Situated in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is a picturesque country comprising two islands which have been a center of trade and commerce for the past several centuries. One of the most visited places in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis is also known for its thriving sugar business with the industry employing many people from different countries. In recent years, the country has seen a surge in the inflow of foreign nationals, with people from all over the world coming to the nation. One of the reasons behind this is the favorable citizenship by investment programme of St. Kitts and Nevis. More and more people now want to buy St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship owing to the benefits that it offers. It is because of this that the population of St. Kitts and Nevis is a mixed bag, ranging from people of African and European ancestry along with a large number of citizens from Asia. There are different methods to buy St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship.
Purchase of citizenship of a country is increasingly becoming a regular activity for a large number of people in the world, ranging from owners of businesses to those who want to acquire citizenship of their preferred countries. Known under various names such as citizenship by investment and buying passports, the general meaning of this exercise is that individuals get citizenship of a country in exchange for a certain sum of money or investment in the nation’s resources or various sectors. This arrangement has its own set of advantages for both the person acquiring citizenship and the country, which makes substantial revenue through this. There are several countries where the demand for citizenship by foreigners is high.
Getting St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship
Among the many countries in the European Union and the citizenship by investment Caribbean countries, the program of St. Kitts and Nevis is the oldest such scheme in the world. Over the years the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment programme has acquired a certain credibility which has made it one of the most used avenues by foreign nationals who are seeking a new passport. If a person wants to buy St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, all he/she needs to do is to fulfil a set of criteria and invest in the country’s real estate and businesses to get the citizenship within as early as a few months.
How To Buy A St. Kitts And Nevis Citizenship
For getting a St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, applicants have to enroll in the St. Kitts and Nevis global residence program, which allows foreign nationals to become St. Kitts and Nevis citizens by investing in the country’s resources. The investment includes both by the purchase of property as well as investing money in the various industrial sectors of St. Kitts and Nevis. Donating to government funds aimed for the sustainable development of the country is another avenue through which one can buy St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship. Following are the various steps through which one can buy a St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship –
- Application forms – The application forms for St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship are available for a fee of $250 and have to be obtained from the country’s citizenship by investment unit (CIU). These forms are then filled up with the proper documentation before they are submitted so that the government can validate and verify them. There are a number of agencies and local service providers who help in the process and can be of assistance to the applicant in exchange for a fixed fee.
- Property – As per the global residency programme of St. Kitts and Nevis, investing in real estate is among the avenues through which applicants can buy a St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship. Under this programme, a minimum of $400,000 has to be invested in government-approved real estate projects in St. Kitts and Nevis. This money will be a part of the overall investment made by the foreign national for getting St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship. Apart from this amount for an individual applicant, there are also additional charges which are applicable for subsidiary applicants whose names are attached with the application of the main applicant. The government fee for this scheme is $35,000 for the main applicant, $20,000 for the spouse of the main applicant and $10,000 for each of the dependent family members who are also applying for citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis. It’s a known fact that while granting citizenship to a person, every government in the world does proper background checks to know more about the applicant and to ascertain whether the person is fit and eligible to be a citizen of the country. The same happens with St. Kitts and Nevis as well and here the charge for it is $4,000 for the due diligence checks. A processing fee of $7,500 also has to be paid for this purpose.
- Contribution to the Sugar industry – The sugar industry in St. Kitts and Nevis is famous throughout the world and generates revenue worth millions every year. If a person is wondering how to get St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, he/she should know that investing in the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) is another way through which citizenship of the country can be acquired after citizenship planning. Under the global residency programme, a person is required to pay a non-refundable sum of $250,000 to the SIDF which will then be used for the development of the sugar industry in St. Kitts and Nevis. However, this amount also varies for the number of dependents of the family. For families with three dependents, the amount is $3,00,000 while for families with five and seven dependents, the investment required is $3,50,000 and $4,50,000 respectively. A government processing fee of $50,000 is also charged by the government when it comes to elderly and minor dependents in the family.
- Investment in sustainable growth fund – This is another way through which a person can acquire citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis. Much like many other countries, there is a sustainable growth fund created by the government of St. Kitts and Nevis which is used for the development of the country and its infrastructure. If a potential investor is wondering how to get St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, this is another way, by investing in this fund. For this purpose, a donation of $150,000 can be made to the sustainable growth fund by the person wanting to get the citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis. When a person invests in various avenues including the sugar industry, sustainable growth fund and the real estate sector of St. Kitts and Nevis, the chances of the applicant getting citizenship also increases because these investments earn him/her good and favorable ratings from the government. In recent times, all three avenues have become very popular with foreign nationals from various countries who are looking to either settle down in St. Kitts and Nevis or get the citizenship of the country as they believe it will help them in their business and other interests.
Advantages St. Kitts And Nevis Citizenship Programme
The advantages of buying St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship programme are many and this is also the reason as to why a large number of people are opting for it in recent years. Let us discuss some of the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship benefits –
- Visa-free travel – The holder of a St. Kitts and Nevis passport is allowed visa-free travel to more than 100 countries in the world, including the European Union. This is perhaps the most significant advantage that the holder of a St. Kitts and Nevis passport receives because the country is also a part of the Commonwealth of nations and although St. Kitts and Nevis got its independence in 1983, it recognizes the Queen of England as its ceremonial head. A St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship would mean that a person can freely travel to the EU countries without any visa. The United Kingdom too doesn’t require St. Kitts and Nevis residents to opt for a visa before traveling. In today’s world, where there is an emphasis on less paperwork for travelers and businessmen, the number of visa relaxations that a St. Kitts and Nevis passport brings is definitely lucrative.
- No personal tax – Another significant benefit that a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis gets is associated with the fact that any person who is a resident of the country isn’t required to pay personal income tax. At a time when there are multiple regimes with stringent tax rules, this factor definitely puts St. Kitts and Nevis in the league of those nations which have given its citizens tax relief. Many of the people who apply for citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis are those who want to move to a more favorable tax regime than the country where they are currently living. It is a huge advantage that not only helps in the long run but also accrues over time. The money saved in income tax, when it comes to St. Kitts and Nevis, is often much more than income from other sources that the person would have received in a country with a strict tax regime.
- Dual citizenship – St. Kitts and Nevis is also one of the few nations in the world that permits dual citizenship, something which is immensely beneficial for all those who want to acquire citizenship of a country and at the same time also don’t want to let go of their existing passport. In St. Kitts and Nevis, one has no need to forego his/her old passport and can still retain it. As a result, one can move freely between both countries and can also enjoy the added benefits that the two passports bring to the table.
- No requirement of residency- Unlike in other countries where there is a need to be a mandatory resident before an applicant is granted citizenship, there is no such condition in St. Kitts and Nevis. If a person is applying for citizenship under the global residency programme, there is no compulsion for that person to reside at St. Kitts and Nevis for a stipulated amount of time whether before or after the application is approved. This doesn’t tie a person to the country and he/she can even spend more than a year outside its boundaries and still be called its citizens. Many of the applicants who want to acquire citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis find this condition beneficial.
- Smooth application process – There are no hassles or bureaucratic hazards in the application process for the citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis which makes it stand out from other similar citizenship programs. Applicants simply need to fill up the paperwork and make the investments before he/she is granted citizenship. The time frame for granting citizenship can be as low as three months, which not only saves the time of the applicants but also doesn’t keep them waiting for a long time. Moreover, during the application process, at no point of time is the applicant required to travel to the country – they can get citizenship even without visiting the country even once! This gives much more flexibility to the applicant than the passport and citizenship rules in many other countries. Owing to the speedy completion of the application process, the future plans of the applicant, which might be the reasons behind the person wanting to buy St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, can be realized without any delay.
- Effective wealth management- Getting St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship can also help you to effectively manage wealth. This is because of the fact that it allows dual citizenship. As a result of it, one can now manage and put wealth in more than one country. The tax benefits that St. Kitts and Nevis offer also come into play at this time and can help a person to save more money than what could have been done in other countries.
- Business opportunities – St. Kitts and Nevis is known as a financial and business hub that employs people from various nationalities in large numbers. One of the advantages of holding a St. Kitts and Nevis passport is that an individual can try his/her luck at the different industries in the country such as that of sugar. Often considered as one of the most significant nations in the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis also falls in the route of most business professionals who head towards the area to start new ventures. At such a point of time, a citizenship of the country will not only ease the stringent procedure that they would have otherwise have had to follow but will also help the businesses with more opportunities to grow exponentially.
- Peaceful living condition – The country is also known as a peaceful abode with a high living standard in comparison with other countries in the Caribbean. One of the reasons behind this is the fact that it is a part of the British Commonwealth and derives its practices from many of the policies of the other Commonwealth countries known for their quality standard of living, such as Australia and the United Kingdom. For an applicant, a passport of St. Kitts and Nevis is also a gateway to a better standard of living, access to basic amenities of extremely high quality, along with lesser interference of government in matters of personal finance.
Citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis could go a long way to secure the applicant’s future when it comes to effective wealth management, achieving business objectives and also enjoying the incentives which come with dual citizenship. Making a St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship application involves an application process and then making investments in different sectors of the country. Investment in real estate is one of the most used avenues for acquiring citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis. Applicants should keep in mind while applying for citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis that investing in diverse sectors including real estate helps to get a favorable rating with the government, which increases a person’s chances of getting the citizenship. Apart from real estate, applicants can also invest in the famed sugar industry of St. Kitts and Nevis along with a sustainable growth foundation run by the government. The benefits of a St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship are many primarily because of the fact that the country doesn’t need a citizen to relinquish his/her old passport, enabling that person to retain dual citizenship. The other benefits include tax relief, which helps an applicant to effectively hedge risks and manage investments in the country which doesn’t charge any personal income tax from its residents.
Combined together, all these factors determine the interest of an applicant to strive for getting St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, which will not only serve his/her business interests but will also return the investment made to the applicant in the longer run.
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