Why and how to arrange citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis

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The Astons experts are answering the frequently asked questions regarding the Citizenship by Investment programme of Saint Kitts and Nevis and explain the benefits offered by the passport of this Caribbean state to high net worth individuals.

I’ve been thinking of getting a second passport and I heard a lot of good about the Caribbean states, specifically about Saint Kitts and Nevis. What are the advantages of this country?

Indeed, the Caribbean states attract ever increasing interest of individuals considering a second or third citizenship. This region’s investment programmes have numerous benefits: free entry to the EU and the UK, convenient taxation system, an opportunity to procure a passport quickly and confidentially - and a reasonable minimum investment.

The passport of Saint Kitts and Nevis is an optimal solution for affluent individuals considering a ‘backup plan’. The citizenship of this country allows you free entry to 156 countries, including not only the EU and the UK but also the strategically important Hong Kong and Singapore. At that, the passport requires the minimum investment of just $150,000.

Many people must’ve already jumped on the bandwagon.

Yes. The Citizenship by Investment programme of Saint Kitts and Nevis has been in action for quite a long time, since 1984. Moreover, this Caribbean state was the first country in the world to offer an investment-based passport application procedure.

In the recent years, this successful, convenient and well-reputed programme has gained recognition and popularity. Over 11,000 high net worth individuals from across the globe have already procured Saint Kitts and Nevis passports. In practice, this means that every fifth citizen of this country has become a passport holder due to investment.

Sounds very interesting. What and where should I invest to get the passport?

You have two options, each one having its benefits:

1. You can make a donation to the country’s Sustainable Growth Fund from $150,000

2. You can purchase property valued at $200,000–400,000.

Each property which you are entitled to buy has to be approved by the government - this rule provides additional protection of investor interests. If you’d like to sell the property, you’ll be able to do so in 5-7 years. Naturally, this will not affect your acquired citizenship.

Which property is the most popular here?

Foreign investors from all over the world tend to purchase seaside resorts, hotels and deluxe villas. Investment immigration experts note that investing in Saint Kitts and Nevis real estate can be very rewarding: this Caribbean state ranks in the Top 3 most attractive countries for tourists.

Suppose I’m ready to invest in real estate. Why such a big spread in the minimum investment sum: $200,000 to 400,000?

The Saint Kitts and Nevis programme is pretty flexible so you can pick the best-fitting option.

1.  You invest $200,000 and become a co-owner. In this case, the property is purchased by two (or more) main applicants who become equal share co-owners. The minimum term for this type of investment is seven years. This option is popular among investors willing to purchase property for two families. 

2. You invest $400,000 and purchase property as a sole proprietor. In this case, you’ll be able to return the investment in five years.

Will I have to come to the country to pick the property and make the deal?

No, it’s not necessary at all - the immigration experts will help you to sort everything out remotely. However, in case you’d like to come and choose villas or hotels by yourself, you are welcome to do so!

I see. What if I wish to invest in the state fund? Is this investment non-reimbursable?

Yes. If you arrange the passport for yourself only, the minimum investment to the state fund of Saint Kitts and Nevis will amount to $150,000. This sum may increase in case your citizenship application covers the entire family. If the application includes two persons, the donation sum will raise up to $175,000. A donation for a family of three will set you back at $185,000, a family of four - $195,000. For every extra financially dependent family member, you will need to pay $10,000 only.

So can I procure citizenship for my entire family?

Sure. The citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis can be arranged for your entire family in a very broad sense - not only for your spouse and financially dependent children under 30 years old but also your parents and grandparents (over 55 y.o.).

Moreover, in November 2018 the investment programme became even more attractive for applicants with large families: now you can add to the application your parents and spouse after the main applicant’s candidacy has been approved.

Good. How long is the passport processed?

The passport can be obtained very quickly. The entire process will take 3-4 months, and 2-3 months in case of the fast-track procedure.

Will I have to come to the country for arranging the citizenship?

No. Your family and yourself will be able to obtain the passports remotely. It’s not necessary to travel to Saint Kitts and Nevis neither before nor after procuring the citizenship (the fingerprints required for passport application can be also provided remotely). Besides, there are no exams or interviews for obtaining the passport in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Are there any requirements that Saint Kitts and Nevis imposes on its passport candidates?

The requirements are very simple:

1. You should be an adult (over 18 y.o.)

2. You have no criminal record or current criminal cases against you

Suppose I decided to apply for a passport. Where should I start and how is the entire process organised?

1. You need to address an investment immigration expert and choose a best-fitting option for citizenship procurement. The passport application can only be submitted through a certified agent.

2. You collect all required documents. Experienced immigration lawyers will help you prepare and check them.

3. After all the documents have been verified and your application is properly organised, the paperwork will be submitted to the authorities of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

4. After your application is reviewed, you will be sent a provisional approval (in writing).

5.  After your application is approved, you invest into a state fund or property.

6. You receive a citizenship certificate and the passport itself.

Looks very handy. What about taxes? I have a business and would like to understand its prospects.

Saint Kitts and Nevis has an attractive, clear and transparent taxation system, there are no taxes on global income, dividends, wealth and inheritance.

After I get the passport, I may want to come to Saint Kitts and Nevis for a vacation or even relocate for some period of time. Does it make sense?

Of course. It’s a beautiful country comprised of two islands with a favourable climate. Many new citizens of this Caribbean state come here for holidays taking advantage of its relaxing atmosphere. There is no rainy season here. One third of the territory is taken by the national reserve.

In Saint Kitts and Nevis, you will find entertainment for any taste: you can relax on sandy beaches, try local cocktails based on rum and sugarcane spirits, view an extinct volcano, go diving to feast your eyes on the coral reef or look for sunken ships. The locals love picturesque carnivals and never miss a chance to organise one.

Moreover, the locals have fine cuisine which is a blend of Continental, Creole, Mediterranean, French, Indian and even Chinese traditions. In any local restaurant, you’ll be treated to freshly-caught lobster, crab and crawfish, grilled pork and tropical fruit. Of all exotic meals you should consider the pelau paella made of rice, peas, seafood and pigeon meat.

It’s a bit awkward but I don’t know much about this country. What language do they speak there?

The official language of Saint Kitts and Nevis is English. The country is a member of the British Commonwealth, its monarch is Queen Elizabeth II who is locally represented by the Governor-General. The economics of Saint Kitts and Nevis builds on agriculture and tourism. Every year the country welcomes over 250,000 travelers.

By the way, is it easy to get there?

Yes, it’s not difficult. The country has two airports, one of which is located in the capital Basseterre. The Golden Rock airport accepts flights from London and Miami. It will take you about 15 hours to get here from the UK via Barbados. Also, there is a direct flight from the US, the travel time will be around three hours only.

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Moscow, Dubai, Cyprus and China and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in the UK,  EU & the Caribbean. Astons is a committed and regulated Member of the Investment Migration Council (IMC), for EU & Caribbean investment immigration

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at info@astons.com  or call +44 207 292 2977.