July 31, 2023
The European Commission has issued 6 specific demands to all countries offering Citizenship by Investment Programs (CIP), failing which visa-free access to the Schengen area would NOT be accessible to its citizens. These demands include –
- Enhanced due diligence on all applicants
- Mandatory interviews of all applicants
- In-person collection of citizenship documents
- Doubled minimum investment thresholds
- No third-party involvement in the transfer of funds
- No use of visa-free Schengen for marketing purposes
In response, Saint Kitts & Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) promptly issued a press release detailing entirely new terms for its program, which conforms almost precisely to the EU’s demands, and are effective immediately.
Prime Minister Terrance Drew said his country was today taking “another bold step in reaffirming our intention to not only offer the best Citizenship by Investment Program in the world but also to offer a program held together by a tight regulatory system designed to be a best-in-practice defense mechanism against illicit actors and those who try to bypass our high-end investment and contribution options.”
The minimum donation doubles to US$250,000
Replacing the donation-based Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) option, SISC now requires a donation of US$250,000 for a single applicant – double the minimum SGF contribution.
Minimum real estate investment doubles to US$400,000
The minimum amount for investing in the Developer’s Real Estate Option is now US$400,000. The option where 2 investors can invest US$200,000 each no longer applies.
Investors must still maintain the investment for at least 7 years, after which the property may be re-sold once to another CBI investor.
The minimum investment for the Approved Private Home (APH) option gets another layer
Investors can henceforth qualify for citizenship by acquiring APH – a condominium or single-family dwelling – for either
- US$400,000 if buying a condominium from its owner; or
- US$800,000 if buying a single-family dwelling from its owner.
The minimum contribution to Approved Public Benefit projects rises from US$175,000 to US$250,000
Those who would qualify for citizenship through the Approved Public Benefit option will now have to contribute US$250,000 rather than the previous US$175,000.
Mandatory applicant interviews, effective immediately
Whether virtual on in-person, all applicants must henceforth undergo an interview with either the Unit itself or “an independent professional firm commissioned by the CIU.”
Certificates of Citizenship must be collected in person
Applicants must now collect Certificates of Registration, the legal document proving citizenship, in person, either in Saint Kitts & Nevis itself or at a designated diplomatic mission abroad.
Attention will now be focused on whether other Caribbean CBI jurisdictions follow suit.
Contact us if you want to know more or want to apply for St. Kitts Citizenship.