The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has implemented new measures geared towards improving the brand of the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme and protecting the clients who invest in the real estate projects in the country.
St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship (CBI Escrow Accounts) Bill passed in November, 2017. This piece of legislation provides the guidelines relating to escrow accounts and agreements under the Federation’s citizenship by investment programme.
St. Kitts and Nevis is the only country in the OECS that has drafted and gazetted an Escrow Bill. This legislation continues to be improved, and by the end of the year the govt will be implementing a payout schedule that all developers must adhere to
The Escrow Bill was established to ensure that funds are placed into escrow if a title for property was not available. – Les Khan
Currently foreign investors can invest in approved real estate under the following government approved routes with the minimum
- USD 200,000 in shares held for 7 years
- USD 400,000 full title deed held for 5 years
Real estate buyers should be aware of purchase costs (mainly compulsory insurance fund contributions and conveyance fees) and due diligence fees.
The Escrow Bill requires to ensure that funds are placed into escrow if a title for property was not available to issue certificate of approval from citizenship unit.
Mr. Khan further indicated that the final stages of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship (CBI Escrow Accounts) Bill, which is currently being drafted into regulation, will provide for a payout schedule for funds placed in escrow.
“The schedule is based on completion of certain stages of development and will ensure completion of projects. With this schedule, the Government is ensuring that construction continues, jobs are created, and an overall direct contribution to the economy is achieved,”
– CEO Les Khan.
An escrow account is a bank account opened with an escrow agent in the escrow agent’s name for the benefit of the parties to a principal agreement such as a real estate purchase contract. The escrow agent oversees the management of an escrow account subject to certain conditions based on the principal agreement and the escrow agreement.
The escrow agent – who is a neutral third party – temporarily holds the purchase money and supervises the payments (the timing and amounts of disbursements
The successful management of the CBI programme has helped St. Kitts and Nevis rebound and recover from natural disasters, improve the socio-economic standings of citizens and residents and strengthen a number of the Federation’s sectors including tourism.
By making these important changes, Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is strengthening its position as a leader in the economic citizenship industry.