Citizenship Investment in St. Kitts and Nevis
Several countries have adopted programs which allow the acquisition of citizenship on the basis of an investment and/or a direct contribution to the state as a means of development of the country.
Background and Legal Considerations
The Citizenship Program of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) was established in 1984 and requires applicants to make an economic contribution to the country. In exchange, they and their families are granted full citizenship.
To qualify for citizenship, the applicant must make either an investment of at least US$ 400,000 in one of the approved real-estate developments in addition to paying government fees, other fees and taxes, or alternatively making a contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF, a public charity) starting from US$ 250,000 (for a single applicant). However, this includes all government fees.
The regulations regarding citizenship-by-investment in St. Kitts and Nevis are contained in Part II, Section 3 (5) of the Citizenship Act, 1984. These provisions allow the government to operate a program under which citizenship is granted to persons who qualify under criteria set by cabinet decision.
Requirements and Procedures
To qualify for citizenship under the real estate option, the government requires applicants to make an investment in designated, officially approved real estate with a value of at least US$ 400,000 plus the payment of government fees and other fees and taxes. As the application procedure under this option involves the purchase of real estate, this can lengthen the processing time depending on the chosen property. The real estate cannot be re-sold until 5 years after the purchase, but since introducing new regulations in 2012 the next buyer may also qualify for citizenship. A list of approved real-estate developments is published on the website of the Citizenship-by-Investment Unit of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. Henley & Partners, through its office in St. Kitts, has a comprehensive overview of the available properties and can advise on the best options depending on the clients individual situation and requirements.
Acquisition of citizenship under the SIDF option requires a contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation. The SIDF option has been designed and implemented by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis with the professional assistance of Henley & Partners in 2006 and has since become a significant contributor to the economic and social development of the country. The contribution is in the form of a one-time payment, and there are four different categories:
A. Single applicants, who have to make a US$ 250,000 non-refundable contribution, due diligence fee of US$ 7,500
B. Applicants with up to three dependants (i.e. one spouse and two children below the age of 18): US$ 300,000 contribution
C. Applicant with up to five dependants (i.e. one spouse and four children): US$ 350,000
D. Applicant with up to seven dependants: US$ 450,000
E. Additional contribution for each dependant above seven: US$ 50,000, due diligence fees of US$ 4,000 per dependant aged 16 or older.
The documentation required for an application is the same as with the real-estate option and the application procedure is straightforward. The average processing time is currently 4 to 6 months. Henley & Partners is however working closely with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis not only to officially represent the Citizenship-by-Investment program internationally, but also to help improve the regulatory framework, processing time and efficiency of the program.
Fees and Costs
Henley & Partners charges different fees depending on the case and the number of persons included in an application, and also depending on whether the real-estate or SIDF option is chosen. The full agreed fee (less any retainer paid initially) is paid into an escrow account in advance and is paid out when citizenship is granted.
Please enquire for further information on what fees would apply in your case.
Citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis are allowed to hold dual citizenship, and the acquisition of citizenship is not reported to other countries.
When you acquire citizenship under the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship program, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.
As citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, you and your family are issued with passports which allow visa-free travel to more than 120 countries and territories worldwide, including all of the EU.
Of course you have the right to take up residence in St. Kitts and Nevis as well as in most of the CARICOM member countries at any time and for any length of time. You are not liable for taxation, even if you decide to reside in St. Kitts and Nevis, as there are no direct personal taxes whatsoever.
Great care has been taken to provide the best possible safeguards for persons entering any of the programs.
Henley & Partners has been appointed by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and is officially authorised to handle applications under its Citizenship-by-Investment program. For the client's protection, a written agreement is signed between the applicant and Henley & Partners prior to accepting any mandate to handle an application.
The granting of citizenship is of course at the sole discretion of the St. Kitts and Nevis government. We cannot therefore guarantee that any applications will be approved. However, we check each applicant's individual situation prior to accepting a mandate and prepare each application carefully.
As we handle all applications ourselves and do not use any intermediaries, our clients can rely on us for utmost confidentiality and efficiency. Henley & Partners is the leading firm in this field, with an international presence in key jurisdictions worldwide. Individuals as well as other consulting and law firms worldwide rely on us for specialist advice and assistance in this delicate area where our expertise and experience are second to none.
How to proceed
Upon request and payment of a retainer fee (for applicants who are not already clients of the firm), a complete set of required forms as well as an application guide with detailed explanations regarding all forms and documents will be prepared and sent to you by courier. Your documents are always delivered by courier, and all courier charges are included in our fees.
To proceed, to receive further information on the program or to arrange a private consultation please contact us today.
Henley & Partners in St. Kitts and Nevis
Through its office in St. Kitts, Henley & Partners has been helping foreign nationals in acquiring citizenship through the Citizenship-by-Investment Program for nearly 20 years. The firm has unrivalled expertise and experience in relation to this program, having been mandated by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to reform the Citizenship-by-Investment program in 2006/2007 and to design the new contribution option at that time. The changes introduced by the Government in 2007, with the professional assistance of Henley & Partners, including the creation of a dedicated Citizenship-by-Investment Unit, the streamlining of processes, redesign of application forms and procedures, and the international careful promotion of the program, made the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment program one the most successful programs in the world until a few years ago.
The specialized services of Henley & Partners are also a resource and complement the services of other consulting and law firms. We frequently assist other firms and their clients with the unique and specific details required by the acquisition of citizenship under the Citizenship-by-Investment program.
Individual clients as well as other consulting and law firms worldwide rely on us for professional advice and assistance in this delicate area where our expertise and experience are second to none.