St Kitts & Nevis: Citizenship Program Expanded Dismissing Reports of EU Investigation
Saint Kitts and Nevis has opened its Public Benefit Option (PBO) investment category to its Citizenship by Investment program (CBI), officially adding it to the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) website, dismissing reports of EU Investigation that the scheme is involved in irregular affairs.
The decision came nearly a year after this option was removed from the Citizenship by Investment Program, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Michael Martin, confirmed that the government fully supports the PBO.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment (CBI) was launched in 1984, offering investors and their families the opportunity to acquire citizenship provided they contribute financially and meet the required conditions.
Benefiting from the CBI scheme means that successful applicants can become citizens of St Kitts and Nevis without the need for any prior residence.
However, last year, it was reported that the scheme was under investigation by the EU and US in a total of five Caribbean islands.
In spite of bringing significant contributions to the country’s economy, the scheme is often subject to reports over its involvement in irregular affairs, such as money laundering and corruption.
Nevertheless, Prime Minister Terrance Drew, emphasizing the importance of this scheme, said that the program continues to be “an illustrative pathway” for wealthy internationals.
The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) is a government agency responsible for managing the country’s CBI scheme.
The main objective of the scheme is to process and oversee CBI applications while ensuring that the scheme operates in line with the laws and regulations of the country. At the same time, the CIU thoroughly evaluates each application in order to ensure that applicants meet the needed conditions and also fulfill the required investment obligations.
The CIU is overseen by the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr.Terrance Michael Drew, who also serves as Minister of Finance, National Security, Citizenship and Immigration, Health and Human Resource Management, and Social Security.
Those interested in developing a project that brings significant benefits to the people of St Kitts and Nevis are eligible to apply to the CIU in order to be designed as an approved public beneficiary.
Then, they are eligible to apply for their projects to be designed as Approved Public Benefit Projects qualified for sale under this option.
Through the Public Benefit Option, each main applicant needs to contribute a minimum of US$250,000 in a unit of an Approved Public Benefit Project, paid to the designated benefactor.
Last year, the St Kitts and Nevis CIU announced new changes to the CBI that became effective from July 27, 2023. Among them, the minimum investment donation and real estate doubled to US$ 250,000 and $400,000, respectively.
In addition, the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) was replaced with the Sustainable Island State Contribution Fund (SISC).
Among the changes were also mandatory interviews, meaning that each applicant is required to attend an interview conducted by an independent professional firm commissioned by the CIU or by officials of the Unit.