By Les Khan St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit Chief Executive
In today’s fast-paced modern world an entrepreneur must be many things. Qualities such as resilience and determination are a given, but as globalization takes hold and companies become increasingly borderless, being a citizen of the world is quickly becoming a business must-have.
When it comes to being international, Caribbean islands certainly have a lot to offer. Often melting pots of European, Latin American, and African culture they attract millions of tourists every year from a diverse range of countries. Internationalism isn’t limited to holidaymakers however, every year thousands of like-minded individuals from across the globe seek Caribbean citizenship through dedicated investment programs.
One such Island is the Eastern Caribbean nation of St Kitt’s and Nevis. In today’s uncertain world, people want the ability to travel the globe on their own terms with confidence and flexibility. It’s not difficult to see the attraction of a second St Kitts & Nevis passport to the globetrotting business owner, the island’s CBI program offers successful applicants visa-free access to 156 countries, including the US, UK, and various EU countries, and is recognized as a market leader in independent, global rankings. In fact, St Kitts & Nevis offers the most powerful passport of any CBI program in the Caribbean, according to Henley & Partners’ Passport Index 2021 (24th strongest in the world). The benefits of mobility are also coupled with financial opportunities, as obtaining citizenship does not impose any income or wealth tax on the islands and does not require residency.
The travel unlocking capability of a St Kitt’s & Nevis passport could give an edge to African professionals often held back by discriminatory passport and immigration policies. For example, Cameroonians can only travel to 17 countries visa-free and African countries consistently occupy the lower ranks of the passport Index. This is perhaps why the past year has seen a marked uptick in CBI applications from African countries. Resourceful individuals in North and West Africa especially are finding ways to circumvent visa-related obstacles to international travel, CBI being a prominent resolution. Thanks to its exemplary handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, St Kitt’s & Nevis can provide a safe haven from restrictive public health measures, the island received international recognition for its handling of the pandemic, with just 44 people having contracted the disease so far (all of whom have recovered) and zero fatalities.
Wide-reaching by nature, the benefits of St Kitts & Nevis’ citizenship don’t stop at travel. For the shrewd investor, its passport represents a unique opportunity. St Kitt’s & Nevis has a fast-growing economy, according to the United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis had the strongest projected growth rate in the Eastern Caribbean of 3.5% before the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants are given the option to invest in prime luxury real estate on the island or to become a contributor to the twin-island federation’s sustainable growth fund. Acquiring property on the beautiful island of St Kitts and Nevis, a famed tourist destination often graced by the late Princess Diana, is a savvy way to diversify one’s property portfolio. With options as diverse as hotel shares, oceanside villas, and resort condominium units, St Kitts and Nevis may just be the best-kept property investment secret around.
For the socially conscious investor, a donation to the country’s sustainable growth fund allows for all the benefits of citizenship whilst resting assured in the knowledge that your money is having a direct positive impact on the local community. Since its inception in 1984, theSt. Kitts and Nevis CBI program has helped progress the development of the small island state away from its historic sugar farming industry and onto a more sustainable footing, by helping to grow a thriving tourism industry and allowing the country to invest in its national infrastructure. The results of the program are plain to see with St Kitts & Nevis’rapid ascent through the Human Development Index currently placing as the second highest in the Eastern Caribbean.
With the best interests of investors in mind, St Kitts & Nevis is also committed to due diligence and security of the highest standards when it comes to its platinum CBI program. As the world’s oldest CBI program, we are committed to upholding our established world-class standard of economic citizenship. For us, this means international standards and having a robust due diligence system in place.
Africa’s start-up scene is one of the fastest-paced and most exciting in the world. As founders continue to raise impressive amounts of funding and seek to grow their companies not only will they seek unique investment opportunities, but a greater international presence will also be paramount and there couldn’t be a better time to invest.
St Kitts & Nevis has recently extended a limited time offer until 31 December 2021, decreasing the price of citizenship for high-net-worth businessmen and their families from USD 195,000 to USD 150,000 for an individual and from USD 195,000 to USD 150,000 for a family of up to four, making it the highest quality program for a highly competitive price.