(SKNIS): The Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme in St. Kitts and Nevis has been described by many as one of significant importance. The Honourable Mark Brantley, Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation in the Federal Government, said that St. Kitts and Nevis has paved the way for other countries to benefit from such programme as the Federation gave the world a citizenship idea.

“Despite what you hear, despite the criticisms that would have come when this little country of 50 plus thousand pioneered this particular approach to national development, nobody else was doing it,” said Minister Brantley, while speaking at the “Discussions for Prosperity” town hall meeting on Tuesday (August 16). “And we have pioneered it, we have matured it to a point [where it] is not just the Caribbean. We have countries like Portugal and Malta also doing something similar.”

Minister Brantley mentioned other countries that are emulating St. Kitts and Nevis with respect to the CBI Programme.

“Our good friends in Canada, despite sometimes what they might say, they have and have had a similar programme,” said the Foreign Minister, while noting that if one is to visit British Columbia they would recognize that more Chinese resides there than nationals from other countries and this is as a result of the country’s investment programme. “The great United States of America- they have an EB-5 Visa programme to encourage investment in the United States. And if you invest and you invest sufficiently, you get the right to live and work there which gives you a path to citizenship. I say that to say, that you ought not to be shy about speaking well about your country.”

He reminded persons that not everyone will agree on matters, but the most important thing is that they are all Kittitians and Nevisians and as a country, they have all done some great things.

“And so speaking briefly to the notion of CBI, countries and individuals are interested in investing with us through our CBI Programme principally because of the business opportunities [and] the ease of travel,” said the Minister. “The reality is, not everybody in the world can travel as easy as you or I. Many people require visas to go to nearly every country in the world and so investing with us through a programme pioneered by us since the 1980’s when others had not yet thought of it, we were thinking about it, we ought to be proud of it.”

The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) is the Government Authority which handles all matters concerning Citizenship by Investment in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. The CBI Programme was established in 1984, making it the longest established programme of this kind in the world. It has distinguished itself from many other similar programmes by rigidly enforced investment requirements and meticulous due diligence procedures.

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis utilizes this programme to attract investors of good character to make a substantial contribution to the development of the Federation. These investors are then given the opportunity to apply for citizenship within the strict guidelines of the law and the relevant regulations.