St Kitts and Nevis citizenship at a discount: optimising both taxes and passport costs
I’ve had several tense years, so I decided to seek a place I could escape to feel safe and have a rest from all that hustle and bustle. The Caribbean seemed to be a perfect choice.
It turned out second citizenship could also help me reduce taxes, compensating for inflation and rising prices. That’s good news.
Gareth is a businessman from London. The entrepreneur got tired of living in a huge metropolis, of the unstable political situation around the world, and of rapidly rising prices. He felt he needed a place where he could be alone and rest.
The businessman wanted his second home to be remote and secluded. That’s why he did not consider obtaining residence or citizenship in Europe — it would be too near. As Gareth had been on Caribbean cruises and was familiar with the region, he decided to create a safe haven somewhere there.
Five Caribbean countries offer citizenship by investment under similar terms: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis. Looking closer at the countries, Gareth discovered he could not only find a second home but also cut taxes.
Two of the five countries — Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis — charge no income tax. To compare, in the UK, the entrepreneur pays the income tax according to the progressive scale of 20—45%. If Gareth switches his tax residence, he will be able to lessen the tax burden.
Antigua and Barbuda or St Kitts and Nevis: which one to choose
Two principal routes for obtaining an Antigua and Barbuda or St Kitts and Nevis passport by investment are contributing to a state fund and purchasing real estate.
Under the Antigua and Barbuda program, Gareth would spend over $130,000 if supporting the fund or over $230,000 if buying property.
Under the St Kitts and Nevis program, the entrepreneur would pay over $150,000 to support the fund or over $230,000 to buy property.
Investment properties in Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis
Although the businessman planned to arrange a holiday home, he was not ready to purchase real estate under the investment program. Citizenship applicants are allowed to buy only government-approved properties. The minimum purchase amount would suffice to buy only a share in a hotel complex. Purchasing a villa would require around $1 million, beyond Gareth’s budget.
Gareth was going first to rent a house and then maybe buy one when the program’s terms would no longer apply. So, the entrepreneur voted for the fund contribution.
The businessman intended to opt for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship due to its lower cost when the news arrived. St Kitts and Nevis offered a discount valid for half a year: single investors like Gareth could get citizenship for around $130,000 — approximately to the one under the Antigua and Barbuda’s program.
St Kitts and Nevis improved one more thing: during the discount, applications would be processed under the accelerated procedure — within 60 days — at no additional cost. In comparison, Antigua and Barbuda processes applications for 90 days or longer.
The speed became the decisive factor, so Gareth decided to participate in the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program.
How Gareth obtained a St Kitts and Nevis passport in 5 months
Investor’s opportunities with St Kitts and Nevis citizenship
As soon as Gareth received a second passport, he planned a vacation in St Kitts. During this trip, he would not only holiday but also acquire a driving licence valid in St Kitts and Nevis and open an account in a St Kitts bank. What is more, the entrepreneur intends to keep an eye on locations and affordable housing to buy.
Gareth is also strongly considering changing his tax residence. To become a tax resident of St Kitts and Nevis, he will need to spend 183 days in the country — consecutive or within the years. The entrepreneur believes it’s possible as he has learnt to manage his business remotely during the pandemic.
When the investor transfers his income to St Kitts and Nevis, his tax burden will lighten. He will not have to pay taxes on personal income, dividends, interest or royalties.
Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.
This case was provided by our expert
Legal and Compliance Officer
Similar сase studies