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Additional Changes to St. Kitts And Nevis’ CBI Programme Will Boost Investor Confidence and Bolster the Federation’s Reputation

BASSETERRE, St. Kits (SKNIS) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, this week, announced several significant changes to the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme that are intended to boost international investor confidence in the programme and strengthen the Federation’s reputation as a responsible member of the global community.

The new changes include the introduction of a new investment option called the Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC), which replaces the previous Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). Investors contributing towards this option will be helping to advance St. Kitts and Nevis into a Sustainable Island State based on seven pillars, namely: increasing local food production; transitioning to Green Energy; diversifying the economy; attracting and supporting sustainable industries; evolving the Creative Economy; recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; and expanding social protection and safety nets to protect the most vulnerable.

Contributions start from US$250,000 for one applicant only and increase as a spouse or dependents are added. For a family of two, the contribution amount increases to US$300,000 and for a family of three or four, the minimum Sustainable Island State Contribution is US$350,000.

Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Citizenship and Immigration, Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew described the process of stabilizing the CBI programme as one of the biggest challenges of his administration to date, but a challenge they knew had to be tackled to ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis maintains the highest standards for citizenship.

“My number one objective is to make sure that St. Kitts and Nevis is protected as far as is possible by our actions. So, what is happening now in the CBI space, we are not reacting at all. We had changed our SR&Os [Statutory Rules and Orders] months ago, even before this talk of visa-free access and so forth came along because we looked at it and we decided we needed to act on it and be ahead of the game and just yesterday [July 27] we completed the regulations that we wanted to enact and so we have basically relaunched how the CBI programme is at this point in time and it was necessary that we do that. So, we are ahead of the game, and it gives us an excellent opportunity to show our partners that we are serious and that we take their concerns very seriously, but not in a reactionary way but in a proactive way,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said during a live interview on ZIZ Radio on Friday, July 28.

The honourable prime minister noted further that throughout the entire process, his administration kept the lines of communication open with its international partners, such as the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK).

He said, “Since we came in, we made sure that we started to change the regulations and strengthen them so that our partners such as the UK and so forth can have much more confidence in our programme. We kept in communication with the UK, the UK visited our Unit, the officials did an audit and met with the Head of the CIU [Citizenship by Investment Unit] who is Mr. Michael Martin, and they shared all the information that was to be shared, so we are constantly in contact. When we pursued the renewal of things, we communicated with the UK as to what we were doing, and we also communicated with the EU. So what we have been doing is that we have been proactive and we have taken the tough decisions and so I want the people of St. Kitts and Nevis to know that this administration has taken the steps that it could have taken to ensure that we protect our visa-free access and protect our CBI and to engender confidence in our partners that this programme is a programme that they can have confidence in and there is no threat to them.”

Another major change to the programme is that all investors applying for Citizenship by Investment are now required to have a mandatory interview, either virtually or in person, at a location specified by the Citizenship by Investment Unit and approved by the Board of Governors. Interviews will be conducted by an independent professional firm commissioned by the Citizenship by Investment Unit, who will also perform background due diligence checks, or conducted by the Unit itself.

All background due diligence checks will be commissioned by the Citizenship by Investment Unit and will be conducted by independent professional firms from the United Kingdom, USA and Europe, and in accordance with the requirements set by the Board of Governors.

Moreover, the Board of Governors have been empowered to regulate all Authorized Agents and International Marketing Agents, who must have their businesses registered under the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis. In addition, limitations have also been included with respect to the methods by which the Federation’s CBI programme is to be advertised internationally.

“We took the necessary steps to make sure that the programme is strong, secure and viable,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew.