Tuesday, 16th July 2024

St. Kitts and Nevis strengthens ‘first and finest’ CBI with new regulations

The major amendments to the CBI Programme include revised investment amounts, stricter eligibility criteria, new requirements for private real estate sales, enhanced due diligence background checks as well as standardised marketing practices.

Wednesday, 10th July 2024

St. Kitts and Nevis: In a groundbreaking development, the government of St Kitts and Nevis has announced new regulations to the Citizenship by Investment Programme during the Investment Gateway Summit 2024. These changes are aimed at further enhancing the integrity of the oldest CBI programme.  

The major amendments to the CBI Programme include revised investment amounts, stricter eligibility criteria, new requirements for private real estate sales, enhanced due diligence background checks as well as standardised marketing practices.  

Under the donation option, which is known as the Sustainable Island State Contribution, the government has announced a reduction in investment amount to US$250,000 for a main applicant or a family with up to four persons, being a main applicant with a spouse and up to two dependants or a main applicant with up to three dependants. Earlier, the family application required an investment of US $350,000. 

Meanwhile, for each additional dependant under the age of 18, the investment amount is US$25,000 while for each additional dependant aged 18 or over, the amount has been revised to US$50,000. 

The government has also replaced the Head of the Unit of the Technical Committee with the Chief Executive Officer.  

The government has now put stricter eligibility criteria for applicants which includes that individuals who have been in any of the following situations are not eligible to apply in the St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme: 

(a) been denied citizenship of any country 

(b) been denied a visa to any country to which citizens of Saint Christopher and Nevis have visa-free travel and has not subsequently obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial 

(c) has a criminal record 

(d) is the subject of a criminal investigation 

(e) has been declared a bankrupt 

(f) is involved in any activity likely to cause disrepute to Saint Christopher and Nevis 

Private Real Estate Sales  

Also, the Private Home Sales investment option has been replaced by ‘Private Real Estate Sales’ and under this option, the government announced that fully constructed real estate units may be sold under the CBI if the statutory time frame for resale has elapsed by applying to the Board of Governors for such real estate to be designated as Approved Private Real Estate.  

It was also announced that incomplete real estate units shall not be eligible to apply to be designated Approved Private Real Estate. 

Due Diligence Enhancements  

There have been several enhancements to the due diligence procedures in order to ensure that only legitimate individuals can be part of the Federation.  

These enhancements include that a person who conceals information required to be provided on their application form or has not provided sufficient proof of source of funds to make the qualifying investment shall not be approved for Citizenship by Investment.  

It was noted that the due diligence background check must include the submission of the details of the main applicant, spouse and any dependants over fifteen years of age.  

The background checks will then be conducted by multiple entities including Financial Intelligence Unit of the Government of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Continuing International Due Diligence Unit of the Government of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Joint Regional Communications Centre, a sub-agency of CARICOM IMPACS and at least one reputable international due diligence service provider firm.  

The regulations also mentioned that the authorised agents who are approved by the Board of Governors prior to the coming into effect of these Regulations wishes to continue to be an Authorised Agent, shall make an application under sub-regulation (1) and the agents who have paid the non-refundable application fee of US$5,000 prior to July 27, 2023 are not required to make a further application fee payment for 2023.