BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – In its September 2023 report, the Financial Times ranked the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme of St. Kitts and Nevis as the top option in the investment migration industry. Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew says this recent ranking is because of his government’s swift and proactive measures to strengthen regulations governing the programme, particularly as it relates to due diligence.
“As we came in [to office], apart from opening up the country, which was done on the 7th of August, the next thing was to bring the CBI regulations and to start looking at them. I asked the [Attorney General] to start working on them as his first order of business. He brought the first iteration which we did then the second iteration which we have now done and so now we have very tight, good due diligence…and anyone who does not comply, he or she cannot go through with respect to the CBI programme,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew at his Thursday, October 6, 2023, edition of The RoundTable.
The Financial Times CBI Index rates the world’s active CBI programmes based on nine pillars, namely: Standard of Living, Freedom of Movement, Minimum Investment Outlay, Mandatory Travel or Residence, Citizenship Timeline, Ease of Processing, Due Diligence, Family, and Certainty of Product. St. Kitts and Nevis received the highest scores on four of those nine pillars, including on the crucial pillar of Due Diligence.
Dr. Drew said, “I have gone forward with the team to deal with the regulations and tighten them as tight as possible. I think that St. Kitts and Nevis’ programme has made the most significant changes. People have asked me why such significant changes…and it is because I had determined that this programme had to advance and work under the framework of good governance, and therefore if you look at our regulations you would recognize that our regulations are probably the most stringent within the region if you look at them.”
Recent changes to the Federation’s programme include the introduction of the Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC) investment option. Additionally, all investors applying for Citizenship by Investment are now required to have a mandatory interview, either virtually or in person, at a location specified by the Citizenship by Investment Unit and approved by the Board of Governors.
All background due diligence checks are commissioned by the Citizenship by Investment Unit and are conducted by independent professional firms from the United Kingdom, USA and Europe, and in accordance with the requirements set by the Board of Governors.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister said in matters pertaining to the Citizenship by Investment Programme his administration will always act responsibly and will continue to do all that is necessary to meet the requirements of its international partners.
“We are going to continue to dialogue with our international partners to show them our position. We would be making sure that we do all that we have to do so that we can engender that kind of confidence in them,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew.