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Monday, 8 October 2012

WHICH PASSPORT- ST.KITTS & NEVIS OR DOMINICA? - A COMPARATIVE STUDY



                                                                                         



                          OR




The islands of St.Kitts & Nevis and Dominica still remain the only two Caribbean nations where one can buy citizenship.  Individuals contemplating applying for dual citizenship or obtaining a passport from St. Kitts & Nevis or Dominica often ponder over which is the best option in terms of costs and opportunities.  To assist with that decision we have collated information on the Economic Citizenship Programmes offered by both islands and present a comparative cost study of the two.

Cost of Citizenship
In the case of St. Kitts & Nevis, if one selects SIDF there is a security fee (see table). If one chooses the Real Estate option there is the purchase cost (minimum purchase) plus the registration fee and there is also a security fee payable to the Government (see table).

ECONOMIC CITIZENSHIP - COMPARATIVE ESTIMATED COSTS (USD)       
                                                                      ST. KITTS - NEVIS                            DOMINICA 
                                  SIDF                          REAL ESTATE                   DIRECT INVESTMENT
   AP, SP & AP SP & 1   AP, SP &  AP, SP & 1    AP, SP & AP, SP & 
FEESSINGLEAP & SP   2 < 1818-25 yrsSINGLEAP & SP 2 < 1818-25 yrsSINGLEAP, & SP 2 < 183 < 18**
             
*Application fee (1)293585117087829358511708781000100010001000
Processing fee 00000000200400800600
Courier fee 1201201201201201201201200000
Legal fee (2)000000000000
Security fee75001150019500155007500115001950015500    
Naturalization Fee00000000550110022001650
Passport fee250500100075025050010007500000
Stamp fee000000006122418
Gov't Interview Fee000000003000300030003000
Contribution (3)2500003000003000003500000000100000175000200000250000
Minimum Purchase 00004000004000004000004000000000
Due Diligence (4)750011500195001950075001150019500195004000500070007000
Registration fee 000050000750001250001250000000
Total265663324205341290386748465663499205566290561748107756184512213024262268
Source: Adapted from: A Second Passport from St. Kitts & Nevis unlocks a New World of Opportunities, May 17, 2012, by Mark Nestmann (nestmann.com)

* VAT Included 17%
AP - Applicant
SP - Spouse
(1) Dominica per investor (non-refundable)
       Dominica's Programme is VAT exempt
(2) Variariable with Solicitor
(3) St.Kitts -payable upon approval of application. 
       Dominica - payable before interview
      In the case of Real Estate - Government fees
(4) Due diligence mandatory from 16 years
      Depends on the number of place one has resided in
**Three dependants under 18 yrs














There are other fees related to the purchase of property in St.Kitts-Nevis which were not factored in this comparative study for obvious reasons.  These fees include:
·         Alien Landholding License Application   ……………………. US$1,500.00 per applicant
·         Assurance Fund                                     ……………………. Purchase price divided by 500
·         Purchase & Sale Agreement                   ……………………..1% of the Purchase Price
·         Memorandum of Transfer                       .…………………….1% of the Purchase Price
·         Government Registration Fee                  ......…………………US$2.70 (approx.)
·         Surveyor’s Fee                                       ...…………………...US$327.00 per acre (approx.)
·         Stamp Duty (on some properties)            ……………………..2.5% - 6% of the Purchase Price

Naturally, after the property has been purchased there are the costs that go with owning and maintaining the property.

On comparing the three investment-type-options (SIDF, Real Estate, Direct Investment), the most expensive is the Real Estate option (for example single, $465, 663 and a family of four  with two children less than eighteen (18) years, $566,290) followed closely by SIDF (for example single, $265,663 and a family of four with two children under eighteen (18) years, $341,290).  The least expensive is Dominica’s Direct Investment option (single, $107,756 and a family of four with two children less that eighteen (18) years $213, 024).

However, if the individual is interested in owning property in the Caribbean and is willing to dispense with that sum of money, then the Real Estate seems reasonable.  This is because the purchaser may resell the property after five years and hopefully make a profit on that asset.  If however, the individual wants a second passport with little or no strings attached, then the Real Estate might not be the best option. The individual can also become a citizen of Dominica at a cheaper rate and purchase property in Dominica at a fairly reasonable price.

Opportunities
The next step after analyzing the costs of the dual citizenship is to determine your travel possibilities or your visa free travel options with the Caribbean passports. A St. Kitts & Nevis passport allows the holder visa free travel to numerous countries including the Schengen countries, their neighbours, the UK, and Canada for ninety (90) days. Whereas a Dominica passport holder can enter one hundred and forty countries visa-free or with visa upon arrival among these are the UK, Isle of Man, the fifteen (15) Caricom Member States and the five (5) Associated Member States among others. A Dominica Passport holder can obtain hassle-free visa to Canada and the USA and the Schengen countries.

Not all dual nationality seekers will be as fortunate as the young Liam Cocoran! Notwithstanding, young and old will be affected as the more developed countries namely the EU countries, UK, and the Netherlands follow in the footsteps of the USA to tighten their grip on the finances of their citizens. A second passport from Dominica or St.  Kitts & Nevis might just be the answer!




5 comments:

  1. Economic Citizenship Program is an important program that needs to be attended and completed by prospective citizens before actually accepting the citizenship of any country.

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