By Staff Writer
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship By Investment Program(CBI), described by local officials as the platinum standard in the market, plans to roll out new offerings in the near future according to the head of the Citizenship By Investment Unit Les Khan.
He said over the past five years relations were improved with service providers, developers and agents and the reputation and stature of the CBI program continue to grow.
” We are the only program that offers an accelerated application process without compromising the integrity of our robust due diligence process. Our system is always under review for improvements, ” Khan said on a recent edition “Leadership Matters” a weekly multimedia program that features Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris and guests.
St. Kitts and d Nevis is the only country in the OECS that has drafted and gazetted an Escrow Bill. This legislation continues to be improved and by the end of the year we will be implementing a pay on schedule that all developers must adhere to, said Khan, while explaining that the Escrow Bill was created to ensure funds were placed in escrow if a title for the property was not available.
The Bill which now bocks a service provider from being an escrow agent for the same client is now in the final draft stage, Khan explained.
He also acknowledged another challenge in the industry. That’s the increasing competition in the region and worldwide for revenue for CBI programs.
” We have had to be creative and come up with new and exciting products to towards maintaining our position as the leader,” said Khan while pointing to adjustments to the program that includes a recent six-month discount of US$45,000, for a family of four, in the Sustainable Growth Fund; and the acceptance of siblings of the main applicants.
“In the coming months, other investment options will be proposed to Cabinet. One such program is for individuals to sell their private homes.”
The total revenue generated by the CBI over the past five years and the number of passports issued to new citizens by investment over that period were not disclosed on the two-hour “Leadership Matters”.
CS Global Partners reported in June this year that St. Kitts and Nevis’s CBI contributed an estimated 35% of the Federation’s revenue over the past five years.
In 2018, the Sustainable Growth Fund(SGF) was introduced so that applicants could make payments directly to a government held fund, with the Citizenship by Investment Unit able to check receipt and speed up the application process.
The SDG provides for a single applicant to make a non-refundable contribution of US$150,000; the main applicant with up to three dependents is required to make a contribution of US$150,000. Additional dependents regardless of age payUS$10,000. A non-refundable due diligence and processing fee of US$75000 for their main applicant and US$4000 for each dependent of the applicant who is over the age of 16 years.
Another pathway to citizenship by investment is real estate investment with a minimum investment of US$200,000 (resalable after 7 years) or US400,000 (resalable after 5 years) for each main applicant. Government fees of US$35,000 for the main applicant; Souse of the main applicant US$20,050. Any other qualified dependent of the main applicant regardless of age US$10,050
Between 2011 and 2017, revenue from investment migration programs more than tripled, according to Investment Migration Insider.
“The residence and citizenship by investment industry is now – conservatively estimated – as a US$21.4 billion market that’s growing by 23% a year, ” wrote Christian Nesheim in an article published by Investment Migration Insider, February 2019.