Last week, Taiwan—a territory of the Republic of China (ROC)—announced that passport holders of Saint-Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Guatemala, and Belize will now have visa-free access for a period of 30 days. In addition, citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua can now enter Taiwan visa-free for up to 90 days. The official announcement was posted on the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) website on July 12, 2017, with the order to go into effect immediately.
Taiwan’s change in visa policy is open to all citizens who hold a valid passport of the abovementioned countries, in addition to holding no criminal record and possess a return ticket to their country of origin or country of permanent residence.
MOFA described the new policy as a demonstration of Taiwan’s mutual relationship of respect with its 20 diplomatic allies that include Caribbean and Latin American regions. It was noted in the official statement that, “Given the importance of its enduring friendships with these diplomatic partners, and acting upon the principles of mutual benefit and reciprocity, and a further desire to strengthen the development of bilateral relations, the ROC decided to grant visa-free privileges […] in the hope that such benefits will lead to an increase in tourism, business, trade and cultural exchanges at multiple levels.”
To date, the dual island of Saint-Kitts and Nevis has been the longest-running diplomatic partner of Taiwan since 1983. According to MOFA, the new policy will further efforts of cooperation in areas of law enforcement between the two nations.
“I feel privileged to have played a part in achieving this exciting opportunity for the citizens of [Saint-Kitts] and Nevis and for further embedding a truly bilateral relationship,” Honourable Mark Brantley said in response to Taiwan’s decision. “The visa-free access granted […] by Taiwan is a clear indicator of the global confidence in the integrity of our passport and the due diligence measures that we have put in place to make applying for citizenship by investment a more robust process. It also means that the power of our citizenship has been further boosted and elevated to a global level of free movement, making it one of the most powerful in the Caribbean and Latin America.”
Taiwan’s announcement came just as Saint-Kitts and Nevis earned the title as the leading Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) in the world, which now allows visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to a total of 137 countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, Schengen region, and European Union (EU). The Saint-Kitts and Nevis passport has now surpassed its Caribbean rival, Antigua and Barbuda, in terms of overall strength and visa privileges. Citizens of Saint-Kitts and Nevis now hold the 3rd strongest Caribbean passport to date, next to Barbados and the Bahamas.
As the leading global Citizenship by Investment Program, it should be expected that Saint-Kitts and Nevis will see a surge in applications for obtaining second citizenship through investment opportunities. The island is one of several Caribbean nations that allow high net worth and ultra-high net worth foreign investors the chance to obtain a second citizenship and passport in exchange for a financial contribution to the country’s economy.
Single applicants to Saint-Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program have the option of making a non-refundable minimum investment of USD $250,000 into the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), or applicants can choose to purchase government-approved real estate property for a minimum of USD $400,000.
While successful applicants are not required to visit or physically reside in Saint-Kitts and Nevis before or after citizenship is granted, they retain the right to reside in Saint-Kitts and Nevis, as well as any of the Caribbean Communities (CARICOM) nations once a valid passport is issued.
As an established independent immigration firm, QICMS proudly assists individuals seeking citizenship and residency solutions in the Caribbean, Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia (Hong Kong).
If you would like to request a Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Program brochure for St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, Grenada, or the Commonwealth of Dominica, or if you are planning to visit Taiwan, you may request an appointment in our MENA office or contact QICMS (Invest-Visa) via e-mail.
For more information on the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program, please click here.
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