In the event that you may have been thinking of acquiring a second passport from the twin-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, now is the time to halt all thinking and make a decision. There is good news in store and it’s worth taking advantage of.
By the end of March 2009, the European Commission expects member states to approve the abolition of short-term visa travel to St. Kitts and Nevis. Under this agreement holders of EU and St. Kitts and Nevis passports will be allowed to travel without visas to and from the EU and the Caribbean island and vice versa for stays of 3 months and less.
This stands to benefit both citizens of the EU and St. Kitts and Nevis as it provides for hassle-free and easy travel. It is noted that tourism in St. Kitts and Nevis is expected to reap great benefits from such an arrangement, especially as its economy has been offering a wonderful tourism product, peace, tranquility and beauty to its visitors.
Not only do St. Kitts and Nevis woo its visitors with its tranquil and wholesome island life, but the steady economic growth the island’s economy has been undergoing for the past several years. The island is investor friendly and earns its revenue through tourism and international financial services, which are well reputed for meeting international technological and regulatory standards.
The visa-free agreements will include all classes of travelers, with the exception of business travel. As stated in the terms of the agreement, people holding a valid St. Kitts and Nevis passports, (diplomatic, official or regular or second passports) will be capable of traveling to any Schengen country visa-free for stays up to three months. Also, Schengen countries passport holders will be able to travel to St. Kitts and Nevis without a visa for the same period of time. However, while this agreement covers countries such as the Netherlands and France, their dependencies are not included. Some of these dependencies are countries such as Martinique, French St. Martin, Aruba and Dutch Sint Maarten. Hence, the terms of the agreement covers a long list of countries including Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
This arrangement has been underway as early as November, 2008, when it was signed on behalf of the Federation by its London-based High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Dr. James E. Williams, who signed the visa waiver agreement at the headquarters of the Directorate General, Justice Freedom and Security, based in Brussels.
As he expressed the EU’s commitment to the agreement, EU Commissioner Vice-President Jacques Barrot said that “Sometimes Europe is unfairly named “Fortress Europe”. He stated his pleasure in announcing, “The launch of the procedure to ratify agreement which will facilitate travel between the EU Member States” and the other signatories, and said, “This is great news for nationals of these countries and EU citizens who will soon be able to travel to these countries without requiring short stay visa.” Besides St. Kitts and Nevis, the other countries benefiting from this agreement are the Caribbean countries of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, including Mauritius and Seychelles, located in the Indian Ocean. The agreement is expected to become effective in April 2009.
An important beneficiary of this agreement is the St. Kitts & Nevis Second Passport/Economic Citizenship Programme, which has been in operation for several years and made its identity as one of the most reputable second passport programmes in the world, in addition to the second passport, economic citizenship programme conducted in Dominica, its neighbouring Eastern Caribbean Island.
Thus, the holder and potential applicant to the St. Kitts & Nevis Second Passport/Economic Citizenship Programme, this news will surely put a smile to your face as yet another benefit has been added to your second passport.
St Kitts & Nevis Second Passport Fees and Procedures.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Second Passport/Economic Citizenship Programme allows for obtaining St. Kitts and Nevis second passport/citizenship by either making a monetary investment in the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) or purchasing real estate that values at least $350,000 from an approved development.
The sum of money that may be invested in the SIDF can range anywhere between $200,000 to $400,000. However, a security fee of $3,500 and a processing fee of $250 for each applicant are required to be paid and are non-refundable. A spouse and child will be treated as an individual applicant.
Under the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, an applicant making a cash investment is required to complete the C-1, C-2, C-3 and C-4 application forms, please email us and we will forward you these forms. This second passport procedure is standard for any child, children or spouse falling below the age of 18.
However, children above 18 and below 23 years of age and still attend school on a full time basis may be regarded as spouse’s dependents and one application may be submitted on behalf of the family. But, children above 18 and 23 years of age and though still attending school on a full time basis may be subject to an extra sum.
The supporting documents required to be sent in along with the second passport application forms include the following:
- Six (6) photos of each applicant (the photo requirements must be met)
- Original copies of certificate of birth (birth certificate) and or adoption papers where applicable
- HIV test results for both spouse and children. The test results must not be over 3 months.
- Certified copies of passports and national identity cards in cases where applicable.
- Original police record or police certificate for each adult
- Marriage certificate where applicable
- Certified copy of military records where applicable
Any document submitted in a language other than the English language must be submitted along with an authentic certified translation performed by a translator accredited to a court, government agency or international organization.
Persons applying under the SIDF are required to fill out all the original application forms that will be made available to them by us as your agent for St. Kitts & Nevis Second Passport/Economic Citizenship. Once correctly and completely filled out, all the necessary documents must be sent to back to us and must be accompanied with a deposit of 50% of the legal fees payable that are to be paid to the registered agent. This amount may vary from $10,000 to $20,000 and must be wired to your registered agent for your second passport. Once this transaction is complete, the application forms are ready for processing and filing and proof of transfer and deposit of funds must be made available to your agent.
The fee schedule for a SIDF Second Passport application are as follows:
- USD200, 000 for a single applicant;
- USD250, 000 for applicant, spouse, and two children less than 18 years of age;
- USD300,000 for applicant, spouse and four children less than 18 years of age;
- USD400,000 for applicant, spouse and five children;
A St Kitts & Nevis second passport application would typically take about three months to process and the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis will issue a letter of receipt in acknowledgement of receipt of the second passport application. Unsuccessful applicants are reimbursed the cash they would have paid for the program, after the necessary fee deductions for processing, legal and security fees have been made. Upon receipt of a letter confirming the approval of a second passport application by the government, the registered agent will be issued the citizenship certificate on behalf of the client. At this point, the client is required to transfer the remaining legal fees to the agent who in turn will hand over the certificate.
Upon receiving the remaining fees the attorney will safely courier the certificate of citizenship and passport application forms via FedEx. Once the certificate of citizenship is received and the passport forms filled in and couriered to the attorney, the necessary steps will be taken for the issuance of St. Kitts and Nevis second passport to the new citizen. In some cases, applicants may choose to travel to the island if they are able to.
The present global economic crisis makes it clearly evident that there is need to secure oneself from several vices, whether financial, social or political, and getting a second passport is one of the ways of safely achieving this. The St. Kitts and Nevis Second Passport/Economic Citizenship Programme is a gateway to exercising freedom of movement and enterprise which could soon be restricted by governments as they look for ways of curtailing globalization and reducing the adverse impacts of market expansion on their economies. Though up to a certain degree, this may be relevant for regulating and controlling international market trends and practice, it should in no way undermine democracy and freedom of choice.
The agreement to waiver visa requirements for stays not exceeding three months for passport holders of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is undoubtedly a positive step towards ensuring that freedom of choice and movement, and an opportunity to explore the investment, vacation and retirement possibilities that are exist on the serene island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis via its Second Passport/Economic Citizenship Programme.
(c) Caribbean Land and Property April 2009