How to keep St Kitts and Nevis citizenship acquired via investment 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.

If you would like to obtain a second passport of St Kitts and Nevis, you have to do only three things. First, you have to be prepared to invest the required amount of money into the country’s economy. Second, you have to collect all the necessary application documents. Third, you have to find an established and reliable immigration agent who holds the license that authorizes him or her to provide assistance to foreigners applying for St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment.

The immigration agent is responsible for making sure that all the required documents have been supplied and that all of them are in good order. Besides, the agent conducts preliminary due diligence checks. He or she will inform the candidate for St Kitts and Nevis citizenship if certain problems may arise in the application process.

The authorities of the Caribbean states granting citizenship by investment to foreign nationals are cautious not to let criminals through as they do not want to hand the passports to potential troublemakers. The national governments use the services of licensed immigration agents to facilitate performing this task.   

When you acquire economic citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis or any other Caribbean country, you have to remember that in case you commit a crime, you are going to lose your passport. The same holds for the situation when the authorities find out that you have supplied false information when applying for citizenship of the country. Trustworthy immigration agents will stress to their clients that the Governments of their countries want to preserve the good international reputation of their national citizenship-by-investment programs. There are other aspects to bear in mind as well and we dwell on them in the text that you will find below.

An example of St Kitts and Nevis citizenship revocation under the pressure of the USA administration

Practice shows that the Caribbean states should not be thought of as islands where criminals can escape to and live there happily. Economic citizens of St Kitts and Nevis in particular come from different countries but whatever their country of origin is, they can lose their second citizenship. Let us consider the example of an USA citizen losing his St Kitts and Nevis passport.

Many residents of such a prosperous country as the United States of America look to acquire Caribbean passports. What is more, some of them renounce their US citizenship for fiscal reasons. The matter is that Uncle Sam taxes his subjects regardless of the geographical location of the source of their income. If an American citizen earns a profit in Europe, Asia, South America or anywhere else, he or she is to pay the local taxes and the US taxes as well. During Barack Obama’s presidency, around 18,000 Americans renounced their US citizenship and became citizens of other countries whose tax systems are not so burdensome. 

Of course, not all Americans throw their US passports away when becoming citizens in the Caribbean. We would like to discuss the case of a US married couple who first acquired St Kitts and Nevis citizenship and then lost it. Their second passports were annulled under the pressure from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The officials of the Government body found out that the husband and wife had earned the money that they had invested into St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by fraudulent actions related to trade in securities.

Allegedly, the American married couple had stolen the investment funds that they had acquired from their partners. It is important to note that the court decision has not been made thus far and the accused people de jure remain innocent until found guilty. Nevertheless, the authorities of St Kitts and Nevis decided not to wait for the verdict and took the passports away not to make the US administration angry.  

If the allegations are warranted and the married couple are found guilty, it would be a classic attempt at obtaining a second passport by supplying false information about the sources of income in the application documents. The immigration legislation of St Kitts and Nevis makes it absolutely clear that supplying false information when applying for citizenship of the country will automatically lead to citizenship revocation. The only fact that remains worrisome is that in this particular case the decision was made before the US court decision was passed.

Anyway, after the SEC had made the accusation public, the St Kitts and Nevis authorities decided to annul the passports of the accused without much further ado. The Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Timothy Harris has noted that this measure should demonstrate that the country’s authorities are ready to accept only the highest level of information transparency when processing applications for citizenship filed by foreign nationals.

It will be interesting to note that the due diligence procedures conducted by the Government agencies and by reputable international detective firms had not found any reasons to suspect the married couple of making an illegal income. None of the inspectors had been able to spot any violations of any laws that the husband and wife might have committed.  

Thus, the decision of the St Kitts and Nevis authorities evokes mixed feelings. On the one hand, the desire to protect the cleanness of the national citizenship-by-investment program deserves praise without doubt. On the other one, the fact that the passports were revoked before the official court decision was made should set one thinking. If a wave of the hand on the part on an official US body is enough to make the St Kitts and Nevis authorities deprive citizens of the country of their passports, it may mean that the country is not a totally sovereign state.

An example of Antigua and Barbuda citizenship revocation

When applying for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, you also have to supply 100% true and exhaustive information to the country’s authorities. A Chinese woman has had a chance to see what fruit inaccurate information in the application documents can yield. She has been deprived of the passport of Antigua and Barbuda without receiving any compensation.

The 26-year-old woman was informed about her passport revocation when she was visiting Antigua and Barbuda with a friend. The reason for the revocation was the submission of non-exhaustive information in the application documents. We are not talking about the woman’s concealing the color of her eyes or her true height. What she failed to mention was the fact that her application for a US visa had been once rejected by the consulate.

Again, the Antiguan legislation clearly says that in case the applicant for citizenship of the country has tried to obtain a visa to one of the countries with which Antigua and Barbuda has visa-free arrangements but his or her application for the visa has been rejected, he or she cannot qualify for Antiguan citizenship either. Please mind that a visa denial is not a verdict for life. If you have been denied the visa once but you have been granted the visa when you applied for it again later, you become eligible for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda (or any other Caribbean state granting citizenship by investment) again.

You also have to bear in mind that supplying false information in the application documents can be regarded as a criminal offence. Luckily for the Chinese woman, no accusations were brought against her. However, she was still deprived of the passport and deported from the country. She also lost US$ 250,000 as she had acquired citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda via a donation to the National Development Fund. We cannot judge if this financial loss was heavy for that person or not.

Another example of the loss of Antiguan passport due to the accusations of fraud

Just like with other Caribbean countries, the Antiguan citizenship-by-investment program allows acquiring second citizenship in a confidential manner. This means that the authorities of the country do not share the names of the new citizens with government bodies of other countries on their own will. However, they are obliged by the international laws to disclose such a name if some legal action is taken against the person in his or her country of origin or in Antigua and Barbuda.

Let us discuss the case of Robert Allen Stanford who had not only acquired an Antiguan passport but who had been also granted knighthood in the country for exceptional services. However, even his knighthood proved unable to protect him from imprisonment because he had been engaged in wheeler and dealer finance. But let us start from the beginning.  

Stanford was born in Texas in 1950 and later in his life, he built a financial empire called Stanford Financial Group. The company had around fifty billion US dollars under its management in 2008.

Around thirty years ago, Stanford set up an offshore company in Antigua and Barbuda and established a private bank there called Guardian International Bank. In 1999, he was handed the Antiguan passport – not within the frameworks of the citizenship-by-investment program but on a personal arrangement. In 2006, he became the first American to obtain the knighthood of Antigua and Barbuda and an Order of Honor.   

Three years later, however, the American law enforcement agencies initiated an investigation of Stanford’s financial activities. He became suspected of fraud and violations of the US financial legislation. He was charged with misappropriation of eight billion US dollars that belonged to the clients of his companies. The investigation led to Stanford’s arrest.

The arrest made the authorities of Antigua and Barbuda take control over his financial institution on the islands. The bank was renamed to Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Financial Company. After that, Stanford’s passport was also annulled and his knighthood was revoked.  

In June 2012, the billionaire was sentenced to 110 years in prison on the accusation of establishing a financial pyramid and inflicting financial losses on the depositors that exceeded seven billion US dollars. It will be interesting to note that when the verdict was passed in the United States, the court of law in Antigua and Barbuda took only a few days to find Stanford guilty of money laundering and financial misconduct.   

To be fair, Stanford was not only a fraudster but a philanthropist too. He did many valuable things for Antigua and Barbuda and the knighthood was not granted to him for nothing. You can find his legacy almost anywhere in the country. For example, he built a cricket club next to VC Bird International Airport in the country.

In any event, when you are considering acquiring citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, please do not believe those who claim that this action can save you from legal prosecution. If you are engaged in building financial pyramids and other suchlike Ponzi schemes, the Caribbean passport is not going to help you avoid punishment. The Caribbean citizenship-by-investment programs are aimed at law-abiding people only.

The information presented above indicates that the USA have instruments that they can use to pressure the authorities of St Kitts and Nevis as well as the Antiguan Government. If you think otherwise, you are mistaken, we are afraid.

Acquire citizenship by investment in the Caribbean and tax residency in Andorra

When buying second citizenship of one of the Caribbean countries, many people believe that they are also solving the question of their tax residency. This is not so. Acquiring foreign citizenship, you gain political protection, which can be very valuable in the unstable modern world. Look what happened in Turkey only a short time ago, for instance. The Government of the country overturned a coup, which led to a few hundred deaths and the consequent detention of a large number of military officers. Besides, the country’s authorities thought that the coup organizers were connected with the academics and what did they do? They prohibited about 75,000 Turkish academics from leaving the country! Now, if some of them had been able to use their foreign passports, they would not have faced this problem. At the same time, a second passport is not enough to acquire financial protection.   

Why do you need an official confirmation of your tax residency? If you have documents certifying that you are a tax resident in a Caribbean country, you can easily open bank accounts in different countries. If you cannot supply such documents to the bank administration, you are likely to run into problems.

This is especially true for the two countries discussed here: St Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda. The matter is that neither of these Caribbean states levies the personal income tax on their residents regardless of where the income is made – abroad or at home. The local government officials believe that since there is no personal income tax, the residents do not need any tax residence certificates. Thus, obtaining such a certificate in either of the two countries is quite problematic.

However, acquiring tax residency in a foreign country can help you economize on taxes on your personal income and solve many problems associated with setting up foreign bank accounts. To achieve these goals though, you have to make the right choice of the country of your tax residence.

If you have become a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis or of Antigua and Barbuda, many experts recommend that you should consider acquiring tax residency in Andorra. It is not overly difficult to do so. You can also consider Hungary, Monaco or Malta as alternative countries were you could acquire tax residency.

Please contact us by writing to info@offshore-pro.info and we will put you through to a reliable licensed immigration agent who will guide you through the process of acquiring second citizenship in the Caribbean in exchange for an investment. We will also be happy to answer all the questions that you might have about the procedures involved.  

Why can my application for Caribbean citizenship be rejected?

There can be several reasons why your application for citizenship of a Caribbean country can be turned down. If you are unable to prove that you are a law-abiding citizen (that is, if you cannot supply a clean criminal record), your application for citizenship will be rejected. If you are unable to provide conclusive evidence of the legality of your sources of income (that is, if the immigration authorities have doubts about their legality), your application for citizenship will be rejected. If your application for a visa of one of the countries that have visa-free arrangements with your target country has been rejected, your application for citizenship of the country will also be rejected. In addition to that, you have to supply a medical certificate confirming that you do not have infectious and/ or serious diseases. If you cannot, you will not be able to become a citizen of a Caribbean state.

Why can I lose my second citizenship?

Whatever country you apply for citizenship to, the authorities are going to conduct serious due diligence checks. They rely on international police databases, national government databases, and independent detective agencies in performing the checks. If you manage to deceive the immigration authorities somehow and get the passport but the truth comes out later, your passport is going to be annulled and you will receive no financial compensation. If you conceal a fact that should have been explicated when applying for foreign citizenship and later this fact becomes known to the immigration authorities, you will lose your passport too. If you commit a crime in your home country or in any other country of the world, your second passport may be annulled as well.

Why should I acquire tax residency somewhere else after I become a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis or of Antigua and Barbuda?

The matter is that your home country tax residency may disallow opening foreign bank accounts. At the same time, you do not automatically acquire tax residency of the Caribbean country where you acquire a citizen’s status. As far as these two countries are concerned, it is difficult to obtain a tax residence certificate there even if you physically reside on their territories for the best part of the year. Their authorities believe that since no personal income tax is levied in the countries, their residents do not need a tax residence certificate. A large number of experts recommend that if you have become a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis or of Antigua and Barbuda, you should try and acquire tax residency of Andorra.

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