BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CIU) — Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, in his New Year’s address to the nation, talked about 2017 as a year of growth and resilience, themes that sit well with the way in which the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment programme is shaping up.
Since the appointment of Les Khan in September 2016 as the new chief executive, the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) has undergone a complete overhaul and restructuring leading to a more robust due diligence framework, greater transparency and thereby improved credibility.
“The changes were absolutely essential in order to modernise the programme, improve governance and demonstrate greater transparency. As St Kitts and Nevis initiated the programme in 1984, a review was timely. I am grateful to the prime minister and his Cabinet for sharing a common vision and drive in implementing improvements aligned to the platinum standard which our citizenship by investment programme rightly deserves,” Khan said.
According to the quality of nationality index (QNI), an objective assessment undertaken by Henley and Partners, St Kitts and Nevis is currently 59 out of 161 countries listed, giving it a ranking of high quality. The criteria for this assessment include scale of the economy, human development, peace and stability.
The current government is firmly of the view that citizenship is more than a passport and, to this end, the prime minister has been inviting applicants to play a role in the life, culture and economy of the Federation. Harris in a recent address to agents, service providers and developers set the tone for the programme going forward when he said:
“Citizenship is a special connection between a person and a country. As a proud people we cherish our citizenship. We want those who are fortunate and privileged to obtain our citizenship to have an enduring, productive and positive relationship with St Kitts and Nevis. We invite them to help us make our beautiful country a prosperous country which has now become theirs also by bringing new skills, further investments and they must be of good character and repute.
“We aim high and we want the most discerning citizens to help us reinforce the platinum standards.”