CaribbeanPolicy Updates

St Kitts & Nevis CIU Changes its Mind on CBI Real Estate Re-Sales, Issues New Set of Regulations



Merely seven weeks after issuing significant changes to its citizenship by investment program (CIP), St Kitts & Nevis’ CIU has released a new circular containing program updates to its agents. 

The circular, which the CIU sent out on the 10th of February, 2023, details some of the updates mentioned in its prior release while also inserting new changes to the program.

St Kitts & Nevis’ recently appointed Head of the CIU, Michael Martin, explained the reasoning behind the circular coming so soon after the last round of consequential changes to the program, which appears to be a reaction to relevant stakeholders’ communication, in a cover letter that read:

Since their enactment and following consultation with our key stakeholders, it is acknowledged that some of the changes set out in the Regulations required further clarification. Accordingly, we have taken on board these recommendations and yesterday, the Prime Minister, in his capacity as Minister of National Security, Citizenship and Immigration, issued updated Regulations with the aim of ensuring that the requirements of the CBI Programme are clear and unambiguous and meet the needs of our stakeholders and prospective applicants.

Below is a summary of the updates to the St Kitts & Nevis CIP that took effect on the 9th of February, as well as an overview of how they compare to the recent changes to the program issued seven weeks earlier.

Real Estate

The CIU has extended the deadline for real estate developers to re-apply to become Approved Developers until the 10th of March, 2023. Developers must directly re-apply to the Board of Governors for re-designation.

The main change in this update concerns the reselling of a real estate investment for the purposes of applying for a CBI. While the investment amount and holding period remain the same, the CIU has inserted a clause allowing CBI applicants to resell their investments if they meet certain conditions.

The changes for real estate investments were listed as follows:

  • A real estate unit of an Approved Development which is the subject of a CBI application submitted after the 10th of March, 2023, cannot be resold until a period of seven years has elapsed after the issuance of the formal document conferring legal ownership of the property on the main applicant.
  • A purchaser’s right to sell real estate units issued between the 1st of January, 2012, and the 10th of March, 2023, is preserved.
  • A real estate unit of an Approved Development issued after the 10th of March, 2023, cannot be resold to another CBI applicant unless substantial further investment (approved by Cabinet) has been injected into the real estate unit by way of further construction, renovation or otherwise.

Regarding the Private Homes investment option, the investment amount remains the same at $400,000, but the holding period is reduced by two years, and reselling conditions undergo a change:

  • The minimum holding period of an Approved Private Home is reduced from seven to five years.
  • An Approved Private Home cannot be resold until a period of five years has elapsed after the date of issuance of the formal document conferring legal ownership of the Approved Private Home on the main applicant.
  • The resale of an Approved Private Home previously purchased by a CBI applicant is not allowed unless the purchaser applies for the re-designation of the property as an Approved Private Home again.

The circular of December 2022 explicitly banned the reselling of real estate and private homes for the purposes of recycling under the CIP; this change remedies that regulation by conditioning the resale process.

Renaming the Public Good Investment Option

The December circular introduced the Public Good Investment Option, an investment channel that replaced the Alternative Investment Option.

The Public Good Investment Option’s name proved to be short-lived. The investment stream has been renamed the Public Benefit Option (PBO) and has undergone the following changes:

  • Any person or entity who wishes to pursue a project which brings substantial benefit to the people of St Kitts and Nevis may apply to be designated as an Approved Public Benefactor, who can then apply to have their project designated as an Approved Public Benefit Project.
  • Under the PBO, a minimum donation of $175,000 is required to be made per each CBI application to an Approved Public Benefactor.
  • Any real estate development previously designated as an “Alternative Investment Option” development is required to apply to the Board of Governors to be re-designated as an Approved Public Benefit Project on or before the 10th of March, 2023, failing which it will no longer qualify under the Public Benefit Option.

Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) and Limited Time Offer (LTO)

The LTO has not undergone any changes, and its deadline remains the 1st of July 2023, and its pricing stays constant as follows:

During the LTO of the SGF, the minimum contribution is as follows:

  • For a main applicant only: $125,000;
  • For a main applicant and a spouse: $150,000;
  • For a main applicant and up to three dependents: $170,000;
  • For each additional dependent under the age of 18: $10,000; and
  • For each additional dependent aged 18 or over: $25,000.

From the 1st of July 2023 onwards, the minimum amount of contribution will be as follows:

  • For a main applicant only: $150,000;
  • For a main applicant and a spouse: $175,000;
  • For a main applicant and up to three dependents: $195,000;
  • For each additional dependent under the age of 18: $10,000; and
  • For each additional dependent aged 18 or over: $25,000.

However, the CIU has given more detail into who the donation amount encompasses precisely, as the minimum contribution amount of $170,000 during the LTO is applicable to a main applicant and up to three dependents, regardless of the ages of the dependents and whether or not a spouse is included. The same applies to the minimum contribution amount of $195,000 after the LTO.

Accelerated and Non-Accelerated CBI Applications

Processing times for the LTO and accelerated applications remain 60 days, while the CIU will process non-accelerated applications within 90 days.

However, the CIU has presented changes to the accelerated fee structure, as it has introduced a “premium due diligence fee” associated with accelerated applications while modifying the accelerated application fee amount and moving its collection date to post-approval.

The changes to due diligence fees are as follows:

For non-accelerated applications and applications under the LTO of the SGF investment option, the following standard due diligence fees apply:

  • $7,500 for the main applicant; and
  • $4,000 for each dependent aged 16 or over.

With the exception of CBI applications made under the LTO of the SGF investment option, the following premium due diligence fees will apply to all accelerated CBI applications:

  • $20,000 for the main applicant; and
  • $10,000 for each dependent aged 16 or over.

As for post-approval application fees, they are as follows:

With respect to all accelerated CBI applications (other than a CBI application made under the LTO of the SGF investment option), the following post-approval application fees apply:

  • $35,000 for the main applicant;
  • $25,000 for the spouse of the main applicant;
  • $15,000 for each dependent under the age of 18; and
  • $25,000 for each dependent aged 18 or over.

This marks a significant change to the recent update the CIU issued to the fees in December, as main applicants will now pay $12,500 more for accelerated processes, and there is an increase of $2,500 for the spouse and dependents below 18 years of age, while adult dependents (other than the spouse) will yield $2,500 less under accelerated applications.

Post Citizenship Dependent Addition

Further changes were made to the fees required to add dependents post-gaining citizenship, as the fee for adding a spouse or any qualified dependent post-approval was increased for both standard and accelerated processing, while the fee for adding a newborn dependent child remained the same for standard processing but decreased for accelerated applications.

The following application fees apply to any non-accelerated CBI application for post-approval dependent addition:

  • $30,000 for the addition of a spouse or each qualified dependent after approval-in-principle of the main applicant; and
  •  $10,000 for the addition of a dependent child born after the CBI application is submitted to the CIU but before the date, the Certificate of Registration is issued to the main applicant.

The following application fees apply to any accelerated CBI application for post-approval dependent addition:

  • $40,000 for the addition of a spouse or each qualified dependent after approval-in-principle of the main applicant; and
  • $15,000 for the addition of a dependent child born after the CBI application is submitted to the CIU but before the date, the Certificate of Registration is issued to the main applicant.

Dependent Parent Age

The CIU also altered the qualifying age for dependent parents and grandparents of the main applicant or their spouse, lowering it from 65 to 55 years. However, they must remain fully dependent on the main applicant or spouse. 

Designation

Another flurry of changes came in the form of designation for new real estate developments and International Market Agents (IMA).

For new real estate developments, developers of projects not previously designated as Approved Developments must first apply to the St Kitts Investment Promotion Agency, who, after review, shall submit its recommendations to the Board of Governors for that development to be designated an Approved Development.

As for IMA’s, the CIU stated that they must be limited liability companies or other corporate bodies and must pay an annual designation or re-designation fee of $10,000. 

The IMA designation fee marks another change to the December circular, which at the time set a due diligence fee of $4,000 per shareholder for companies to qualify as IMAs.

Table of Changes

Before December 23rd Dec 23rd – Feb 8th Feb 9th – Onward
Government Fees Main applicant:
US$35,050

Spouse of the main applicant: US$20,050

Any other qualified dependent of the main applicant, regardless of age: US$10,050

Main applicant: US$25,000
Spouse: US$15,000

Qualified dependent below 18 years of age: US$10,000

Qualified dependent above 18 years of age: US$15,000

Main applicant: US$25,000
Spouse: US$15,000

Qualified dependent below 18 years of age: US$10,000

Qualified dependent above 18 years of age: US$15,000

Accelerated Processing Fees Main applicant: US$25,000

Any family member aged 16 or over: US$20,000

Any family member under the age of 16 (passport fee only) US$500

Main Applicant: US$42,500

Spouse: US$32,500

Qualified Dependent Below 18 Years of Age: US$22.500

Qualified Dependent Above 18 years of Age: US$37,500

Premium Due Diligence Fee: US$20,000 for the main applicant and US$10,000 for each dependent aged 16 or over

Post Approval Accelerated Fee: US$35,000 for the main applicant, US$25,000 for the spouse of the main applicant, US$15,000 for each dependent under the age of 18, and US$25,000 for each dependent aged 18 or over

Real Estate Reselling for CBI Purposes Yes No Yes, but only if substantial further investment (approved by Cabinet) has been injected into the real estate unit by way of further construction, renovation, or similar
Private Homes Holding Period N/A 7 years 5 years
Private Homes Reselling For CBI Purposes N/A No Yes, but only if re-designated
Post Citizenship Addition Fees Spouse: US$35,000

Child: US$10,000

Standard Processing: Spouse US$20,000, Newborn Minor US$10,000

Accelerated Processing: Spouse: US$37,500, Newborn Minor dependent: US$22,500

Standard Processing: Spouse or any qualifying dependent US$30,000, Newborn Minor US$10,000

Accelerated Processing: Spouse or any qualifying dependent US$40,000, Newborn Minor dependent: US$15,000

Authorized Agents Registration Fee US$5,000 US$5,000 US$5,000

Ahmad Abbas AdministratorAuthorSubscriberParticipant
Director of Content Services , Investment Migration Insider

Ahmad Abbas is Director of Content Services at Investment Migration Insider and an 8-year veteran of the investment migration industry.

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