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Country Spotlight: St Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis, or, to give it its full title, the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, has been independent since 1983 and forms part of the group of islands known as the Lesser Antilles, located some 2,000 km to the southeast of Miami. The Federation comprises two islands: Nevis with an area of some 93.2 km2 and St. Kitts with 168.4 km2. The official and trading language is English.

The Federation is a member of the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS), the British Commonwealth and many other international organisations. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has its headquarters on St. Kitts. It maintains the stability of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD), which is the national currency of most eastern Caribbean states and is tied to the US Dollar (USD). The head of state is the Queen of England and St. Kitts and Nevis is a functioning democracy, with its political system based on the British parliamentary system.

St. Kitts and Nevis has a pleasant climate, particularly during the cooler months from December to March. Humidity is relatively low, and constant northeast trade winds keep the islands cool. The islands offer very good opportunities for investors. A well-educated workforce, that’s English-speaking and friendly presents easy and legitimate trade opportunities. The Government grants tax breaks, guaranteed repatriation of profits and concessions on import duties. There are no income or capital gains taxes, no net wealth taxes nor inheritance or gift taxes in the federation.

 

Geography

St. Kitts, the larger of the two islands, is oval in shape, except for a long, narrow peninsula to the southeast. Its highest point is Mount Liamuiga (3,792 ft [1,156 m]). The Narrows, a 2-mile- (3-km-) wide channel, separates the two islands.

The circular-shaped Nevis is surrounded by coral reefs and the island is almost entirely a single mountain, Nevis Peak (3,232 ft [985 m]). A volcanic mountain chain dominates the centre of both islands.

 

Citizenship in St.Kitts & Nevis

Background

The Government of St. Kitts & Nevis has introduced extensive legislation to attract financial services businesses to the island. The Citizenship by Investment program has also been in operation since 1984, allowing foreign investors to acquire citizenship under certain conditions. This makes it the oldest existing citizenship by investment program in the World and is well known as the most reputable citizenship program in existence. One can invest in either designated real estate or contribute to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (“SIDF”).

The St. Kitts & Nevis passport is highly regarded, as only relatively few of them have been issued under the citizenship program. As a result, St. Kitts & Nevis citizens enjoy a passport with an excellent reputation and very good visa-free travel, including to all of the EU, Canada, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and other countries. Accordingly, the St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship-by-investment program is the most attractive option if one is looking to acquire a second citizenship through investment without prior residence requirements.

The Citizenship Program of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis was established in 1984 and requires applicants to make an economic contribution to the country. In exchange, they and their families are granted full citizenship.  To qualify for citizenship, the applicant must make either an investment of at least USD 400,000 in one of the approved real estate developments in addition to paying government fees, other fees and taxes, or by making a contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) to the amount of USD 250,000 (for a single applicant). However, this includes all government fees with the exception of due diligence fees.

 

Requirements and Procedures
Real Estate Option
To qualify for citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis under the real estate option of its citizenship by investment program, the Government requires an investment in designated real estate with a value of at least USD 400,000.

 

On approval in principle of an application under the real estate investment option the following fees are payable to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis:

  • USD 50,047.00 for the main applicant.
  • USD 25,047.00 for the spouse of the main applicant
  • USD 25,047.00 for each child of the main applicant under the age of 18
  • USD 50,047.00 for each qualified dependent of the main applicant above the age of 18 other than spouse
  • Children over 18 years but below 25 must be in a full time learning institution and fully supported by parents.

 

Additionally to these fees, real-estate buyers should be aware that there are also purchase costs (mainly compulsory insurance fund contribution and conveyance fees) of approximately 4–5% of the purchase price.

 

Only villas and condominium units from an approved developer will qualify for citizenship.
SIDF Contribution
To qualify for citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis under the SIDF (The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation) option, the Government requires a contribution to the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, a public charity audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Under this option, there are four different categories:

 

  1. Single Applicant: a non-refundable contribution of USD 250,000 is required
  2. Applicant with up to three family members, i.e. one spouse and two children below the age of 18: a non-refundable contribution of USD 300,000 is required
  3. Applicant with up to fivefamily members, i.e. one spouse and four children below the age of 18: a non-refundable contribution of USD 350,000 is required
  4. Applicant with up to seven family members: a non-refundable contribution of US$ 450,000 is required

In each of these categories, the above amounts include all government fees with exception to due diligence fees. In case of unmarried dependent children who are older than 18 but younger than 25, they can also be included in the same application provided an additional fee of USD 50,000 is paid to the Government.

 

Documents Required

Required Documents

  • Photograph and Signature Certificate (Form C2)
  • Medical Certificate (Form C3) including original results of HIV test. Note that the HIV test results must not be older than three months.
  • Original excerpt of full birth record or certified copy of full birth certificate,i.e. a birth document that also includes your parent’s details, or a household register, family book etc.
  • Certified copy of your current passport(s) showing name, photo, citizenship/nationality, date and place of issue, expiry date, passport number, and issuing country.
  • Certified copy of your current National Identity Card(s) where applicable.
  • 6 original Passport sized photos of yourself taken within the past 6 months, N.B.One of the photos must be certified and attached to Form C2.
  • Police Certificate or “certificate of no criminal record” or “police clearance certificate” from country of citizenship and any country where you have lived for more than one year over the past 10 years.
  • Certified copy of Military Records (if applicable).
  • Certified copy of proof of name change (if applicable).

 

Other supporting documents required from the main applicant:

  • At least one original bank reference letter issued by an internationally recognized bank, not older than six months.
  • At least one original professional reference, e.g. from an attorney, notary public, charted accountant or other professional of similar standing not older than six months.
  • One original document of evidence of residential address, e.g. certified copy of a recent utility bill or bank statement showing full name and address, or written confirmation from a bank, attorney, chartered accountant or notary public.
  • One original excerpt of marriage record or certified copy of marriage certificate(s) if applicable, i.e if married persons apply together.
  • Certified copy of divorce documents (if applicable).
  • Statement of source of fund to be invested in St Kitts and Nevis.

 

Documents required for the Real Estate Option:

  • Copy of duly executed real estate contract (Purchase and Sales Agreement) to be submitted with the application forms.
  • Evidence of title transfer to be submitted after applicants receives approval in principle

 

Government Fees

Required Investment and Fees

USD 7,500.00 for due diligence and processing fees for the main applicant

USD 4,000.00 for due diligence background checks and processing fees for each dependent over 16 years

 

Real Estate Option

Minimum Investment required is USD 400,000.00

On approval in principle of an application:

  • USD 50,000.00 for the main applicant
  • USD 25,000.00 for the spouse of main applicant
  • USD 25,000.00 for each child of the main applicant under 18 years
  • USD 50,000.00 for each qualified dependent of the main applicant over 18 years other than his spouse

Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation Contributions

The amounts below are inclusive of all Government fees payable for the main applicant and his or her dependents with the exception of due diligence background fees.

  • USD 250,000.00 for Single Applicant
  • USD 300,000.00 for Applicant with up to three dependents
  • USD 350,000.00 for Applicant with up to five dependents
  • USD 450,000.00 for Applicant with up to seven dependent
  • USD 50,000.00 for additional contribution for each dependent above seven dependents

 

Benefits  

When you acquire citizenship under the St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship program, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.

As citizens of St. Kitts & Nevis, you and your family are issued with passports which allow visa-free travel to more than 120 countries and territories worldwide, including all of the EU. Of course, you have the right to take up residence in St. Kitts & Nevis as well as in most of the CARICOM member countries at any time and for any length of time.

 

How to Proceed

Applications for Citizenship cannot be lodged directly at the Citizenship -by-Investment Unit, instead it can only be handled by registered authorised persons.

Posted in Country Spotlights.

2 Comments

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