St. Kitts and Nevis’ Sustainable Growth Fund For Investment and Citizenship
St. Kitts and Nevis hold a notable position for having the oldest of its kind Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program in the world. Ever since its launch in 1984, its CBI scheme has evolved against contemporary changes allowing applicants to acquire citizenship through a fast-track process. Of course, the provision to acquire citizenship comes in consideration of investment in select options. These options include either the real estate sector or the recently founded Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). Our focus, for today, shall be on the latter.
In order to understand St. Kitts and Nevis’ SGF option, it is also essential to explore the scheme in general. Down below, I have enumerated details about the scheme with special emphasis on the SGF. On this note, let us take a look at yet another interesting CBI program.
Why St. Kitts and Nevis?
Before we move to the procedural and other substantive aspects of the program, it is pertinent to know why the country is a good choice for citizenship.
- Excellent accessibility to several countries and regions in the world. The country’s passport holder will have visa-free or visa on arrival access to as many as 157 destinations globally.
- Citizenship is heritable to future generations.
- Successful applicants need not forsake their other citizenships as the country allows dual citizenship.
- Unlike many CBI schemes, St. Kitts and Nevis’ does not stress a mandatory stay in the country.
- The processing time is short i.e. three months.
- Kitts and Nevis is a peaceful country in the Caribbean and does not implement a rigid tax structure. So far the taxes are concerned, there aren’t any income, inheritance or wealth taxes here.
There were few changes made to investment options but more or less the criteria remain post COVID-19. Under the program, there are two options available to the applicants.
- The first option is real estate investment. A recoverable investment can be made in select properties. A minimum of USD 200,000 (hotel shares) can be held for a period of 7 years, or USD 400,000 (Full title deed) can be held for a period of 5 years. There may be additional expenses. Following the expiration of the time period, the investor has the option to resell the properties.
- The second option is the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). The Fund was started on April 1, 2018, to replace the Hurricane Relief Fund. The pandemic resulted in the government tweaking a few changes as a result of which a discount was offered to family applicants. Such applicants were offered to invest a minimum of USD 150,000 as opposed to the original USD 195,000. Individual applicants will have to make a contribution of USD 150,000.
The agenda behind the SGF
As the name suggests, the SGF was instituted to fund and accelerate the growth of essential sectors. Essentially, the aim is to enhance the development of the country through foreign contribution. The SGF will use the funds towards developing the education sector, upscaling the health sector in alignment with growing population needs, instituting mechanisms to fight climate change, stepping up infrastructural development, pumping up the country’s touristic strength, and encouraging indigenous entrepreneurship.
Other benefits of SGF contribution
Apart from directly contributing to the development of the country and its people, there are other benefits associated with the contribution.
- The process to contribute to the fund is straightforward.
- The scheme claims to maintain transparency in the management of the fund.
- No interviews or language tests are conducted for contributing to the SGF.
- SGF is the first of its kind economic citizenship program in the world.
A simple outline of the application process has been provided below:
- Prepare the documents as required under the program.
- Submit the dossier to the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) through an Authorized Agent. There are fees associated with this aspect.
- It takes 3 months to receive an approval letter from the government.
- Once you receive approval, pay up the remaining investment.
- Following the investment, you will be issued a passport and a citizenship certificate.
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