St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Residency

St. Kitts and Nevis are two open for citizenship by investment Caribbean islands located in between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that are together known as one nation, also known by the name of Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis. The islands are under the de facto jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, with Queen Elizabeth II functioning as the head of the state, although they secured independence from British Rule in 1983. The modern-day St Kitts was discovered by the American explorer Christopher Columbus in 1493. The name Nevis comes from the Spanish phrase Señora de las Nieves, which means, “Our Lady of the Snows”.

The island nation enjoys a high Human Development Index of 0.778 and ranks 72nd in the Human Development Indicator list. A significant portion of the economy of this island nation is dependent upon tourism. The island’s beautiful sea-beaches, pleasant weather, and natural beauty have consistently attracted tourists all over the world. The visit of tourists from different countries has also been facilitated by the existence of air travel routes from most of the European countries to St. Kitts and Nevis. There has been a steady increase in the number of tourists visiting the country since 1978.

St. Kitts And Nevis Citizenship benefits By Residency

Acquiring citizenship under St. Kitts and Nevis global residence program brings with it several benefits. Some of them are the following:

  1. Quick and efficient application process. The application is processed in three to four months and a decision is made within 60 days.
  2. If an applicant is successful in getting the citizenship, he/she can also include his/her dependent children who are below the age of 30 years, and dependent parents and/or grandparents who are above the age of 55 years.
  3. Unlike citizenship by residency requirements in certain other countries, in the case of St. Kitts and Nevis, the applicant does not need to be physically present in the country at the time of making the application.
  4. There is no requirement of having prior knowledge of the language spoken in the country. Likewise, there is also no requirement of having a particular level of educational qualification before making the application.
  5. Tax rates are efficient, and no taxes are levied on income generated in other countries.
  6. The value of the passport of St. Kitts and Nevis has increasingly lured people towards applying for the citizenship of the country. A passport of this country allows visa-free travel to 102 countries and visa on arrival to 35 other nations.
  7. It also has dual citizenship facilities, so in case a person is applying for the citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis, he/she does not need to give up his/her previous citizenship.

Citizenship by Residency

Citizenship by residency refers to the process in which the government of a country grants its citizenship to a certain individual who has stayed in that country for a certain period of time. The stay must be continuous in that country, and the person must not have resided in any other country in between. A good and efficient citizenship by residency programme would be one that would grant people citizenship in a short span of time and would involve lesser formalities. Popular countries that offer citizenship by residency programmes include Argentina, Dominican Republic, Canada, and Brazil among others. St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship through residency is also popular.

Various kinds of citizenship by residency

There are diverse ways by which citizenship by residency can be acquired. These include the following:

  • Citizenship by residency can be acquired by staying at the country (in which the applicant is seeking citizenship) for a fixed duration of time. This duration varies from country to country. However, one feature that is a constant in this case for all countries is that the applicant must have stayed the required duration in that country without any break, at the time of making the application for citizenship.
  • Citizenship by residency can also be acquired by marrying a person who is a citizen of the country in which the applicant is seeking citizenship. The number of years that the two people need to remain married at the time of making the application varies country-wise. There are certain common regulations in this case as well. This includes signing a document before a local authority which would suggest that the two people are in a cordial marital relationship. This agreement has to be submitted with the citizenship application form.
  • Another process by which a person can gain citizenship by residency is through his/her parents. In case, either of the applicant’s parents are a citizen of the country of which the applicant is seeking citizenship, the person needs to submit the required proof with their application form for citizenship.
  • As mentioned above, another form of citizenship by residency is acquired through the applicant having stayed in that country for a required duration. During that stay, the applicant is supposed to have acquired a residency permit, and he/she needs to submit the residency permit along with the application for citizenship.

Citizenship By Residency Vs Citizenship By Investment

There are significant differences between citizenship by residency vs citizenship by investment programmes.

  • Costs involved: There is typically a drastic cost difference involved in citizenship by residency and citizenship by investment programmes. Citizenship by residency programmes are considerably more affordable as the main criterion for granting citizenship is often based on the duration of time that the applicant has spent in the country. The time that he/she has spent in the country serves as an indicator of his/her long term contribution to the country at large. In contrast, there are immense costs involved in the citizenship by investment programmes, as the main goal of the country providing the citizenship by investment is to secure investment in the country.

 

  • Time duration: While residency programmes can take years before converting into long term citizenship, citizenship by investment programmes can complete within months, provided that all the conditions are met.

 

  • Acceptability: A vast majority of countries offer some form of residency programmes or residency permits, while there are only a selected number of countries that offer citizenship by investment programmes.

 

  • Benefits: Residency programmes come with limited benefits and limited rights, far from equivalent to citizenship. In a sharp contrast, citizenship by investment provides applicants with full citizenship, including all the benefits, perks and rights accorded to any other citizen of the nation.

St. Kitts And Nevis Citizenship Through Residency

Although there are many methods by which citizenship through residency can be attained, unfortunately, St. Kitts and Nevis currently provides it only through one method: citizenship by investment. This citizenship acquiring method exists in St. Kitts and Nevis to give a boost to the economy, generate more economic growth, and provide jobs.

St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Requirements and General Qualifications

  • The main applicant should be at least 18 years of age. A birth certificate should be submitted as proof of age.

 

  • No country with which St. Kitts & Nevis has an agreement for visa-free travel should have denied a visa to the main applicant at a prior date. If the visa was denied, the applicant must have obtained a visa subsequently on re-application to be eligible for St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship by investment program.

 

  • The application should be submitted on forms prescribed by the St. Kitts & Nevis government and must be accompanied by either all original documents or certified copies of all original documents.

 

  • The Citizenship by Investment unit of the St. Kitts & Nevis government makes the form available for the application to only the main applicant and the authorized agents only on the payment of the prescribed fee. The completed application forms should also be submitted to the unit.

 

  • The application form should be completed in English and all documents submitted as proof should also be in English. If not in English, all forms and documents should be accompanied by a vetted translation.

 

  • If married, a certified copy of the marriage certificate needs to be submitted.

 

  • A sworn affidavit which indicates support for each dependent over the age of 18 years (except spouse) needs to be provided.

 

  • For all dependent children:
    1. Below the age of 18 years, the application form must be signed by both parents provide both are the child’s legal guardians. If only one parent is the legal guardian, appropriate legal documentation to that effect must be provided
    2. Between the ages of 18 and 25 years, an official transcript must be submitted as proof of enrolment of the child in an institute of learning.

 

  • Applicant must ensure they provide the correct information in the application form, as any false information or omissions may lead to citizenship being denied and also make them liable to perjury under the Perjury Act, 2005.

 

  • A police certificate to indicate no criminal record needs to be submitted during the application process.

 

  • The citizenship by investment unit may request for a personal interview of the candidate at its discretion before approving the application. Such interview may be either held in St. Kitts & Nevis or in any diplomatic or consular post of St. Kitts & Nevis.

 

  • All applicants above 16 years of age will have to undergo due diligence background checks. Such due diligence is typically conducted by an independent third-party organization on behalf of the citizenship by investment unit of St. Kitts & Nevis and in accordance with the guidelines set by it.

 

St. Kitts and Nevis established its citizenship by investment in 1984. It is one of the world’s first citizenship by investment programmes. The rules and regulations of the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment programme are encoded in the Citizenship Act, 1984, Part II, Section 3 (5). There are various schemes under the programme include the following:

  • Donations – Under this scheme, applicants can make donations to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) of St. Kitts and Nevis. This fund came into being by replacing the Hurricane Relief Fund. The Hurricane Relief Fund was set up to help the victims of the deadly hurricane that had hit the island nation in 2017. The minimum donations that have to be made are as follows:

 

Contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) Costs:

Type of ApplicantCost
Principal Applicant$150,000
Principal Applicant with Spouse$175,000
Family of 4$195,000
Additional Dependants (per dependant other than the spouse)$10,000
Due diligence cost for the primary applicant$7,500
Due diligence cost for any family member aged 16 years or over$4000
Accelerated Application Process for the Principal applicant$25,000
Accelerated Application Process for dependants aged 16 or under.$500

 

Donations can also be made to the Sugar Industry Diversity Foundation.

Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) Costs:

Type of ApplicantCost
Principal Applicant$250,000
Principal Applicant with a family with three dependents (Principal applicant + spouse and two minor children)$300,000
Principal Applicant with a family with five dependents (Principal applicant + spouse + 4 minor children)$350,000
Principal Applicant with a family with seven dependents$400,000
For every additional dependent (if more than 7)$50,000
For the unmarried dependent child of the applicant between the ages of 18 and 25, and dependents over 65$50,000
Due diligence costs for the primary applicant$7,500
Due diligence costs for any family member aged 16 years or more$4,000
Accelerated Application Process for the Principal applicant$25,000
Accelerated Application Process for dependants aged 16 or under.$500

Investments in the real estate

There are two separate sets of provisions for real estate investments under the citizenship by investment scheme. The average processing time for completing all formalities is 4 to 6 months.

  1. In the first provision, applicants have to invest a minimum of $400,000 in real estate properties. They must keep it in their possession for a minimum of five years before they sell it again.
  2. In the second provision, applicants have to invest a minimum of $200,000. In this case, they have to maintain possession of their property for seven years, after which they can resell it.

Additional costs in pre-approved real estate investments:

Type of ApplicantCost
A family of 4 (Principal applicant, spouse, and two kids, one of age and one underage)$7,500
The government fee for the principal applicant$35,000
The government fee for the spouse$20,000
The government fee for the dependents under the age of 18 years$10,000
The government fee for the dependents over the age of 18 years$10,000
The government fee for the family of 4 (Principal applicant, spouse, and two kids, one of age and one underage)$75,000
Due diligence cost for the primary applicant$7,500
Due diligence costs for any family member aged 16 years or over$4,000
Mandatory insurance fund contribution and conveyance fees for buying real estate4-5 percent of the purchase price.

Since 2012, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has passed a new regulation. According to this regulation, the applicant to whom the original buyer sells his/her real estate property after the passing of the requisite five or seven years buyer will also be eligible for St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship through residency, within the ambit of its citizenship by investment scheme. The St. Kitts and Nevis government has provided a prior list of approved real-estate projects, and investments can be made in only those.

St. Kitts and Nevis has developed into an increasingly popular destination for tourists and individuals looking into establishing an international base with a second citizenship planning. Although there is no official St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship through residency programme as such, the citizenship by investment is a faster way to secure a more lasting and beneficial relationship with the island nation. With scenic views, fun beaches and picturesque mountains, St. Kitts and Nevis is a fun destination for all types of travelers. As there are no personal taxes, the citizens can live comfortably with a high standard of living while still saving money. The economy of St. Kitts and Nevis is still emerging, and there is plenty of potential for profitable business ventures.

The St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship through residency or citizenship programs may involve a considerable financial investment, however, the benefits that the citizenship provides are also plenty. The future is moving towards a more globalized economy with international markets and a second citizenship, that too with such a powerful passport as that of St. Kitts and Nevis, would be of great use in the future.

 

Let our experts help guide you through the process of securing a second citizenship that suits your needs. Register with us now!

Want to know more? Contact us!