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 and 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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Why 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. 

  • it only takes three to six months to get citizenship, while other programs take years
  • the investment amount is also among the lowest in the world at US$150,000 
  • you can get a St. Kitts and Nevis passport for your entire family, including your spouse, parents, grandparents, siblings, and children, as long as they are younger than 31 years old or older than 55 years old 
  • St. Kitts and Nevis passport allows you to travel to 156 countries visa-free
  • St. Kitts and Nevis has been political stability for decades and offers a low crime rate

In addition, St. Kitts and Nevis is a beautiful country, great for both vacations and living there permanently. 

Once your application has been submitted, officials will perform due diligence checks and review your documents before responding.

Who is the Program For?

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

Benefits

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

Powerful Passport

You could travel visa-free or get a visa-on-arrival in 156 countries and regions worldwide with a St. Kitts and Nevis passport.

With the passport, 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.

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

There is a corporate income tax flat rate of 33 percent. There is also a sales tax. This value added tax (VAT) has three rates:

  • standard rate at 17 percent
  • reduced rate at 10 percent for hotels and restaurants
  • zero rate for things like flour, sugar milk, bread, oats, and rice

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. 

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.

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).

Residency Program

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 two investment options when applying to the program.

Non-Refundable Contribution 

The first option is a non-refundable contribution (donation) to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). The minimum contribution is US$150,000. 

If you want to add family members to your application, you need to make an additional contribution as follows:

  • US$25,000 for your spouse
  • US$20,000 for each of your sibling*
  • US$10,000 for other dependents**

*Your sibling must be single and younger than 31 years old, without children, and financially dependent on you.

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

**Dependents can be your unmarried children who are younger than 31 years old or your parents and grandparents who are older than 55 years old. 

For example, if you apply for the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program with one spouse and two children, you need to contribute at least US$195,000. 

A non-refundable contribution option is the most popular since it’s more straightforward and 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, which you can sell after five years. 
  • purchase property of at least US$200,000, which you can sell after seven years. 

If you go with this option, you might not be able to get the citizenship within three to six months since it takes additional time for the St. Kitts and Nevis to approve your application.

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 31 years old or older than 55 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.

Costs

The costs of immigration to St. Kitts and Nevis is made up of the investment donations that you’re expected to make, legal fees, due diligence fees, and application fee.

Here’s the breakdown. 

Once you’re approved going the real estate investment route, you’ll have to pay a government fee of the following amounts:

  • main applicant: US$35,050
  • spouse of the main applicant: US$20,050
  • other qualified dependents regardless of age: US$10,050

If you take the real estate option, you’ll need to pay for associated purchase costs such as compulsory insurance fund contributions and conveyance fees.

Regardless of which investment option you pick, you’ll also need to pay the relevant application fees.

When submitting your application, the non-refundable due diligence and processing fees must be paid as well.

The fees are US$7,500 for the main applicant and US$4,000 for each dependent over the age of 16 years.

In total, this can range from around US$200,000 to US$500,000.

Required Documents

Besides all the above requirements, you’ll also be required to provide the following documents to prove your and your dependents’ identities, if you wish to have your application processed successfully.

An extremely important point to note is that you cannot apply yourself for the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment – applications can only be handled by authorized persons.

That said, here are the required forms:

  • application for registration as a citizen (Form C1)
  • photograph and signature certificate (Form C2)
  • medical certificate (Form C3) including original results of HIV Test (HIV test is required for all persons applying for citizenship including children over 12 years); Note: HIV test results must not be older than three months

Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation option:

  • investment confirmation/escrow agreement (Form C4)

Authorized service providers charge US$250 for applications.

You can see a list of authorized service providers allowed to practice in the federation on the government’s website under the section labeled Service Providers.

Here’s the main list of required documents:

  • completed C1 application
  • completed C2 application
  • completed C3 application
  • original excerpt of full birth record or certified copy of birth certificate
  • certified copy of proof of name change (if applicable)
  • certified copy of current national identity card(s) (children under the age of 16 are exempt)
  • certified copy of current passport(s) showing name, photo citizenship/nationality, date and place of issue, expiry date, passport number and issuing country
  • HIV test results must be no older than three months (children under the age of 12 are exempt)
  • police 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 ( children under the age of 16 are exempt)
  • six photographs approximately 35 x 45mm in size, taken within the past six months (one of the photographs must be certified and attached to your C2 form)

The St. Kitts and Nevis government will likely ask you to procure other supporting documents so they can better perform their due diligence checks, so double check with your authorized agent to see what further documents you might need.

While a list of document seems exhausting, your authorized agent will help you through the process. 

Procedures and Time Frames

Once you’ve decided to apply, speak to your service provider and ask them to obtain an application through an authorized person.

You’ll also need to make your contribution or investment based on if you took the non-refundable contribution option or approved real estate option.

Once that is complete, gather supporting documents showing proof of your contribution or investment.

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Complete your application forms and go over them thoroughly to make sure there are no errors.

Along with that, produce the relevant fees and supporting documents for yourself and your family. This includes your spouse, adult children, and dependent children under 18 years of age.

Prepare your certified passport copies, certified copies of ID cards, birth certificates, marriage certificates, insurance policies, and medical certificates.

All the documents you might need have been listed above in the Required Documents section.

Your citizenship and application can be jeopardized if the government believes you have falsified information or concealed facts.

It cannot be reiterated enough, your authorized agent will help you go over your application thoroughly to ensure that it is accurate and there are no errors.

Once your application is received, the St. Kitts and Nevis government will process it in around three to five months, or perhaps longer if you take the real estate option.

Once the processing of the application is completed, you’ll then be awarded full St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship with all corresponding benefits.

Port Zante in Saint Kitts and Nevis
Once your application has been approved, you can come to St. Kitts & Nevis at anytime.

There is also an Accelerated Application Process (AAP) which reduces the processing time to 45 to 60 days.

As long as you meet the mandatory criteria and submit the necessary documents, you can apply through the AAP.

AAP processing fees are US$25,000 for the main applicant and US$20,000 for dependents above 16 years old.

On top of that, US$500 will also be charged per person for the processing of the St. Kitts and Nevis passport for dependents under the age of 16.

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.

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.

Caribbean sea in St.Kitts & Nevis
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.

What Effects has COVID-19 had on the Program?

Despite COVID-19, the St. Kitts and Nevis government are still processing applications.

In fact, the program has become even more popular with people looking to come to St. Kitts and Nevis to escape the restrictions in their home countries.

How Do I Start the Process?

After reading through the information we’ve laid out, and if you’re sure the St. Kitts and Nevis program is for you, then you can fill out the below form to start your application process.

You’ll need to prepare your documents and financial capital before discussing your options in greater detail with an authorized agent.

If you pass your due diligence, and your documents and finances are in order, you might be saying hello to your new home country in a rather short time.

Is the Program Worth It?

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.

Now, on to You

For those interested in the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program, fill out the form below and a representative from the program will get back to you shortly.

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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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