By Maurisha Robinson
Consultant and Head of Partner office St Kitts and Nevis
Citizenship by Investment St Kitts and Nevis
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS ARE ATTRACTING MANY INVESTORS into the islands due to the great potential and the multiplicity of investment incentives in place. The Citizenship by Investment Program is one such program geared toward attracting investors and residents to the islands. As apart from its natural beauty, charm and wonderful climate it offers investors varying options to play with ranging from Citizenship by Investment to setting up International companies, trusts and foundations.
As the sister isle which makes up the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, it boasts of offering the prestigious Citizenship by Investment Programme (also known as the Economic Citizenship Program) being the longest running economic citizenship program in the world having been established since 1984. Through its legitimacy and strong regulation, the citizenship by investment programme enjoys international recognition, approval and acceptance. The Citizenship Act and its attendant regulations govern the program.
An interested party may apply for citizenship via investment in real estate for a minimum of US$400,000 or a charitable donation to the Sugar Investment Diversification Foundation of at least US$250,000 for a single applicant. The application process is straightforward and involves the completion of an application form to be submitted along with required supporting documentation.
The Government will then undertake due diligence (background checks on you and all members of the family over the age of 16years seeking citizenship). Following the completion of all due diligence checks, the Citizenship by Investment Unit will provide notification as to the outcome of the application. If approval has been granted in principle, as in the case of the SIDF option, the main applicant must within 90 days after the notification of approval in principle show that full contribution to the SIDF has been deposited into a designated escrow account before the grant of Citizenship by Investment occurs.
In the case of the real estate option, the applicant must provide proof of investment in the real estate by means of an executed Memorandum of Transfer and or Certificate of Title. Provided that everything is in order, approval is granted then relevant steps are taken for the applicants to be registered as citizens of St Kitts & Nevis within an average 90-day period.
Nevis has also sought to maintain its international presence and competitive edge by improving its legislation to offer unique products to investors while combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. Nevis has been a long-standing provider of international “offshore” services for over 30 years. Having been at the forefront of the international financial industry. These rules implemented to keep pace with the most progressive legislation to showcase the island’s serious intent to cooperate on a global level in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing.
It is often said that jurisdictions such as Nevis are a haven for money launderers and tax avoiders, but Nevis is dedicated to set itself apart by maintaining its status as a transparent jurisdiction and by cooperating on a global level in facilitating the exchange of information for tax purposes.
For more on opportunities in St Kitts and Nevis contact our team.