Parviz Malakouti, Esq.
St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment
Updated: Mar 16
By Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.
Basseterre, St. Kitts
If the idea of becoming a dual citizen within 90 days interests you, St. Kitts citizenship by investment (“CBI”) may be for you.
That’s because powdery white sand, and spectacular, azure colored water, and a dreamy beach lifestyle aren’t the only things St. Kitts is known for. They also have a pretty darn good citizenship by investment program.
The St. Kitts & Nevis (“St. Kitts”) citizenship by investment program, originally established in 1984, is one of the most reputable programs available.
This stellar reputation combined with excellent marketing from St. Kitts, is probably why it’s one of the two programs we get the most inquiries about, here at Malakouti Law. In this article, we’ll go over the benefits, costs and process overview of acquiring St. Kitts citizenship by investment (“CBI”).
In a sentence, the speed of the St. Kitts CBI process combined with its excellent reputation may be the biggest unique value proposition for someone pursuing second citizenship by investment.
Let’s talk about some of the benefits and considerations.
Benefits of St. Kitts Citizenship
St. Kitts & Nevis is a tiny dual island Caribbean nation in the West Indies with a population of about 53,000 combined. As any simple google search attests, St. Kitts & Nevis is a beautiful country dotted with picturesque beaches.
Carambola beach, St. Kitts
Most importantly, citizenship in St. Kitts affords one the indefinite right to live, work and study in the beautiful dual-island nation. Furthermore, St. Kitts has no personal income tax and no inheritance tax, while offering a 33% corporate tax rate.
Citizens of St. Kitts enjoy visa free access to about 164 countries, including Europe’s Schengen zone, and the United Kingdom.
Among those countries, St. Kitts offers visa free travel to a few interesting destinations that Americans do not have visa-free access to, such as Venezuela (90 days), Russia (90 days), Cuba (30 days), and Iran (e-visa eligibility for a 30 day stay).
This means even Americans with strong visa-free access can still color their map of visa-free access with a few more countries.
Plateau of Roraima on the Grand Sabana, Venezuela
Cost & Family Members You Can Include
If you’re looking to become a dual citizen, you may want your family members to take that same step with you. St.Kitts’ program allows you to do so.
In addition to the main applicant, the following dependants can be included:
The main applicant’s spouse;
Children under 18 of the main applicant and of the main applicant’s spouse;
Children of the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse who are aged 18-30 and full-time college/university students or fully supported by the main applicant
The required contribution to the St. Kitts sustainable growth fund is $125,000 USD for a single applicant, $170,000 for a family of four (main applicant + 3 dependents) and $10,000 for each additional dependent aged under 18, and $25,000 for each additional dependent aged 18 or over.
This doesn’t include additional sundry application costs that total to about $8,000 per applicant.
Note: the above mentioned required contribution is a limited time offer by the government of St. Kitts that started on January 1st, 2023 and will only last until June 30th, 2023.
How to Start the Process
Processing time normally takes 90 days from the time the Kitts citizenship investment unit receives the application, but for a limited time from January 1st, 2023 to June 30th, 2023, the processing time is reduced to just 60 days.
It’s important to remember though that the time it takes to gather and prepare your documents is not included in the processing time mentioned above. Here’s how the process goes.
As always, before starting an application for citizenship by investment, you should be properly screened by an expert to know all your options (including citizenship by descent) and whether the citizenship by investment you are considering serves your personal and professional goals.
This screening can only be done by a solution-agnostic expert who has the skill and ethical integrity to guide you to alternatives that serve your goals best even if they may be less lucrative in professional fees for the expert. Understand the difference between a salesperson and a global mobility expert, and always go with the latter.
Related: Second Citizenship & Residency for Americans
Assuming you’ve been properly screened and have decided to pursue St. Kitts citizenship by investment, these are the steps for your application.
Step 1 - Gather your documents, and choose a professional to work with
Step 2 - Complete the necessary application forms with Malakouti Law’s assistance
Step 3 - Be vetted by St. Kitts’ third party due diligence firms
Step 4 - After due diligence, complete investment (i.e. make the required contribution)
Step 5 - Become a St. Kitts citizen!
Step 6 - Sip piña coladas on the beaches of St. Kitts (not necessary, but recommended!)
Completed application forms (C1-C3)
Completed application form (C4 for donation)
Certified copy of applicant’s birth record
Certified copy of applicant’s ID card or passport
Six passport sized photos taken within the last six months
One original professional reference
Bank statements of applicant from last 12 months
Certified copy of applicant’s marriage certificate (if applicable)
Certified copy of divorce decree or certificate (if applicable)
Statement and evidence of source of fund to be invested in St. Kitts
Drawbacks of Pursuing St. Kitts Citizenship by Investment?
Fortunately, St. Kitts citizenship doesn’t raise any of the Malakouti four red flags of second citizenship. However, St. Kitts CBI has a vulnerability shared by most other CBI countries.
This vulnerability is that citizenship by investment is under attack from the European Union (“EU”), the UK, and to a lesser extent - the United States. One risk of citizenship by investment in St. Kitts is the possibility that St. Kitts visa-free access could be withheld or threatened by the EU in the future, thus diminishing the value of St. Kitts citizenship for those mindful of visa-free freedom of movement.
This is not a vulnerability generally shared by citizenship obtained by descent, or naturalization after a period of residency.
Related: 9 Passport Attack Vectors
St. Kitts “Springboarding” Opportunities
Country springboarding is the mobility strategy of using access to one country in order to gain greater access to another country.
Visa-Free Access - As mentioned above, St. Kitts offers visa-free access to the European Schengen zone, as well as to a few countries that Americans cannot access visa-free on an American passport.
Residency Springboarding - In theory, St. Kitts’ membership in CARICOM affords Kittsian citizens an easier path to residency in other member states such as Dominica, the Bahamas, Saint Lucia and others. However, as with
Consular- Access Springboarding- St. Kitts is home to eight foreign diplomatic missions, including the U.S., UK, and China. Kittsian citizens applying for visas in any of those countries would possibly have access to their consulate for in-person visa interviews, when necessary.
Being a dual citizen means having the benefits...and obligations of two nationalities
Related: 101 Dual Citizenship FAQs for Americans
Consult With Malakouti Law
At Malakouti Law, we are experts in citizenship and human freedom of movement, especially going or coming from the United States.
Click here to book a consultation with us to learn if St. Kitts citizenship by investment is the best option for your personal circumstances. If St. Kitts is the right program for you, we can guide you through, including linking you with a reputable authorized agent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About
St. Kitts Citizenship by Investment
How long does the whole process take?
Usually about 3-6 months from the date of submission of the application to final decision.
What’s the total cost of the whole process?
If making a donation (what we at Malakouti Law usually recommend), the donation itself is $150,000 USD. Additional sundry fees typically bring the total cost to approximately $170,000. .
Is it possible that I’d have to attend an interview?
It’s possible the St. Kitts citizenship investment unit (“CIU”) could request an interview, but it’s rarely necessary.
Note: due to expected program changes, an interview could required of applicants in the near future.
Do I ever have to travel to St. Kitts during the application process?
No, in the vast majority of cases, travel to the island is not necessary.
Note: due to expected program changes, an interview could required of applicants in the near future.
Is St. Kitts citizenship by descent available to future generations?
Yes. After obtaining St. Kitts citizenship by descent, your future children will be eligible for St. citizenship by descent (St. Kitts & Nevis Constitution, Chapter 4, Part 1, Article 91(c)) at no extra cost. To qualify for citizenship by descent, your children must have not been born at the time you became a citizen of St. Kitts.
How often do I have to renew the St. Kitts passport?
The passport has a validity period of 10 years.
Does St. Kitts have personal/individual income tax?
No, St. Kitts does not have personal/individual income tax, or inheritance tax.
Do vital documents submitted have to be apostilled?
Yes, if you come from a country that’s subject to the Hague convention on apostilles (which includes the United States). If you come from a country not subject to the Hague convention, we may have to get your documents authenticated by other means.
What is the maximum number of dependents that can be included in an application?
There’s no numerical limit to the number of dependents. The limitation is on who can be considered as a dependent.
Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified, licensed immigration lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing.