St Kitts and Nevis have the best due diligence of any Caribbean citizenship by investment programme, according to industry experts. The ranking of the dual-island nation marks the investment the Government has made into strengthening the security of its Citizenship by Investment (‘CBI’) Programme.
In the 2019 edition of the Chetcuti Cauchi CIP Due Diligence Index, St Kitts and Nevis places above the majority of other CBI countries, coming second overall and first in the OECS region. The Index examines the due diligence conducted by all active CBI programmes worldwide against five pillars, including ‘Identification,’ ‘Financial due diligence,’ and ‘Clearances.’ This is not the first time St Kitts and Nevis’ multi-layered assessment of applicants to its CBI Programme has won acclaim. The Financial Times’ CBI Index has awarded the Programme full marks for its due diligence every year of its running. Such recognition is a coup for Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, who has overseen the Programme’s development since 2015 into one of the world’s most successful CBI programmes.
The Index scored the Federation highly, in particular awarding it 100 points (full marks) in ‘Clearances.’ ‘Clearances’ is a vital element of security as it involves evaluating the applicant in the international arena alongside their place of origin, and therefore plays a key role in enabling programmes to keep out criminally-minded individuals. St Kitts and Nevis’ ranking is down to the Programme’s scrutiny of applicants against national and international crime, sanctions and wanted lists, examination of visa or similar refusals, extensive KYC (‘Know Your Client’), and work with international bodies such as Interpol.
‘Identification’ and ‘Financial due diligence’ were also standout areas for the island-nation. The former is the result of the Programme’s extensive documentation and evidence requirements, which include the provision of, amongst others, birth certificates, passports, ID cards, proof of address, original bank statements showing daily transactions, and police certificates – all authenticated as original or as certified and legalised copies. The latter follows St Kitts and Nevis’ strict assessment of an applicant’s source of funds.
The Government’s reinforcement of its Programme security has also been recognised by applicants, who are increasingly attracted to the Programme’s strong reputation. Given the Programme’s experience as the world’s first, it is perhaps not surprising that it continues to be regarded by industry experts as one of the best.