St. Kitts and Nevis has claimed that it earned more than US$22 million over the past four years from its ‘citizenship by investment’ (CBI) program, but stopped short of disclosing the number of passports it issued during that period.
The money generated by the program has been used for infrastructure projects and bolstering the healthcare system, stated the country’s Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris in a local radio interview last week.
St. Kitts, the pioneer of the region’s citizenship program, has in recent months started using the CBI fund for providing a monthly stipend to its citizens. If you carry a St. Kitts’ passport, you can travel to as many as 150 countries without a visa. Moreover, you can obtain the citizenship without having to surrender the passport individuals already possess.
In addition, the Caribbean country doesn’t impose tax on personal income, inherited properties, and dividends. Citizenship by investment requires at least US$200,000 in a real estate project officially approved by the government.
The number of foreigners seeking to obtain its citizenship increased sharply after the government promised that it would not make public the number of passports issued or the nationalities of the holders of these passports.
Last month, global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners ranked St. Kitts’ passport as the ‘most powerful’ in the Caribbean. The other Caribbean countries that found a place on its ‘Henley Passport Index’ include Antigua, Barbuda, and Saint Lucia.
The advisory firm stated that it ranked countries on the basis of data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).