The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN), Dr Timothy Harris, said the country has taken significant steps to address concerns about its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program. These include adopting 20 reforms recommended to the cabinet, and the training of CBI staff with the assistance of the US government.
Describing the challenges faced by the CBI as a “real and present threat to the prosperity agenda for our nation,” Harris said the CBI scheme was critical for the country. Figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) show that the CBI generates 30 per cent of the annual revenue of the twin island federation.
SKN will continue to strengthen its relationship with international partners in order to maintain the integrity of the CBI program, he added.
PM Harris’ statement comes following reports that SKN is set to open an embassy in Ottawa in a bid to rebuild its relationship with Canada. Last year Canada revoked the visa waiver for citizens of SKN due to security concerns related to its CBI program.
PM Harris also revealed that the CBI program has implemented a new document management system designed to improve the efficiency of processing applications. The system would also allow service providers to submit CBI applications electronically to the government’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU).
Emphasizing that applicant confidentiality was of paramount importance; Harris said “the government has ensured that enhanced security is embedded at all levels in the software and network.”
“The benefits to be derived from this system include: increase in staff productivity and accountability, reduced processing time for clients’ applications and strengthening of the CIU’s capacity to be more responsive to their clients,” Harris said.
Despite the progress being made, Harris said there was still more to be done to reform the CBI program.
Source: sknvibes.comGeneral Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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