Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis: The introduction of Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC) investment option and increased investment amount has raised the security standards of the Citizenship by Investment Programme of St Kitts and Nevis.
The Government has announced that some groundbreaking changes will be implemented for the enhancement of the Citizenship by Investment Programme.
It is worth mentioning that this move shows the intentions of the country and its administration to remain the reference point for the international investment immigration industry. According to the authorities, the changes are ‘monumental’ and have been announced to make sure that the Programme is only opted by those high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and investors who value it.
The CBI Programme of St Kitts and Nevis has served as the pioneer of the investor immigration industry based on solid legislative principles and robust due diligence policies. Since its commencement, the Programme has given various opportunities and chances to the general public of St Kitts and Nevis to grow and develop without being dependent on global aid.
According to the Government and the citizenship by investment unit, these new changes aim to maintain the integrity of the country, contributing towards the preservation of the sustainable and privileged status of the citizen of St Kitts and Nevis.
The changes introduced by the Government are as follows:
NEW INVESTMENT OPTION AND INCREASED INVESTMENT AMOUNT
1) A new investment option, named Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC), has been introduced, which will replace the current Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). The new investment option will be utilised to build a sustainable island state and is based on seven pillars, including:
1. Increasing local food production
2. Transitioning to Green Energy
3. Diversifying the economy
4. Attracting and supporting sustainable industries
5. Evolving the Creative Economy
6. Recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
7. Expanding social protection and safety nets to protect the most vulnerable.
Under SISC, the minimum contribution will start from US$250,000 for one applicant, with additional amounts for spouses or dependents. The contribution amount will be US$300,000 for a family of two and will be US$350,000 for a family of three or four.
The due diligence fees, under the newly introduced option, will also be increased. The due diligence fees for a single applicant will be US$10,000, and the fees for a family of two and a family of three or four will be increased to US$17,500 and US$32,000, respectively.
It is to be noted that these changes were adopted by the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis after recommendations related to CBI Programmes were put forth by the European Union Commission.
2) Besides this, the increased amount for Real Estate Options is US$400,000. An applicant who wants to apply for citizenship by investment programme must hold a property for a period of seven years, which can be re-sold one time to another applicant of citizenship by investment.
3) Under the third investment option – Approved Private Home, the investment will start from US$400,000. For a single condominium, the minimum investment will be US$400,000 upwards, and for single-family dwelling owners, the minimum investment will be US$800,000 upwards.
Similar to real estate, under this investment option, the applicant has to hold the property for seven years. But under this, another purchaser cannot buy the property.
4) For the fourth investment option, the Approved Public Benefits Project, the contribution will start from US$250,000.
The Government of St Kitts and Nevis has announced that each and every applicant must undergo mandatory interviews, either virtual or in-person. The in-person interviews will be conducted at the location decided by the citizenship by the investment unit and the Board of Governors. This step will be included under the due diligence procedure.
It is worth mentioning that the citizenship by investment unit conducts due diligence checks, which are further performed by international independent firms from the United Kingdom, USA and Europe.
Regarding this, PM Terrance Drew mentioned that this bold step had been taken to reaffirm that St Kitts and Nevis offers the best citizenship by investment programme in the world. This will be considered as a defence mechanism against illegal investors and applicants.
Prime Minister Drew has mentioned that this Government has always maintained an approach on decision-making, recognising its impact not only on the people of St Kitts and Nevis but also on the foreign community. Through the rigorous analysis of the Programme, the authorities have actively engaged with the international partners to arrive at a crucial determination.
“Our citizenship holds great value and is not open to those who fail to appreciate its significance the offering of St Kitts and Nevis on the global stage,” expressed Prime Minister Drew, adding, “Together, we will thrive on a path towards a brighter future, upholding the principles of progress, inclusivity, and mutual benefit for all stakeholders involved.”
These changes were also lauded by the Head of the Citizenship by Investment unit – Michael Martin, who stated, “In the fast-changing world, it’s crucial for the Government of St Kitts and Nevis and its Citizenship by Investment Programme to stay flexible and responsive to cover the needs and demands of its people. Attracting the right international investments is vital for uplifting our country. We’ve been a leading example in the global investor immigration industry, but to remain highly sought-after, we must keep growing and adapting for the future. Our goal is a sustainable path that ensures long-term success.”
He added that these changes will contribute towards the upliftment and growth of the reputation of the St Kitts and Nevis Programme at the international level.
St Kitts and Nevis have been putting their best foot forward to express willingness to cooperate with international counterparts while reflecting ideal traits to support this agenda, such as resilience and growth ambitions.
In addition to this, the Citizenship by Investment Unit has also been acting as a solidified element while keeping competent, skilled and responsive measures to boost its integrity, including a Technical Committee and Board of Governors.
The Twin Island Federation also carries a macroeconomic framework with a stable political system along with a resourceful and vibrant private sector and free independent media. Particularly, the investors and applicants expressing immense commitment to making substantial contributions to the nation’s growth are welcomed by St Kitts and Nevis. Applicants with significant investment capabilities and achievements are also encouraged to invest in the country’s economy.
The prime objective of these changes is to ensure that high standards are maintained. Additionally, these will foster a vibrant national’s community of nationals who share a common vision for the nation’s advancement.