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Take back control: The St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment programme

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November 02, 2016

Take back control: The St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment programme

Take back control: The St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment programme
Neil Petch

Author:

Neil Petch

Chairman of Virtugroup

It seems a bit unfair to be told you can’t, simply because of where you were born, right? Take Europeans, for example. This is how it should be. For them, can’t is an alien concept when it comes to travel. Citizens of Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and France can visit upwards of 170 countries without a visa. Canada, Australia and the US are up there too. But the reality is that too many people are held back on account of something beyond their control. That’s where citizenship-by-investment can come in, and of all such schemes to take note of, the St. Kitts and Nevis programme is one of the best. It is the longest running in the world, and one of the most highly regarded. Established in 1984, the scheme is intended as a means of supporting the local economy while helping global citizens overcome restrictive visa restrictions. As a St. Kitts and Nevis citizen, you’re entitled to many benefits – not least the ability to live, work and invest in this beautiful Caribbean community. More importantly, though, a St. Kitts and Nevis passport secures you hassle-free travel to more than 130 countries worldwide. Oh, and there are the tax benefits to consider too.

As a St. Kitts and Nevis citizen, you’re entitled to many benefits – not least the ability to live, work and invest in this beautiful Caribbean community.

St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship is also one of the easiest to obtain, making this a popular ‘gateway’ passport. St. Kitts and Nevis second citizenship: A closer look Whether you’re building your passport portfolio or just want the extra security that a safe and strong passport gives, St. Kitts and Nevis ticks all the boxes. In exchange for your economic investment in the country, you get a powerful and well-regarded passport that opens global doors. Here are eight reasons why St. Kitts and Nevis is such a popular choice amongst investors. 1. Access to the Commonwealth: You might have read our recent post, discussing why some passports are ‘stronger’ than others. One of the major reasons is global agreements that many nations have in place to facilitate free trade within the group. It’s a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ type of agreement, which is great if your country is seen as having something to offer. It’s not so great if your country is regarded as a political or economic risk in any way. The British Commonwealth is one such agreement, and one that grants significant benefits to its 52 member nations – including freedom of travel. Since St. Kitts and Nevis is one of these member nations, and so citizenship here entitles you to travel easily across the Commonwealth. 2. Hassle-free travel to 130+ countries: Being a citizen of the Commonwealth also unlocks access to numerous other countries that are outside the member nations. Your St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship is the key, securing you hassle-free travel to 138 countries with either visa-free or visa-on-arrival requirements. This list includes all of the EU, making this an ideal passport if you have business to conduct throughout Europe. As the UN World Tourism Organization outlines, an average 76% of the global population has to obtain a visa prior to travel in order to visit Europe, so St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship puts you in the top 14% of the globe in this respect.

Your St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship is the key, securing you hassle-free travel to 138 countries with either visa-free or visa-on-arrival requirements.

Imagine choosing destinations based on where you want to go, not on where you can go. If you can afford the finer things in life, you should be able to enjoy them: St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship makes travel as simple as it should be. 3. Permanent lifetime citizenship: A St. Kitts and Nevis passport gives you the security of a lifetime guarantee, protected from governmental changes. Once you’ve invested in your St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, you can enjoy the benefits for life without fear of revocation. You’re also able to pass on your citizenship to future generations as you would with your primary citizenship, ensuring that your investment is truly future-proof. 4. Dual Citizenship Recognised: Your St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship is a second citizenship in the true sense of the phrase. You needn’t sacrifice your home citizenship, so you can continue to live, visit or do business within your home nation as desired. St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship is complementary to your existing citizenship, not a replacement. Your home country won’t even be informed that you’ve invested in second citizenship, so you can be as discreet as you need to be. 5. No Residency Requirement: Unlike other second citizenship programmes such as Portugal or Malta, St. Kitts and Nevis doesn’t require you to be resident in, or even visit, the island to secure your application. This allows you to move quickly in obtaining your citizenship, with a minimum of downtime from your normal activities. In fact, the entire process can be completed in three months, making St. Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship-by-investment programme one of the fastest in the world. Saying that, take one look at the pictures and you will see there are worse things than residing in somewhere as beautiful as St. Kitts and Nevis. 6. Unlock the Caribbean: Your St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship heralds a complete life change in more ways than one. Not only can you travel freely; you could decide to live permanently on the island. Or at least have a holiday home there. Bureaucracy shouldn’t get in the way of enjoying the better things in life. It’s not just St. Kitts either. Your second citizenship also entitles you to reside in almost all of the other CARICOM member nations, including Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and Jamaica. If you fancy a complete change of pace in life, St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship can secure that.

Your second citizenship also entitles you to reside in almost all of the other CARICOM member nations, including Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and Jamaica.

7. Family Options Available: If you’ve got family to consider, St. Kitts and Nevis second citizenship is ideal. For an additional investment, you can easily add unlimited dependents to your application, provided they are under 25 years old, financially dependent on their parents and in full-time education. These requirements allow you great flexibility, catering to your unique personal circumstances. 8. Tax Haven: St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the most popular Caribbean tax havens, offering considerable tax benefits. The island imposes no direct personal taxes, and no local taxes on income earned outside the island. Various tax holidays are available, and you’re exempt from all income, capital gains and withholding taxes as long as your business is conducted with non-residents. There are no inheritance or gift taxes either. The route to St. Kitts and Nevis second citizenship A St. Kitts and Nevis passport is a high-reward/low-effort citizenship – making it one of the most popular schemes of its kind in the world. You can choose from two investment options: Firstly, you can make a donation to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF). This starts at USD 250,000 for a single applicant. You can include up to three dependents for an investment of USD 300,000, up to five for USD 350,000, and up to seven for USD 450,000. For any dependents aged over 18, there’s an additional USD 50,000 fee. This is a non-refundable charitable investment, intended to aid the socio-economic development of St. Kitts and Nevis. The second option is an investment of at least USD 400,000 in St. Kitts and Nevis real estate, either freehold property, land, fractional ownership or hotel shares. There are various legal costs and government fees in addition to your investment, depending on your chosen asset class and number of dependents. If you invest in real estate, you’re able to resell after five years and recuperate your investment. Since changes introduced in 2012, the next buyer can also qualify for citizenship if they invest at least USD 400,000 in your property. Given the great demand for St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, this offers a high degree of financial security on your investment. For both investment options there are some nominal additional fees. These include due diligence fees of USD 7,500 for the main applicant and USD 4,000 for other dependents aged over 16. Once you’ve paid the initial professional fees, the process can be initiated almost instantly. Your actual investment is safeguarded until your acceptance is confirmed, ensuring a no-risk application.  From start to finish, this entire process can take as little as three months so you can start enjoying the benefits of your second citizenship almost immediately. It really is as simple as that. Second citizenship is an investment as attractive as gold. Like gold, a considered venture in second citizenship is one for the future – but it’s also for today. Whether you’re looking for longer-term security or simply aspire to travel with the same freedoms you’re afforded elsewhere in life, St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment allows you to take back control.

Next Generation Equity specialises in dual citizenship-by-investment and residency-by-investment programmes around the world. To schedule a no obligation consultation.