Saint Kitts and Nevis is a twin-island nation located in the Caribbean. A former British colony, now a Commonwealth Realm, they make it possible for high net worth individuals to secure citizenship by investment. Most acquire citizenship via Saint Kitts and Nevis as passport allows for visa-free travel to over 150 countries and territories.
Officially known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis was the first country to create this type of program shortly after gaining independence to increase foreign direct investment. It is the smallest sovereign country in the Americas and Western Hemisphere based on area and population.
Saint Kitts & Nevis is known for its rich history and culture with influences from the Indigenous Caribs, Africans, French and British people. In fact, it is referred to as the “mother colony of the West Indies,” having been the first British colony in the Caribbean. If you want to travel to Saint Kitts and Nevis to get a feel for the area, this guide to Saint Kitts and Nevis will be a good read.
Whether you want to move to this twin-island nation or simply achieve citizenship by investment, this post on Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship and their second passport program will be your guide.
Saint Kitts and Nevis political map with capital Basseterre is a two-island country in the West Indies located in the Leeward Islands. Photo Credit: © Peter Hermes Furian via 123RF.com.
About Saint Kitts and Nevis
Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, Saint Kitts & Nevis was formed by volcanic activity and so has a mountainous terrain with white and black sandy beaches. The tallest mountain on Saint Kitts is Mount Liamuiga at 3,792 feet which is thought to have last volcanic erupted some 200 years ago. On Nevis, the tallest mountain is Nevis Peak at 3,232 feet, and the last volcanic eruption is unknown.
Beyond beautiful beaches, Saint Kitts and Nevis has a lush landscape with numerous historical sites and attractions, including the Saint Kitts Scenic Railway, Caribelle Batik, and UNESCO World Heritage Site Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. Cultural highlights of the year include the Saint Kitts Music Festival and Saint Kitts and Nevis Carnival or ‘Sugar Mas’ as it is otherwise known.
This twin-island nation has a low crime rate and decent healthcare for its people. Formerly known for its sugar production, it has a well-regulated financial sector, and there are no restrictions on repatriation of profits or imported capital. The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD), pegged to the US dollar.
Funds from the citizenship by investment program have allowed Saint Kitts & Nevis to build out its infrastructure, including the addition of an updated international airport, the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (IATA: SKB, ICAO: TKPK), with lots of direct flights from the United States, Canada, and Europe.
With English being the official language of Saint Kitts and Nevis, communication is easy for all English speakers. The local Saint Kitts Creole is also widely spoken, a dialect of Leeward Caribbean. The pleasant tropical climate provides a healthy balance between sunshine and cooling tropical rains.
Saint Kitts and Nevis, who gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1983, is now a member of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the British Commonwealth, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and many other Caribbean and international organizations.
Let’s take a deeper look at how Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program works and how to obtain it.
View from Timothy Hill in Saint Kitts & Nevis. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment
Saint Kitts & Nevis established its citizen-by-investment program in 1984 to attract foreign direct investment to the country. This program is open to high net worth investors and their family members who meet the strict criteria. Beyond finances, the main applicant needs to be over 18-years of age and adhere to stringent application procedures, including background checks.
This program grants qualified individuals citizenship through a government fund donation or real estate investment – a chance to buy citizenship. The main benefit of having a Saint Kitts & Nevis passport is visa-free travel to over 150 different countries and territories. This includes countries in the Schengen area of Europe, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, and Commonwealth countries.
The Saint Kitts and Nevis passport is highly regarded and has an excellent reputation. It is also one of the cheapest programs for Americans to gain second citizenship, as the United States is close and the passports costs are in US Dollars. This process, however, is open to all.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Passport Cost and Investment Options
There are currently two different investment options available to individuals who want to gain Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment. The two investment options are the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) contribution or a Real Estate investment.
The Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF)
The Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) contribution option is the newest investment channel to gain Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship. Introduced in 2018, it is the most direct route to second citizenship or passport in St. Kitts and Nevis.
This government-held fund allocates the capital raised to various investment infrastructure and community projects that advance Saint Kitts and Nevis to reach its full potential as a small island nation with a rapidly growing economy.
The Benefits of Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF)
If you choose this route, the benefits of the Sustainable Growth Fund include:
- The most direct path to investment citizenship
- Privacy is assured through this private channel
- This second citizenship is for life, and it may pass down to future generations
- No mandatory travel or language requirements
- Visa-free access and visa-on-arrival to over 150 countries
- Low tax regime including no income tax, inheritance tax, or gift tax
The Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) Investment Requirements
To obtain Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment, the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) contribution needs a minimum amount. This minimum amount is fixed for a single applicant, but the amount increases if the applicant attaches three dependents. Apart from the main applicant, adding a spouse would be an additional US$25,000 or a child at US$10,000. The amount is increased further for each additional dependent over and above an initial four primary applicants.
Additional fees, such as due diligence and processing fees, must also be paid by the applicants to complete the applications process. It is worth remembering that all payments are non-refundable, and the lawyer/agency and passport fees are not included here.
The amount for the investment required is:
- Single applicant – US$150,000
- Main applicant with a maximum of three dependents (spouse and two children) – US$195,000
- Any additional dependent regardless of their age – US$10,000
The processing and due diligence fees amount to US$7,500 for the main applicant and US$4,000 for each additional dependent of the main applicant who is over 16 years old.
Real Estate Investment
The second option to secure a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport is to invest in real estate through a pre-approved real estate project. This can range from purchasing hotel shares, villas, and other property types.
The requirement for each main applicant is a minimum investment by law of US$200,000, being able to resell after seven years. Or US$400,000 and can resell after five years.
The property investment is broken up into two further options, with the US$400,000 having to go towards an approved property development. The second option is investing in luxury real estate with a minimum value of US$200,000, essentially buying a private home.
When the application is submitted, additional non-refundable due diligence and processing fees apply. These fees total US$7500 for the main applicant and US$4000 for any dependent over the age of 16.
Government fees also apply to this investment option, with the main applicant being responsible for US$35,050. Their spouse will be responsible for US$20,050, and any other dependent of the main applicant is responsible for US$10,050 regardless of their age.
In addition to all of the above, the individuals who take this route will be responsible for any property purchase costs, such as conveyor fees and a compulsory insurance fund contribution.
Royal Poinciana aka Flamboyant Tree near the entrance to Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park in Saint Kitts & Nevis. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.
Additional Saint Kitts Citizen by Investment Passport Requirements
Although this is a straightforward process typically completed in three to four months, there are still a few Saint Kitts and Nevis immigration requirements that must be met before you can apply.
Citizens of certain countries are banned from applying regardless of where they live now if they are nationals of Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Cuba.
Additional Saint Kitts Passport Requirements
Apart from the above, any applicant must adhere to the following criteria to fulfill all requirements of an investment application.
- Hold no criminal record
- Have excellent health
- Have a high personal net worth
If you can meet all of the above criteria and make the required investment, your new passport will be valid for ten years and can be renewed indefinitely.
If you don’t want to wait, there is an accelerated application process that will have your submission processed within 60 days. This does come at an extra cost, though with this option costing US$25,000 per applicant and US$20,000 per dependent. An Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) contribution goes into a government-held fund with the Citizenship Investment Unit having access to check the receipt immediately and speed up the application process.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Economic Citizenship – Is it Worth it?
Whether you are looking for some added security of having a second passport or looking for a gateway to Europe, the Saint Kitts and Nevis economic citizenship method is relatively fast and straightforward.
The process is straightforward and offers an exceptional amount of benefits if the investment is within your budget. Either purchasing property or investing in the country’s economic development will give you a passport that will be a gateway into visa-free travel.
If you are looking for just the right Caribbean country to invest in and receive a passport in return, Saint Kitts and Nevis is a good choice, given it was one of the first to start this program. But, if you would like to compare to some other options, check out these other Caribbean passport programs below:
- Antigua and Barbuda Second Passport Program
- Grenada Second Passport Program
- Saint Lucia Second Passport Program
- Dominica Second Passport Program