The Citizenship by Investment industry is growing every day. Many small, as well as big nations, are now starting CBI Programmes in order to generate more foreign direct investments (FDI). St Kitts and Nevis- the smallest country in the western hemisphere- is the industry’s pioneer. Back in the 80s, it was the first-ever nation to roll out a Citizenship by Investment Programme.
It is the longest-running “Citizenship by Investment” programme attracting foreigners, who also makes fruitful contributions to the nation’s development. Investors along with their families can directly qualify for Citizenship through investment, either by making a donation to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) or investing in real estate.
Many reports released by several renowned international firms such as Financial Times, PWM Magazine, CBI Index, Ernst and Young, and Smith and Williamson have also praised St Kitts and Nevis-run CBI Programme, mainly because of its rigid and thorough due diligence processes.
St Kitts and Nevis have been considered the best “CBI Programme Due Diligence process” in the recent report released by the PWM Magazine of Financial Times.
St Kitts and Nevis is also considered a major country that is offering CBI Programme in the Caribbean region. Moreover, they are also using the income generated from the economic citizenship programme in the betterment of the impact caused by natural disasters in the region.
Several well-renowned firms have also applauded St Kitts and Nevis’s service in implementing and executing its CBI Programme.
According to a report released by Balraj Bhatia QC Opinion-
The CBI programme permits people to get Citizenship after investing a considerable amount. These kinds of programmes are profitable for the majority of the states, including St Kitts and Nevis, as they require investment and the people who are looking for Citizenship of these nations are in the requirement to offer political stability, visa-free travelling as well as they advantage related to the lifestyle that comes in existence by being a part of such captivative tropical island while considering the rule of law.
Moreover, the Citizenship by Investment Programme of St Kitts and Nevis was introduced in 1984. The individuals who were eligible for the Citizenship successfully received the Citizenship.
If individuals get the Citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis, it is not mandatory for them, as they can’t count themselves as tax residents. Additionally, they do not provide tax incentives.
The investors of the CBI programmes will be able to enjoy some advantages of the tax obtained from the fact that the nations that provided the CBI programmes also put forward the tax incentives.
In St Kitts and Nevis, the concept of tax residency differs from Citizenship. The standards for establishing the tax liability under the laws of the island country don’t involve Citizenship. This standard is internationally common.
It is easy to understand why individuals from all over the globe want to become a resident of St Kitts and Nevis. If the maximum number of people have the resources to be a part of the nation, then it may offer stability, independence, and a higher quality of life.
It is totally understandable that the nations like St Kitts and Nevis provide Citizenship in return for the necessary investment by the applicants.
According to a report published by Smith and Williamson (Citizenship vs Residency)
The United Kingdom-based financial and professional services firm Smith and Williamson has also applauded the island’s approach towards running the Citizenship by Investment Programme inefficient and coordinated way. The firm further added that St Kitts and Nevis, which is the longest-running in the field of providing economic Citizenship, has upgraded with time to time its service of offering a thorough due diligence process, making them more safe and secure.
Meanwhile, there is no concept of the tax residency under the island’s law. The applicant has to pay several kinds of tax, including property tax and statutory payroll deductions. These taxes will only be applicable if the applicant is likely to stay and have accommodated in the country for a period of at least six-month.
According to CBI Index 2021-
Home to the world’s most longstanding economic citizenship programme, the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis has over 35-year history of leading the field of economic Citizenship. Its CBI Programme has indeed won multiple awards and a reputation as the ‘platinum standard’ of CBI.
To be qualified for economic Citizenship, applicants now have four investment options to choose from following the introduction of two new investment options to choose from following introduction of two new investment options in March 2021. Due diligence fees apply under all options, as do minor processing and Certificate of Registration fees. The country’s first-ever option for economic Citizenship – a donation to Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation- remains in existence in relevant regulations but has, in practice, been superseded by the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). The SGF is considered the primary feature of the Programme established in March 2018.
The SGF has come in place of the temporary Hurricane Relief Fund (HRF), whose establishment in 2017 resulted in high application numbers. In this process, an applicant must make a minimum donation of US$150,000.
The another available option is an investment in pre-authorised real estate, of which there are two branches. Under the first branch, the applicant must buy a property worth at least US$400,000 and keep it for a period of five years.
Under the second branch, the applicant must make a joint investment with another applicant, with each investment worth at least US$200,000.
The joint investment must be retained for a period of seven years.
Whereas, under the third option, which is only available until 1 November 2022, applicants can purchase a private home worth at least US$400,000 (not including the value of the land on which the home sits). Limitations exist concerning the type of property that can be used under this option. The private home must be sold as a single unit and not divided into apartments or condominiums. Property purchased under this option cannot be re-used in a subsequent application for CBI and is subject to a hold period of five years.
Finally, the ‘Alternative Investment Option’ allows applicants to invest either in an approved infrastructural project or other approved development project. The cost of the investment varies according to whether St Kitts and Nevis own the project at the end of the agreement, in which case the minimum investment amount is US$175,000, or whether the project is privately owned, in which case the minimum investment amount is US$200,000.
A US$35,000 government fee is applicable for single applicants under the pre-approved real estate and private home options. In contrast, a government fee of US$50,000 applies for single applicants and families of up to four under the Alternative Investment Option.
The CBI Unit, which processes all economic citizenship applications, usually issues approvals or denials within a period of 3 months. The Accelerated Application Process, which is also available at a premium fee, allows successful applicants to process applications within 60 days of applying.
St Kitts and Nevis is currently the only CBI country to offer a secure, fast-track route. There are no interviews, language, education, or business requirements applicable to any of the options chosen.
Travel to the island is not obligatory, and no minimum residence stays apply either before or after Citizenship is obtained.
Due diligence procedures remain among the industry’s most robust, and the nation is already planning to strengthen by focusing on enhancing fingerprinting and biometrics. Citizens are allowed to hold multiple nationalities.
According to the World Citizenship Report of CS Global Partners–
St Kitts and Nevis is regarded as the longest-running Citizenship by Investment programme worldwide; due to its reputable ranking, the CBI programme has been considered as a ‘Platinum Standard’ brand in the industry.
The twin-island nation continues to be the most renowned option among investors and their families due to its commitment and cost-effective due diligence processes.
Among all the Caribbean CBI nations, the country has the overall highest ranking of 48 points in all the Caribbean CBI nations.
World Citizenship report declares that St Kitts and Nevis is the highest-ranking Caribbean nation and acquired high scores in the Quality of life, Safety and Security and Global motivators.
Investors who have acquired St Kitts and Nevis citizenship can enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival to over 160 destinations, including Hong Kong, Russia, the United Kingdom, Schengen areas of European Nations and Singapore.
The twin-island nation boasts a stable sovereign government and robust economy. Holding Citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis, people can apply for business visas or permanent residence permits in many other commonwealth countries.
WCR stated that the nation has been serving via its CBI programme since 1984, making it the most trustworthy and successful Programme of its kind.
St Kitts and Nevis CBI Programme enable the investors and their families to attain Citizenship lawfully, which also enables them to enjoy the idyllic sites of the region.
Benefits of having St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-
- No residency or personal visit to St Kitt’s is required.
- Ease of Processing
- Accelerated Application Process
- Lifetime citizenship
- Dual citizenship benefits
- Choice of Real estate investment