The Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis has one of the oldest citizenship-by-investment programs in the world, starting back in the 1980s. This program allows investors and their families to get the many benefits of St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investing in the country – either through a donation of money or a real estate investment.
St. Kitts and Nevis has some of the best asset protection laws in the world. In addition, you get to enjoy visa-free travel to over 100 countries in the Caribbean and Europe. The process of getting your citizenship could take as little as just a few months to complete.
If you want to limit exposing your wealth to legal risks, creditor claims, and tax penalties, securing your assets in St. Kitts and Nevis could be the right solution for you.
What Are the Benefits of St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship?
The privacy, security, ease, and convenience offered for investors within its borders makes St. Kitts and Nevis an ideal place for a second citizenship. Individuals, families, and businesses from around the world – the U.S., South America, Asia, or Europe – can benefit.
- No overseas income tax, capital gains tax, dividends tax, inheritance tax, or gift tax – St. Kitts and Nevis has some of the most investor-friendly taxation policies in the world. In addition, property taxes are also low.
- No residency or strict application requirements – You don’t have to live in or even visit Nevis to get citizenship, though the beautiful beaches and tropical climate will make you want to visit. There are no interview or language requirements, either.
- Dual citizenship for your lifetime – You don’t have to renounce your current citizenship to become a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis. Once you become a citizen of Nevis, you and any family members who join you get to keep your citizenship for life.
- Watertight confidentiality and privacy – St. Kitts and Nevis takes the privacy and confidentiality of its citizens extremely seriously. The government is committed to keeping any information about its citizens, their assets, and their participation in the country’s investment program secret from third parties and other governments.
- No judgments accepted from other countries – St. Kitts and Nevis does not accept foreign court judgments, freeze orders, or creditor claims on your assets. That means even if someone wins a legal judgment against you in the U.S. or your home country, they cannot reach any of your assets in Nevis to satisfy that judgment.
- Laws that protect investors targeted by legal actions – If any creditors want to file a claim or bring legal action in Nevis, they must first file a $100,000 bond with the Nevis Ministry of Finance and hire a local Nevis attorney. Lawyers are not allowed to work on a contingency fee, which means anyone suing you must pay any legal fees upfront and out of pocket in order to take you to court in Nevis. In order to succeed in a civil claim against you or your trust, creditors must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is the highest civil law standard and the standard used for criminal courts in the U.S.
- Visa-free travel to over 165 countries, including the EU Schengen zone – St. Kitts and Nevis passport holders can also get long-term U.S. or Canadian visas.
- Citizenship for your family – When you apply for citizenship-by-investment in St. Kitts and Nevis, you can also apply for citizenship for your spouse, dependent children, dependent parents and grandparents, and dependent siblings.
- Quick application process with fast-track option – Most St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship applications get processed within 6 months to a year. A fast-track application accelerates the process to take as little as 45-60 days.
- An established government policy that’s friendly to investors – The Nevis citizenship-by-investment program is long-standing and securely established. The country’s laws are consistently and reliably investor-friendly. You can protect your wealth offshore without worrying about any extreme regime or policy changes.
So, how can you become a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis? With the help of an attorney in the U.S. and Nevis you can obtain citizenship within a few months.
How Do I Get Citizenship by Investment in St. Kitts and Nevis?
If you want to apply for citizenship-by-investment in St. Kitts and Nevis, you must do so through a registered legal agent. Applications submitted without an agent will not be considered.
Not only is it required, but having an experienced, reputable legal representative is the best way to make sure you are granted citizenship. When you go through the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship process, you can choose one of a few different options for investment.
- A non-refundable donation to the Sustainable Growth Fund of St. Kitts and Nevis – An individual may pay $150,000 to this national fund for a single citizenship application. If you’re also applying for your family, the price will rise with the number of family members included in your application. The money you pay into this fund supports tourism, transportation, social welfare, healthcare, culture, and tourism in Nevis.
- Purchasing real estate in St. Kitts and Nevis – You can also get citizenship by investing in government-approved real estate property on the island. You can invest as little as $75,000 to obtain a passport.
- Contributing to the Public Good Project Developer (PGPD) or Private Enterprise Developer (PED) program – This is an Alternative Investment Option (AIO) just started in 2022, where government-approved projects are listed on a website for investors to finance. A public project made to be owned by the government requires a minimum $175,000 payment, while a private enterprise minimum is $200,000.
These figures are the minimum investment cost for citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis. You can also expect to pay application and processing fees, real estate fees, and/or bank charges.
In order for your application to be successful, you must meet the following requirements:
- You are at least 18 years old,
- Your payment funds are sourced legally,
- You pass a strict government due diligence check,
- You have no criminal or immigration issues on your record, and
- You are of good health with no serious chronic condition.
An experienced U.S. attorney and St. Kitts and Nevis agent can help you put together an application that maximizes your chances of passing the due diligence check and getting your citizenship approved.
How Much Does It Cost to Buy Citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis?
The minimum principal investment amount required to apply for St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship is around $75,000 for an individual donation. Family members and dependents add to the cost.
- You can add up to 3 dependents to an individual’s application for an additional $45,000, eligible siblings for $20,000, and extra dependents for $10,000 each.
- Due diligence fees, applicant fees, and bank fees totaling approximately $15,000.
- Other expenses include government processing fees, escrow agent and professional service provider fees, and bank and courier charges.
- For an Accelerated Application Process (APP), you must pay $25,000 per applicant plus $20,000 for each additional family member over age 16 on the application.
If you decide to invest in real estate to get your St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, you can expect similar fees in addition to the $75,000 minimum principal investment.
St. Kitts and Nevis offers very attractive tax policies for investors, charging no gift tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax, or income tax. However, the government does apply a 10% withholding tax on both individuals and companies that send payments outside the country.
In addition, there’s a corporate income tax for 35% of net profits for companies that conduct business in the country, but some companies may qualify for an exemption for up to 15 years.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis?
Even without expediting the process, you could get your St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment in anywhere between 4 months to 1 year. The process has a few steps:
- Preparation – Possibly the most important step. Choose an attorney and Authorized Agent you trust to handle your citizenship application. Determine which approach is the best strategy for you and prepare all the necessary documentation. Application documents are only available through Authorized Agents.
- Processing – After you submit your application, the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment Unit (CUI) will complete a thorough due diligence and background check. In rare cases, the CUI may ask you for an interview. Any false statements on your application, even unintentional, could lead to your application getting declined. This process could take 4-6 months or 30-60 days with the Accelerated Application Process. The time frame may vary for real estate investments.
- Investment – If your application is approved, you make your investment, pay all the associated fees, and the Prime Minister will sign your Certificate of Registration.
Once you become a citizen, you can choose to receive your passport in the mail.