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St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship: Tax Optimisation with a Caribbean Passport

Why is Caribbean citizenship so appealing to foreign investors? First and foremost, it offers visa-free travel to the EU and more than 100 other countries. Why are British citizens so interested in Caribbean citizenship since they do not need a second passport to travel freely?

There is one more significant benefit offered by Caribbean citizenship, namely a favourable taxation regime that allows new residents to optimise taxes.

Our Heroes

Jacob is a successful businessman. He is 46 years old and already co-owns two international companies that operate mainly outside the United Kingdom. This is one part of his life.

At the same time, Jacob is a loving husband and father. He is married to 37-year-old Gillian with three children:

  • Stephen and Robert, 11-year-old twins;
  • Carol, 7-year-old daughter, daddy’s little princess.

Goals

Like any good parents, Jacob and Gillian want a bright future for their children and strive for financial prosperity. They think of tax optimisation as one of the ways to achieve it. The British tax system is very strict: UK citizens pay taxes on all their worldwide income no matter where it originates. Besides, the rates of some basic taxes are pretty high. For example, an inheritance tax for unmarried couples amounts to 40%. That’s why our heroes began to think about relocating to another country.

Twenty years of business experience had taught Jacob to resolve issues systemically. So, after consulting the family and doing quick research, he decided in favour of Caribbean citizenship. It would not only help him to optimise taxes but also fulfil their family’s dream of living by the Caribbean Sea.

There are some questions that Jacob needed to answer:

  1. Which Caribbean island will become their new home?
  2. Which investment option is better?
  3. How long will it take to get a Caribbean passport and relocate? (Gillian and Jacob wanted to relocate and get used to a new lifestyle as quickly as possible so that their children started a new academic year at a new school).

One of the specificities of Caribbean citizenship by investment programs is that investors cannot contact Caribbean immigration authorities without an intermediary. These agents are authorised law firms. Fortunately, Jacob knew about it and contacted Imperial & Legal immigration advisors.

Solutions

It is a common practice to offer clients a few options under Caribbean citizenship by investment programs. For Jacob and Gillian, we chose St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, and Grenada.

Having reviewed each program carefully, the family decided to choose St Kitts & Nevis citizenship by investment program. Jacob was immediately attracted by its benefits:

  1. Reliability. It is the oldest Caribbean citizenship by investment program that gave birth to all other programs. Over decades, all the processes have been polished to perfection.
  2. Accelerated application procedure. At an additional cost, Jacob and his family could get Caribbean passports in two months. 
  3. No VAT, inheritance, gift and income taxes for St Kitts & Nevis citizens. Taxes are not charged on the remitted capital either.
  4. Offshore services: registering an offshore company and offshore banking services with full confidentiality. Free trade with neighbouring jurisdictions.
  5. Unique mixture of nature and modern infrastructure: resorts and business centres coexist with exotic beaches, impassable jungles and volcanoes with hot springs. In a nutshell, no chance to get bored.

Particularities of St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program

In 1984, the first modern citizenship by investment program was launched in St Kitts & Nevis. The only way to obtain citizenship at that time was to contribute to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation. Now, St Kitts & Nevis citizenship by investment program sets a benchmark for other similar programs.

Two investment options to get St Kitts & Nevis citizenship

  • from $150,000 – non-refundable contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund
  • from $200,000 – investment in real estate.

Advantages of the program

  • Real estate value in St Kitts & Nevis grows by 4–5 % annually
  • If the real estate costs more than $400,000, you must own it for five years. Then, you can sell it to recover costs
  • Under a standard scheme, you can get St Kitts & Nevis citizenship in less than four months
  • Under an accelerated procedure, you can obtain a St Kitts & Nevis passport in 60 days.

The family chose to invest in real estate since they needed a place to live in St Kitts & Nevis anyway. Imperial & Legal specialists found a comfortable flat for them in a prestigious area approved by the government. $480,000 bought the couple three rooms and 140 square meters of space. The estate was secure and had a parking lot. A marvellous ocean view from a balcony and a coral beach five-minute walk away were additional pleasant perks.

Including all the additional costs, it cost Jacob and Gillian $630,235 to obtain St Kitts & Nevis citizenship for five people. The costs could have been smaller if our heroes had not applied for the accelerated procedure. 


Costs of obtaining St Kitts & Nevis citizenship for Jacob and his family

Type of costsAmount
Purchase of real estate$480,000
Real estate duty, 5%$24,000
Government fee$76,235
Accelerated procedure fee*$46,500
Passport and administrative fees$3,500
Total:$630,235

* including due diligence fee

 

While the applications for second citizenship were being prepared and processed, our experts were developing a detailed plan for tax optimisation explaining how our clients could gradually change their status from British tax residents to St Kitts & Nevis residents. Fortunately, it could be achieved by simply getting second citizenship and relocating to St Kitts & Nevis.

The family obtained second citizenship in less than two months. After that, Imperial & Legal continued to support our clients. We organised their relocation and found a good school for their children.

Conclusion

As it was mentioned earlier, a Caribbean passport is a good investment since it grants visa-free access to the EU and UK and an opportunity to apply for a long-term US visa. As a rule, new residents do not even visit their second home because most Caribbean citizenship by investment programs do not require the physical presence of the applicants.

This fact makes the described case even more interesting. A British entrepreneur who gets tired of high tax rates in the UK and wants a better future for his children decides to relocate to the Caribbean country with its coral beaches and new business opportunities. Currently, Imperial & Legal experienced advisors continue to help Jacob with taxation issues.

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