Adventures In St Kitts & Nevis (The Second Passport Trail)

Today Peter Macfarlane recounts some of our post Antigua Event adventures in St Kitt’s and Nevis. As always though, we don’t travel just for the fun of it! We met lot’s of interesting people and uncovered some new opportunities…one of which Peter has written about below.

– Adam Richardson




(Note from Adam:  Speaking of Passports – Peter Macfarlane’s eagerly anticipated Second Passport Report will be available soon in the Members Area…stay tuned!)

In the days following our recent Q Wealth event in Antigua and Barbuda, at which we talked to a number of the business and political leaders of that twin-island nation about its forthcoming economic citizenship program, we were invited by one of our event presenters, Robert Martin of NTL Immigration, to join him for the 20-minute hop in a light aircraft over to another twin-island nation: St Kitts and Nevis.

I had previously visited Nevis, where we do a lot of business incorporating LLCs, on a number of occasions.

This, however, was my first real taste of sleepy Nevis’ larger and more outgoing sister island, St Kitts – and I am pleased to report back that I liked what I saw.

The two independently-governed islands together make up one country, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, for the purposes of international relations (yes, that includes passports!)

Needless to say, I was on the second passport trail. 

Many of our clients these days are opting for a second passport through economic citizenship, and St Kitts and Nevis has the longest established and best run economic citizenship program. It was established back in 1984, but interest in the program has grown substantially in recent years. Although the government does not release statistics, I saw with my own eyes that they are doing a roaring trade!

The deal is straightforward: to obtain citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis, subject to background checks, within a few short months, you must do one of two things: either donate money to the government backed “Sugar Industry Development Foundation” or buy real estate on one of the two islands.

Buying real estate, although the cash outlay is a bit higher, is really a no-brainer since then you are getting something tangible for your money. After five years you are entitled to sell it again, hopefully recouping your money. The citizenship remains yours, not just for life but for future generations too.

Several of my consulting clients, short of time themselves, had asked me to go to St Kitts and report back specifically on what I thought of the real estate developments there. I was therefore very grateful to Robert for the tour.

This was no ordinary tourist trail!

We barely found time to set foot on a beach.

We did have just a little time for the beach! At Christophe Harbour
We did have just a little time for the beach! At Christophe Harbour
As always we had an interesting and diverse group: Q Wealth members from the US, Canada, Sweden, China, Thailand and Eastern Europe had decided to take up the real estate tour option. We spent a couple of days led by Robert, whizzing around St Kitts in a couple of rented SUVs, interspersed by exquisite lobster lunches and an occasional tipple of the local rum punch.During this time we managed to visit all the important real-estate developments on the island.

Although we saw some older buildings that had been converted to new apartments, I was frankly not too impressed. If I’m buying in the Caribbean for a premium price, I expect luxury – not construction reminiscent of the Costa del Sol in the 1980s.

Most of the decent real estate in St Kitts is being sold off-plan. I also make no secret of the fact that I’m not normally a big fan off-plan real estate. I’m one of those traditional guys who likes to be able to see and touch something concrete (literally in the case of real estate) and when recommending any course of action to clients, I do feel almost personally responsible, so I tend to err on the ultra-conservative side.

Robert’s company deals only with real-estate developments that have been vetted and approved for citizenship by the St Kitts and Nevis government. These projects, according to the government’s website, “are approved on an ongoing basis by Cabinet following application by the Developer and a comprehensive review by the Government.”
Beyond that, NTL do their own due diligence process on the developers, and only deal with certain developers on the official list of approved projects.I have now reviewed my notes and compiled a report to my clients. One project, in my personal opinion, stood head and shoulders above the rest: that is Kittitian Hill.  If you visit St Kitts and only visit one development, it should be Kittitian Hill.

What did I like so much about Kittitian Hill?  Basically the place seems alive.
There’s real construction work: dozens if not hundreds of lots have already been sold. The project has already achieved the critical mass it needs to succeed, and the people behind it are really active and involved hands-on.I also believe they’ve got the right financial deal in place, with guaranteed income and returns. Most investors who are buying for the citizenship will only visit a couple of weeks a year, so they have deals structured accordingly with a realistic management and rental program.

When you visit competing projects, you might see one or two buildings under construction. Kittitian Hill, on the other hand, is buzzing.

Although they haven’t yet started construction on some aspects of the development like the golf course and private airstrip I can be sure that these projects are on schedule if not ahead of schedule. And I actually walked through the shell of the main hotel, lobby and restaurant that should be completed by the end of this year.The airstrip, when completed, will allow scheduled hops to nearby international hubs like Princess Juliana Airport in Saint Martin, much like those enjoyed by trendy St Barth’s. This is important not just for investors visiting their new country of citizenship, but for the sustainable tourist developments that make up the Kittitian Hill project.

The golf course, meanwhile, is described at the “world’s most edible golf course.” 
Organically-grown fruit trees will intersperse the links, just one of the sustainable community aspects of this development that is overlooked by beautiful tropical rainforest, and in turn boasts truly spectacular views across the ocean to nearby islands such as St Eustatius.

The developers, I can see, are passionate about their concept of building a sustainable community. They are not just paying lip service to the current trend for sustainable communities, but really implementing it and doing good business at the same time. This is something I like to see.
At the end of the day, if you are considering buying into a sustainable community, and wish acquire a second citizenship for you and your family by doing so, and you want the best chances of good return and capital growth, I do suggest you look at Kittitian Hill.

Q Wealth Co-Editor
Peter Macfarlane

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