St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program: The Complete Review

St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program: The Complete Review

A beautiful island in the Caribbean with sandy beaches and sunny weather, St. Kitts & Nevis is a heavenly destination for immigrants, tourists, and locals alike.

As part of the West Indies, it neighbors countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Dominica, and others, and is a short three hour flight to Miami, Florida.

For decades now, St. Kitts & Nevis’ Citizenship-by-Investment Program has been considered the “platinum standard” around the world for the speed and efficiency with which it handles applications.

For investing in the country, St. Kitts & Nevis also offers one of the best passports in the world to have citizenship in a vibrant new country with low taxes, great weather, and close proximity to South, Central, and North America.

The purpose of the St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment Program is to attract foreign investment to the country through an immigration program aimed at people who have the capital to spare.

If you’re looking to settle down in St. Kitts & Nevis, let’s take a more in-depth look at the country’s citizenship and examine what you need to do to ensure your application proceeds hassle-free.

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Key Takeaways

  • The St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program is one of the most renowned citizenship programs in the world.
  • You need to invest US$250,000 to obtain St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship.
  • Due to its popularity, the investment amount is among the highest in Caribbean countries.
  • The processing time is 4-6 months.
  • The St. Kitts and Nevis passport allows you to travel to over 150 countries visa-free.
  • There are no personal income tax, inheritance tax, or wealth tax obligations.
  • There is no residency requirement.
  • You need to apply for the program through an official representative.

To explore other options or apply for the St. Kitts & Nevis program, please fill in this form to receive direct advice from an immigration lawyer.

What is St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Program?

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment program, which was started in 1984, is the first of its kind and is consistently considered the best in the world.

St. Kitts and Nevis has been bringing foreign investment from their citizenship program into the country to help develop it and attract new investors. 

It’s expected that the country will continue to run the program effectively for the foreseeable future. 

In addition, there are other important factors making the St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment program one of the best in the world. 

Who is the Program For?

The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program is for anyone who wants to get a second passport quickly with minimal investment. 

St. Kitts and Nevis national flag
St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship program is available to any investor who’s older than 18 and doesn’t have a criminal record.

Benefits of Having St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship 

There are many great benefits available to you on becoming a Kittitian or Nevisian.

Taxes

One of the biggest pros of living in St. Kitts and Nevis is the incredibly generous tax regime offered by the country.

For example, there is no personal income tax in St. Kitts and Nevis, including your worldwide income. 

There is also no capital gains tax (unless property is sold within one year of purchase), and no inheritance or gift tax.

For many people, the amount of tax they save from having St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship can be much more than the total amount of the investment in the long run. 

Powerful Passport

You could travel visa-free or get a visa-on-arrival in over 150 countries worldwide with a St. Kitts and Nevis passport.

In addition, you won’t need a visa if you travel to Europe’s Schengen Area, the U.K., Singapore, a number of African nations, and almost all of South America.

Political Stability 

The political situation in St. Kitts and Nevis has been really stable. Crime rates are also low, making the island country a safe destination to live and invest in. 

St. Kitts and Nevis is also a member of the United Nations (UN), the British Commonwealth, CARICOM, and the Organization of American States (OAS).

Second Home

Beautiful beaches, clear waters, and luscious greenery promise to be part of your everyday scenery should you choose to make the move here.

The country also enjoys warm tropical weather year round with daily average temperatures ranging between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius.

Being in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is close to both North America, South America, and other Caribbean nations. You could take a quick flight to all of these areas if you ever need to.

Once your application is approved, you and your family will be granted full citizenship in a beautiful new country in the picturesque Caribbeans.

How to Get St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship 

There is only one way to gain residency in St. Kitts and Nevis – the Citizenship by Investment program.

Once your application is accepted, you are a new St. Kitts and Nevis citizen and have all the legal rights and protections that other Kittitians and Nevisians enjoy.

Investment Requirements

As part of your application, you must choose between one of the three investment options when applying to the program.

Non-Refundable Contribution 

The first option is a non-refundable contribution (donation) to the Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC). In 2024, the minimum contribution is US$250,000. 

If you want to add family members to your application, the total contribution will be as follows: 

  • US$300,000 for you, your spouse or one dependent
  • US$350,000 for you, your spouse, and one or two dependents 
  • US$75,000 for each additional dependent who are older than 18 years old
  • US$50,000 for each additional dependent who are younger than 18 years old

The non-refundable contribution is the most popular choice because it is the most straightforward option and you can easily add your family members to the program. It also requires less government processing time. 

Real Estate Investment

Another option is to invest in real estate projects approved by the St. Kitts and Nevis government, such as hotel shares, villas, and condo units. There are two options:

  • purchase property of at least US$400,000 for a condominium unit
  • purchase property of at least US$800,000 for a private estate

These properties can be resold again after 7 years. 

While it’s possible to profit from real estate investment options, obtaining citizenship takes longer compared to the non-refundable contribution, as it requires additional time for St. Kitts and Nevis to approve your application.

In addition, there are other fees involved with the real estate investment route such as compulsory insurance fund contributions and conveyance fees. 

Non-Refundable Contribution to a Public Benefit Unit

The last option is similar to the first, but this time, your US$250,000 non-refundable contribution goes to a public benefit unit in an approved public benefit project instead.

Other Requirements

Other requirements are basic and similar to other citizenship by investment programs, including:

  • you, as the main applicant, need to be at least 18 years old
  • your dependents need to be younger than 26 years old or older than 65 years old as stated in the previous section 
  • all applicants must have a clean record, including having no conviction of crime resulting in a penalty of over six months imprisonment, no potential national threat, or no risk of being subject to criminal investigation 

Other than that, you must also cover any other fees you’re legally required to pay for your application to be duly processed.

Additional Fees

In addition to the investment, you are expected to pay other related fees, including application fees, legal fees, and due diligence fees. 

These fees can vary depending on each individual’s background. On average, you should expect to pay between US$8,000 and US$12,000 per person.

Procedures and Time Frames

To apply for the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program, you need to do it via a licensed agent. You cannot do it yourself. 

The application procedure normally goes like this:

  • You contact a licensed agent to start the process.
  • The agent conducts an initial due diligence.
  • You sign a contract and pay an initial fee to the agent.
  • You submit an application for the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program.
  • The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) conducts a due diligence check on you.
  • You fulfill the investment requirements.
  • You are interviewed by the CIU either in person or online.
  • Your application is approved, and you can get your passport in St. Kitts and Nevis or at their embassy/consulate.

The total processing time is 4-6 months, depending on your profile and the CIU’s workload at the time.

If you choose the real estate investment route, it’s going to take much longer.

Paperwork

Similar to other citizenship by investment programs, there is a lot of paperwork you need to deal with. 

In addition to application forms, prepare your certified passport copies, certified copies of ID cards, birth certificates, marriage certificates, insurance policies, medical certificates, and police clearance certificates. .

These documents must also be authorised. 

While it seems exhausting, your authorized agent will help you through the process. 

Dual Citizenship

St. Kitts and Nevis allows dual citizenship, so you can keep your old citizenship(s). And any of your offspring and their future generations will automatically qualify as St. Kitts and Nevis citizens.

More About St. Kitts and Nevis 

There are many other advantages to getting St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship. We’ll cover them below.

Climate

Famous for its beautiful beaches, lush greenery, and year-long great weather, St. Kitts and Nevis is the poster for just what makes the Caribbean islands such gorgeous destinations.

Caribbean sea in St.Kitts & Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis weather is good all year round.

The climate is warm and tropical with temperatures hovering between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit year round.

If you’re not used to the heat, it can be a bit difficult at first, but thankfully the country never gets too hot. With time, you’ll likely find your body adjusting.

St. Kitts is the larger of the two islands with an area of 68 square-miles (176.8 square-kilometers). Nevis, the smaller of the two, is 36 square-miles (93.6 square-kilometers).

Both islands have dormant volcanoes in their central regions that provide stunning views.

The weather, the natural vistas, the beaches, and more keep bringing tourists back to the country every year.

Once you live here, you can enjoy these beautiful sights and sounds all year-round.

Living Standards

St. Kitts and Nevis is a generally moderate place to live in terms of cost of living.

As a small pair of islands forming one nation, the country needs to import many of its products. This raises the price of many necessary commodities.

Public transportation is very affordable with an efficient bus network, taxis, and a ferry between St. Kitts and Nevis that’s cheaper than ferries in other countries around the world.

The stunning views from the rolling seaside hills of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Rent varies depending on the location and size of amenities, but you’ll probably be looking at around US$2,300 per month for a three-bedroom place in a central location or US$1,800 per month in a suburban location, excluding utilities.

As import costs are high, groceries will be more expensive than normal. Consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit, and general food products cost more than similar items in New York, for example.

Raising a Family

Life is slower in St. Kitts and Nevis and many expats find the pace gives them time to spend with their families and loved ones.

On the other hand, things can take longer to get done because of this laid back nature.

English is the official spoken language of St. Kitts and Nevis, but locals speak a dialect known as Creole, specifically Saint Kitts Creole.

The dialect has words and language structure borrowed from West Africa, reflecting the region’s past as many of the inhabitants are the descendants of slaves brought over to work on sugar plantations.

Learning Creole goes a long way toward joining the wider St. Kitts and Nevis community, but you can get by perfectly fine with English.

School costs are pretty average and comparable to those in America. Annual average private international school fees are US$18,911 for grade schools and US$21,044 for high schools.

Like anywhere, there are pros and cons to life in St. Kitts and Nevis.

However, if you prepare yourself beforehand, you’ll be ready for any issues before they arise.

Access to the Caribbeans and the Americas

Situated in the Caribbeans, St. Kitts and Nevis is close to other Caribbean nations, and is a quick flight away from parts of North America and South America.

There are daily flights into St. Kitts and Nevis through American Airlines, Delta, and Liat Airlines, and when flying out of the country you can reach most destinations with a layover in the U.S.

Is the Program Worth It?

Since the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program is one of the most popular programs in the world, its required investment amount is also among the highest in the Caribbean countries.

In addition, it’s a great option if you need a second passport quickly, as the process can be completed within 4 to 6 months.

There is also no residency requirement, and the tax scheme is very attractive.

To fully enjoy the benefits of its Citizenship by Investment program, you should talk to a tax advisor about how much tax you can save after obtaining a St. Kitts and Nevis passport.

St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program vs Other Programs 

Here’s a quick comparison table on the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program compared with Antigua and Barbuda and also other similar programs.

ProgramSt. Kitts and NevisAntigua and BarbudaGrenadaDominica
Investment AmountUS$250,000US$100,000US$150,000US$100,000
Visa-free Countries150 countries +140 countries +140 countries +140 countries +
Processing Time4-6 months3-4 months3-6 months3 months
Residency Requirement5 days in the first 5 years after obtaining citizenship
Local Income TaxNoNo10%-28%15%-35%
Worldwide Income TaxNoNoNoYes
Inheritance TaxNoNoNoNo

If you have the net worth to afford investing anywhere from US$250,000 to over US$500,000 and the benefits of St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship are worthwhile to you, then it’s one of the best choices in the world.

St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program vs Antigua and Barbuda Investment Program

The required investment for the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program (US$250,000) is much more expensive than the investment program from Antigua and Barbuda (US$100,000). In addition, the processing time for the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program is also faster than that of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Both countries also do not tax your worldwide income. There’s also no wealth tax or inheritance tax. 

However, St. Kitts and Nevis passports are generally stronger than those of Antigua and Barbuda. They give you access to over 150 countries visa-free. 

On the other hand, Antigua and Barbuda gives you access to around 140 countries. 

Therefore, in general, the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program offers a better deal than St. Kitts and Nevis’s. However, the St. Kitts and Nevis passport is slightly superior to that of Antigua and Barbuda. 

St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program vs Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program

Grenada has a much lower required investment amount than St. Kitts and Nevis for its Citizenship by Investment Program (US$150,000 vs. US$250,000).

However, the St. Kitts and Nevis passport is slightly stronger than that of Grenada (150+ countries vs. 140+ countries).

The processing time for these two programs is similar, at 4 to 6 months.

However, there is a personal income tax of 10% – 28% for Grenadian citizens, which can be a deal-breaker for many people.

Both countries do not impose worldwide income tax or inheritance tax.

St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program vs. Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program 

The required investment amount for the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program is much lower than that of St. Kitts and Nevis’s (US$100,000 vs. US$250,000). However, the tax scheme in Dominica isn’t as attractive. 

There is a personal income tax for Dominica residents at a rate of 15% – 35%. Additionally, you will be subject to worldwide income tax. 

Our Personal Thoughts on the St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program

In our opinion, the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program has become less interesting after the country increased the investment requirement a few years ago.

Unless you have your own reason to get the St. Kitts and Nevis passport, it’s generally more worthwhile to get an Antigua and Barbuda passport instead. The total cost is significantly cheaper while you get similar benefits.

How Do I Start the Process?

After reading through the information we’ve laid out, and if you want to find out more if the St. Kitts and Nevis program is right for you, then you can fill out the below form to get in touch with a licensed agent directly. 

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Before immigrating to Canada, Zain had the great fortune to live in places around the world and values the experiences he gained along the way. He's now based in Waterloo, Canada but you'll often find him in Thailand, a country he's fallen in love with.

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