The citizenship by investment in St. Kitts and Nevis has been offering native rights to wealthy foreigners since 1984. An investment in a government authorized real estate project made them eligible for the passport. Later in 2006 officials announced a new option. It allows candidates to contribute to the SIDF Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation. To help applicants; territory also launched a dedicated Citizenship-by-Investment Unit (CIU). The primary aim of offering this economic residency is to drag more funds for infrastructure and industrial development. Against investing specific amount, the state authorities issue country passport to rich investors. After that, they become eligible for visa-free travel across more than 120 countries.
Why St. Kitts and Nevis economic citizenship is unique from others?
St. Kitts and Nevis economic citizenship investment are unique among the bunch of renowned programs offered by other countries. It is different from many programs. It offers passport without asking applicants to fulfill any temporary or permanent residency. Passports are given to all applicants as they make an economic contribution of $400,000 in real estate or a minimum contribution of $250,000 (single applicant) in country’s Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation. A couple of reasons are making this program popular. Few of the reasons are no obligations by the host country on applicants to pay any income tax, capital gains and inheritance or gift taxes. Relaxation from tax payments has made this program attractive for those seeking to minimize their tax burden.
How has this program maintained its reputation after a devastating hurricane?
Introduction of Hurricane Relief Investment Fund (HRF.) is an example of a practical step taken by the Government. The primary reason for this donation-based initiative is to reduce destruction caused by the storm. While speeding up the recovery of the economy after opening the doors to new investments. Introduced on September 23, HRF is a limited-time citizenship investment option. It will be available until 30 March 2018.
Key features making HRF an attractive option
HRF also requires a non-refundable contribution to a traditional program. According to this program family of four people can avail passports after investing US$150,000. After that contribution of US$ 25,000 will be required for every additional family member. To drag a maximum number of high net worth individuals, country has also revised the minimum age requirements for dependent parents of the principal candidate or spouse from 65 to 55.
Besides this, the maximum age limit for the dependent children is also changed. It has been raised to 30 years now. Officials have made application process a fast-track application process. The Accelerated Application Process (APP) has made it possible to process the application in short duration of 45-60 days. Due diligence charges and application fee is same as previous. AAP process fee and due diligence charges are as follows:
- For main applicants: $25,000.00 USD
- For dependent 16+ years old: $20,000.00 USD
- An extra fee of $500.00 per person is needed for the passport processing for dependents under the age of 16.
In addition to reducing the investment amount needed to get the passport and increasing age limits for citizenship, visa-free travel to Russia and 11 other countries is an added benefit captivating second citizenship-seekers. 90 days visa-free trip to 130 countries is not less than a privilege for many. Especially for those who travel a lot due to their job nature and business.
Conclusion: Immediate efforts and the introduction of Hurricane Relief Investment Fund (HRF.) have enabled this Caribbean country to maintain the popularity of St. Kitts and Nevis economic citizenship investment.