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Citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis: advantages and disadvantages of the national immigration program in 2020

Within the framework of a limited-time offer, the required donation amount for a family of four has been reduced from US$ 195,000 to US$ 150,000 (a 23% or a US$ 45,000 reduction). The offer is in force only until the end of 2020! The state duties, the due diligence fees, and the immigration agent’s charges remain the same.

Below you can find the information about all key advantages and disadvantages of Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment Government program. However, the ‘pluses and minuses’ is not the only topic that we dwell upon. By reading the article, you can also learn about the procedures involved in obtaining a second passport in the Caribbean country. Here you can find the most recent information about the opportunity to acquire citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Please bear in mind that economic citizenship programs often change and you should apply for a consultation to an experienced immigration agent before making the final decision. Please write to us to info@offshore-pro.info and we will gladly share all the latest news with you.

The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment program is the oldest such program in the world. It has a long history indeed. The program was officially started in 1984, only one year after the country became independent from Great Britain. St Kitts and Nevis had been a British colony since the early 1700s.

Before the program was launched, the country had been heavily dependent on the sugarcane industry. The Government wanted to diversify the economy especially with the view of the fact that sugarcane production was beginning to bring lesser profits. Thus, it was resolved that St Kitts and Nevis should sell its passports to foreigners who were looking for a second citizenship opportunity.  

The national citizenship-by-investment program was not extremely popular at the beginning. It attracted serious international attention only by the end of the 1990s. Its popularity boosted though in the late 2000s when the global financial crisis broke out and business people from all over the world started to look for opportunities to hedge the risks. One of the risk-hedging mechanisms is the acquisition of foreign citizenship and St Kitts and Nevis offer looks quite attractive.

We must note that more and more similar national citizenship-by-investment programs started to appear in the 2000s in different parts of the world. The St Kitts and Nevis program stands out as the most ‘aged’ one, which makes it look solid and respectable. The Government of the country is rightfully proud of the citizenship-by-investment program that St Kitts and Nevis runs.

So, should you start thinking about acquiring citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis for money thus obtaining a second passport? Becoming a citizen of a foreign country by investing into its economy is not an easy decision to make and the issue has to be approached with great care.

To err is human, as you know, and choosing the wrong country to move to is actually quite easy. If you know little about the country that you are going to relocate to, you are bound to face ‘surprises’ once you get there. And there is no guarantee at all that all the surprises will be pleasant ones. Thus, it is vitally important to study all the pluses and minuses of the national citizenship-by-investment program before ‘buying’ the passport of a foreign country. 

We would like to help you make the right decision by developing a clear understanding of what conditions St Kitts and Nevis offers to foreigners wishing to obtain its citizenship. Below please find a table that lists the most important advantages and disadvantages that the St Kitts and Nevis program has. By studying the information presented in the table, you can acquire a balanced view of this opportunity and see for yourself if you would like to participate in the program in 2020 or not.

Citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis
AdvantagesDisadvantages
Price
The price of the St Kitts and Nevis passport starts at US$ 150,000. This is much less than the cost of acquiring foreign citizenship in Europe where the price starts at one million euros. Becoming a citizen of Turkey is going to be less expensive than acquiring European citizenship (the price starts at US$ 250,000 in that country) but it is more expensive than purchasing the passport of St Kitts and Nevis anyway.At the same time, there are countries in the Caribbean basin that charge less for their passports than St Kitts and Nevis does. The price of acquiring citizenship of Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Lucia starts at US$ 100,000. It also has to be noted that the passports of these countries bring very much the same benefits that the passport of St Kitts and Nevis brings. Besides, the speed of foreign citizenship acquisition is approximately the same in each of these countries.
International reputation
As the national citizenship-by-investment program has been functioning for many years now, all the necessary skills have been mastered by the Government officials and immigration agents and all the processes have been refined. This makes the program highly reliable.The good international reputation of the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment program drives the price of the passport up. Exactly because the program is so long-lived and so reliable, the cost of acquiring citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis is higher than in some other Caribbean jurisdictions, as we have noted above.
Remote citizenship acquisition
Residing in St Kitts and Nevis is unnecessary if you would like to become a citizen of the country. Moreover, there is no need to visit the islands even once in your life in order to obtain its citizenship for money and retain it.Even though you do not have to visit St Kitts and Nevis when applying for citizenship of the country, we highly recommend that you do. You will love the sandy beaches and the picturesque mountains.While you can acquire citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis without visiting the country and keep it until the end of your life, things are a bit more complicated with the passport. It is issued for ten years and has to be renewed afterwards. You do not have to go to St Kitts and Nevis to renew the passport as you can do it at an embassy or a consulate in a foreign country. But then again, there are not so many St Kitts and Nevis foreign missions.
Various methods of citizenship acquisition
There are two ways to acquire citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis: 1) by making a donation to the state fund and 2) by purchasing real estate on the islands.There are countries that offer more investment options that include the possibilities to invest into a business venture, an infrastructure development project, securities, and other things.
Donation
If you would like to acquire citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis by making a donation to the state fund, you will have to pay minimum US$ 150,000. The donation is the cheapest option in any country that offers citizenship by investment to foreigners. It may also comfort you to know that the Government spends the money on various social projects that contribute to improving the lifestyle of the local people.Making a donation means giving the money away. There is no chance to regain your money ever. This often makes investors look for other options.
Investment into real estate
You can acquire citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis by purchasing some real property on the islands. You can live in the house or apartment that you buy, stay there when you go to the country on vacation, or rent it out. Besides, after the set period of time expires (see below), you have the right to resell your property in St Kitts and Nevis while keeping the citizenship of the country.It is true that the required investment amount is higher than the amount of the required donation (it starts at US$ 200,000 in St Kitts and Nevis). At the same time, this is real property that you buy and you should be able to return at least part of your investment when you resell it. In case the real estate market grows in St Kitts and Nevis, you may even be able to sell your property with a profit!When applying for citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis by investment, you can put money only in the Government approved property. The choice of the property in the country is quite large in comparison to some other countries. However, it is still difficult to choose a high-quality piece of property at an adequate price, as foreigners are traditionally overcharged.Yes, there are development projects in St Kitts and Nevis that offer good quality and affordable prices and that you can let on a lease after purchasing it. At the same time, experts do not recommend that you should count on returning your investment by renting your property to tourists, as their number can fall drastically at any moment due to a natural disaster, for example, or a pandemic.
Return on investment
After a set period of ownership, you can resell your property while preserving citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis. If you invest US$ 400,000 into real property in the country that is part of a Government-approved development project, you can sell it back after five years. If you invest twice as little (US$ 200,000), you can resell the property after seven years.Some developers offer the automatic buyback option to foreign investors, which is an attractive opportunity indeed.It is true that you can resell your property in St Kitts and Nevis after five or seven years depending on the invested amount of money but there is no guarantee that you will be able to find a buyer. Very much will depend on the situation in the real estate market in the country at the moment when you want to sell your real estate.We have to stress that not all developers in St Kitts and Nevis have buyback options. Thus, the investor will often depend on his or her ability to find the buyer when trying to sell the property.
Visa-free travel
Similarly to the passports of other Caribbean countries granting citizenship to foreigners in exchange for investments, the passport of St Kitts and Nevis gives visa-free access to a large number of countries including the Schengen zone states and Great Britain.  St Kitts and Nevis passport holders cannot enter the USA without a visa. Some other popular destinations such as Canada and Australia, for example, will also require obtaining a visa. Besides, the Caribbean passport has to be used wisely when you are travelling as in some places it is likely to bring problems rather than benefits.
Foreign citizenship for the whole family
It is possible to acquire citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis for the whole family with a single investment by filing a family application. The main applicant’s spouse, children below 30 years of age, and parents above 55 years of age can be included in the family application.If you are applying for citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis with your family, you have to make some additional investments. Sometimes these additional investments can be rather substantial. For instance, when acquiring citizenship of the country via investing into real estate, you have to pay a fee of US$ 20,050 for your spouse and a fee of US$ 10,050 for any additional dependent family member who is applying for St Kitts and Nevis citizenship with you. Besides, some additional application processing, due diligence, and passport issuance fees are due.  
The prestige
The passport of St Kitts and Nevis is considered a rather prestigious document. Many celebrities including business people, movie stars, and former politicians have acquired citizenship of the country by investment.Unfortunately, some people still think of St Kitts and Nevis as a ‘tax haven’ or a ‘banana republic’. The Government of the country is trying hard to change these attitudes but this goal has not been fully achieved thus far.In addition to that, St Kitts and Nevis passport holders may experience problems when crossing the borders of some national states. In some countries, the customs officers will not be very much familiar with the looks of these passports, which can make them take a longer time for inspection.
The speed of citizenship acquisition
Normally, four to six months elapse between the moment when the application for St Kitts and Nevis citizenship is filed and the moment when the passport of the country is handed to the applicant. There is a possibility to make use of the so-called Accelerated Application Process (AAP). This option became available in October 2016 and it allows shortening the citizenship acquisition process to 60 or even 45 days. Thus, St Kitts and Nevis currently offers the fastest foreign citizenship acquisition in the world.It costs money to use the Accelerated Application Process opportunity. The main applicant has to pay additional US$ 25,000 and each dependent applicant above 16 years of age has to pay additional US$ 20,000. Besides, the AAP involves extra charges of US$ 500 for accelerated passport issuance. Each prospective passport holder (that is, every applicant above 16 years of age) has to pay the additional fee.  
Taxes
One of the main advantages that the passport of St Kitts and Nevis brings is the possibility to lessen your tax burden. The Government of the country abolished the personal income tax in 1980 and this regulation has been in place ever since. In addition to that, neither capitals gains tax, nor inheritance tax, nor gift tax is payable in St Kitts and Nevis.Unfortunately, only fiscal residents of St Kitts and Nevis can avoid paying the personal income tax. In order to acquire this status, you have to physically reside in the country for the best part of the fiscal year.
Dual citizenship is allowed
The legislation of St Kitts and Nevis allows dual (multiple) citizenship so you do not have to renounce your current citizenship when obtaining the passport of the country.If the legislation of your home country disallows dual citizenship and the fact that you have become a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis becomes known to your home country’s authorities, you may lose your current citizenship. India, China, Ukraine, and some other countries do not allow having dual citizenship.
Confidentiality of citizenship acquisition
The Government of St Kitts and Nevis does not only allow multiple citizenship but it also guarantees confidentiality of the information for the new citizens. The authorities of your home country are not going to be informed about your acquiring citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis. This will give you the opportunity to buy foreign property and open foreign bank accounts using your St Kitts and Nevis passport and thus leaving your home country’s authorities ignorant about your property and/ or bank accounts opened abroad.When you acquire foreign citizenship in exchange for investment, you have to stay reserved and not disseminate this information to wide circles of people. If you do, you risk becoming an object of criticism and even sanctions.
Security
When you hold the passport of St Kitts and Nevis, you thus have the right of abode in the country as well as all other CARICOM states. If an emergency occurs in your home country that makes you leave it urgently, you can do it easily as with the St Kitts and Nevis passport you will have visa-free access to dozens and dozens of countries.If you are considering relocating to St Kitts and Nevis or simply visiting the islands, you have to remember that they are often hit by tropical cyclones and other natural disasters happen there sometimes. The hurricane season usually lasts from June to November in the Caribbean. You have to follow the information published by the USA National Hurricane Center and the international meteorological service when planning the trip to St Kitts and Nevis. Another potential threat to your security in the country is the earthquakes that happen in the Caribbean region at times.

The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is not the only country in the Caribbean basin that offers its citizenship to foreigners who are ready to bring some investments. Other Caribbean states that grant citizenship by investment are St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada. All these countries offer approximately the same benefits to foreign investors and charge approximately the same sums of money for their citizenship.

The passport of the Republic of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean can also be acquired for money. The most popular European citizenship-by-investment programs are those run by Malta and Cyprus.

Nevertheless, the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment national program is the oldest such program in the world and it has earned a good international reputation. The price of the passport of St Kitts and Nevis is well balanced by the speed of citizenship acquisition and the benefits package that the passport brings. The disadvantages that the local citizenship-by-investment program possesses are generally acceptable if not close to negligible.

Please request the most exhaustive information about the citizenship-by-investment opportunity that is found in St Kitts and Nevis by writing to info@offshore-pro.info. We will be delighted to assist you in acquiring a foreign citizenship of this country without any intermediaries.  

The English version of InternationalWealth.info portal is soon going to have a large number of articles about citizenship-by-investment opportunities in St Kitts and Nevis and other Caribbean countries. We recommend that you should follow the articles that appear here daily and also subscribe to our newsletter. Stay tuned and keep your eyes open to new exciting opportunities!

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