A top official of St Kitts and Nevis has urged Gulf residents to take advantage of the new Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program that allows a family of four to get citizenship and obtain passports to the twin island state for US$195,000 and avail visa-free travel to 133 countries in the world.
Most Ultra High-Net worth Individuals (UNWIs) spend a lot of time in applying and waiting in queue for security clearances to obtain visas for business or leisure travel, to most important countries – resulting in time, business and opportunity losses.
According to the Passport Index 2018, the passport of St Kitts and Nevis is ranked 24 that allows holders of the passport to avail visa-free travel to 133 countries and visa upon arrival in 33 other countries. The country also allows dual citizenship and holders of its passport can also keep and the original passport of the country of the immigrant’s origin.
St Kitts and Nevis offers Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program – that allows foreigners to obtain a passport in exchange for investment of US$150,000 for a single person and US$195,000 for a family of four – that allows the person to travel across the world without having to stand in the queue for visas.
“The St. Kitts and Nevis passport is very well regarded and has excellent reputation, and only relatively few passports have been issued under this citizenship-by-investment program by the Government. It has the lowest-cost program among Caribbean states to gain second citizenship for Americans,” said Les Khan, Chief Executive Officer of the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit.
However, according to a recently published Passport Index, St Kitts and Nevis' passport was ranked the world's 26th most powerful and the best in the OECS. The ranking measures a country's passport strength based on the number of destinations its holders can access, with St Kitts and Nevis adding 15 new territories to its list since last year.
“I take this opportunity to invite residents of the Gulf countries to take advantage of Citizenship by Investment program and avail visa-free travel to more than 120 countries globally,” Mr. Les Khan told Mr Imran Farooq, Chief Executive Officer of Samana Group which owns three immigration consulting firms, including AAA Associates, a Dubai-based firm, during his recent visit to the Caribbean.
At the time the index was elaborated, the Caribbean country offered visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 151 destinations. These include the UK, Ireland, Russia, Israel, and the Schengen Area. Since then, the dual-island nation has signed further bilateral visa waiver agreements with Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, Bahrain, San Marino and Togo.
St Kitts and Nevis is known for its efforts in establishing wide diplomatic relations, which was reflected in a recent independent study by experts at the Financial Times' Professional Wealth Management magazine.
AAA Associates has been helping immigrants pursue new life in other countries in the Caribbean, United States, Canada, Australia and the European countries.
Following his meeting with officials of the Caribbean countries, Imran Farooq said, “This is the best time for pursuing the second passport as most countries have reduced fees and investment outlay. This is the best time to spend money in getting a new passport and avail visa-free travel to most of the countries in the world.
“People spend a lot of time wasting in visa processing and waiting for immigration and security clearance for visa issuance that result in wastage of time, money and possible loss in business opportunities.”
The fastest and most affordable route to St Kitts and Nevis' coveted citizenship is through a one-off contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), which starts at US$150,000 for a single applicant.
The new investment route was conceived by Prime Minister Timothy Harris with the purpose of using the collected funds for socio-economic developments on the islands, in areas such as education, infrastructure, tourism and indigenous entrepreneurship.