Though there has been no official confirmation of this move by the government, sources have already quietly alerted some players in the international market, who have been promoting and selling the program.
It is believed that, under the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, (SIDF), option, the fees may be increased by some 60%.
Therefore they may jump from present levels of US$250,000 to US$400,000.
The new charges will become effective in the New Year, (2013), when the program resumes. It is also been stated that as of today, 14th December, 2012, the program will be suspended for the rest of the year; perhaps because of the Christmas/Carnival Season in St. Kitts and Nevis, or to capitalize on greater profits come January, 2013.
This is how one international service provider, Mark Nestmann, (from the Nestmann Group Ltd), has reacted, “Currently, a single applicant can expect to pay US$285,000 in total costs, under the SIDF option. Total costs for the second option, purchase of qualified real estate, exceeds US$500,000 for a single applicant. Yes, it’s expensive, but the St. Kitts and Nevis passport is a well-respected travel document with visa-free access to more than 130 countries. And it may be about to get significantly more expensive.”
Nestmann said that he was informed by sources in St. Kitts, (though he did not name them), that the fee increases were coming soon. To avoid having their clients pay the higher fees next year, the Nestman Group had been urging them to urgently submit their applications before today’s deadline (for when the office in St. Kitts suspends the processing of applications), for the balance of 2012.