St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), one of the most coveted in the world, has taken a dramatic turn that has caught the attention of global investors. In its most significant shift since inception, the CIP has made urgent and immediate changes.
This pivotal adjustment is part of St. Kitts and Nevis’ commitment to meet the demands set forth by the European Commission while preserving the esteemed status of its citizens. The nation has taken remarkable steps to ensure stringent compliance and greater security.
The minimum investment requirement has seen an astronomical surge with the donation for a single applicant rising from US$125,000 to US$250,000. In tandem, the minimum investment in real estate has increased to US$400,000, positioning the program as one of the most costly citizenship by investment initiatives.
Adding to the list of changes is the introduction of mandatory interviews for all applicants, a move designed to enhance due diligence. Furthermore, citizenship documents must now be collected in person, whether in St. Kitts & Nevis or at a designated diplomatic mission abroad.
At first glance, these changes might be perceived as daunting, possibly leading investors to consider alternative citizenship routes. However, this might be a hasty decision. The St. Kitts passport carries substantial benefits that remain attractive despite the increased investment threshold.
Investors continue to have visa-free access to over 150 countries, including all of the EU, the UK, Ireland, and Russia. The tax environment remains advantageous with no income, wealth, or inheritance taxes. A major draw for families, dependents aged 18-25 in full-time university education, children under the age of 18, and grandparents or parents over the age of 65 can be included in the application. Moreover, once you obtain economic citizenship, it is lifelong and can be passed along to your descendants.
Although a seven-year hold period applies to the real estate investment, this period can be seen as a medium-term investment with the potential to resell and recoup the initial investment. Notably, there is no residence requirement, meaning you can obtain citizenship without setting foot in St. Kitts and Nevis.
This dramatic shift in the St. Kitts and Nevis CIP is a stark reminder of the unpredictability of the global landscape and highlights the need for robust choices and expert guidance.
The process and requirements to apply for citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis through their Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) are as follows:
To be eligible, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a high personal net worth.
- Be in good health.
- Have a clean criminal record, verified through Interpol, the World Check, and other authorities.
You have two options for investments:
- Sustainable Growth Fund: A single applicant is required to make a non-refundable contribution of US$250,000.
- Real Estate Investment: Purchase government-approved property valued at least US$400,000, plus payment of government fees. The property must be held for a minimum period of seven years.
The Application Process
The process of applying for citizenship can be summarized in the following steps:
- Choose an Authorized Agent: The first step in the process is to select an authorized agent who is licensed by the Citizenship-by-Investment Unit (CIU) of St. Kitts and Nevis. The agent will guide you through the process, prepare the necessary documentation, and liaise with the CIU on your behalf.
- Prepare and Submit Application: Gather all required documents, which must be in English or translated into English, notarized, and accompanied by the appropriate fees. The application must include:
- Completed official forms.
- Medical certificate (including an HIV test) for each applicant.
- A birth certificate and passport copies for each applicant.
- Police clearance for all applicants aged 16 and over.
- Proof of payment for due diligence and background check fees.
- Proof of the investment made or to be made.
- Due Diligence Check: After submitting your application, the government will perform a rigorous due diligence check. This involves a comprehensive background check of the applicant and their dependents. The check is conducted by an international agency, which verifies all the information provided in the application.
- Approval in Principle: If the due diligence report is satisfactory, the CIU will issue a letter of “approval in principle.”
- Investment: Once approved, you will be asked to make the investment in full – either a contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund or purchase the approved real estate.
- Citizenship Certificate and Passport: After making the investment, the government will issue the certificate of registration, denoting you as a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis. Following this, you can apply for a St. Kitts and Nevis passport.
The entire process may take about 3-6 months to complete.
Please note that changes introduced in 2023 now require that all applicants attend a mandatory interview and collect citizenship documents in person, either in St. Kitts & Nevis or at a designated diplomatic mission abroad. This has added another layer of due diligence to the process and increased the timeline and complexity of the application process.
This is a general guide and requirements may vary slightly depending on individual circumstances. Always consult with your authorized agent or legal advisor to ensure that you meet all requirements before beginning the application process. For more information, and to be connected to an expert in the St. Kitts program, please contact us at email@example.com.