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Case Studies

St Kitts and Nevis citizenship for business in the UK and
visa-free travel around Europe

I remember my first working day in our coffee shop in Mumbai. With my brother Nirav, we spent all our savings to launch the business. Now we have almost 20 coffee houses and want to expand our chain to the UK. But with an Indian passport, it's almost impossible.

Tarak and Nirav
Coffee shop chain owners
St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment

The brothers Tarak and Nirav are businessmen who own a chain of branded coffee shops in India.

The elder brother Tarak is not married. He surfs and prefers to travel to Portugal. He had always been impressed with the friendly vibes of locals. So he thought that this also could be an appropriate place for business development. 

Tarak would like to travel to Europe more often than twice a year to participate in surfer events and business purposes. But the inconvenience of obtaining visas has often ruined his plans.

The younger brother Nirav prefers family vacations with his wife and son in the resorts of Spain and France. Nirav wants his 10-year-old son to be educated in Europe.   

Tarak and Nirav opened their first coffee shop in 2015. Their business has expanded in five years: one coffee shop has become a brand network. Now their branches operate in New Delhi and Mumbai.

The brothers decided to make the business international. To do this, they thought about expanding the network of suppliers and partners and opening a coffee shop in London by the end of 2022.

Why did investors not consider obtaining a UK residence permit by investment?

The UK residence permit by investment, or the Investor Visa Tier 1, was designed for foreign entrepreneurs who wanted to open and conduct business in the country. 

In the situation of the clients, it did not fit for three reasons:

  1. Budget. Under the terms of the British program, one needed to invest at least £2 million in business. 
  2. Visa regime with the Schengen countries. Due to Brexit, UK residents needed a visa to visit the Schengen countries from January 1st, 2021.
  3. The validity period of the status. The residence permit status was issued for three years in the UK. After that period, the status must be renewed.
    For comparison, the passport of St Kitts and Nevis is valid for 10 years. In addition, the investor receives an unlimited naturalisation certificate, based on which the passport is renewed.

UK Investor Visa Tier 1 was cancelled in February 2022

The decision was made to prevent those involved in criminal activities from obtaining UK residency because applicants for the Investor Visa Tier 1 didn’t have to prove the legitimacy of their income sources. 

European and Caribbean countries still offer investment programs for obtaining a residence permit, permanent residency and citizenship for the whole family. The minimum investment amount starts at $100,000. 

Search for a solution with Immigrant Invest

Several brothers' friends and business partners had obtained St Kitts and Nevis citizenship over the past ten years. With the country's passport, they travelled without visas to the Schengen Area and the UK and developed international businesses. Their experience prompted Tarak and Nirav to think about St Kitts and Nevis passports.

On March 25th, 2021, the brothers contacted Immigrant Invest to determine the conditions and cost of participation in the St Kitts and Nevis investment program. An international lawyer organised an online conference with brothers. 

The brothers took into account two important criteria when choosing a program. They wanted to:

  1. Obtain second citizenship so they could travel to the UK and the Schengen countries without visas. 
  2. Keep within the budget of up to $350,000.

Our Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer has conducted a preliminary Due Diligence check. It showed that the St Kitts and Nevis program was suitable for the investors. But they needed to participate in the program under two different applications: one for Tarak and the second for Nirav and his family.

The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program offers two options: a non-refundable contribution and a real estate investment. In the first case, the minimum investment amount is $150,000, and in the second, $175,000. 

The brothers had no plans to buy real estate in the Caribbean, and their participation budget was limited. Therefore, they chose the option of a contribution to a government fund.

We calculated the costs of participation in the citizenship program under two applications. Expenses included the contribution amount, Due Diligence, government fees, and bank charges.

Cost of participation in the St Kitts and Nevis program with the fund contribution

Number of applicantsCosts
One investor$158,361 
Investor, spouse and child of 10 years old$198,833
Total for two applications$357,194

3 advantages of the St Kitts and Nevis program

Tarak and Nirav were satisfied with the final expenses, so they approved the decision to apply for St Kitts and Nevis citizenship. Three points of the program were important for investors.

St Kitts citizenship cost. Investors originally planned to spend about $350,000. The St Kitts and Nevis program met this requirement.

Remote registration. All procedures under the St Kitts and Nevis program could be completed remotely. 

Reputation of St Kitts and Nevis citizenship. The country's passport was popular in the business environment. The St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program has been operating since 1984. During its existence, the government issued about 20,000 passports. 

Brothers signed agreements with Immigrant Invest, and the company's lawyers began preparing documents for participating in the program. 

Caribbean passport by investment

With a St Kitts and Nevis passport, you can travel without a visa to more than 150 countries. St Kitts and Nevis citizens can apply for a 10-year Visitor Visa to the US

Second passport in St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis tax residents do not pay taxes on dividends, interest or royalties. There is no tax on wages, capital gains or inheritance in the country

St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment

Investors can buy real estate on the islands of St Kitts and Nevis. To obtain citizenship, you must invest in an approved project and own real estate for at least five years. At this time, the management company leases the object. The annual rental yield is 5%

St Kitts passport requirements: documents and proof of income sources

Preliminary Due Diligence. Investors need to pass a preliminary Due Diligence as the first step to participate in the program. The Anti Money Laundering Officer of Immigrant Invest runs it. 

The brothers went through the check successfully. They never had a criminal record; there was no discrediting information on the Internet. The brothers paid their personal and company taxes on time.

Collecting documents. Our clients handed the lawyers a standard package of documents for verification just 5 days after they signed an agreement with Immigrant Invest. The list of documents included:

  • copies of passports;
  • police clearance certificates;
  • bank statement for the last 12 months;
  • a copy of the child's birth certificate;
  • a copy of the marriage certificate;
  • copies of military cards;
  • certificates with HIV test results.

Tarak and Nirav wanted to use their savings to participate in the program. Investors saved up money even before they opened coffee shops 5—10 years ago. To prove the legality of the savings, they provided documents on income for that period. 

Based on those documents, the lawyers prepared a history of investors’ welfare and filled out the necessary questionnaires and forms.

Sending documents and Due Diligence. When the documents were collected, the investors paid a Due Diligence fee to the St Kitts and Nevis CBI Unit. The scans of documents were uploaded to a special portal; the originals were sent to St Kitts and Nevis by mail. 

In September 2021, we received a response from the CBI Unit: Due Diligence took four months. The candidates were approved without additional requests. They had to contribute to the program and get second passports.

Investing. The investors had 90 days to transfer the contribution to the CBI Unit account by bank transfer. It took about three weeks for the payment to be verified and credited.

On August 17th, 2021, we received naturalisation certificates and passports for the investors. We forwarded the documents to the brother's office in New Delhi.

$158,261 and $188,022 were spent by Tarak and Nirav to obtain second passports

1
1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence
2
March 25th, 2021
Signing an agreement with Immigrant Invest
3
+ 3 weeks
Preparing and sending documents
4
+ 2 weeks
Due Diligence by the St Kitts and Nevis CBI Unit

$7,500 for Tarak

$11,500 for Nirav and his wife
5
+2 months
Application approval
6
+ 1 week
Payment for investments

$150,000 for Tarak

$175,000 for Nirav and his wife
7
+ 4 weeks
Issuing passports and naturalisation certificates

$411 for Tarak

$822 for Nirav and his wife
8
August 17th, 2022
Getting passports by courier

Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship benefits experienced by brothers  

After receiving passports, the brothers travelled to St Kitts and Nevis for holidays. Nirav’s family liked the Caribbean region. In January, they planned to go on a cruise from Basseterre port.   

Tarak and Nirav will open their first coffee shop in London in 2021, as planned. With passports of St Kitts and Nevis, they travelled to London to choose premises for a cafe and open corporate and personal bank accounts in the UK.

Before After 
❌ Need to apply for a visa to the UK✅ Visiting the UK and staying there for up to 6 months
❌ Only 60 visa-free destinations without the right to travel to the Schengen✅ 150+ visa-free destinations, including the Schengen states, Hong Kong, and Singapore
❌ Limited access to British and European banks for business payments and personal savings✅ Easier and faster procedures for opening bank accounts in British and European banks

Tarak decided to go to France to participate in the Bordeaux Surf Festival and considered attending similar events in Spain. He wouldn't need Schengen visas for his trips.

Nirav also thought about visiting France, but for a different reason. He and his wife wanted to take a closer look at French universities and, as a starting point, send their son to a summer school. Nirav and his family also plan to visit educational institutions to assess study and living conditions. With Caribbean passports, they may be in a relaxed mood to choose a university and not worry about the child's future.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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