

  1. Designated Real Estate Investment – the government of St. Kitts and Nevis requires the applicant to make an investment of minimum USD 400, 000 in a designated, officially-approved real estate property. This amount is not inclusive of applicable government fees, taxes and other fees. Since this application route involves buying real estate property, this can lengthen the processing time, based on how long it takes to choose the desired property. Once bought, the real estate property can’t be resold until after 5 years. However, since the introduction of the new regulations in 2012, the next person to purchase the property may also qualify for the nation’s citizenship. The government of St. Kitts publishes a list of approved real estate developments in its Citizenship-by-Investment Unit website.
  2. SIDF – this option provides for applicants to make a contribution to the SIDF. This contribution is made as a one-time payment, with four different categories (all currencies in USD):
  • Single applicants are required to make a non-refundable contribution of $250, 000, plus due diligence fees of $7, 500.
  • The main applicant and up to 3 dependents (for example, a parent and 2 children less than 18 years old) are required to make a nonrefundable contribution of $300, 000.
  • The main applicant and up to 5 dependents (for instance, one parent and 4 children) are required to make a non-refundable contribution of $350, 000.
  • The main applicant and up to 7 dependents are required to make a one-time, non-refundable payment of $450, 000.

For applicants with over 7 dependents, an additional contribution of $50, 000 is required, together with due diligence fees of $4, 000 per dependent aged 16 years or older.

Required Documents

The following documents are required to apply for the St. Kitts economic citizenship, whether through the real estate or SIDF option.

Each Applicant, Including Children, Should Provide:

  • Photograph and Signature Certificate
  • Medical Certificate that includes original results for an HIV test less than 3 months old.
  • 6 original passport-size photos
  • Certified copy of current passport
  • Certified copy of current Identity Card
  • Original birth certificate
  • Original police certificate that’s less than 6 months old

The main applicant also needs to provide the following documents once:

  • Investment confirmation/escrow agreement
  • Original bank reference letter less than 6 months old and issued by an internationally recognized bank
  • Original professional reference that’s less than 6 months old

For married applicants, an original marriage certificate(s) is required, while a divorce document is needed for divorced applicants. Authorized agents usually help applicants get the necessary documentations.

Qualifications

In order to be eligible (or qualify) for the St. Kitts citizenship-by-investment program, applicants need to satisfy one of the two investment requirements above, in addition to the following criteria.

  • Hold no criminal record
  • Be of outstanding character
  • Have a high personal net worth
  • Have excellent health

FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the St. Kitts & Nevis program.

Where is St. Kitts & Nevis located?

St. Kitts & Nevis is a beautiful twin-island Caribbean nation located some 2, 000 km southeast of Miami. The nation is connected by direct flights to the U.S. and Europe.

What is St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment Program?

St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship program is arguably the oldest in the world, established in 1984. It allows the country to attract economic benefit by wooing rich foreign investors. Successful applicants (and their family) get the St. Kitts & Nevis, which unlocks visa-free travel to over 120 nations, and a tax-free regime.

What is the official currency in St. Kitts?

The official currency in St. Kitts and Nevis is the XCD (Eastern Caribbean Dollar). Roughly, 1 USD will buy 2.7 XCD.

What is the minimum investment required?

Applicants are required to make a minimum investment of USD 400, 000 in designated real estate in the country. This is exclusive of government fees, taxes and other fees. Alternatively, a single applicant can make a one-time, nonrefundable contribution of USD 250, 000 to the SIDF.

Additional fees accompany the applicant’s family members.

How fast are applications processed?

Applications for the St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship-by-investment program are processed promptly, often within 4-6 months. This is regardless of the investment option selected. The required documents for applications must be provided before any processing is done.

What is the difference between the Real Estate and SIDF option?

The real estate option is a recoverable investment since it can be sold after a period of 5 years. Since 2012, the new buyer of the property also qualifies for citizenship. On the other hand, SIDF is a public charity, where the required investment amount is DONATED to the sugar industry.

The real estate option allows applicants to have a second home in St. Kitts & Nevis, which is obviously more advantageous as compared to the SIDF option. Both options take the same approval time.

What are the main benefits of a St. Kitts & Nevis Passport?

The St. Kitts & Nevis passport opens the door for multiple opportunities, including no residence requirements, visa-free travel, and international tax planning.

I’m I required to actually live in St. Kitts & Nevis?

No. There’s no requirement to actually reside in St. Kitts & Nevis.

Do I get tax breaks?

St. Kitts & Nevis does not levy a tax on personal income, wealth, gifts, and inheritance.

Can my citizenship application be refused?

If you have a criminal record, a tainted reputation, or are unable to pass due diligence checks, the government of St. Kitts may reject your application for citizenship. In some rare cases, the government may decline due to concerns of national security, or due to the provision of falsified information in the application.

What is the validity period of the passport?

The St. Kitts & Nevis passport that’s granted is valid for 10 years, after which period it may be renewed.

Is due diligence carried out on children?

Due diligence will be carried out on children above the age of 16 years. More so, children above the age of 18 will need to provide evidence of college enrollment.

Is Dual Citizenship allowed?

Yes. The government of St. Kitts does not impose any restrictions on ‘dual citizenship’. More so, it does not report citizenship information to other nations.

Can 2 or more applicants buy property (real estate) and apply together?

Yes, as long as each person has made an investment of at least USD 400, 000.

Will my money be refunded in case my application is denied?

Yes, refunds are processed, minus application and service charges. Your investment money is first kept in a safe escrow account, from where it can be returned if the government denies your application.

How do I apply for this citizenship program?

You can apply for the St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship by contacting an authorized agent (an individual who has been licensed by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission to conduct this service).

Does St. Kitts & Nevis economic citizenship recognize same-sex marriages?

The laws of St. Kitts & Nevis define a “Spouse” as a partner of the opposite sex by marriage.

What is the minimum age for the main applicant?

The minimum age for the main applicant is 18 years. Permitted dependents may be under 18 years of age, but also 18-25 years. Parent or grandparent dependents are recognized as individuals over the age of 65 years and fully supported by the main applicant.

 

Useful Links

Government of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) & Nevis Citizenship Program

Official St. Kitts Tourism Authority

The CIA World Factbook – St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis Travel Guide

Relocating to St. Kitts