Saint Kitts & Nevis' CIU has issued a press release detailing entirely new terms for its program, which conform almost precisely to the guidelines reported by the media, specifically the Associated Press on July 26th. It's important to note that these rules have not been officially presented by the EU.
The new requirements are effective immediately. Here are the updates to the citizenship by investment program:
- Minimum Donation Doubles. The minimum donation required for a single applicant now stands at $250,000, doubling the previous amount under the Sustainable Growth Fund option.
- Real Estate Investment Increases. The minimum investment for the Developer's Real Estate Option has risen to $400,000. The previous rule allowing two investors to invest $200,000 each no longer applies.
- Approved Private Home Option. Investors can qualify for the program by acquiring an Approved Private Home (APH), either a condominium or a single-family dwelling. The purchase price for a condominium from its owner is set at $400,000, while for a single-family dwelling, it is $800,000. These homes must be held for at least seven years, and further substantial investment is required if they are to be sold to another CBI applicant.
- Contribution to Approved Public Benefit Projects Increases. The minimum contribution for citizenship through the Approved Public Benefit option has increased to $250,000 from the previous $175,000. This option is limited to Approved Public Benefactors who engage in projects that promote local employment, technology transfer, capacity building, and transfer all real estate to the state upon substantial completion.
- Mandatory Applicant Interviews Introduced. All applicants are now required to undergo an interview with either the Citizenship by investment unit (CIU) or an independent professional firm commissioned by the CIU, whether virtual or in-person.
- In-person Collection of Certificates of Citizenship. Applicants must now collect their Certificates of Registration in person, either in Saint Kitts & Nevis or at a designated diplomatic mission abroad.
- Limits on Program Marketing. The new rules impose "major limitations" on the advertising methods used by program promoters. Using visa-free access to Schengen as a selling point is likely prohibited, as demanded by the EU.
These changes are viewed as defensive measures rather than making the program more attractive to applicants. The intention is to address EU concerns and preserve visa-free travel to the Schengen zone. Other Caribbean Five countries may also consider similar adjustments, as, according to ImiDaily, Saint Kitts & Nevis likely made these decisions in consultation with regional consensus.