Individuals and families are becoming increasingly mobile and the ability to hold a second passport is becoming more relevant. The Caribbean is an attractive destination for a number of reasons, including the relaxing lifestyle, beautiful scenery and the climate. There are also opportunities to hold a second passport, even if the immediate intention is not to relocate to the Caribbean.
Why do Families and Individuals Require a Second Passport?
There are a variety of reasons why wealthy individuals wish to acquire a second or alternative nationality:
- To offer insurance against political, economic or fiscal change in the individual's country of origin.
- To make international travel easier. Nationals of many countries have to endure lengthy waiting periods to obtain visas for travel to a number of western countries. This may be because they are nationals of a developing country or there may be animosity between their country and another.
- To allow the passport holder to avoid discrimination.
- To avoid the risk of potentially hostile treatment by Government officials, kidnappers and hostage takers.
- To present new opportunities for the tax structuring of personal tax affairs. Generally an individual's residence and citizenship are the ultimate basis for the majority of taxation rulings.
- Citizens of the United States of America and certain other countries are subject to tax on their worldwide income, irrespective of their country of residence. They are denied the residence-linked tax planning opportunities that are available to others. It is possible for such individuals to gain fiscal advantages by acquiring a new citizenship and renouncing their original citizenship.
There are a number of different options for citizenship within the Caribbean. A major advantage of St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship is that it guarantees receipt of a St Kitts & Nevis passport, with full Schengen travel rights throughout Europe.
The St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment scheme enables citizenship to be obtained by individuals through 3 alternative investment programmes. An individual can receive a St Kitts & Nevis passport in 3 months or less from the application date.
What Does a St Kitts & Nevis Passport Offer?
- Applicants do not need to travel to St Kitts & Nevis for the application and there are no annual residency rules to maintain the passport.
- A single application can include children up to a maximum age of 30 and parents with a minimum age of 55.
- New fast track processing enables receipt of a St Kitts & Nevis passport in 45 days.
- Passport holders enjoy full Schengen privileges and can travel to approximately 120 countries worldwide, either on a visa free, or visa on entry basis. A visa is not required to visit the UK.
- If holders of the passport choose to move to St Kitts & Nevis there is no personal income tax, no gift tax, no death duties, no estate tax, no inheritance tax and no capital gains tax on worldwide income.
- The passport allows the holder to reside in other Caribbean Community countries (Caricom) if they wish to do so. There are 15 Caricom member states.
What are the St Kitts & Nevis Investment Routes?
There are three investment routes available:
Option 1: Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) Contribution
- A single applicant can make a contribution of US$150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). The contribution for a family of up to 4 will be US$195,000. For additional dependants, regardless of age, the contribution requirement is US$10,000 per dependant.
Option 2: Approved Property Development
- Investment of a minimum US$400,000 in an approved property development. The property must be held for a minimum of 5 years after the citizenship has been granted.
A registration fee is payable by the applicant and additional fees are required for the spouse, children under the age of 18 and additional family members over the age of 18.
If this route is selected, the Dixcart office in Nevis can help source management services for the property, which can be sold on after 5 years.
Option 3: Luxury Real Estate
- Investment of a minimum US$200,000 in new luxury real estate. The property must be held for a minimum of 7 years after the citizenship has been granted.
A registration fee is payable by the applicant and additional fees are required for the spouse, children under the age of 18 and any additional family members over the age of 18.
Unmarried dependant children who are older than 18 but younger than 30 may be included in the application. Dependant parents aged 55 or above may also be included. Citizenship can be passed on to future generations by descent.
The processing time for any one of the three routes above, to gain St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship is approximately 3 months. For an additional US$46,000, however, the application can be fast-tracked and the passport received in approximately 45 days.
Other Caribbean Passport Schemes
Alternate Caribbean passport schemes exist. Those for Antigua and Dominica are probably the most popular alternative options.
The Dixcart office in Nevis can assist with both of these schemes. Visa free or visa on arrival details vary according to the scheme, as do the costs. Comprehensive details are available from the Dixcart office in Nevis.
Dixcart is a licensed Service Provider for the St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment scheme and can provide comprehensive details of the alternative application routes available, any additional fees that might be required, and assist with the coordination of applications.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.