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27 October, 2020

Citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis for investment: programme transformation planned for 2021

The investment programme for citizenship in St Kitts and Nevis awaits modification. The government plans to pay attention to modernechnologies and innovations. Work on amendments will begin in 2021.

Citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis: programme change in 2021
Photo: Adobe Stock

The Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Timothy Harris, announced this in his speech on 20 October 2020. He noted that in 2021 the Government will focus on priority projects and industries that have the greatest economic impact. Such projects include the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship for Investment programme.

The inflow of foreign investments under the programme allowed the country to create a budget reserve that supports the economy during the crisis. The Government, therefore, intends to improve the programme.

Possible program changes

In June 2020, Les Khan, Manager of the Citizenship Investment Programme, shared with Immigrant Invest the plans for specific changes. He pointed out 2 main directions in which innovations can be expected in 2021.

Reinforcement of security checks, or Due Diligence. The St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship for Investment Programme has been in operation since 1984. The investor due diligence process has been perfected here. However, the Programme Department intends to improve procedures.

Scanning biometric data, namely fingerprints, can be added to the investor verification process. If the change is implemented, programme participants will need to take fingerprints before applying. The change will provide a 100% guarantee of the authenticity of the applicant's identity and documents.

Revision of the terms of the programme options. Today an investor can participate in the programme on one of the 2 options. This can be either a non-refundable contribution to the state Sustainable Development Fund or an investment in real estate from the list of properties approved by the government.

According to the programme department, the option with a contribution to real estate is more popular today. Under its terms, investors acquire shares in 5-star hotels and luxury boutique hotels. This is an investment in a liquid asset, which can be sold after 5一7 years and the investment can be repaid. The minimum transaction amount is $200,000.

As a result, the government can increase control over real estate investments. How this will be achieved is not yet specified.

The government may also review the non-refundable contribution requirements in order to balance and increase the inflow of investments. The minimum amount of this contribution is now $150,000. At the same time, the Programme Department is developing solutions that will improve the payment process for the contribution and make it easier and faster.

What changes have already been made against the backdrop of the crisis and the pandemic

St Kitts and Nevis has placed its bets on investors who plan to participate in the programme with their family members. In July 2020, the Government reduced the contribution to the Sustainable Development Fund for Families to 4 people. For them, the contribution is $150,000, the same amount as for one applicant. Previously, the contribution for such a family would have been $195,000.

You can apply for a discounted option until 15 January 2021. The rest of the programme costs have remained unchanged.

We presented the costs of the non-refundable contribution option for a family of 4 before and after the change in the table. Costs include the amount of the contribution to the state fund, security check payments, state duties and fees and bank charges.

Expenses for family participation up to 4 people*

Cost item Cost of participation without discount Cost of participation at a discounted rate

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Fund

195 000 $

150 000 $

Due Diligence

11 500 $

11 500 $

Passport fee

1444 $

1444 $

Form Processing fee

1000 $

1000 $

Bank commission

400  $

400  $

Issuance of the Naturalisation Certificate

200  $

200  $

Total


209 544 $


164 544 $

* The calculation is made on a family basis: investor, spouse, 2 children under 16 years old

We talked about a change in the material "St Kitts and Nevis: the amount of subsidies to the state fund for families has been reduced to 4 people".

The government estimates that the change has increased the competitiveness of St Kitts and Nevis programme. Revenue from the programme ensured a budget surplus despite the pandemic crisis.

The money earned was used to finance social projects in the country. For example, about 3,000 people have completed a professional retraining programme. About EC$ 23 million, or about EC$ 8.5 million, has been paid out to support poor citizens. By the end of 2020, the amount will reach EC$ 31.1 million, or approximately EC$ 11.5 million.

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Citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis for investment: programme transformation planned for 2021