BARBADOS: US Official Cautions Caribbean Countries about Citizenship Programmes as St.Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Commits to its Continuation but with Adjustments

Prime Minister of St.Kitts-Nevis Dr. Timothy Harris 2nd from left at RSS Meeting in Barbados
US Charge D’ Affaires Mark Bysfield

US Charge D’ Affaires Mark Bysfield

The St.Kitts-Nevis Citizenship By Investment programme is the oldest and has long been considered the best programme of its kind in the world. However the programme hit a bit of turbulence over the last two years when the US Government issued an advisory regarding the management and due diligence practices of the programme.

Last year, Canada imposed visa restrictions on citizens of St Kitts and Nevis due again to their concerns regarding the programme and the due diligence methods and overal management of the programme by former Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas.

However, new St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, told Bajan Journalists at the Regional Security Service RSS meeting that his government intends to continue the programme, but with some adjustments.

Dr. Harris indicated that a concerted effort has begun to have the programme revamped, with the aim of eventually having Canada reverse its decision to remove visa waivers.

According to newly elected Prime Minister Dr Harris, his Cabinet will make a determination shortly, on how to proceed in light of recommendations made by an agency that reviewed the programme.

“We, at home are working post haste to revamp the programme to institute some control measures, which we think would reduce incidents of risk to our programme and to other partners internationally,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister of St.Kitts-Nevis Dr. Timothy Harris 2nd from left at RSS Meeting in Barbados

Prime Minister of St.Kitts-Nevis Dr. Timothy Harris 2nd from left at RSS Meeting in Barbados

“We are optimistic that we can reorganize, reposition and strengthen the position of St Kitts and Nevis, which has been the oldest and which, hitherto, has had the best programme available. We still believe that we can make it the best programme and the one which others will go on to emulate.”

Meanwhile a United States diplomat has cautioned the region about pursuing economic citizenship programmes.

US Charge D’ Affaires Mark Bysfield, told Caribbean national security officials meeting in Barbados for the Regional Security Service ,  that despite the difficult economic times that require austere budget, Caribbean states must be cautious.

“I urge members states to exercise due diligence and caution in the administration of economic citizenship programmes,” the official said at the start of the annual meeting of the  Council of Ministers of the Regional Security System (RSS) at the Hilton Barbados.

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