The St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme continues to undergo severe amendments to improve the transparency and legitimacy of the programme.
Earlier in July 2023, the Government of St Kitts and Nevis introduced several new amendments to the programme, including an overall revamp. A new investment option named Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC) was introduced, which replaced the previous Sustainable Growth Fund.
This alteration is a sign of the commitment with which St Kitts and Nevis is approaching the aim of sustainable development while ensuring that the expected standards for citizenship are maintained.
This has led to a rise in the cost for single applicants, who will now have to contribute an amount of US US $250,000. The Government also raised the profile of the Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC), making it a more viable option for legitimate candidates.
Through this change, the nation is looking to bring in investors who have a long-term vision that aligns with the goals of St Kitts and Nevis in terms of sustainability, the protection of the environment and the future of the nation.
The new CBI option has enabled St Kitts and Nevis to focus on sustainable infrastructure and redouble its efforts when it comes to providing quality services to citizens.
A major feature of St Kitts and Nevis’s push for overarching sustainability is seen in the rise of investment opportunities in the nation, which allow foreign investment to supplement the nation’s needs. With a key focus on sustainable infrastructure, the nation is attempting to build commercial and private projects which have the ability to sustain the wrath of the elements.
This has been recognized as the need of the hour as the Caribbean region is prone to sustaining significant damage, which often leads to loss of life and property caused by extreme weather conditions brought on by the hurricane season. The government of St Kitts and Nevis has taken multiple steps so as to maintain its position as the regional pioneer in Citizenship by Investment.
Exploring new horizons under Prime Minister Terrance Drew
St Kitts and Nevis has undertaken a major overhaul of its CBI Programme, which coincides with the administrative changes that were made to the nation’s highest offices in 2022.
PM Drew, along with other leaders in the field, has pursued important steps to enhance the programme. This initiative was seen as counterintuitive by most other nations and their programmes but has acted as a hurdle for questionable parties seeking citizenship.
Since the CBI Programme of St Kitts and Nevis is the nation’s most significant source of capital, much as in the case of other competing Caribbean nations, such additions are seen as vital for securing the future of both the programme and the nation.
Under the watchful eye of Prime Minister Terrance Drew, St Kitts and Nevis has also managed to add additional features to the vetting process, making the programme and, by extension, the nation more secure than ever before.
This stems from important discussions that were held between five major CBI contributors from the Caribbean and representatives of the United States on the 25th of February, 2023.
The round table conference held between these parties focused specifically on maintaining and upgrading the transparency, security and integrity of the major CBI Programmes on offer in the Caribbean.
As a result, St Kitts and Nevis has made interviews mandatory for applicants and dependents over the age of 16, which is being seen as a step in the right direction. By making these additions to the vetting process, St Kitts and Nevis has not just maintained its position as the premier CBI provider in the region but has set a new standard for its peers to strive for.
Another layer of security that has been welcomed is the provision that applicants must have no prior Visa denials from nations which offer Visa free entry to St Kitts and Nevis passport holders.
Use of International Partners for vetting process
To maintain the integrity and efficacy of the vetting process, St Kitts and Nevis has made the decision to use reliable sources which are both internal and external, thus extending the remit of the programme and improving the applicability of the vetting process.
For this purpose, the CIU of St Kitts and Nevis has opened its doors to collaborations with international firms that specialize in due diligence. These firms, which are based in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe, allow applicants to be vetted through multiple stages of checks.
Another significant change to the policies includes a list of nations which have been blacklisted by the programme. In simple terms, applicants from nations such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Belarus and North Korea will not be accepted by St Kitts and Nevis.
The Programme has also made it compulsory for applicants to physically collect the Certificate of Registration from St Kitts and Nevis or a consulate or embassy at the discretion of the CIU.
The exclusion of siblings and grandparents as acceptable dependents under the programme has also been applied, while the minimum age for the inclusion of an applicant’s parents has been raised to 65 years.
Overhaul of the St Kitts and Nevis CIU
The former Head and CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit of St Kitts and Nevis, Les Khan, was removed from his position by Prime Minister Terrance Drew-led government following multiple reports of price undercutting, fraud and misconduct.
Khan was reportedly cutting down the prices of the programme to benefit the developers of Caribbean Galaxy Real Estate under the shadow of Former Prime Minister Timothy Harris.
The responsibility of leading the programme has now been handed to Michael Martin, who has proven himself to be a consummate professional and an exceptional leader.
Under his leadership, the Citizenship by Investment Unit has undertaken the task of bringing the programme up to speed with internationally accepted standards by the introduction of the aforementioned agendas and policies.
All of this has been done under the guidance of Michael Martin, becoming a shining example of his leadership skills, dedication to the programme and capability.
Under him, raising the standards and, by extension, the value of the nation’s CBI Programme has become the primary focus of the Citizenship by Investment Unit of St Kitts and Nevis.
Stringent Due Diligence
As the programme continues to move towards more stringent vetting practices, applicants are required to fulfill a myriad of criteria to get accepted.
Some of these include but are not limited to, business and address verifications, online and offline verifications, political exposure of candidates, a record of crime or fraud, family history, income verification, education, anti-national proclivities and finally, cross-referencing of all the data obtained.
Thus, it is no longer viable for bad actors to pass by the due diligence process of the CBI Programme of St Kitts and Nevis, making the nation secure while raising the value of the programme significantly at an international level.
It is no wonder, then, that Prime Minister Terrance Drew and Michael Martin have managed to build the most coveted Citizenship by Investment Programme in the world, one that surpasses what is being offered by their peers.