St Kitts Touts Citizenship By Investment Scheme Perks

By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial 01 May, 2014

St Kitts and Nevis's Citizenship by Investment Program has advanced considerably since it was introduced in 1984, Richard Skerritt, the Federation's Minister of Minister of International Trade and Industry, told attendees at IBC's recent Citizenship by Investment forum in Dubai.

Skerritt explained why the Government had sought to enhance the incentive, stating: "In 2005 our economy was faced with the vagaries of a rapidly changing global trading environment, and our Government had become increasingly mindful that our 300-year reliance on sugar exports had no chance of underwriting the development vision that we had for our people. We therefore decided that the time had come to re-assess and refine the Citizenship by Investment Program that had been first implemented some 21 years earlier."

"Our objectives for change were clear: we wanted an investment program that would first and foremost, advance the social and economic well-being of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis; be managed in the most efficient and transparent manner; and be structured so as to attract only investors of sound character and reputation who are interested in attaining dual citizenship but are also capable of easily meeting the minimum investment requirement," he continued.

He expressed his view that some eight years after the restructuring of the program, and thirty years after its initial introduction, St. Kitts and Nevis has the longest lasting program of its kind in the world. "Fortunately, not only is ours the longest lasting, but it is also one of the most reputable. As a result, demand for the St. Kitts and Nevis Programme has grown and is now consistently high," he said.

Discussing the advantages of St Kitts and Nevis's program, he said: "Unlike some others, there is no requirement for a tax return or any other tax consequence of becoming a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis. Indeed St. Kitts and Nevis has never imposed income tax on worldwide income. You should also know that personal income tax was abolished in St. Kitts and Nevis some 34 years ago, four years before the citizenship by investment program commenced. This means that the income tax exemption enjoyed by citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis is not based on any recent legislation that is likely to be subject to legal challenge. In addition, after citizenship is granted, there are no residential requirements to maintain citizenship, and there is no onerous provisions placed on citizens seeking to have their expired passports renewed."

"In addition, after citizenship is granted, there are no residential requirements to maintain citizenship, and there is no onerous provisions placed on citizens seeking to have their expired passports renewed. We operate on the fundamental principle enunciated in our Constitution that all citizens enjoy equal rights and any undue discrimination is illegal."

"Hence there is no uncertainty in relation to its system, and the risk of certificates or other instruments of citizenship being invalidated because of some unprecedented legal interpretation, is virtually non-existent in our Federation," concluded Skerritt.

The Citizenship by Investment forum, held on April 28-29, 2014, saw presentations on other similar incentives on offer in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Canada, USA, Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and the UK.

Tags: Citizenship | Tax | Investment | Interest | Legislation | Expats | Investment | Invest | Middle East | Investment |

 





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