Frequently Asked Questions
List of Topics
- What is the SIDF?
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The SIDF is the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, established in September 2006 under the Foundations Act of 2003.
- What is the purpose of the SIDF?
The purpose of the Foundation is “to support or assist the government of St Kitts and Nevis in its efforts to grow or develop the national economy and maintain economic stability in St Kitts and Nevis following the closure of the sugar industry; and to support, finance or undertake the development of new and existing industries, projects, undertakings or enterprises in St Kitts and Nevis. Within the intendment of the By-laws or Regulations, the Foundation may, moreover, provide grants or loans or budget support or debt forgiveness or assistance of any kind to the government or to any other natural or juridical persons, institutions and the like.
The Foundation shall not conduct any commercial activities save and except for the fulfillment of the above mentioned purposes.
- How is the SIDF governed?
The Foundation is a legal entity and is administered by an independent Board of councillors.
- Who are the Board of councillors?
The Board of councillors comprises six persons.
- Who manages the day- to- day affairs of the Foundation?
The day-to-day affairs of the Foundation are managed by a team of qualified professionals.
- How can I benefit from the Foundation?
If you are a Resident, you are already benefiting from the Foundation. The Foundation supports many projects that benefit the Federation, including airlift support, tourism, electricity generation, farming, sports, heritage, culture, education and budgetary support.
- How does the Foundation get its monies?
The Foundation receives contributions from persons who qualify under the Citizenship by Investment Program, as prescribed in the legislation.
- Where are the monies received by the Foundation held?
All monies received by the Foundation are lodged in various local banks.
- Who are the Auditors of the Foundation?
From its inception the Foundation has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
- How does the Foundation report to the public?
The Foundation publishes its Financial Statements and activities on its Website (www.sknsidf.org). Additionally, the Foundation prepares press releases and news items for the media and gives interviews.
- What kind of assistance is available from the SIDF?
The Foundation offers assistance in the form of grants, loans and equity capital.
- How does a project qualify for grant funding?
The project should contribute to economic growth and development, engender social empowerment and meet the stipulated requirements.
- How do I get a loan from the SIDF?
All eligible nationals of St Kitts and Nevis have access to the resources of the Foundation.
A person may request loan financing through the SIDF’s Website or in writing to the SIDF’s address. All applications will be reviewed, and approved applications will be submitted to partner financial institutions for the appropriate action.
In addition, for specially approved projects, a loan may be accessed via a financial institution which receives funds from SIDF for on-lending. Such funds can be accessed through the Development Bank, eligible commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions such as credit unions.
- How can I access equity capital from SIDF?
You may apply directly to the Foundation. The Foundation may provide equity capital for selected projects. These projects get monies from the Foundation which are used for investment. In return, the Foundation gets a share of the business and participates in the ownership and management of the business. In some cases, apart from having ownership in the project or business, the nature of the financial commitment may also require that the Foundation be involved or have a say in its management
- Will I be denied assistance if I apply?
All applicants are equally considered and the same measurements are applied across the pool of applicants. There is no discrimination on any eligible applicant on the basis of gender, size of business, educational attainment, place of residence or political party affiliation.
- How can I ensure that my project will be financed?
The Foundation cannot guarantee that all projects will be financed, but applicants can be assured that all requests for funding will be treated equally in keeping with its mandates and priorities.
- How long does it take to get SIDF funding?
The process of procuring a loan can vary depending on the nature of the request. However, applicants would be contacted or kept abreast of the status of the application.
The application screening process may include interviews, project appraisal and other evaluative methods that may affect the time an applicant takes to get a response. In addition, institutions that are serving as finance windows follow their own underwriting methodology.
- Does the Foundation have any money that was left over from the “Sugar Money” ?
No. There has never been any money in the Foundation that was left over from the sugar industry. All monies in the Foundation are from funds deposited from persons who qualified under the Citizenship by Investment Program, SIDF option.
- Why does the Foundation charge interest on monies loaned?
Interest earned on monies loaned is re-invested in the Foundation to ensure that there will always be resources to finance projects and, more importantly, to lessen the dependence on deposits made by persons applying for Economic Citizenship.
- Is the SIDF option the only means by which a person can gain citizenship?
No. The SIDF is one of three approved options under the Citizenship by Investment Program. A person can also gain citizenship by the real estate option or a project approved by Cabinet.
- Why is the Foundation called the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation
The Foundation was named the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation because it was established to assist in creating a sustainable platform for the financing of the economy in the post sugar era.
The Foundation provides support for projects that create employment opportunities for all nationals, including displaced sugar workers; encourages enterprise development and the growth of indigenous businesses; and invests in projects that are vital to the stability and transformation of the economy and society.
- Why is SIDF providing financial support to foreign airlines?
The Foundation does not finance any airline. The Foundation provides some assistance to the St Kitts Tourism Authority to help it ensure that our major tourist markets are adequately serviced. Assistance is in the form of contributions to the Marketing Fund or to the guarantee that some airlines require to service our destination.
Without some form of subsidy, regular airline service to small markets like St Kitts and Nevis will be very uncertain and unstable. The lack of regular direct service from our major source markets has proven to be a setback to the already fragile tourism and hospitality industry. A reliable international air transport service is critical to the attractiveness and competitiveness of St Kitts and Nevis as a destination. More importantly, given the high concentration of nationals in the Diaspora, regular and reliable airlift to the North American and European markets is critical.
- Why has the SIDF invested in Belmont Resorts Ltd. (Kittitian Hill)?
The Foundation determined that in order to diversify its tourism product offering another 4 plus star hotel needed to be operational in St Kitts and Nevis. The Kittitian Hill project was identified as a project meeting the criterion. In addition, Kittitian Hill is a sustainable, socially responsible and green project that would provide needed employment for persons in the rural area and de-centralize economic activity away from Basseterre, the capital.
Kittitian Hill is one of the projects in the tourism and hospitality industry that have the capability to drive economic activity, given the uniqueness of its products and product range; its capacity to lessen the vulnerability of the fragile tourism industry; its impact on the rural communities displaced by the closure of the sugar industry; and its linkages with the cultural industry, one of the emerging growth segments.
- What is the ownership structure of Belmont Resorts Ltd. (Kittitian Hill)?
Presently the Foundation owns 90% of the equity of Belmont Resorts Ltd (Kittitian Hill).
- How much has SIDF invested in Belmont Resorts Ltd. (Kittitian Hill)?
According to the Financial Statements, the Foundation has invested EC$26,276,980, which represents 90% of Belmont Resorts Ltd. (Kittitian Hill).
- Is SIDF supporting any other hotel projects?
Yes. The Foundation, in collaboration with the St Kitts and Nevis Hotel and Tourism Association (HTA), has provided a pool of money to local hotels and restaurants to refurbish their plant, improve the hotel product offering and training at low interest financing.
Economic Citizenship (Source: Citizenship-By-Investment Unit)
- Who do I contact to become an economic citizen?
When applying to be a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis by way of investment, the main applicant must contact an authorised person.
- Who is an authorised person?
An authorised person means a person license by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission to conduct corporate or trust services in St Kitts and Nevis, who has paid the authorised person’s fee and is authorized to act on behalf of the main applicant in relation to a citizenship by investment application.
- Where do I find an authorised person?
Click here for an alphabetised list of authorised persons.
- Do you recommend any authorised person?
No. The SIDF does not endorse any authorised person.
- How do I apply to be an economic citizen?
All pertinent information will be provided by your chosen authorized person.
- What are the requirements of becoming a Citizen by investment?
The main applicant:
- Must be at least eighteen years of age.
- Must have made an investment in the prescribed amount.
- Must meet other application requirements.
- Can my family be included with my application?
Yes. All permitted dependents can be included in your application for economic citizenship.
- Does the Programme recognize same sex marriage?
The laws of St Kitts and Nevis define “spouse” as the partner of the opposite sex by marriage.
- Do I have to travel to St Kitts and Nevis?
Travel to St Kitts and Nevis is not generally required. However, as part of the processing of the applications, individual applicants may be requested to attend an interview.
- Is residing in St. Kitts and Nevis required in order to apply for citizenship?
No. Residing in St Kitts and Nevis is not required when applying for citizenship using the Citizenship by Investment Option.
- How long does the application process take?
The application process may take as little as 90 days but may be delayed for cause. Applicants will be kept appraised of the status of their applications through their authorised person.
- Is the application form available online?
No. The application form for citizenship by investment can only be obtained through and submitted to the Citizen by Investment Unit by an authorised person.
- Is there a minimum age requirement for an applicant?
The minimum age requirement for the main applicant is 18 years of age. Permitted dependents may be of any age.
- Who are permitted dependents?
Permitted dependent means:
- A spouse of the main applicant
- A child under eighteen (18) years old of the main applicant or his or her spouse
- The child of the main applicant or his or her spouse between eighteen and twenty-five years who is in full time attendance at a recognized institution of higher learning after his/her eighteen birthday and fully supported by the main applicant
- Parents or grandparents of the main applicant or his spouse above the age of sixty-five years living with and fully supported by the main applicant
- A child of the main applicant or spouse of the main applicant who is above the age of eighteen years and physically or mentally challenged.
- What is the maximum number of dependents allowed by a main applicant?
There is no numerical limit on the number of permitted dependents.
- If I am no longer interested in becoming a citizen will my monies be refunded?
All monies will be refunded with the exception of due diligence fees and processing fees.
- What are the fees involved?
All applicants and permitted dependents are required to pay due diligence and processing fees.
- What is the minimum investment required if the real estate option is pursued?
The minimum real estate investment required is US$400,000.00 for each main applicant.
- Can two or more applicants apply for citizenship by investment together?
Yes. Two or more applicants may apply for citizenship together by purchasing one piece of real estate, provided each main applicant contributes the minimum investment of US$400,000.00.
- What is a Police Certificate?
A police certificate refers to a statement from a national law enforcement authority on the status of a person’s criminal record. It is also referred to as “certificate of no criminal record or “police clearance record”.
- Who is required to produce a police certificate?
Each main applicant and all permitted dependents 16 years and older are required to produce a police certificate.
- Can I submit my application in a language other than English?
No. Applications that are not in English are not prescribed or accepted by the Citizenship by investment Unit.
- Can I contact Citizenship by Investment Unit directly?
The unit engages only with authorised persons. You can contact an authorised person with regards to questions pertaining to your application.