St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment

Black Sand Beaches at St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by InvestmentSt Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program

Introduction: The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is a small Caribbean nation with some unique characteristics. The main element of the nation’s economy for many years was the sugar industry. Unfortunately, their sugar cane based production began to become uneconomical after the discovery of beet sugar in the early 1900s. Therefore, the government established the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation in 1984 in an effort to reduce their dependence on the sugar industry. As a result, the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program was the first program of its kind in the world. Additionally, it is also the world’s oldest citizenship by investment program.

Location of St Kitts and Nevis

St kitts and Nevis Location

St Kitts and Nevis is located in the northern end of the Lesser Antilles Island chain as part of the Leeward Islands. Generally speaking, the islands are southeast of Puerto Rico, south of Anguilla, and west of Antigua and Barbuda. Historically, Anguilla used to be included in the island federation along with St Kitts and Nevis. However, St Kitts and Nevis achieved independence from Britain on September 19, 1983 and Anguilla seceded from the union in the same year. Anguilla remains a British dependency. 

Easily Accessible

St Kitts Robert L Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) has direct flights coming from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. This airport also facilitates commuter flights from the Caribbean region. Additionally, the Vance W Armory (NEV) airport located on Nevis facilitates flights from nearby regional locations such as Puerto Rico, Antigua, St Croix, St Thomas and the St Maarten Islands. 

Geography and Geology

The island federation is of volcanic origin although the volcanoes are long since dormant. However, as a lasting legacy of their volcanic origins the islands have iconic grayish black sand beaches. Additionally, the remnants of a volcanic crater makes up the western portion of the island of St Kitts. At 1,156 meters in height it is one of the tallest mountains in the Caribbean archipelago. “Liamuiga” was the original name given to St Kitts island by the Kalinago Indians (the original inhabitants) and it means “fertile land“. The Mt Liamuiga is also an important source of the abundant fresh water on the island and is also a popular hiking destination.

Nevis island features Nevis Peak which is a prominent cloud covered feature of the landscape. Apparently, Nevis Peak reminded someone (of Spanish speaking origin) of snow covered mountain tops. Therefore, the island of Nevis was originally named “Nuestra Señora de las Nieves” which means “Our lady of the snows” in English. The name of the island was eventually shortened to Nevis and it remains that way today.

Basic Facts about St Kitts and Nevis:

Major Industries: Tourism and Offshore Banking
Capital City: Basseterre located on St Kitts and is also the largest city
Population: Approximately 54,000 (2015 census)
Nominal Gross Domestic Product: $945,000,000 (2016)
Per Capita Income: $16,900 (2016)
Area: 261 sq kilometers/107 sq miles
Spoken Languages: English, St Kitts Creole
Political System: Constitutional Monarchy
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar

St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Benefits

Visa Free Travel: St Kitts passport visa free countries includes all the Commonwealth Nations, European Union, United Kingdom, Ireland and the Caribbean countries. In total, St Kitts passport visa free countries includes over 150 nations where citizens can travel visa free.

US Long Term Visa: Passport holders from St Kitts and Nevis can often obtain long term visa arrangements from the United States. After the qualification requirements are satisfied US immigration will usually issue a one year visa to start, then the next renewal will be for a 3-5 year term and then 5-10 years. A number of factors come into play, if you need further clarification let me know.

Business Opportunities: Additional St Kitts citizenship benefits include a passport from a neutral country. Therefore, citizens of St Kitts and Nevis are able enter into business contracts where many other nationalities are not able to. For example, citizens of the US and many countries in Europe are limited in their business opportunities. Blacklisted areas include the Middle East and other locations throughout Africa and Asia.  

Low Tax Requirements: St Kitts and Nevis citizenship requires no tax on international revenues, no personal income tax, plus no wealth or inheritance tax. Nor is there any government requirement to report any of your offshore assets e.g. FBAR. Additionally, there are favorable tax regulations for offshore banking and incorporation if this is of interest to you.

No Residency Requirement: St Kitts and Nevis citizenship benefits include no residency requirement to obtain application approval or to retain citizenship after approval. Additionally, the interview is usually waived* nor is there a requirement to visit the island as part of the application review process. Although the government does retain the right to require an interview at their discretion.

*The interview may be required at the discretion of the government. Additionally, applicants that have not resided in their home countries for a minimum of 8 years will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Dual Citizenship: St Kitts and Nevis citizenship permits dual nationality.

Passport Validity: successful applicants will receive a passport that is valid for 10 years if they are an adult and 5 years validity if they are a child.

Lower Due Diligence fees: St Kitts and Nevis citizenship due diligence fees are substantially less for dependents of the main applicant. As a result, children and the spouse are only charged $4000 in due diligence rather then the full amount of $7500.

How to Obtain St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship

#1 Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation

Unfortunately, the St Kitts and Nevis sugar industry came under unbearable economic pressure in the 1970s. As a result, the government was forced to nationalize the country’s sugar industry, eventually discontinuing it all together in 2005. Beginning in 1984 the government began to make diligent efforts to diversify the nations economy away from agriculture. Therefore, the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) was established in order to fund new industry initiatives for the displaced sugar industry employees.

A St Kitts and Nevis citizenship applicant is required to make a non refundable investment in the SIDF program. However, the investment is not submitted until after due diligence is completed and the application is approved. Government fees are included in the investment contribution (due diligence fees notwithstanding). Due diligence is required on all St Kitts and Nevis citizenship applicants over the age of 16.

SDF DONATION AMOUNTS (USD)
_________________________________________________________________
SINGLE PERSON                                                     $250,000

FAMILY OF FOUR                                                     $300,000
FAMILY OF FIVE                                                      $350,000
FAMILY OF SEVEN                                                   $450,000

$50,000 additional contribution for each dependent
above seven dependents

INVESTMENT AMOUNT
___________________________________________________
Family of 4 with 2 children under 16

CONTRIBUTION                                                     $300,000
DUE DILIGENCE INVESTOR                                     $7,500
DUE DILIGENCE SPOUSE                                        $4,000
                       _______________________________________________________
Total Investment                                                 $311,500*

* Professional fees for St Kitts and Nevis citizenship processing are required for
all applications and will vary depending on the number of
dependents and application complexity

Application Process for the SIDF:

  1. The applicant signs the professional agreement with Global Travel Press. The due diligence fees are paid to the government and the application is completed. 
  2. Global Travel Press in conjunction with our local agent will review the application. After review, the St Kitts passport application is submitted to the citizenship by investment unit (CBIU) with proof of funds transfer. The due diligence period takes effect which is usually completed within 90 days.
  3. Provided due diligence is successful then the application approval is received from the CBIU.
  4. After approval is received the investor must transfer the investment funds in full into the designated government escrow account within 90 days.
  5. The office of the prime minister issues the certificate of naturalization. Our local agent will then submit it along with the passport application to the passport office. 
  6. Upon issuance of the passport documents they are then forwarded to the successful applicant via reputable delivery service.

#2 St Kitts and Nevis Real Estate Investment

Investing in St Kitts and Nevis real estate is another method of obtaining the same St Kitts and Nevis citizenship. The requirements are that the applicant invest an adequate amount into a government approved St Kitts and Nevis real estate development. As a result, the investor will receive the same St Kitts citizenship benefits as the successful applicants for the SIDF program.

St Kitts Real Estate Development Considerations:

There is an abundance of St Kitts and Nevis real estate for sale on the islands that is qualified under this program. However, we take into account several pertinent considerations before recommending any of the St Kitts real estate development available for sale.

Some of These Considerations Include:

  1. Successful applicants for the St Kitts and Nevis real estate program are required to hold their investment for only 5 years. Therefore, at the end of the 5 year period they may sell it to recoup their investment. As a result, we must take into due account the potential return on investment for each of the individual developments before recommending them.  
  2. We evaluate the overall quality of the construction materials, development plan and amenities that are included with the project. This includes an evaluation of the management company plus the quality of their operations and experience. 
  3. We analyze the strength of the developer company’s financial backing and their level of experience. This includes evaluation of their previously completed St Kitts and Nevis real estate developments. 

Additional St Kitts and Nevis Real Estate Guidelines:

  1. Specifically, St Kitts real estate citizenship requires a minimum qualified purchase amount of $400,000
  2. The investor must hold the property for 5 years before resale or their passport could be invalidated.
  3. Government processing fees are $25,000 for the spouse of the main applicant and for dependents under 18 years old.
  4. Dependents 18-25 years of age are allocated $50,000 for government processing fees.
  5. To qualify, St Kitts and Nevis real estate for sale must be developed property or property that will be developed after purchase. It is usually not permitted to hold raw land. However, one exception is the St Kitts real estate development at Christophe Harbour. Qualifying lots at this super development may be purchased for a starting price of $700,000. 
  6. The real estate purchase can be made contingent on being granted St Kitts and Nevis citizenship.
  7. Escrow fees are generally <1%.

Here is a general cost break down of a standard qualified real estate purchase:

ST KITTS AND NEVIS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT AMOUNT
______________________________________________________
Family of 4 with 2 children under 16

REAL ESTATE PURCHASE                                                                              $400,000
DUE DILIGENCE INVESTOR                                                                           $7,500
DUE DILIGENCE SPOUSE                                                                              $4,000
APPLICATION PROCESSING INVESTOR                                                           $50,000
APPLICATION PROCESSING SPOUSE                                                              $25,000
APPLICATION PROCESSING
CHILDREN (US$ 25,000 X2)                                                                          $50,000
                       ____________________________________________________________
Total Investment                                                                    $536,500*

* Professional fees for citizenship processing are required for
all applications and will vary depending on the number of
dependents and application complexity

Application Process for the Real Estate Citizenship Program:

  1. The applicant signs the professional agreement with Global Travel Press. In addition, the applicant signs the purchase and sale agreement with the developer for the qualified St Kitts real estate citizenship purchase.
  2. Next, the applicant transfers all due diligence fees into the designated government account and also pays the required deposit to the real estate developer. 
  3. The application and required documents are submitted to CBIU and the due diligence period begins. Due diligence takes on average 90 days to complete.
  4. CBIU approval is received once the due diligence checks are successfully completed
  5. The investor then pays the remaining funds to the real estate developer and we will notify CBIU when it has been completed. Then the investor submits the remaining government fees. 
  6. Next, the certificate of naturalization is completed by the prime ministers office and we send it and the passport application to the passport office.
  7. When the final citizenship documents are ready we send them to the successful applicant via reputable delivery service. 

Required Documents for Submission to CBIU:

Applicant(s) Package Forms:

  1. C1 Application Form: is required for all applicants and authorized signatures must be obtained for children under 16
  2. Signature Certificate Form of the Applicant (Form C2) same principle as form C1
  3. Photographs (6) taken within last 6 months from all applicants.
  4. Medical Certificate (Form C3) with results of HIV test of the Applicant
  5. Passport Forms SIDF OPTION (Sugar Industry Diversification Fund): Investment Confirmation (C4 form) plus confirmation of deposit of all funds to escrow account
  6. Passport Forms REAL ESTATE OPTION:  Copy of Duly Executed Real Estate Contract / Purchase and Sales Agreement, Copy of Duly Executed Escrow Agreement, Deed of Conveyance / Certificate of Title (if closing completed), Confirmation of deposit of all funds to escrow account

Applicant(s) Documents Required:

Certified Copy of Passports, Certified Copy of National ID Card, 6 Passport Photos From Each Applicant according to prescribed specifications, Certified Copy of Birth Certificate, Certified Copy of Military Service Record (if applicable), Certified Copy of Proof of Name Change (if applicable), Original Bank reference Letter, Original Qualified Professional Reference, Original Qualified Police Certificate, Certified Evidence of Residential Address, Certified Copy of Marriage/Divorce Certificate (if applicable), Past 12 months Bank Statements, Additional Supporting Documents as Required, Source of Funds

The list is not exhaustive and other documents may have to be provided by the applicants, depending on their particular situation. These documents may include company incorporation and good standing documents, ownership or title documents in support of SOF explanations, or any other type of document in support of the applicant’s statements made on the application forms.

Additional Documents:
-Professional Service Agreement between applicant and our agency.
-P
ower of attorney granted in our favor and worded according to our specifications.

St Kitts Passport Scandal

Unfortunately, the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program recently came under intense international scrutiny.  The main point of contention was that biometric data such as place of birth was being left off of the St Kitts and Nevis passports. As a result, holders of St Kitts and Nevis citizenship were encountering complications while applying for a US visa. Additionally, on November 24, 2014 the Canadian government announced that it would no longer allow visa free travel to St Kitts and Nevis citizens.

The international reputation of St Kitts and Nevis is taken very seriously by their government authorities and they acted quickly to rectify the situation. Therefore, the government quickly issued a total recall of passports issued between January 2012 and July 2014. 

New Passports were issued with the following features: 

  1. Effective July 2014 the place of birth must be printed on the passport.
  2. Effective February 2014 any previous name changes must be reflected on the passport.
  3. New passports issued will replace any previous passports issued without place of birth.

Since the complications arose with the US and Canada there has been a new government administration that came to power. The new administration under the guidance of Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris has made rectification of this issue their #1 priority. St Kitts and Nevis has since addressed the issues raised and worked diligently to restore their international reputation. Additionally, the government is optimistic about restoring the visa free status with Canadian immigration. The dispute with Canada was unfortunate however, St Kitts and Nevis citizenship still offers visa free travel to over 150 countries including all of the EU, UK, Ireland, the Commonwealth Nations and Caribbean countries.

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Disclaimer

The completed application may require significant supplemental documentation. Please see the complete list of required documents made available on this website for further clarification. The government reserves the right to request additional documentation should it be deemed necessary – at their sole discretion.

Additionally, it is absolutely imperative that all applicants and dependents are 100% honest during the entire application and approval process. If it was discovered that there was incorrect information submitted in order to qualify for citizenship your application can be rejected outright and no refund will be given for any St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship costs you incurred. In addition, subsequent to the passport being issued it can be revoked if it is determined that false information was submitted by the applicant during the application process. If so, no citizenship cost will be refunded nor will any St Kitts and Nevis citizenship benefits be retained by the applicant(s).

Information pertaining to the application requirements and fees is subject to change due to program adjustments or official legislation. Therefore, Global Travel Press shall not be held responsible for any of the above information.

Global Travel Press