St. Kitts & Nevis Standard & Cost of Living

An idyllic pair of islands, nestled in the heart of the West Indies, St. Kitts and Nevis offers a slice of Caribbean paradise for all its visitors and inhabitants. St. Kitts and Nevis is blessed with the boon of a pleasant climate all year round and bounteous beauty of nature. Although it has evolved into a fully functional democracy with a steady political ambiance, it continues to maintain umbilical ties with Great Britain. The Queen of England remains the ceremonial Head of State, which in turn confers upon the islands a broad range of diplomatic benefits. The islands have long stretches of beaches covered in sand and coral reefs running along the coasts. The serene blue waters, the bright skies, and the exciting flurry of water sports and activities be it kayaking, zipping, paragliding, snorkeling, sunbathing, or simply swimming, enlivens the beaches of St. Kitts and Nevis, making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Upon traveling further into the islands, the sight of spectacular mountains greets the eye. The gorgeous Mount Liamuiga, which is a dormant volcano covered in lush tropical forests, stands right at the center of the island.

The islands boast of a rich heritage, by virtue of being one of the most prominent powers to resist the colonial invasion of the West Indies and the practice of slavery in the nineteenth century. St. Kitts and Nevis has plenty of sugar plantations and many them have outlasted the days of colonialism. The islands have a vibrant blend of culture, ringing with scintillating beats that mark the life of the Caribbean. Infused with the rhythms of Salsa, Calypso, and Jazz, the islands have the vibe of a carnival all throughout the year. There is so much to see and do in St. Kitts and Nevis that there is barely a dull moment there.

St. Kitts and Nevis has recorded commendable economic progress since the days of the collapse of the plantations and mass exodus to other parts of the world. Today, St. Kitts and Nevis has a significant political stature and is a member of strategic international associations. Further, with the development of its citizenship by investment programs, individuals from different nooks and corners of the world are showing interest in the prospect of a life in St. Kitts and Nevis. The expenditure necessary for the investment is deemed quite reasonable, when balanced against the benefits of the wide array of comforts in spite of the affordable St. Kitts & Nevis cost of living. Equipped with all modern amenities and convenient air and sea links to the U.S., South America as well as Europe, the St. Kitts & Nevis standard of living is at par with most advanced societies of the world. Therefore, for those seeking a peaceful retreat, business opportunities or retirement, as the case may be, with all the comforts of modern living within a moderate budget, St. Kitts and Nevis promises to be a haven of bliss.

Benefits of a St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship

St. Kitts and Nevis has evolved into a hotbed for prospective offshore citizens mainly by virtue of the high St. Kitts & Nevis standard of living despite the reasonable cost of living in St. Kitts & Nevis. Surrounded by the mesmerizing scenic beauty of blue waters and the verdant mountains and a calm and peaceful ambiance, St. Kitts and Nevis is the perfect destination for residing in, thriving in and retiring in as well. The erstwhile sugar plantations have been overhauled to incorporate modern labor-intensive manufacturing units. Parallelly, the tourism industry has experienced substantial growth with an increase in the average footfall of tourists all throughout the year. Consequently, the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis has been flourishing in recent years. The islands have also attracted a significant amount of foreign investors by virtue of its economic boom. As a result, the employment opportunities have improved, stimulating an overall upgrade in the average lifestyle of the residents of St. Kitts and Nevis. Proper citizenship planning will ease the process for you.

St. Kitts and Nevis has garnered a lot of political traction in the contemporary context. It holds a membership of the United Nations, the British Commonwealth, and CARICOM as well. As a further testimony to its global prominence, the passport of St. Kitts and Nevis has been awarded a rank of 20 worldwide with an impressive passport score of 137. It permits visa-free travel to 103 countries all over the world. Moreover, an applicant may access the option of visa on arrival in as many as 34 nations with their St. Kitts and Nevis passport. The scope of unrestricted travel to any of the EU nations including Switzerland and Ireland as well as Singapore, Russia and Hong Kong is a very attractive benefit that the St. Kitts and Nevis passport offers. As a result, coming into the possession of a St. Kitts and Nevis passport proves to be extremely advantageous for an individual.

Life in St. Kitts and Nevis is made more appealing by the high global rank that the passport of St. Kitts and Nevis enjoys by virtue of its profitable international affiliations. Its crucial links with Great Britain, for instance, makes the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis eligible to enjoy the default benefits that are otherwise reserved only for EU member states. Such a robust international image, along with the perks of extensive international travel without the hassle and expense of travel permits, renders the popularity of the St. Kitts & Nevis passport rather high. It is hardly surprising that investors and high-net-worth individuals from different walks of life are tracing their steps to these islands in pursuit of setting up a second home or enterprising a new venture in a rather exotic destination. The proximity to the giants of the international markets like the U.S  and Europe, complemented by readily available natural and human resources, and flexible taxation policies make St. Kitts and Nevis lucrative for foreign investors and by extension, the demand for the citizenship of the islands have soared.


St. Kitts & Nevis Cost of Living

The St. Kitts & Nevis standard of living is comparable to most developed nations in the world. Further, with the expansion of its citizenship by investment programs, the islands have adopted a cosmopolitan outlook. However, in comparison to that, the cost of living in St. Kitts & Nevis is relatively reasonable. The currency of the islands is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) for which the current exchange rate is approximately 1 US dollar for EC$2.70. However, US Dollars have widespread acceptance all over the islands.

As per official statistics, the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis has accelerated noticeably. The St. Kitts & Nevis cost of living has decreased by 1.3 percent on account of tangible reductions in the consumer goods and services prices, housing, and utility costs, transport and fuel prices, as well as primary services like education and health. This has further enhanced the charm of St. Kitts and Nevis as an ideal retirement location.

While the major expenses incurred while living in St. Kitts and Nevis is the real estate, the food, and entertainment, the costs are much lower in comparison to European countries. When pitted against the U.S., the cost indices vary, subject to the particular goods or service being compared. St. Kitts and Nevis has minimum real estate value laws by virtue of which property prices may seem more expensive than that in countries like the U.S. However when comparing the overall cost of living in St. Kitts & Nevis, it may be estimated to be around 34 percent cheaper compared to a European city like London. The housing rents in Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts and Nevis, are almost 50 percent lesser than those in London. Similarly, the transportation costs in London override those in any city in St. Kitts and Nevis by almost 51 percent. On the contrary, food and personal care items are considered to be cheaper in London. This could possibly be attributed to the greater convergence of global markets in a city like London.

When comparing individual expenses like accommodation, healthcare, education, food, transportation, and personal care in St. Kitts and Nevis to that of an average in the U.S., there are altering parameters. For instance, the cost of 1kg of rice in St. Kitts and Nevis is 42.7 percent cheaper than the prices in the markets of the  U.S. Whereas, the price of milk in the islands record an approximate of 350 percent jump when compared to prices in the U.S. Similarly, fruits, on an average, are priced higher in St. Kitts and Nevis than in the U.S.. Alcoholic beverages cost more or less the same in both countries. Utilities and telecommunications are more expensive in the islands compared to the prevailing rates in the U.S. So while averaging out the expenditures incurred in St. Kitts and Nevis in comparison to the  U.S., we get a sparingly lower St. Kitts & Nevis cost of living. However, the difference becomes more drastic when the scales are balanced against countries in Europe like the UK, France or Ireland.

Overall, life in St. Kitts and Nevis is a lovely blend of chic modernity and the organic embrace of nature. When comparing this unique boon to the average cost of living in St. Kitts & Nevis,  the scales get tilted in favor of the costs. Currently, St. Kitts and Nevis ranks 32nd in the world in terms of cost of living with an average price index of 142. Essentially, the price index is measured against a median country, which happens to be the Czech Republic. So the score indicates that St. Kitts and Nevis is 42 percent more expensive than the Czech Republic in terms of the cost of living in St. Kitts & Nevis. However, it has to be noted that largely, the islands are a lot less expensive in terms of the cost of living when compared to Great Britain, France,  U.S., Hong Kong, Switzerland, Singapore, and even the Scandinavian countries. Indeed, it is a blessing for the residents of the islands to be able to enjoy the commendable St. Kitts & Nevis standard of living at considerably lesser costs. A fortunate fact is that due to the individual investor programs and tax residency programs of St. Kitts and Nevis, these advantages are no longer exclusive to the natives of the islands and may be acquired by anybody in exchange for a specific investment.


Taxation Policies In St. Kitts And Nevis

A vital factor to consider while assessing the cost of living in St. Kitts & Nevis is that it is a sought-after tax haven for countless foreign investors and entrepreneurs on account of its flexible taxation laws. The provision in St. Kitts and Nevis for offshore limited liability companies with tax-friendly clauses has encouraged various corporates to establish their offshore base in the islands. There are no additional local taxes levied on the income generated outside the borders of St. Kitts and Nevis. The islands have also abolished capital gains taxes or wealth taxes, nor are any corporate taxes imposed on foreign entities. Only domestic companies have to pay a corporate tax at the rate of 35 percent. While there are no withholding taxes, certain reasonable quantum of import duties are levied on cross-border transactions. St. Kitts and Nevis also doesn’t have any personal taxes for foreign nationals. Further, St. Kitts and Nevis also has very stringent privacy policies that safeguard the information about any offshore company holdings. Overall, the tax-friendly economy of the islands offers tremendous relief to its citizens and further assuage the St. Kitts & Nevis cost of living.

 

St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship Costs

For those keen on establishing a second home or an offshore firm for professional or personal pursuits, the well-balanced standard of living and cost of living in St. Kitts & Nevis makes for a coveted option. The process of acquiring the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship is very efficient and the formalities can be finished within a span of 3 to 6 months. In exchange, an investment worth at least $150,000 is expected of the applicants. The financial requirements for acquiring the citizenship or residency of St. Kitts and Nevis require contributions to the development of the country, purchasing a real estate property, and contributing to other government-recommended funds. Additional one time costs incurred by applicants of the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship mainly involve;

  • A non-refundable donation to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) of at least $150,000
  • A minimum non-refundable investment of $250,000 towards the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF)
  • An investment worth at least $200,000 in real estate in St. Kitts and Nevis from an approved real estate developer. The property purchased must not be resold for a period of seven years.
  • Alternatively, a real estate asset corresponding to a minimum value of $400,000 must be purchased from an approved real estate developer. The real estate asset cannot be resold for a period of five years.

The SIDF was founded for supporting the former sugar workers, conducting research on the development of industries that could possibly replace the sugar industry, funding these alternative industries, and providing funds to secure the future of the national economy. The SGF was established to support economic growth and make the infrastructure across all sectors of the economy stronger in order to make the national economy sustainable.

The applicant can choose to route the predefined minimum value amount of investment through either the SIDF or the SGF option.

Factors to keep in mind regarding the donation:

  • An applicant must donate at least $250,000 under the SIDF Option.
  • An applicant with a maximum of three dependents should contribute at least $300,000 under the SIDF Option.
  • A contribution of $25,000 is required for each additional family member or dependent, irrespective of age.
  • Ideally, the main applicant must donate a minimum of $150,000 with an additional contribution of $25,000 for a spouse and $10,000 for every additional dependent

It is extremely necessary to make an informed call on the enlisted investment in order to maximize the returns on the investments made. It is judicious to assess one’s ultimate goals and nature of the investments made, so that along with the overt benefits of the citizenship and the St. Kitts and Nevis passport, the investments can also be optimized in the years to follow. So while taking into consideration the general cost of living in St. Kitts & Nevis is vital, for the foreign applicants, the cost of application should also be borne in mind.

The citizenship or residency by investment programs enables individuals to lay claim to the citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis and magnify the access to different countries in return for a specified amount of investment. In case of the citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis, due to the reasonable cost of living, such investments are likely to reap enormous and sustained returns for the investors.

 

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