Citizenship Investment in St. Kitts and Nevis

Several countries, including St. Kitts and Nevis, have adopted programs that allow the acquisition of citizenship on the basis of an investment and/or a direct contribution to the state as a means of developing the country.

Background and legal considerations

The citizenship program of 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.

The legal basis regarding citizenship-by-investment is contained in Part II, § 3 (5) of the Citizenship Act, 1984 and the Saint Christopher and Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment Regulations, 2011. 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

Acquisition of citizenship under the donation option requires an applicant to make a non-refundable contribution of either USD 250,000 to the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF) or USD 150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). Alternatively, applicants must make either an investment of at least USD 400,000 or USD 200,000 in one of the approved real estate developments, in addition to paying government fees and other fees and taxes.

The SIDF is a non-profit foundation established for the purpose of supporting the former sugar workers, conducting research into the development of industries to replace the sugar industry, funding the development of these alternative industries, and providing further support to secure the sustainability of the national economy. The SIDF has been designated as a special approved project for the purposes of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment Program. Its accounts are public and annually audited by a large international audit firm.

The SGF is a fund established for the purpose of supporting economic growth and improving all sectors of the economy.

An applicant may make a contribution to the SIDF or SGF according to the following criteria:

1.   

A single applicant is required to make a contribution of USD 250,000 (SIDF option).

2.   

An applicant with up to three dependents is required to make a contribution of USD 300,000 (SIDF option).

3.   

A contribution of USD 25,000 is required for each additional dependent, regardless of age (SIDF option).

4.   

A single applicant is required to make a contribution of USD 150,000 plus USD 25,000 for a spouse and USD 10,000 for each additional dependent (SGF option).

Under the SIDF and SGF, with each of the criteria listed, the total amount includes all government fees but excludes due diligence fees, which are the same for the real estate option. All options allow for a dependent between 18 and 30 years to be included in the application of the main applicant, if the dependent is a full-time student and financially reliant on the main applicant. The government also allows for parents and grandparents over the age of 55 to be included in the application as dependents if they are living with and are fully supported by the main applicant.

The process for obtaining citizenship through the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment Program takes three to four months. There is also an accelerated application process available with a 45- to 60-day processing time frame.

Fees and costs

Henley & Partners charges different fees depending on the case and the number of persons included in an application and depending on whether the real estate, SGF, or SIDF option is chosen. The full agreed fee (less any retainer paid initially) is paid into an escrow account in advance and is released when the application is submitted to the government.

Please enquire for further information on what fees would apply in your case.

Dual citizenship

There are no restrictions on dual citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Benefits

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 that allow visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 154 countries and territories worldwide, including all EU member states.

You also have the right to take up residence in St. Kitts and Nevis and in most of the CARICOM member countries at any time and for any length of time.

Performance guarantee

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 authorized 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 at the sole discretion of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. 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 residence and citizenship planning, 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 and an application guide with detailed explanations regarding all forms and documents will be prepared and sent to you by courier. Your documents will always be delivered by courier, and all courier charges are included in our fees.

To receive further information on the program or to arrange a private consultation, please contact us.

Henley & Partners in St. Kitts and Nevis

Through its office in St. Kitts, Henley & Partners has been helping foreign nationals acquire 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 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 promotion of the program, have made the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment Program one of the most successful programs in the world.

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