Citizenship by Investment in St. Kitts

Citizenship by Investment in St. KittsSt. Kitts and Nevis is an English speaking twin-island federation situated in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. It is a fast developing nation with great opportunity for investors in prime real estate development. The Citizenship by Investment Program in St. Kitts and Nevis was established in 1984, to encourage foreign investment in the country. St. Kitts’s economy was once driven by its sugar monoculture, but the government shut down this operation 2005 due to its unprofitability. The country’s economy now relies on the fast growing sectors of real estate development and tourism, manufacturing and non-sugar agriculture.

The Citizenship by Investment program is the longer of the only two functioning Economic Citizenship or Second Passport (2nd Passport) programs. The Commonwealth of Dominica in the Caribbean is the second country which supports and promotes economic citizenship program through its legislation.

The government of St. Kitts utilizes this Citizenship-by-Investment program to attract investors to make a substantial contribution to the development of the federation and the investor is given an opportunity to apply for St Kitts economic citizenship and 2nd passport. In order to qualify for citizenship under the Citizenship-by-Investment Program:- The government requires an investment in designated real estate with a minimum value of US$400,000 and payment of registration, legal and other fees (see further fees detail)- Or a contribution between US$250,000 and US$450,000 (depending on the number of dependents) to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF).

That the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program continues today is evidence of its success. St. Kitts, the larger of the twin islands, is an investor’s dream with many high end real estate projects underway, miles of beaches, relatively flat and scenic land, miles of undeveloped panoramic coastline. St. Kitts real estate does offer a potentially sound and outstanding return on investment.

Property values in St. Kitts have risen significantly in the last few years and is expected to continue rising higher. Kittitian properties can be used for time-share, vacations, future retirement or to generate rental income.

The application process for economic citizenship and a second passport under the real estate investment option is somewhat lengthened as this involves the purchase of St. Kitts property. The property invested in cannot be sold until five years after purchase. The real estate purchase is dependent on approval of the economic citizenship application. Investment funds are held in an escrow account, and if the application is denied, all monies except a small portion for due diligence fees will be refunded. In the event the property is sold after five years, the citizenship and its benefits cannot be transferred to the new property owner, nor can the new owner apply for the Citizenship-by-Investment program on that specific St. Kitts property.

The application for economic citizenship in St. Kitts under the donation into the fund for SIDF is processed in a much shorter time frame. No interview is required and 2nd passports and documents can be mailed to the successful applicant. The benefits from Economic Citizenship Program (Citizenship-by-Investment) for St. Kitts & Nevis are:

Federation citizenship for life for individual or family- Visa free travel- Full residency status and the right to vote and work- Second passports for individual and family- Tax free status on income (foreign)- Dual Citizenship is permitted and the residency requirements are waived.

It is recommended that applicants for economic citizenship (St Kitts) employ the services of a licensed agent in St. Kitts to assist with expedition of application. The applicant should expect to go through a thorough background check but are not required to visit the country for an interview.

The approval for St. Kitts economic citizenship process normally takes between 6 and 14 weeks, and once approved, both citizenship and passports are issued. The approval is the discretion of the Government and cannot be guaranteed.

The documents required for processing of application are (notarized or certified copies):

  • A birth certificate for each person
  • Photograph and Signature certificate(form C2)
  • Color copies of valid passports for each member- Police certificates or record showing good standing (for applicant)
  • If applying for a spouse, a marriage certificate, and divorce certificate if it applies- Health certificate for all persons on application (form C3)
  • Affidavit of Support
  • Bank references for all adults
  • Character references for all members over 18
  • A complete resume and business background- 8 passport size photos for each
  • Investment Confirmation letter/Escrow Agreement

Under the real estate option, the application requires a non-refundable regsitration fee of US$50,000 for any individual on the application over 18 (except spouse) and US$25,000 each, for the spouse and any dependent under age 18.- There is a fee of US$7,500 for due diligence on the main applicant and US$4,000 for each dependent over 16 years. There are additional legal fees that are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the number of persons on application. The Citizenship-by-Investment program in St. Kitts is regarded as a very strong and stable one, and as such continues in its success, however, due to the substantial investment cost, the Dominica economic citizenship program is much more popular.

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