Nevis Questions

Aug 4th, 2005, 01:49 PM
  #21  
Sunnyboy
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To Viceroy (Richard) - getting specifics on customs duty fees is a very daunting task. Sometimes I think the customs people charge "what the traffic will bare". Actually, it's a complicated system with different duty fees for different items so the first thing you should do is hire a local customs broker on the island to assist you. They will be able to give you specifics and you can contact the Minister of Finance for up to date information.

Generally speaking, people relocating to the island can apply to the Minister of Finance for what is known as "First arrival Privilages" which will allow you to bring in one shippment of "used" personal belongings duty free. You must apply for this privilage prior to shipping anything and there is no guarantee approval will be granted for any or all of the items you declare. Your application must contain a detailed and itemized list of all the items you are declaring. For instance you cannot declare "1 box of household goods" but rather it should say something like 15 towels, 1 set of service for 8 dishes, 3 table cloths, 16 water goblets. You get the idea. Try to include as much as you can in your "First Arrival" application as you are only allowed to do this once. Anything else you bring in susequent to that first shipment will be subject to duty. Do not, under any circumstances, mix in new items or try to claim new items as being used as you risk having duty charged on everything (if you try this an get caught the customs people will thoughly check every future shipment you bring on to the island. First Arrival Privilages are limited to personal belongings, clothing and general houshold goods. First Arrival Privilages do not apply to such things as appliances, power lawn equipment, electronics, air conditioners or any other "big ticket" item. You cannot bring in any type of motorized vehicle or boat, whether new or used, without paying substantial duty. You may find it easier and more economical to purchase a car "on-island" rather than bringing in a used vehicle.

Even though you won't be paying duty on First arrival" items you will still have to pay a customs inspection fee, wharfage fees, and delivery fees. Give yourself plenty of time between your application for First Arrival Privilages and your anticipated date of shipment. Approval (if it's granted) happens on island time and nothing move quickly when it comes to getting things done on Nevis.

FYI - anything you bring on to the island subsequent to "First Arrival" will be dutible based on the CIF value (cost, insurance & freight). Duty rates vary but on average are assessed at between 25% and 35% of CIF. With the added fees you can expect to pay a total of 40% on the value of the goods you import.

Lastly, you do understand that having a home on the island does not automatically give you residency status and you will be subject to the "stay" limitations as any tourist. To apply for residency you must invest at least $250,000 in a residence or business, submit financial statements showing you have the means to support yourself without working on the island, you have to submit health statement and law enforcement background checks and other personal information. The process take anywhere from 18 to 24 months and if residency is granted you will be assessed a one time fee of about $3,800. Having residency does not allow you to work on the island, for that you will need a work permt (another difficult and lengthly process).

Good luck attaining your dream.
 
Aug 4th, 2005, 04:08 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Thanks Sunnyboy for posting all that info. I kind of new you would I just got a copy of all this info. myself and yes it is a lot of work and info. and time to spend to get it all right.

Richard - GL to you! Hope you get in touch with them ASAP so you can start going on this. BTW - I know someone who is moving to Nevis right now and was not planning on being there when the container is opened, not a good idea. You NEED to be there once that time comes... again, GL
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Aug 5th, 2005, 07:42 AM
  #23  
 
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Thank you, Sunnyboy...yep, I figured a 2 to 3 year time line to get all the proverbial ducks in a row! If you can wait that long, the bar will be open (on our patio/porch) and rum punch is on me. Cheers, Richard.
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Aug 6th, 2005, 01:57 PM
  #24  
 
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Maybe we should adopt these residencey requirments for the U.S......Hmmmmm? Robert
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Aug 7th, 2005, 06:11 AM
  #25  
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Yikes, those requirement$ are truly daunting. Sounds like Viceroy is up for the challenge, though. I'm almost (almost!) hoping I don't fall completely head over heels in love with Nevis the way Viceroy has...I don't think I'd have the stamina (or the finances!) that the others have.
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Aug 7th, 2005, 07:53 AM
  #26  
 
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I just re-read Sunnyboys post and I have to disagree with a couple of items. There are actually several categories of residency.

Permanent Residency: Property owners (land or house) can apply for permanent residency, which enables them to stay on the island indefinitely. It also permits them to work without a work permit, which is required of non-nationals working on the island. The application fee for permanent residency is $200 EC, followed by a one-time payment of $3,800 EC when approved. Approval usually takes 6 months to 1 year.

Citizenship Program: Property owners who have owned for 14 years and who are Commonwealth citizens can apply for citizenship based on their length of residency in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. The application requires a letter of verification of length of residency. The cost is $1,750 EC CARICOM (Caribbean nationals) and $3,800 EC for non-CARICOM nationals.

Economic Citizenship Program: Purchasers can qualify for citizenship in Nevis by virtue of investing $250,000 US in the Federation in certain areas that are located in an “approved investment project”. On Nevis, these include Cliffdwellers, Fern Hill Estates, Villas at Nelson Spring, Four Seasons Resort Estates, Jones Estate, Hermitage villas, and Mount Nevis Hotel condominiums.

Hope this helps!
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Aug 7th, 2005, 11:11 AM
  #27  
Sunnyboy
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MIM is definitely more accurate in her description of the 3 different type of residency. I wasn't trying to be completely definitive in my reply (it's difficult to cover every aspect of the Nevis immigration laws in a single short post) but rather only pointng out that purchasing a home on Nevis doesn't automatically give you residency status (excepting if you purchase in the few "approved areas"). Nonetheless, anyone contemplating purchasing a home on Nevis or any other Caribbean Island for that matter should hire a local attorney to assist them through the process. There's a lot of red tape but it can be accomplished by those willing to make the effort - and yes it cost some money, there's no way around that. You just have to recognize that moving to an island is no different that trying to immigrate to any foreign country. There are rules and regulations that must be followed - you just can't show up on the island one day and expect to move there.
 
Aug 8th, 2005, 05:40 AM
  #28  
 
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It's pretty difficult to seek extended stays in the Bahamas as well. Most still want to retain their American citizenship, to go back and forth. So, you can own a home in most Caribbean nations, without tons of immigration formalities; however, you still carry a visa and are considered by the authorities as a visitor to the island. In the Bahamas, home owners usually have to leave after 60-90 days (at last count several years ago). Home owners in the Bahamas simply turn around upon touching down in the U.S., and return the next day. You can visit friends for a week, then return to the Bahamas. There are no restrictions for leaving your pets in the Bahamas while you return to the U.S. Some U.S. citizens who own homes in the Bahamas can apply for a "Annual Residency", which runs close to $2,000/year, to avoid having to travel back to the US after the 60-90 day time restriction. Some apply for a "Permanent Residency", which is over $10,000. But, you need to document a minimum investment of a half million dollars in a home there, and also show that you have the financial resources to support yourself, because getting a job in the Bahamas is very difficult and the authorities want all jobs to go to Bahamians, first. This last process takes a few years of before approval, if you qualify. All three of these options in now way endangers your U.S. citizenship. Robert
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Aug 8th, 2005, 07:16 AM
  #29  
 
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Again, thanks to both MIM04 and Sunnyboy for adding to my (ever growing) file of knowledge. While daunting, I'm sort-of appreciative of the restrictions. We have economic immigration policies in Canada, too!
Cheers, Richard.
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Aug 8th, 2005, 03:06 PM
  #30  
 
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Hello To all.
I just moved to Nevis last year.
Purchased a property and opened a business.
It is not easy but with a good lawer it makes things get done in due time.
I still am not considered a resident even though I invested a large sum of money.
I am told that I need to be here longer to prove that I really want to live on Nevis.
I agree with the policies and think it keeps the unwanted away.
I live here with a work permit to run my own business. The work permit would never be denied as long as I use it for my own place. I had to show them that the business I opened is a business that a local could not do.Example :If you want to work in or own a BBQ restaurant they will not allow it....
If you need help come see me when you get to Nevis, I will be glad to direct you in the right path.
ask for Gary at Coconut Grove Restaurant.
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Aug 8th, 2005, 03:45 PM
  #31  
 
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Gary is right that a good lawyer helps, but you have to apply for permanent residency after you acquire property. You can also apply for citizenship based on spending $250,000 on property in certain designated areas, or after 14 years on the island. There are also certain qualifiers for people depending on what country they come from. It's best to always check with a lawyer or the office of National Security on St. Kitts to get the rules.

It is really not as complicated as it may seem as a good real estate agent and a good lawyer will walk you through the process.
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Aug 8th, 2005, 04:16 PM
  #32  
 
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To Garysxm,

Do you have a website for your restaurant ? I thought I saw it on nevis1.com, but can't find it now.

I'm spending the month of February in Nevis. Maybe you'd be interested in stocking my refrigerator/freezer ?

Marion
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Aug 8th, 2005, 04:32 PM
  #33  
Sunnyboy
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We eaten in Gary's restaurant (Coconut Grove) several times and the food is very good. As he readily admitted in an earlier post they had some "theething pains" when they first opened a few months ago which was to be expected with any new restaurant but things seem to be going very well during our most recent. The restaurant is very attractive, the food is excellent, service was attentive without being overbearing and the presentation of the different courses is top notch. The restaurant has a comfortable bar area and a superb wine list. We wish him well.
 
Aug 8th, 2005, 04:46 PM
  #34  
 
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I remember reading some less stellar posts about Coconut Grove in the past, but Rome wasn't built in a day. Gary, wish you only the best with your endeavor!! If I ever get to Nevis, I will stop by. It's on my short list, but definitely not this year.
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Aug 9th, 2005, 04:41 AM
  #35  
 
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To peruse the menu at Coconut Grove visit www.islandimage.com and Click on Travel Forum.

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Aug 9th, 2005, 05:38 AM
  #36  
 
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Scroll down to "Travel News You Can Use".

Feel free to become a member...
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Aug 10th, 2005, 11:21 AM
  #37  
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OK! I love the way this thread is going. I just have a few more visitor questions:

- Has anyone booked a rental vehicle via email before going? I have been unable to get a response from noel auto, and I would prefer to get a written quote vs a phone call. But hey I'm easy! Should I just bite the bullet and make some phone calls to Nevis? I checked Hertz online, actually got a great rate, but they don't have the vehicle I want: a soft top Suzuki 4X4.

- Should we bring snorkel gear? We are avid snorkelers, and no I don't expect the coral gardens I've seen elsewhere, but is there snorkeling off the beach? We love driving around, packing a lunch and snorkeling off the beach as the mood strikes. If the only snorkeling available is by boat, then we'll leave the gear home and take an excursion instead.

Thanks so much!
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Aug 10th, 2005, 01:02 PM
  #38  
Sunnyboy
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Noel's Car rental is very reputable and we've booked rentals for our houseguests many times via e-mail but they can be a little slow in responding. Call them (ask for Mauva -I think I've spelled her name right)for a quicker response (869-469-7926 - the call is not very expensive from the US).

As for off-beach snorkeling is concerned, as I've said in many previous posts, it is not all that good on Nevis. Quite honestly it is not worth taking up valuable luggage space with your snorkel equipment (if the mood strikes, you can probably rent gear at Oualie Beach Watersports). The best snorkeling in the area is at Shitten Bay off the South Penninsula of St. Kitts and is accessible only by boat (there are several day trip operators who can take you there and they have equipment available).
 
Aug 10th, 2005, 02:15 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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To Sunnyboy and MIM - thank you so much for the valuable information regarding used household goods that can be brought into St. Kitts. We recently purchased a place on St. Kitts and will hopefully be able to retire there for the winter months in a few years time. This is exactly the kind of things we need to know. I'm printing it out and keeping it for when I need it. Richard (aka Viceroy) - you make the rum punches for when we visit Nevis and I'll reciprocate for when you come to St. Kitts!!
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Aug 11th, 2005, 03:30 AM
  #40  
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Hey Nancy, don't forget me! As the starter of this thread, and a soon-to-be occasional visitor, I'll bring the ice and the shrimp cocktail!

Sunnyboy: Are you Shitten me?
Sorry, I tried to resist. I really did.
OK I will not bring snorkel gear, that's what I figured.
And thanks for the phone number for noel's auto - I will use it and get everything all set. I hope he does the free St. Kitts exchange like some of the other car companies.

Can't wait to try Coconut Grove - Gary will you be open for lunch also?

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