The Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris led St.Kitts-Nevis Government of National UNITY will this summer host a regional conference on the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).
St.Kitts-Nevis are the pioneers of the programme having introduced it in 1984. The SKN Programme was long regarded as the world’s oldest and best Citizenship programme of it’s kind in the world. However alleged mismanagement of the programme by the former Dr. Denzil Douglas led Administration brought the programme under tremendous scrutiny and resulted in the United States issuing an advisory regarding the programme and Canada removing the visa waiver from St.Kitts-Nevis citizens carrying SKN Passports . The government of both North American countries highlighted what they saw as lax controls and lack of proper due diligence as some of the reasons for their actions. The US Advisory specifically suggested that the passports were landing in the hands of associates of terrorist organizations.
The recent change of Administration in St.Kitts-Nevis brought renewed interest in the programme and both the US and Canada have been engaged by the Dr. Timothy Harris Led UNITY Administration through Dr. Harris himself and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Premier of Nevis Hon. Mark Brantley who both have met with their counterparts in the US and Canada and have had discussions regarding the improvements of the programme.
The SKN Government recently announced the implementation of 20 recommendations to imrprove the programme to exceed all international standards.
The Programme is a controversial issue in many Caricom countries .
Prime Minister Harris indicated that invitations have already been sent out to Caricom Nations for the upcoming conference but no date has yet been finalized although it is likely to be held in July.
St.Kitts-Nevis, Antigua-Barbuda, Dominica and Grenada all have Citizenship Programmes. Jamaica and St.Lucia have expressed interest in getting involved.