The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis operates the oldest recognized citizenship by investment program in the world. In 1984, shortly after gaining independence from the United Kingdom, the National Assembly passed a law to allow granting of non-voting citizenship to those who had “made a substantial investment in the state” and were “of good character and not a threat to the state.” The program was primarily marketed at wealthy residents of Hong Kong who were looking to hedge against the risks of the agreed handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
To qualify for the program, there are two investment options. The first is to invest $400,000 in approved real estate, while the second requires a contribution of $250,000 to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), a public charity aimed at supporting the diversification of the St. Kitts economy and ending dependence on the sugar industry. For the real estate option, the main applicant must also pay government fees of $50,000, with an additional $25,000 per family member, bringing the total cost of fees to $125,000 for a family of four. For a family of the same size choosing the SIDF option, the contribution will increase $50,000, bringing the total to $300,000.