The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship Investment Unit (CIU), the government agency tasked with administering the Federation’s world-leading Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, wishes to correct a number of inaccuracies and misunderstandings about the programme currently in the public domain.
Over the last seven years, the Government has transformed and significantly improved the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme. It is now an outstanding success story for St. Kitts and Nevis and makes an essential contribution to our economy and the government’s social support programmes. The story of our CBI has always been one of innovation to sustain the appeal and success of our Platinum Brand programme. Since 2015, we have achieved success by continuously improving our investment offer, first by improving the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund and Real Estate options, and more recently through the Hurricane Relief Fund, Sustainable Growth Fund and Limited Time Offers. All of these improved our market share and – crucially – have generated revenues that go directly into the government’s Consolidated Fund.
Our latest CBI innovation is the Alternative Investment Option which allows for government-approved public infrastructure projects to be constructed by private sector developers – and at their expense – in exchange for a portion of CBI investment. Most importantly, this solution means that neither the government nor the people of St. Kitts and Nevis pay for new state infrastructure but benefit from its construction. The AIO brings significant revenue to the Government’s Consolidated Fund, increasing the financial capacity of St. Kitts and Nevis to invest in roads, housing, healthcare, poverty alleviation, education and other social programmes for the benefit of Kittitians and Nevisians.
To date, two development projects have begun under the Alternative Investment Option: each project was approved unanimously by the Cabinet in 2021. The first is the Liamuiga housing development that will increase the quantity and quality of affordable middle-income housing. The second is a new correctional facility for the Federation that has been pledged by politicians for years but never delivered until now. The Alternative Investment Option means that we can finally have a modern and humane correctional facility, better suited to rehabilitation and meeting international standards, without needing to raise the funds beforehand from taxation or debt.
Each project’s benefit to the public is paramount and both were subjected to a rigorous process in line with the integrity for which the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI is known. The projects were initially reviewed by both the CIU and St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA) before the drafting of a Cabinet submission asking Cabinet to consider and approve or decline the project. As stated previously, both were approved without dissent from a single Cabinet minister.
These kinds of innovations contributed in 2021 to the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI being ranked the best citizenship investment programme in the world by Professional Wealth Management, the magazine published by the Financial Times, ahead of 13 other CBI schemes. St. Kitts and Nevis scored a perfect 10/10 on due diligence and integrity, ease and efficiency of application processing, family-friendliness, and travel and residency requirements.
Our CBI exists to benefit all the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and the CIU’s efforts, including with the establishment of the new Alternative Investment Option, are solely for that purpose. We hope that this statement clarifies and corrects some of the recent misunderstanding and distortion.