Economic Citizenship through the Purchase of Real Estate
As a foreign national, the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis (also known as St. Kitts and Nevis) allows a person the opportunity to obtain citizenship trough its government sponsored investment program ("the Citizenship by Investment Program"). The Citizenship by Investment Program in St. Kitts and Nevis is the longest established economic citizenship program in the world having been established in 1984. The Citizenship by Investment Program is legitimate, well regulated and enjoys international approval and acceptance. Regulations for the Citizenship by Investment Program are provided for in the Citizenship Act and the Program is fully supported by the Sovereign Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Citizenship by Investment Program is unique and provides numerous benefits.
- Citizenship for life - citizenship for life is awarded to a successful applicant and all eligible family members. There is no need for the applicant to reside in St. Kitts or Nevis;
- Dual Citizenship - there is no requirement to abandon an existing citizenship or notify a home country as dual citizenship is permitted under St. Kitts and Nevis law;
- Valid passports/second passports - once approved and all requisite fees are paid, a valid passport is issued to the applicant and other eligible family members;
- Visa-free travel - A St. Kitts and Nevis passport allows visa-free travel to numerous countries in the world.
- Full Residency Status - A resident has the right to work in St. Kitts and Nevis;
- Tax Breaks - A citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis will enjoy tax free status on all income, capital gains, gifts, wealth and inheritance.
- Excellent Real Estate Investment - Guaranteed return on real estate investment. As of January 1, 2012, real estate purchased for citizenship may be sold after five (5) years to a new owner for citizenship.
St. Kitts and Nevis enjoys stable diplomatic relations with most countries. It also has membership in the United Nations and its various organizations, the Organization of the Americas (OAS), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union.
LEGAL AND POLITICAL SYSTEM
St. Kitts and Nevis enjoys a stable democracy based on Constitutional rule and free and fair elections and a Parliament based on the Westminster Model. The law derives its roots from the Common law of England and has been augmented by statues and judicial determinations in St. Kitts and Nevis. St. Kitts and Nevis shares a judicial system with the rest of the Eastern Caribbean States and islands called the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. Final appeals go to the Privy Council in England. Judges are independent and impartial.
1) Any person who is
a) at least eighteen years of age;
b) has made an investment; and
c) who meets the application requirements may apply as a main applicant to become a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis.
2) A person who has been denied a visa to a country with which St. Kitts and Nevis has visa-free travel and who has not subsequently obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial shall not be eligible to apply for Citizenship by Investment in St. Kitts and Nevis.
3) Applications shall be made on the prescribed forms and accompanied by original documentation or certified copies of original documents.
4) Applications shall be submitted to the Unit only by an authorized person on the payment of a prescribed fee.
5) Applications forms shall be available only from the Unit upon request by the main applicant or by an authorized person on the payment of a prescribed fee.
6) An application form shall be completed in English and any document submitted with the application shall be in English, or, if the original language of the document is not in English, the document shall be accompanied by an authenticated translation.
7) The mainapplicant shall, with the exception of his or her spouse, provide a sworn affidavit of support for each dependent over eighteen years old.
8) Each application form must be completed personally by the main applicant or the authorized person and the following conditions shall be applicable
a) For a child who is below the age of eighteen, both parents must sign the forms on behalf of the child as the child’s legal guardians;
b) In case where one parent has sole custody of a child, or another person has legal guardianship of a child, the appropriate legal documentation shall be provided to demonstrate that sole custody or guardianship was awarded by a court of law or other relevant authority;
9) With the exception of a police certificate, which may be submitted subsequently at a later date before the application is approved, applications shall only be accepted and processed if all forms are properly completed, dated and signed, and if accompanied by all required documents and fees.
10) Every application that is submitted shall be examined by the Unit and if deemed necessary, an applicant may be requested to attend an interview, which may be conducted in St. Kitts and Nevis or at any diplomatic or consular post of St. Kitts and Nevis.
11) Anapplicant who is sixteen (16) years and over shall undergo due diligence background checks before any decision is made in relation to his or her application.
12) All background due diligence checks shall be commissioned by the Unit, which shall mandate on or several independent professional firms to conduct these checks according to requirements set by the Unit.
13) An applicant between the age of eighteen (18) and twenty-five (25) years, who is applying as a dependent of a main applicant, shall submit official transcripts from a recognized Institution of Learning or a letter from the competent authority confirming the applicant’s enrollment at the Institution of Learning.
14) Where a notary public certifies a document to be a true copy of the original that document must be authenticated by
a) An Apostille in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention of 5th October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legislation for Foreign Public Documents, in the case of countries that are parties to that Convention;
b) Proof of the expiry date of the commission for that jurisdiction in the case of certification made by notaries public in the United States of America, Canada, and in countries which are not party to the Hague Apostille Convention.
NB. Dependent parents must be a minimum of 65 years old to be included in the family application.
SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
1) Where a person executes a binding Purchase and Sale Agreement for real estate with the developer of an Approved Project, an application may be submitted on his or her behalf through an authorized person.
2) The full purchase price of the real estate shall be in keeping with the Minimum Investment amount and Government fees.
3) Within three (3) months of the submission of an application for Citizenship by Investment through the purchase of real estate, the Unit shall notify the authorized person on behalf of the main applicant, that the application has been;
a) Approved in principle;
b) Denied; or
c) Delayed for cause and still being processed.
4) No later than six (6) months after the date of a notification of approval in principle pursuant to the sub-regulation 3), the main applicant shall be required to show that
a) Full and unencumbered title to the relevant property has been transferred to him or her, directly or indirectly through a local company, foundation or other approved entity; and
b) That all prescribed government fees have been paid before the grant of Citizenship by Investment can occur.
5) Beneficial ownership through a company, shall be permissible only if such company,
a) Has issued all of its authorized shares to the main applicant;
b) Is established and maintained under the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis;
c) Is not exempt of offshore entity;
d) Submits through the main applicant irrefutable evidence as to its beneficial ownership, which evidence shall be certified by the Registrar of Companies.
6) Real estate that has been purchased that qualifies an applicant for citizenship under the Citizenship by Investment program shall not be resold for a period of at least five (5) years after the granting of citizenship.
a) Subject to sub-regulation 6), where real estate has already been the subject of a Citizenship by investment application, that real estate shall not be eligible for use in a subsequent Citizenship by Investment application before January 2017; and
b) Pursuant to paragraph a), after January 2017, where real estate that was already the subject of a Citizenship by Investment application and in respect of which, five years have passed since he granting of that Citizenship, then that property may be eligible for use in a subsequent Citizenship byInvestment application.
8) An application for Citizenship by Investment shall be considered only after
a) An Approved Project in respect of construction of real estate has commenced; and
b) All monies have been placed in an irrevocable escrow account with an authorized person, a registered trust company or with any entity whose business is the provision of trust or custodial services, provided that the holders of such escrow accounts shall comply with guidelines published by the Unit.
- Complete (original) application forms
- Submit application forms (prescribed original form) together with various supporting documents relating to identity (passport, birth certificate), civil status, criminal record, financial resources and health, affidavit of support, bankers reference, character reference, resume, photographs and letter of authorization (for lawyer to act on applicants behalf).
- These supporting documents must be in English or translated in English and any photocopies of documents must be notarized and properly certified.
- The fully executed Purchase and Sale Agreement should be submitted along with the application forms.
- The Government will then undertake due diligence (background checks on you and all members of the family over the age of 16 years seeking citizenship).
- Provided that everything is in order, approval is granted and you then take steps to be registered as a citizen.
MINIMUM INVESTMENT AND FEES
Commencing on the 1st day of January 2012, the following fees shall be payable to the Unit on application for Citizenship by Investment.
a) US$7,500.00 for due diligence background checks and processing fees for the main applicant;
b) US$4,000.00 for due diligence background checks and processing fees for each dependent of main applicant who is over the age of sixteen years;
c) On approval in principle of an application through a real estate investment
i. US$50,000.00 for the main applicant
ii. US$25,000.00 for the spouse of main applicant;
iii. US$25,000.00 for each child of the main applicant under eighteen years of age;
iv. US$50,000.00 for each qualified dependent of the main applicant above the age of eighteen years, other than his or her spouse
2. The minimum real estate investment required on the basis of an investment in real estate is US$400,000.00 for each main applicant. Two or more applicants may apply for citizenship by investment together by purchasing one piece of real estate, provided that each main applicant contributes the minimum investment of US$400,000.00 towards the investment.
3. Application and Processing fee - US$250.00 for each applicant.
Additionally, each citizenship certificate of registration is US$47.00 and the cost for each passport is US$13.00.
4. Legal Fees - the economic citizenship - Legal fees vary per solicitor. There are several qualified solicitors to choose from. We recommend a solicitor based on an individual's specific needs.
Estimated Legal/Transaction Fees
The Real Estate purchase (and in accordance with the Bar Association Scale of Fees), is as follows:-
· Purchase and Sale Agreement - 1% of the Purchase Price
· Memorandum of Transfer - Approximately 1% of Purchase Price
· Surveyor's Fees - Approximately US$327.00 per acre
· Government Fees - Registration fee of US$2.70
· Assurance Fund - Purchase price divided by 500
· Alien Landholding License Application - US$1,500.00 per applicant
· Stamp Duty (on select properties): 2.5% - 6% of purchase price
VISA FREE TRAVEL
Please review PDF Document for countries and territories that allow visa-free access to holders of a St. Kitts & Nevis passport.
APPROVED DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM
Developments in St. Kitts:-
Development in Nevis:-
The above is for information only and does not form part of a contract or guarantee. All applications must be processed by a solicitor in St Kitts or Nevis and we are able to provide a list of those firms able to provide this service.
The list of approved projects in the Citizenship by Investment program offers many different types of properties including villas, condominiums, luxury Resort communities, beach front apartments and land for construction.
Contact us for further details:
Office: +1 869 469 1120
Wayne Tyson: +1 869 662 1120
Carol Cochrane: +1 869 665 4257