St Kitts & Nevis: A Gold Mine of Opportunity for Investors
St Kitts and Nevis is renowned for its beautiful white beaches, cloud-shrouded mountains and stunning landscapes, making it an incredibly popular luxury tourist destination. The Caribbean nation has much more to it than its immense beauty, however, and is also an increasingly viable place for entrepreneurs to invest their money. St Kitts and Nevis’ economy is experiencing a period of great health, with a 3.2% growth in GDP predicted for 2019, and has a number of thriving sectors, such as its tourism and construction industries. With its flourishing citizenship by investment programme to boot, St Kitts and Nevis represents a gold mine of opportunity for entrepreneurs.
Investment opportunities aplenty on the two islands
As noted above, the St Kitts and Nevis islands boast a number of flourishing sectors that can provide profitable returns for investors. Most notable of these sectors is the nation’s tourism industry, with holidaymakers from around the world flocking to experience the islands’ beautiful scenery, delectable Caribbean cuisine and various historical landmarks.
The sector accounted for around 26.8% of St Kitt and Nevis’ GDP in 2017, with strong economic growth in the US driving demand for travel to the islands. In fact, a handful of US airlines—including Delta and United Airlines—have recently expanded their non-stop flight offerings to St Kitts and Nevis, which should see the industry grow even more in the near future. Investors could seriously benefit from investing in this burgeoning industry.
Also prospering is the nation’s construction sector, with heavy government investment fueling its growth and money poured into projects like public works and hotel expansions. These projects include a cruise pier, airport renovations and a new bus terminal, whilst Ritz Carlton has also started building a luxury resort that’s slated for a 2021 opening.
These changes are likely to benefit the already thriving real estate sector, providing more investment opportunities as a result. This construction growth should also filter through to bolster employment and consumer consumption, which should further strengthen the country’s already thriving economy and make St Kitts and Nevis even more of a logical place to invest.
However, perhaps the most obvious way to invest in St Kitts and Nevis is through its heralded citizenship by investment programme — the longest running CBI programme in the world. This gives investors the chance to invest in the country’s Sustainable Growth Fund, The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation or its real estate scene in return for St Kitts and Nevis citizenship. Investors gain a passport from the nation and enjoy the various benefits of St Kitts and Nevis citizenship, without having to meet residency requirements.
Joining St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI programme
In order to be able to invest in the St Kitts and Nevis CBI programme, applicants must meet a number of different requirements. They must be over the age of 18, be in good health and judged to be of good moral character. Applicants can apply with family members, which include a spouse, children up to the age of 30, and parents and grandparents aged 55 or above, who live with or are dependent on the applicant. Citizens of Afghanistan, North Korea or Iran cannot apply.
As mentioned in the previous section, there are two different CBI investment paths. The first is the fund option, with the nation’s Sustainable Growth Fund being the most modern and direct way to invest. This fund is used to support a wide range of initiatives, including sustainable growth projects, climate change resilience and the enhancement of medical facilities, and requires a minimum investment of $150,000. The other fund option is The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), which is a charitable organisation that develops economic growth alternatives to the sugar industry. Investors must invest $250,000 or more to gain St Kitts and Nevis citizenship this way. Finally, investors can invest in pre-approved real estate with a minimum $200,000 investment.
The benefits of St Kitts and Nevis citizenship
Acquiring St Kitts and Nevis citizenship provides passport holders with a whole host of benefits. Firstly, they don’t have to give up their original citizenship in order to become a St Kitts and Nevis citizen. By becoming a dual citizen of the nation, they get both the benefits of owning passports from both St Kitts and Nevis and their home nation.
As investors receive all of the rights of a St Kitts and Nevis citizen, except for the right to vote, they’re able to live and work, study, buy property and do business on the islands for the rest of their lives. There is no residency requirement, so they don’t need to have lived or even visited the islands before to enjoy these rights. What’s more, these rights are generational, meaning they can pass them on to future family members.
In addition, a St Kitts and Nevis passport provides visa-free travel to around 150 countries, including nations like Malaysia, Singapore and Brazil. In fact, the passport is ranked as the 26th best in the world in terms of travel freedom and makes travelling the world significantly easier.
Despite St Kitts and Nevis’ reputation as a luxury island destination, it is far more than just that, and represents a dream location for investors. With the tourism and construction sectors ripe for investment, and the country’s CBI scheme also offering an excellent route to invest in the country, St Kitts and Nevis could be the place to go for investors and global travellers.