St Kitts and Nevis leads the regional agreement on Citizenship by Investment regulations

Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis

Honourable Dr. Terrance DrewHonourable Dr. Terrance Drew

Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew

Basseterre, March 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a historic move for the Caribbean, St Kitts and Nevis, one of the countries with a Citizenship by Investment Programme  (CBIP), and part of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the nation’s leadership has worked tirelessly with its partner OECS jurisdictions to enhance the integrity of CBIPs in the region. The twin-island federation alongside Antigua & Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, and Grenada agreed on mutual legislation, through the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which is aimed at a regional effort to strengthen the CBIPs and address international partners’ concerns surrounding CBIPs.

Caribbean CBIPs are designed to obtain foreign direct investments (FDIs) to support socio-economic developments in exchange for citizenship through thorough stringent due diligence processes.

St Kitts and Nevis is one of the CBI countries that have implemented initiatives that include a fixed minimum investment amount to ensure that the CBIP maintains its integrity and enhances confidence from its international partners.

The current Charmain of the OECS, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, spearheaded this initiative to enhance collaboration among the five Caribbean CBI countries. This Memorandum of Agreement is a clear indication that St Kitts and Nevis, among the other three Caribbean CBI nations, are prepared to make necessary adjustments that will benefit CBIPs, Caribbean citizens and international stakeholders.

Honourable Dr Drew stated that “the four small island developing States who signed this Memorandum have committed to increase and harmonise the minimum investment threshold of their CBIPs to an investment sum of at least US$200,000 no later than June 30, 2024, and more importantly, to bring an end to ’underselling’, a scourge on the CBI industry in the recent past. We have therefore agreed that the minimum investment thresholds for our CBIPs shall represent the actual amount of funds received and applied towards an applicant’s qualification under our respective CBIPs, and not the gross amount of funds paid by an applicant from which deductions, including the payment of commissions, are made.”

The Memorandum of Agreement dated 20 March 2024, outlines raising the minimum investment threshold to US$200,000 to be initiated by 30 June. The agreement addresses other aspects including sharing information on CBIP applicants; enhancing transparency measures, establishing a regional competent authority; setting common standards of communication and promotion; regulating agents; and facilitating joint training programmes.

St Kitts and Nevis is the pioneer of CBIPs and since its establishment in 1984, it continuously welcomes suggestions and spearheads reform in the wider migration industry. In this instance, St Kitts and Nevis and Caribbean CBIP countries have collectively adopted CBI legislation that maintains the integrity and security of Caribbean CBIPs. Although ahead of the curve, St Kitts and Nevis introduced new legislation last year addressing many of these areas now reflected in the Memorandum of Agreement, including increasing the investment thresholds.

The Head of St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Mr Michael Martin, has diligently supported the Government to ensure measures are in place, including efforts to prioritise strengthening due diligence processes to maintain the CBIPs’ integrity and competitiveness in the industry.

Standardising the minimum investment requirements will safeguard the importance of Caribbean CBIPs, improve security measures and reduce risks of CBIP countries not receiving the necessary FDI to develop their economies.

Attachment

CONTACT: Secretary of St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme Government of St. Kitts and Nevis 00 (1-869) 467-1474 communications@skn-ciu.com

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