St. Kitts and Nevis forms part of the group of islands known as the Lesser Antilles in Caribbean, located some 2,000 Km to the southeast of Miami. The Federation comprises of two islands, Nevis and St. Kitts. The official and business language is English. St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis is a Member of the United Nations (UN), the Organization of the American States (OAS), the British Commonwealth, Caricom and many other organizations. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has its headquarters on St. Kitts. The currency is a strong Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) which has been pegged to the US dollar. The Citizenship Program of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis was established in 1984, which makes this the longest established Citizenship-by-Investment Program. Regulations regarding Citizenship-by-Investment Program are contained in Part II, Section 3 (5) of the Citizenship Act, 1984.
St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program
CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
For most of the clients, the St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship-by-Investment Program is now the most attractive option for alternative citizenship. Whether the SIDF contribution option or the real-estate option is preferable depends on a number of factors and your individual situation and preferences.
The St. Kitts & Nevis passport is very well regarded, it has always been carefully managed and only relatively few passports have been issued under this citizenship-by-investment program. As a result, St. Kitts & Nevis citizens enjoy a passport with an excellent reputation and very good visa-free travel.
St. Kitts & Nevis also has been added to the EU list of countries whose citizens are allowed visa-free entry to the Schengen Area in the EU. Thus, with a St. Kitts & Nevis passport it is now possible to travel throughout the EU visa-free, since the UK and Ireland already grant visa-free access.
An alternative citizenship and passport is a powerful tool for international tax planning, it gives you extra privacy in banking and investment, and most importantly perhaps, citizenship and a passport from a small, peaceful country can save your life when travelling and in times of political unrest, civil war, terrorism, and other delicate situations and most importantly, a good visa-free travel. For good reasons, many international business people and important persons who are active worldwide consider an alternative passport the best life insurance money can buy.
Through the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program, foreign nationals with the necessary property investment and with no criminal background can obtain full Cypriot citizenship and its passport.
In September 2016, the Council of Ministers has introduced a Decision amending the criteria for acquiring the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment. The main amendments relate with the reduction of the minimum investment amount to €2 million (from €2,5 million) and the inclusion of the investors’ parents: Investors’ parents can also apply for obtaining the Cyprus Citizenship along with the investors’ minor and adult dependent children (up to the age of 28).
To qualify for citizenship, applicants must fulfill one of the following investment options and hold it for three years in addition to meeting the conditions criteria:
- A minimum of €2 million investment in residential real estate, land development or infrastructure project.
Parents of the main investor can be included in the application provided that they purchase a permanent residence property with a value of at least €500,000.
This amount can be pooled in the main investment if preferred.
- A minimum of €2 million investment in established Cyprus businesses or companies.
- A minimum of €2 million investment to invest in Alternative Investment Funds or financial assets of Cyprus-based companies or organizations licensed by CySec.
- A minimum total amount of €2 million investment in a combination of the aforementioned options.
- The main investment may be sold after three years; however, the investor must always maintain/purchase a property with a value of at least €500,000.
- Property purchased up to 3 years prior to the submission of the citizenship application will count towards the required investment.
- Applicants must hold a clean criminal record from the country of origin and country of residence if different and their name must not be on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen within the EU.
Vardikos & Vardikos assist international clients in obtaining residence and citizenship under the respective program.
Step 1 – Review and Selection Real Estate Investment
Selection of the property/ies. Sign purchase agreement and transfer funds to a secure account.
Step 2 – Application Preparation (Applicant receives a detailed application package and document checklist)
Assembly all necessary papers required for application. The documents must be officially translated into Greek or English by an approved translator.
Step 3 – Pre-clearance Examination
Appointed law firm Vardikos & Vardikos completes a pre-clearance check.
Step 4 – Submission of Citizenship Application / Issuance of Permanent Residency Card
The citizenship application is submitted, together with the property purchase agreement and all required documents.
Step 5 – Acquire in Principal Citizenship Approval
Authorities will approve the citizenship application within a period of three months from submission.
Step 6 – Completion of Naturalization and Issuance of Cypriot Passport and ID Cards
Step 7 – Naturalisation of Children and Grandparents