The Citizenship Investment Unit officials have said that the assurance of transparency and security concerns are most important and maintained. There have been some changes done to the St. Kitts and Nevis program last week, and following were the questions answered.
- The officials have made some changes to the program, please explain the following changes and the reasons behind them?
- the program has been streamlined and now there are three options for people who want to apply through the program.
- An investment to the new Sustainable Growth Fund. The investment will allow people to apply for the citizenship. The amount will be $150,000 including the government fees for an applicant, and $195,000 for a family tour. The funding is $45,000 more than the Hurricane Relief Fund.
- A contribution of $400,000 for an approved real estate project, adding the $75,000 government fees. This property can be sold after five years.
- A contribution of $200,000 for an approved real estate project, also with the $75,000 government fees. The investment can be sold after seven years.
- What about the Sugar industry Diversification Foundation SIDF?
- the SIDF is in the process of being wound down. There was quite resonance when it was set up although it was a successful vehicle because of the fact that we had a sugar producing island. But when the industry ended, it was meant to be replaced by something. The SIDF contributed to the economy a lot but it was time for something new and that is the reason why SGF was set up.
- Does SIDF has any money left in it to be disbursed?
- It is being audited at the moment, so can’t give the details.
- Why the Hurricane Relief Fund is being closed down, although it was so successful?
- The HRF has been very successful and it has met all its target which were set. But it was already decided that it is going to be shut at the end of March and it’s happening like that only. Applications are still being processed and more exact figures could be given by September.
- What is the reason behind the different prices for real estate?
- The reason is to encourage bigger projects. There were a lot of developers who considered $400,000 not to be competitive. The investors were encourage to be a part for the sustainable development of the country. The Park Hyatt St Kitts has been so ssucceful that it was contributing to half of all the construction wages for the island and that brought more jobs and prosperity for the island.
- The applicants who can pay $200,000 for a stake in the real estate can apply for the citizenship without having to be part of the $400,000 club?
- Yes they can be, assuming that all the other requirement re being met for the citizenship. The only obligation would be that one will have to keep the investment for around seven years.
- it is being called ‘platinum silver’, but how can it be called that when you are selling it at a lower price?
- Platinum service isn’t just about the price but it more towards the experience and the good governance, diligence and the rigor of the program. It is one of the oldest citizenship investment program in the Caribbean and have been the most trusted one too. The program’s success was endorsed by the Passport Index of Henley & Partners which ranked the program as number one in the region. The processing has been entirely revamped and anyone who makes an investment would be assured that the application will be processed in the timeliest manner.
- Shouldn’t we take this price reduction as the first step in new price war?
- No, it was a need to respond to the market and be competitive but it will be seen that the contribution has been increased by $45,000. The market wars don’t help anyone. Citizenship is something valuable and it shouldn’t be given away just like that. One needs to be realistic. This is the reason why there are now three different offering which are realistic and in fact worth maintaining the platinum standard. There will be no more price reduction seen in the near future.
- How St. Kitts can be differentiated from other islands offering citizenship in the region?
- St.Kitts is the place where everyone is treated equally. There are no special deals or discounts with the donation amount, and the rule of law is respected over here.
- Can there be further modifications in the program in the near future?
- the situation will be monitored and if the market is changing, it will certainly be adopted. But in the near future, the effort is quite competitive and it is a sustainable offering which will meet all the requirements of anyone who wants citizenship along with benefit citizens, investors and the developers.
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