With the last few years producing the highest ever sales figures for land and property on St Kitts and Nevis, the government needed to get inventive to ensure numbers didn’t suddenly diminish. And they’ve come up trumps, with newly adapted Citizenship By Investment (CBI) regulations. There are pages and pages of documents to trawl through, so we’ve done the hard work for you and summed up the changes here.
Firstly, a quick look at acquiring citizenship by purchasing real estate. If a property is listed as an Approved Development a minimum investment of US$200,000 is required, typically getting the purchaser a share of a property. Any real estate purchased under this option after March 10th 2023 that is subject to a CBI application cannot be resold within seven years of purchase – and furthermore, when it is sold, cannot then be sold to somebody else wanting to make a CBI application. However, if substantial investments have been made in the real estate – such as further construction or renovation – then the property can be considered to be eligible for CBI purchasers in the future.
The popular Private Homes Option has become a permanent option; that is, when a property is both Approved and valued at US$400,000 per applicant. The property cannot be resold within five years of purchase. Resale to another CBI applicant can be made, but only if the purchaser applies for re-designation of the property as an Approved Private Home.
It should also be noted that for Private Home properties, single family homes sold under the option cannot be broken down into apartments or condos or otherwise divided for sale; likewise, an apartment building or more than one apartment building on the same piece of land must be sold as a single unit and not divided.
These changes are relatively small but they are important. Another change is the introduction of the Public Benefit Option.
This allows CBI applicants to acquire citizenship when they invest a minimum of US$175,000 in a Public Good Project. These projects have been defined as those that bring significant benefits to the citizens of St Kitts and Nevis, particularly by providing local employment. All financial risks are assumed by the purchaser, but also all investments made belong to the applicant unless the Project is being created on State ground.
There are also changes to sums associated with CBI applicants choosing the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) route. Until 1st July 2023, the main applicant will pay $125,000; including a spouse will be US$150,000; including up to three dependents will be US$170,000. Additional dependents under and over the age of 18 will be, respectively, US$10,000 and US$25,000. Some of these figures increase from 1st July 2023 onwards, with the main applicant needing to pay US$150,000; including a spouse makes it US$175,000, and including up to three dependents will increase to US$195,000. Processing time is 60-90 days, depending on whether or not the Accelerated Option is chosen. Complete details of the changes are available on our website.
All in all, the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is doing what it does best: adapting to the changing world and global market forces. While keen to encourage people to invest and gain citizenship, there is a sense that the government is eager for people to seriously consider the islands as their home for more extended periods. There have been more successful applications for new builds in the last few years than ever before: there is plenty of space and opportunity for more people to move here. But what would be ideal is if people are here with a view to putting something back into the community, in addition to supporting local shops and services.
Remember, this is an investment in your wellbeing as much as in a passport. Life on Nevis is slow and gentle, dictated by the rhythms of the sun and the stars. We have a huge variety of homes waiting for new owners looking to take advantage of the perfect combination of palm trees and warm seas.