St Kitts and Nevis: New CBI guidelines weed out junk developers to foster genuine development projects

St Kitts and Nevis: New CBI guidelines weed out junk developers to foster genuine development projects
St Kitts and Nevis: New CBI guidelines weed out junk developers to foster genuine development projects

St Kitts and Nevis introduced new guidelines in March 2023 to accelerate development through the citizenship by investment programme. With the new regulations, the authorities aim to attract actual developers who seek to provide some noticeable infrastructural growth to the Federation.

Earlier, due to certain developers who were selling citizenship at a discounted price, the country suffered huge financial as well as developmental losses. Reportedly, instead of bringing money into the Federation, a handful of developers were keeping it safeguarded in their bank accounts thousands of miles away in cities like Macau & Hong Kong.

After the new Government, as well as the new administration of Citizenship by Investment Unit assumed authority the developers who caused damage were removed. As per reports, these “junk developers” were also the reason that the efforts of some “real developers” were overshadowed, as they could not compete in the markets when a few others were giving huge discounts, commissions and diverting investments.

Following the recent announcement of a new set of rules, the Government and Citizenship by Investment Unit have succeeded in kicking out the “junk developers” who were of no use to the country or its developmental goals. With the departure of these developers, now a small yet useful proportion of developers will gain opportunities in the citizenship by investment programme.

As per reports, junk developers were giving huge amounts of commissions and sold a massive number of citizenship applications at big discounts. Despite a moving high volume of applications, they failed to complete or even initiate a single project in the Federation and pocketed all the money.

Their investment funds lay dormant thousands of miles away from the shores of St Kitts and Nevis, rendering them idle and unproductive. Regrettably, despite their claims, these “junk developers” failed to make any tangible contribution towards the initiation of the promised projects.

Now, with the help of the new guidelines, the government has explicitly stated that the Real Estate Investment of USD 200,000 does not include any commission for the agents. This step ensures that the actual investment amount is put into the development project, thus showing visible signs of development.

For instance, now the USD 200,000 investment will be transferred to the “developer’s escrow account” ensuring that it is used to construct the real estate project. While all the other additional costs are no longer included in this substantial investment.

With the removal of junk developers, a market of new opportunities awaits real developers.

Some developers expressed their happiness about the recent changes in guidelines. They believe that this is a win-win situation for both developers and their clients.

A prominent developer expressed his happiness about the recent changes in guidelines.

He stated, “These new regulations have brought a breath of fresh air to the development landscape in St Kitts and Nevis. Finally, we can compete on a level playing field without being overshadowed by those who were offering unfair discounts. This is a win-win situation for developers like myself and clients. We can now focus on creating quality projects that will contribute to the growth and prosperity of the Federation.”

Developers are also excited to work under the new set of guidelines, adding that their ultimate goal is not only to bring investments but also to put in force the real infrastructure that portrays growth.

Real developers, who are still working in the Federation refer to the new changes as the “Sustainable Model of CBI Programme”, adding that the multi-faceted real estate application process has eliminated all the previous loopholes. The strict enforcement of escrow and project milestone requirements ensures that there are real estate projects that bring more investments to the country.