Returning Nationals Information


The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis welcomes you home, whether it be to retire or to continue your work experience. We look forward to your contributions toward the enhancement and further development of our twin-island state.

The establishment of the Returning Nationals Secretariat serves to facilitate the smooth flow of essential information, to provide critical guidance and to give assistance to nationals returning.

The Government has always been aware of the important role Returning Nationals have played in the socio-economic development of St. Kitts and Nevis. Thus, the Secretariat was instituted to assist Returning Nationals in obtaining up-to-date information to make their resettlement process less stressful. Assistance is given to persons who are eligible to receive duty-free concessions on selected personal and household effects imported into the country.

Contact the Secretariat

Returning Nationals Secretariat
Cabinet Secretariat
Government Headquarters
Church Street, Basseterre, St. Kitts
Email: rns@gov.kn

Special Cases

Returning Student – A national who was studying abroad for at least 3 years and is returning home to reside permanently.

Involuntary Returned Migrant (Deportee) – A national who has been expelled (deported) from a country in which they resided.

  • Proof of nationality (e.g. St. Kitts and Nevis passport, birth certificate, or National ID)
  • Employment letter
  • Documents showing length of stay abroad (e.g. tax returns, salary/wage receipts, social security documents, etc.)
  • Retirement Letter
  • Pension Letter
  •  Airline ticket


Returning Students

  • Copy of transcript(s) from educational institution(s)
  • Student ID from educational institution(s)
  • Copy of Degree /Certification (If received)


Involuntary Returned Migrant (Deportee)

  • Deportation documents
  • Valid ID

Conditions for Obtaining Duty-Free Concessions:

  1. Items imported duty-free under the policy will not be sold [five (5) years for vehicles and three (3) years for all other items] before informing the Customs & Excise Department and making arrangements to pay the duty on the residual value.
  2. Items are for the applicant’s use and will not be transferred to another party whether as a gift or as a sale.
  3. To be considered as residing in St. Kitts and Nevis for the purpose of this policy, a Returning National, during the first three (3) years of his/her return, must NOT return abroad and reside there for a continuous period of more than three (3) months.

Failure to comply with any of the above may result in the levying of duties on all items imported.

Personal effects and household items include clothing, jewelry, hobby collections (e.g. stamps and coins), furniture, paintings and works of art, soft furnishings (e.g. curtains), and electrical appliances.

Please see Sample List of Personal and Household Items for Duty-Free Concessions.

Note: Grace periods for duty-free concessions on imported goods are as follows:

  • Three (3) months prior and three (3) months after returning home or
  • Six (6) months after returning or
  • At any other time, at the discretion of the Comptroller of Customs.

1. Returning Nationals bringing a vehicle into the Federation will be required to pay the following charges:-  12% Customs Service Charge plus the Environmental Levy – in relation to the Environmental Levy:

i. For Motor Vehicles imported in year of manufacture up to 24 months after the date of manufacture, EC$1,000.00;

ii. For Motor Vehicle imported after two (2) years but less than four (4) years after the date of manufacture, EC$3,500.00;

iii. For cars imported four (4) years or more after the date of manufacture, EC$5,000.00.

2.Only one (1) vehicle is allowed for duty-free concession per family.

3. The vehicle must be owned by the Returning National for at least six (6) months prior to arriving in the Federation and be accompanied with a copy of the title from the country of origin.

4. The Returning National must be 18 years of age or older and be a holder of a valid driver’s licence in the country of origin.

5. The vehicle must be cleared from Customs within six (6) months after arrival in the Federation from the country of origin of the Returning National, in accordance with grace periods of this policy or subsequent to the clearance of their personal and household items.

6. The ownership and/or control of the vehicle must not be transferred within three (3) years of the grant of the concession. Anyone selling a vehicle within three years on which a concession is granted should advise the buyer and notify the competent Authority so that the appropriate duties could be collected at the time of sale.

7. Where at any time within three (3) years of the grant of the concession, the Authority finds that the condition above is contravened, the Returning National may be ordered to pay on demand, the applicable duty and taxes as determined by the Customs & Excise Department.

See Customs & Execise Duty Calculator

  • When Returning Nationals arrive in St. Kitts and Nevis, they should first visit or contact the Returning Nationals Secretariat (in St. Kitts) or the Ministry of Finance (In Nevis) for the proper procedure for clearing their personal effects and/or automobile through the Customs & Excise Department.
  • The Returning National will be interviewed by the Administrator to determine their eligibility for the duty-free concessions.
  • The Returning National will complete an application for the duty-free concessions and if all the requirements have been met, the Administrator will certify this to the Comptroller of Customs. Prior to the recommendation, a background check will be done on the information provided by the applicant. This may require 2-3 working days to complete or as needed, based on information provided.
  • Returning Nationals will be required to file for the concession in person at the office of the Returning Nationals Secretariat. The Administrator may waive this requirement under very extreme circumstances at his/her discretion. A letter from the Returning National authorising an agent or representative to act on their behalf will be required.
  • The Returning National then presents his/her declaration (entry) to the Customs and Excise Department with all the necessary documentation. The Returning National should be able to clear his/her goods with relative ease.


NB: Qualified applicants can benefit once from this concession.