ST. KITTS AND NEVIS, THE HIDDEN GEM OF THE CARIBBEAN

Omo, after my research for this post all i can say is “I will never be broke in my life” in pastor Chris voice.

Getting a second passport is something that has been inexistence for many years and this particular one claims to be the premier citizenship by investment (CBI) programme. The St. Kitts and Nevis CBI programme started way back in 1984.

For those who have no idea what country I am referring to, Saint Kitts and Nevis is a dual-island nation situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It’s known for cloud-shrouded mountains and beaches. Many of its former sugar plantations are now inns or atmospheric ruins which can double as good places for war reenactments (for when you get that passport).

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The legal jargon you might be wanting to read about this citizenship is contained in Part II § 3(5) of the citizenship act 1984 and the Saint Christopher and Nevis citizenship by investment regulations, 2011. But I have saved you the hassle of going over some documents with your lawyer just yet, if you read till the end.

Lets first get the disadvantages of the visa out of the way; citizenship to St. Kitts and Neives will not give you automatic entry into

  • Canada
  • USA
  • Mexico
  • South Africa (RSA)
  • China
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Australia

But no worries you still have 157 countries you can visit with this passport, which includes the UK, France, Germany, the entire Schengen region and if you’re a fan of snow and negative temperatures Russia is on the list of visa free countries you can go to.

PROCESS

Before you begin to imagine the types of vacations this passport can open to you, here’s what the process of becoming a Kittitian or a Nevisian is like.

 

There are three categories or means through which you can gain this citizenship

  1. Through a non-refundable donation

  2. Through a real-estate investment scheme

  3. Through a financing option

 

Of the three, the first two are the most popular and oldest forms. The financing option is still a recent development but from analysis, is the cheapest method compared to its predecessors.

Non-Refundable Donation

In this process you would make a non-refundable donation to the countries Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), the amount to be donated varies based on the number of applicants, and in the case of a family (of four) the age of the children, whether or not they are above or below 16 years, but here is the cost breakdown for the different versions of the donation:

SINGLE APPLICANT:

Donation fee $150,000

Due diligence fes $7500

Government application $250

Passport fee $365

Courier fee $200

Local lawyer professional fee $5,000

Bank due diligence $200

 

Bringing your total donation sum is $164,000

 

APPLICANT + SPOUSE:

Donation fee $175,000

Due diligence fees $11,500

Government application $250

Passport fee $365

Courier fee $200

Local lawyer professional fee $5,000

Bank due diligence $200

 

Bringing your total donation sum is $193,230 but saying $194,000 sounds better to me

 

If you intend to make apply with two dependants under the age of 16 the fees then become:

Donation fee $195,000

Due diligence fes $11,500

Government application $1,000

 

This brings your total donation amount to $214,560

 

And in the event your dependants are above the age of 16

Donation fee $195,000

Due diligence fes $19,500

Bringing your total donation sum to $222,660.

 

There are more iterations to this if you decide to go with a dependant who is older or a sibling, it all depends on what you have in mind.

Real-Estate Investment Scheme

Personally speaking, I would prefer the investment route cause I would tell myself that all that money isn’t gone, I have an investment I can hold onto to recoup some of the money I spent on this visa, but that’s just my opinion.

The real estate investment would have to be held for a minimum of 7 years. I cant emphasize how good of an option I feel this is, why? Because St. Kitts and Nevis has the highest number of branded hotels among the Caribbean islands, with four 5 star branded hotels including The Marriott, The Hilton, Four Seasons and the Ramada.

Now if you invest in this option , your money is being used to build hotels and condominiums around the island which helps the government, and gives you shares in whatever property was built with your funds.

 

The break down for this visa option is:

Investment $200,000

All other administrative fees remain the same, the fees which vary are

Government real estate fee for main application $35,000

Fee for main application and spouse $55,000

Fee for a family of four (Two dependents) $75,000

Bringing the various totals to:
Single applicant : $248,565

Single applicant + Spouse: $273,330

Family of four (Two dependents below 16): $294,760

 

Family of four (Two dependents above 16): $302,860

The Financing option

Here instead of putting up the $200,000 you’re going to put out a portion of that as a down payment and the rest would be financed through an escrow. The catch here is you’re going to lose the $50,000 (Take it as a donation), you’re also not going to get any property or investment options. What does this mean for you

This means that your out of pocket cost is DRAMATICALLY lower than the real estate option, but you don’t end up with any asset besides the passport. The cost break down goes as follows:

Single applicant would cost $98,565

Single applicant + spouse would cost $123,330

Family of four (2 dependants below 16) cost $144,760

 

Family of four (2 dependants above 16) cost $152,860

TIMELINE / PROCESSING TIME

The average processing time for all due diligence and visa processing is between 4 – 6 months but there is an option of express processing available which costs $25,000 for the main applicant and $20,000 extra for every dependent.

 

That’s all the information that is out for now, but news coming from the chairman of the CBI board is that there are some more investment opportunities that would be rolled out very soon, but at the time of writing this blog they hadn’t been rolled out, so we’re going to have our fingers crossed.

Some of the options to be introduced are:

    1. Being able to buy a house rather than invest in Hotels and condominiums (The Real Estate option), with this option you can buy a home on the beach and enjoy a beautiful view all for $400,000, and don’t forget it comes with citizenship for you and your family. As much as this sounds like a great option the full details of this investment option have not been made public as of now, all we have are the introductory information to the packages.

Alternative investment option; this is another option which is still in the works. Here you have the option of putting a lump sum of money into a project that meets a government mandate, and that fund would be put in escrow while the contractor works on the project. The funds put in escrow would only be released when certain project milestones are reached. An example is building middle income homes with low mortgage, the project meets a government mandate and you can fund it to get citizenship.

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