If you are looking for the ultimate in expat tropical island living, St. Kitts and Nevis should not be overlooked. These two islands are some of the most beautiful and exotic places on earth. Whether you are looking to get out of the big city, find a place to retire or searching for a location to live that has plenty of water activities, St. Kitts and Nevis are extremely popular destinations for many tourists of which many later call home.
The climate in St Kitts and Nevis is tropical. St. Kitts and Nevis do give many residents and visitors relief from its warm temperatures with a gentle breeze that comes from the north east trade winds. Humidity is low on the island, usually staying below 70 percent. Average temperatures on the island hover around 75 degrees and 81 degrees year round. There is rainfall during the year, which amounts to about 54 inches, but for the most part there is plenty of sun. St. Kitts and Nevis can occasionally be affected by strong tropical storms and hurricanes. Hurricane season lasts from June to November, with late summer to early fall being the most active.
St Kitts and Nevis are considered to be the smallest nation in the Caribbean in both island size and population. While the islands were once part of the British Crown, today they are unitary islands forming a nation. St. Kitts and Nevis are very stable and secure. They have a bustling tourism industry and in many ways serve as a tax haven for some wealthy individuals and corporations.
For American citizens, you do not need a visa to enter St. Kitts or Nevis, a passport is all that is required. With a US passport, you can stay on the islands for up to 3 months. For more information about residency requirements and visas, please take a look at the Permanent Mission of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
St. Kitts and Nevis are considered to be an attractive tax haven for many individuals and corporations. On the islands, there is no net worth tax, sales tax, and estate taxes. While there is a corporate income tax, it only applies to domestic companies that do business with residents on the islands. Corporate income tax has a rate of 35%.
Besides the above taxes, there are other taxes including property taxes, withholding taxes and import levies.
Medical care on St. Kitts and Nevis is limited, but adequate. There are three hospitals on St. Kitts and one hospital on Nevis. There are also clinics on both islands. For those with serious illnesses or injuries, you will most likely need to be evacuated to the United States or another island for treatment. While you can purchase health insurance on the island, most expats that live on the island for a season or short term prefer to purchase travel insurance that includes a medical insurance component. Make sure that your travel insurance also includes a medical evacuation provision.
Real estate on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis are straight forward and generally low risk, however for foreigners, there are restrictions on the type of property one can purchase or invest in. For US citizens, the minimum property value that you can invest in or purchase is $250,000. Besides the minimum investment amount there are also certain background checks and applications to be completed. It is best to hire a real estate lawyer on the island to help out with your real estate dealings.
Shopping on the island can be pleasurable. Necessities are easy to find, however since all items must be shipped in, you are unlikely to find a wide range of products or your favorite brands. Since tourism is a huge industry on the island, you will be able to find many tourist type products and services and there are plenty of markets for bargain hunters.
As far as entertainment goes, St. Kitts and Nevis offer expats and tourists alike wonderful entertainment in the form of great restaurants, nightclubs, bars and plenty of water sports and beach activities. Prices may be high for these items since they are targeted to tourists.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in St. Kitts or Nevis does vary; however for the most part it is considered moderate. While it is probably more expensive than in the United States due to minimum real estate value laws, for those looking to relax and get away from it all, there are plenty of items and costs on the island that are generally affordable. You don’t have to be a millionaire to live on these islands; however a good stable income is needed since there are very few employment opportunities on the island for foreigners.
Expect the largest part of your expenses to be housing, with food and entertainment being high as well. For those expats that are looking for the tropical island lifestyle, St. Kitts and Nevis make an excellent home away from home.
St. Kitts maintains an excellent economic citizenship program. To qualify for citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis under the real-estate option of its Citizenship-by-Investment Program, the Kittian government requires an investment in designated real estate with a value of at least US$ 350,000.
Besides this investment requirement, the following processing and due diligence fees are payable to the government:
- $35,000 for the main applicant
- $15,000 for the spouse
- $15,000 for any dependent children below the age of 18
- $35,000 for any dependent and unmarried children older than 18 but younger than 25 (Children over 18 years but below 25 must be in a full time learning institution and fully supported by parents.)
- $3,500 due diligence fee per person older than 16 included in the application
In addition to these fees, real-estate buyers should be aware that there are also purchase costs (mainly compulsory insurance fund contribution and conveyance fees) equal to approximately 4–5% of the purchase price.
Only villas and condominium units from an approved developer will qualify for citizenship. The following developments are currently approved by the Kittian government:
- Calypso Bay Resorts
- Half Moon Bay Villas
- Kittitian Hill
- Mariott Vacation Club
- Oceans Edge
- Rawlins Plantation
- The Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino
- Sea Lofts
- Silver Reef
- St. Christopher Club
- Sundance Ridge
- Sunrise Hill Villas
- The Botanical Gardens of Nevis
- Carino Hamilton Development
- Four Seasons Resort Estates
- Live Nevis
- Mount Nevis Hotel
- Nelson’s Spring Beach
To get the process started, contact Henley and Partners, the official authorized agent of the St. Kitts and Nevis government for economic citizenship.
Extradition from St Kitts And Nevis
The Extradition treaty between St Kitts and Nevis was originally signed with the United Kingdom on December 22, 1931
The current St Kitts and Nevis extradition treaty was signed with the US as a part of a collective treaty signed by six other Caribbean country on August 15, 1996.