The Official Address of The Head of the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit Michael Martin

SKNISEditor by SKNISEditor

 December 27, 2022

in FeaturedPress Releases

The Official Address of The Head of the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit Michael Martin

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Fellow Citizens of St Kitts and Nevis, Friends
Media, Stakeholders of the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme

It is with immense honour that I make my first address as the Head of the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship By Investment Unit.


For nearly 40 years, St Kitts and Nevis has been the pioneer of the global investor immigration industry. The programme has allowed our nation to thrive. It has given us the opportunity to advance our people without overreliance on international financial aid.

My appointment comes at a time when the country is refreshing its Citizenship by Investment Programme. We are working together to enhance the programme so that it continues to be the benchmark of the global investor immigration industry.

My mandate, issued by the Honourable, Dr Terrence Drew, the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, is to help our nation realise its goal of providing a programme that will uplift the Kittitian and Nevisian society through beneficial investment options that bring tangible value, while also offering an enriching base to international investors.

Thank you, Honourable Prime Minister, for trusting me with this very important assignment.

Since August, the government has interrogated the legal aspects of our Citizenship by Investment programme as it currently stands and have taken concrete steps to update and enhance certain aspects of the governing legislation to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of an intelligent investment minded person looking for an enriching base for their families and businesses.

During the exploratory phase, all stakeholders and partners were consulted and we will continue to engage local and international stakeholders on an on-going basis to ensure that we are abreast of their salient needs.  

My experience in the past as a service provider in the investment migration industry, and my local roots, make me the right candidate to understand what our external stakeholders require from us as well as knowing how we can use this programme to uplift our people.

I will be leading a team of efficient and focused experts who will ensure that the programme increases processing efficiency and accuracy while also maintaining strong due diligence processes so that only investors of the highest calibre are accepted.

A situational analysis is immediately being conducted to assess the status of the Unit as we will determine the best way forward to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. We will also engage independent external professionals to assess our programme holistically as we chart a path towards ensuring that our citizenship by investment programme is sustainable as the platinum brand for which it has become renowned, for many more years.

This is an operation that is very important to the development of the country, and to the people of the Federation. We will rebrand and refocus the programme, define our strategic goals, and create some new investment options that will be aligned to those strategic goals.

St Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship by investment programme will be underpinned by three fundamental principles: sustainability, good governance, and pragmatism.

The Government has made swift, bold and innovative decisions needed to strengthen the legislative structures of the programme and to ensure that real estate projects funded by the programme are completed.

With a clear focus and a measured approach, we are pleased to announce the following changes:

Effective January 1, 2023 a Professional CBI Board of Governors will be appointed and will be responsible for high level supervisory matters such as providing general oversight of the operations of the Unit.

The Board will advise the Minister with responsibility for immigration on matters related to the development and implementation policies and procedures for the Unit; review all investment proposals; assess the compatibility of potential CBI projects with national laws and local, regional and international standards; and assess the financial viability of potential CBI projects.

Furthermore, the Board will investigate complaints; ensure application processing is completed as swiftly as possible within the time frames advertised without compromising the integrity of the programme; and constantly monitor the global investor immigration industry to ensure that our CBI regulations align with, and adjust to, international market forces.

Further, in the Government’s and the Unit’s analogous good governance agenda, a CBI Technical Committee will be appointed by the Minister and will be charged with ensuring that all due diligence background checks are comprehensive and completed throughout the application process; reviewing all CBI applications thoroughly; conducting spot checks of CBI applications: and providing information sufficient to justify any recommendations to the Minister to approve or deny applications for Citizenship by Investment.

The Committee will led by the Head of the Unit and will consist of a senior officer from the Unit and a civil servant assigned by the Minister to act as Secretary.

The Sustainable Growth Fund is preserved and continues in effect for the purposes of uplifting the nation and its people. The Fund will be used for school construction and education related initiatives; to mitigate the effects of climate change; support economic growth of the nation including improving its competitiveness, support various industries along with small and medium sized business; build infrastructure that supports all ports of entry, repay loans for ports of entry, to enhance the port facilities of the airports and sea ports; develop and enhance medical facilities; support local tourism development; promote, preserve, protect and develop our nation’s culture and heritage; and support other sustainable growth initiatives in St Kitts and Nevis.

An SGF Limited Time Offer will run from 1 January 2023 – 30 June 2023 with the following contributions guaranteeing approval in principle within 60 days of submission of application.
• Main applicant – US$125,000
• Main applicant and a spouse – US$150,000
• Main applicant, spouse and two dependants – US$170,000
• Each additional dependant under 18 – US$10,000
• Each additional dependant over 18 – US$25,000

From the 1st day of July 2023, the SGF contributions will revert to the prior minimum investment sums, that is

• Main applicant – US$150,000
• Main applicant and a spouse – US$175,000
• Main applicant, spouse and two dependants – US$195,000
• Each additional dependant under 18 – US$10,000
• Each additional dependant over 18 – US$25,000

We recognise that the value of real estate development must benefit all stakeholders so we have considered with care the following changes that will be implemented under the Real Estate Option:

All approved developments will be designated a specific number of units to be sold, and each construction projected will be allotted a completion/milestone schedule. Furthermore, approved developments will have designated escrow drawdown processes.

Only approved developments will be eligible for the Real Estate Option, and developers of all current “approved projects” will have a 45 day window to reapply to become an Approved Development under the new regulations.

The minimum investment for the Real Estate option remains at US$200,000, excluding government, due diligence, and other processing fees.

A Real Estate unit purchased by a CBI applicant shall not be resold until a period of seven years has elapsed, and may not be sold to another buyer who wishes to acquire Citizenship by Investment.

The CIU will be introducing penalties for the circumvention of the minimum investment sums including punitive fines, revocation of licenses and blacklisting on the CIU website.

Private Homes Sale Option will be reintroduced with the following changes:

• Only Approved Private Homes shall qualify for this investment option with a minimum investment sum of US$400,000, which excludes government, due diligence, and other processing fees.
• Two or more applicants may apply for Citizenship by Investment together by purchasing one Approved Private Home, provided that each main applicant contributes the minimum investment of US$400,000
• The homes purchased must be kept for 7 years and may not be resold to another CBI applicant
• Private homes also cannot be converted from a single-family dwelling into apartments or condominiums
The AIO Option will be replaced by the Public Good Investment Option and will be focused on effecting real transformation for the country by investing into areas that will benefit the citizens of St Kitts and Nevis.

Investors will be required to apply to the Board of Governors to be designated as a Public Good Investor. Approved Public Good Investments must bring substantial benefit to the people of St Kitts and Nevis; maximize local employment; embark upon programmes including transfer of technology and local capacity building; assume all financial risks involved with the project; and if the investment results in a real estate development project on State land, the developer must agree to transfer all real estate to the State on substantial completion.

• Approved Public Good Investors will be assigned a designated number of public good investment units to be sold

• Approved Public Good Investments will be governed by a schedule of distribution of public good investment units based on agreed milestones; and

• There will be an agreed escrow drawdown process

The Minimum investment for a Public Good Investment shall be US$175,000, excluding all government, due diligence, and other processing fees.

Under the Real Estate, Private Homes and Public Good Options, once approval in principle is achieved, the full investment must be placed in an irrevocable escrow account and Approval in Principle will be within 90 days of submission of application. The government fees under these three options have become more attractive and are as follows:

• Main applicant – US$25,000
• Spouse – US$15,000
• Dependant child under 18 – US$10,000
• Dependant child/other qualified dependant over 18 – US$15,000

We shall retain the Accelerated Application Process, known as the AAP but we have modified the fees associated under the AAP. The government fees for the Accelerated CBI applications will change as follows:

• Main applicant – US$42,500
• Spouse – US$32,500
• Dependant child under 18 – US$22,500
• Dependant child/other qualified dependant over 18 – US$37,500

We have also made concrete changes in our partnerships with International Marketing Agents. IMA’s shall be appointed by the Board of Governors to market the CBI programme to potential clients. IMAs will be required to apply with the following supporting documentation:

o Proof of registration as a body corporate
o Names and two id docs for all shareholders and directors
o Proof of contractual relations with Authorised Agent
o Copy of approved AML, Anti-terrorist financing and KYC policies
o Non-refundable due diligence fee of US$4,000 per shareholder and director
Once approved as an International Market Agent, the IMA will be issued with a Certificate by Board of Governors and will be listed on the CBI website.
Existing IMAs will retain their status until 31st January 2023, after which time they will need to re-apply to be an IMA.
All IMAs must re-apply every year by 30th November.
Authorised Agent’s Registration Fees will remain at US$5,000 and are Due before the 31st of January each year before they are allowed to file applications with the Unit.
The enhanced citizenship by investment programme has been crafted under a sustainable model that will ensure that St Kitts and Nevis continues to be the envy of the international community by injecting high levels of integrity and administrative improvements.

The programme has also been structured to allow for greater transparency and accountability, the hallmarks of a good governance framework that solidifies the foundation of any successful citizenship by investment programme.

Investment options have been tailored to align with market realities while preserving the platinum brand St Kitts and Nevis has developed and nurtured for four decades, operating the oldest citizenship by investment programme in the world.

These bold and innovative decisions are needed to strengthen the legislative and administrative structures of the programme and will ensure that real estate projects funded by the programme are completed.

To this end, let it be known worldwide, that St Kitts & Nevis CIU is seeking well respected and serious investors who see the potential of our nation and who are prepared to put capital behind innovative projects, investments and industries that will enhance our palatability to global immigration investors.

I am excited to take on this new task with the fundamental vision to use economic citizenship to attract international investment while uplifting our nation.

Let the work begin.

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