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December 21, 2018

St. Kitts and Nevis Planning Reforms to Real Estate Option

Posted by:
Elevay Global

In a follow-up to the alleged evidence of unsanctioned discounts on the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program, the Citizenship by Investment Unit has announced plans to reform the real estate option.

During meetings held between approved real estate developers, senior government officials and the Citizenship by Investment Unit, a number of collaborative initiatives were discussed.

The Government’s new strategic plan includes the following initiatives:

Promotion

All parties agreed that they must be proactive in promoting the highest standards of the programme, inline with the programme’s platinum brand. The developers pledged that any promotional actions on their part, or the part of their agents, would adhere to the statutory requirements for real estate:

  • $400,000 which must be held for a minimum of 5 years.
  • $200,000 which must be held for a minimum of 7 years.

Processing of Applications

It was made clear that the CIU would not accept any applications for processing which did not meet the minimum standards listed above. Any actions which “undermine the integrity of the programme” will be investigated and the unit will act decisively against the developers and agents involved.

Escrow

The Government also proposed amendments to the Escrow Bill. The amendments will require that all funds received from real estate applications must be placed into an escrow account following “approval in principle”. The funds will be released to the developers on a schedule which is dependent on construction milestones.

In closing, the statements of Mr. Faron Lawrence sum up the stakes:

The CBI Program is a major component of our livelihood as clearly indicated in our country’s 2019 Budget. It is therefore the duty of all of us – private and public sectors, government and opposition and all stakeholders to do what is necessary not only to protect, but also to continue to grow and expand the industry. Key to that is good and effective regulations that safeguard our Program and our St. Kitts & Nevis brand.
Mr. Faron Lawrence, President of the Chamber of Commerce

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