KAL KENNARD, MANAGING PARTNER
This is a question I get asked about A LOT! Fifteen years ago I moved from London to St Kitts and lived there for some years before moving to Antigua & Barbuda. The twin island Federation of St Kitts & Nevis has remained very close to my heart and has gone from strength to strength as a second citizenship destination while Antigua & Barbuda has firmly established itself as one of the top options anywhere in the world.
In essence the programs and the benefits are almost identical. St Kitts & Nevis is a little more costly, Antigua & Barbuda a little slower on processing in my experience. Both passports offer visa-free travel to more than 130 countries including the U.K. and Europe. An Antigua & Barbuda passport offers entry to Qatar where St Kitts & Nevis does not, however other than a few small differences, the travel benefits are indistinguishable.
Something I have espoused many times over the years is the importance of digging into the country’s success metrics as a measure of the value and power of citizenship there. In addition to economic metrics such as GDP, FDI (foreign direct investment), productivity, annual growth, investment into industry and others, it’s also important to look at social structures and how well the country services its population via education, health, rule of law and other social institutions. Antigua in particular wins points with what some would argue is the best medical infrastructure in the region. Both islands, however, offer a wonderful physical environment in which its citizens can thrive.
Currency stability is not an issue at present in the Eastern Caribbean as long as the countries have their Eastern Caribbean Dollars tied to the strongest reserve currency in the world, the United States Dollar.
Whilst Antigua has one of the strongest economies in the region, St Kitts & Nevis is not short on foreign direct investment and international fans. From the recently completed Park Hyatt to the new Mandarin Oriental now in planning on an adjacent site on the island’s prized South East Peninsula, St Kitts & Nevis keeps moving forward. The small island has a unique old-world charm all of its own, quite distinct from Antigua & Barbuda which in many ways is more glamorous – all the while remaining beautifully free of any high-rise monstrous development.
Despite Antigua being the slightly more cost effective of the two options for a family application, as mentioned St Kitts has been processing applications faster over the last years. Antigua has the better property market enjoying some of the most beautiful and expensive homes in the region, with well-established private communities such as Jumby Bay, a private island on the Antigua’s north coast where property prices average over $20M US each.
St Kitts has the now ten-year old community of Christophe Harbour growing on the island’s south east peninsula with a private mega yacht marina and planned 18-hole golf course that will rival any in the Caribbean. Nevis has been the bijou island of choice for generations of wealthy international families, many of whom own homes at the Four Seasons Resort which was the first such resort built for the eponymous brand.
Back in Antigua the property market has been further heated by the ‘Covid exodus’ predominantly from North America and Europe and as the flight hub of the region with the largest and newest international airport, Antigua was the first Caribbean island to reopen its borders in June of 2020. Properties are flying off the shelves especially in the 1M usd and up bracket.
As plan B safe haven countries go, you can’t really go wrong with either but inevitably will be drawn to one over the other based on personal preference, or perhaps timing or price. The best first move is to canvass representatives of both islands, and visit if you can, prior to applying. I continue to champion both islands without reservation and am always delighted to speak to clients about my experiences over the last 15 years living in Antigua and in St Kitts.
How do I begin the process and get a bespoke quote for myself and my family?
If you’d like to speak to us, please either send us a webchat (click the icon bottom right of this page), email or book in for a video consultation easily in our partner calendar. We find video conferencing to be the most efficient use of your time to ascertain the best program for you and your family. We encourage you to take advantage of it since your first consultation is free of charge.