CBI Spotlight: St. Kitts & Nevis
The Basics on St. Kitts & Nevis' Citizenship by Investment Program.
Note: For information purposes only. Not intended as personalized advice of any sort. Please consult a qualified professional.
We’ve talked about how, if you fork over enough cash, you can get a second passport and citizenship in another country. You can even have it "in as little as three months," according to Andrew Henderson, the Nomad Capitalist. The term for these types of programs is Citizenship by Investment (CBI).
CBI, writes Simon Black at Sovereign Man, is like having "the ultimate insurance policy" that gives you options and more freedom, "[ensuring] that, no matter what, you always have a place to go - to live, work, do business, retire, and in some cases, even seek refuge. That way, when things go bad, you can take yourself and your family out of harm’s way."
Today, we’re taking a look at a long-standing Citizenship by Investment program: St. Kitts & Nevis.
Located east of the Virgin Islands, south of Anguilla, and west from Antigua & Barbuda, the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis is a Caribbean nation that is part of the British commonwealth. Nomad Capitalist Andrew Henderson writes that "the islands were the first home of English and French colonists, earning them the name of the 'Mother Colony of the West Indies,'" and they are "the smallest sovereign nation in the Western Hemisphere – in both the size and population – with only approximately 54,000 residents."
The islands possess two different types of climates, according to Henderson: "St. Kitts is classified as a tropical savanna climate," resembling that of Australia, India, or Southern Africa. "Meanwhile Nevis, by comparison, is classified as a tropical monsoon climate," more typically found in the rest of the Caribbean, as well as Southeast Asia and West Africa.
It’s also worth noting that "hurricanes and tropical storms affect St. Kitts & Nevis on a regular basis. If you’re investing in real estate [there], it’s certainly something to consider." (More on that in a moment.)
The St. Kitts & Nevis CBI program has been around for over 35 years. This "‘Platinum Standard’ program was established back in 1984 when the sugar industry collapsed and the country found itself in dire need of money," writes Henderson, with "over 10,000 foreigners" becoming Kittsians and Nevisians during that time. "Fast-forward to today, the St. Kitts and Nevis’ program is one of the most trusted and successful ones out there. The process is relatively quick, taking just three to four months, and it results in the new passport holder gaining access to over 150 countries in the world, including all of the EU, UK, Ireland, and Russia," as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea.
The longevity of the St. Kitts & Nevis CBI program by itself is not the only reason for consideration. Henderson says there’s also "the high regard and the respect for the program that the government has worked so hard to maintain that attracts investors," as well as "the stability. Many governments have changed over the years and not once was the program threatened to be shut down."
The team at Sovereign Man point out "another great thing about St. Kitts is that it does not require its new citizens to spend a single day on its soil. The application is done 100% online and via mail – so you could accomplish it all" from the comfort of your home. In addition, "St. Kitts also has no personal taxation. So, should you decide to move there full-time, you will owe no income taxes to the island."
"However," writes Nomad Capitalist, "if you choose to live there, you will pay a VAT of 17%. You will also be subject to taxes if you incorporate your business there or buy property as there is both a property tax and a transfer tax."
Obtaining St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship is also confidential:
"St. Kitts & Nevis does not report or publish any data in relation to its CBI program participants. So, you don’t need to worry about losing your first passport if the country of your first citizenship doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Also, if you prefer to keep your second passport under wraps, St. Kitts will ensure that this is the case."
What is the cost of acquiring Citizenship by Investment in St. Kitts & Nevis? There are two options available, according to Henley & Partners:
Donation to the SGF: "A non-refundable contribution of USD $150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) for a single applicant" or USD $195,000 for a family of up to four members. "An additional USD $20,000 applies for each sibling and USD $10,000 for each additional dependent." Additional due diligence and processing fees will also need to be paid. The official government website for the program says "these fees amount to USD $7,500 for the main applicant, and USD $4,000 for each dependent of the main application who is over the age of 16 years."
Investment in Approved Real Estate Option: "The purchase of real estate with a minimum value of USD $200,000 (resalable after seven years) or USD $400,000 (resalable after five years) from an approved real estate development." The CBI program's website says this option also requires the payment of due diligence and processing fees of "USD $7,500 for the main applicant, and USD $4,000 for each dependent of the main applicant who is over the age of 16 years." There's also government fees of USD $35,050 for the main applicant, USD $20,050 for the main applicant's spouse, and USD $10,050 for qualified dependents. Finally, the website says, "real estate buyers should be aware of purchase costs (mainly compulsory insurance fund contributions and conveyance fees)."
If you believe that St. Kitts & Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment program is the right choice for your needs and lifestyle, then you should check your eligibility before starting the application process. Nomad Capitalist’s Andrew Henderson writes that "you must be of outstanding character, have no criminal record, be in excellent health, and be a high-net worth individual." The Sovereign Man team says that you cannot have been "previously denied a visa to one of the countries with which St. Kitts has a visa-free relationship," nor can you be "a well-known figure or a politician with a chance of attracting adverse publicity," or "a business owner or a professional in a high-risk litigation industry." You also must be able to prove "the legitimacy of your wealth," meaning you cannot have acquired it through illegal means. Finally, you cannot be a passport holder "from Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, [or] North Korea... unless [you are] a permanent resident of the UK, the US, or Canada."
This is important because if you don't "discuss your circumstances with your service provider of choice before applying... [and then] you start the process and get denied during it, you will lose your government’s due diligence fees and potentially a portion of your commission paid to the service provider."
With that being said, let’s take a step-by-step look at the process:
Gather together important documentation. The CBI program website has a list of these important documents:
Certified copies of the birth certificates of all applicants
Certified copies of proof of name change, if applicable
Certified copies of all applicants’ current national identity cards (excluding children under the age of 16)
Certified copies of all applicants’ current passports showing their names, photos, citizenships/nationalities, dates/places of issue, expiration dates, passport numbers and the countries of issue.
A "certificate of no criminal record" or "police clearance certificate" from all applicants’ countries of citizenship and any countries where they have lived for more than 1 year over the past 10 years (excluding children under the age of 16)
Six photographs each, approximately 35 x 45 mm in size, taken within the past six months, of all applicants
At least one original professional reference for the main applicant (e.g. from an attorney, notary public, charted accountant or other professional of similar standing) not older than six months
The main applicant's bank statements for a 12 month period from the date of submission of application
At least one original bank reference letter for the main applicant, issued by an internationally recognized bank, not older than 6 months
Certified copies of military records or exemption from military service, if applicable
One original document of evidence of the main applicant's residential address, such as a certified copy of a recent utility bill or bank statement showing full name and address, or written confirmation from a bank, attorney, chartered accountant or notary public
Employment verification letter(s) stating the start of the main applicant's employment, position held and salary earned
Certified copies of any business licenses or incorporation documents
One original excerpt of marriage record or certified copy of marriage certificate(s), if a married couple is applying together
Certified copy of divorce documents, if applicable
Statement and evidence of source(s) of fund(s) to be invested in St. Kitts & Nevis
Affidavit of Financial Support for applicants ages 18-30
Certified copies of university degrees, if applicable
Completed Limited Power of Attorney form
Completed Purchase and Sales Agreement (if applying with the Approved Real Estate Option)
Contact an Authorized Persons from the official government list, and pay USD $250 for the required set of application forms - Application for registration as a Citizen (Form C1), Photograph and Signature Certificate (Form C2), and the Medical Certificate (Form C3). You'll also need to include the original copy of an HIV test, which is required for all applicants ages 12 years and up, and the test results cannot be older than three months.
Submit the forms and pay the fees through your Authorized Persons.
Upon approval, receive your passports.
This process takes approximately three to four months to complete. However, for an extra USD $25,000 the government can fast-track your application in 45-60 days. Called the Accelerated Application Process (AAP), the program’s website says "interested persons applying utilizing the AAP will still be required to meet all mandatory criteria and submit the necessary supporting documents to apply for citizenship by investment," as well as the aforementioned additional processing fee of USD $25,000 for the main applicant, USD $20,000 per dependent above the age of 16, and USD $500 per dependent under age 16. (Note: The AAP is not available to applicants from Iraq, Yemen, or Nigeria.)
At Escape From The West, we believe that an important part of any Escape Plan is obtaining a second citizenship and passport. That, along with a residence outside the West, can put you in a position where you can seriously consider renouncing your U.S. or other Western Citizenship, and enjoy true freedom and prosperity.
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