St Kitts and Nevis' Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme has been acknowledged as an industry leader in the world's first comprehensive guide to countries that offer citizenship in exchange for investment: the CBI Index. The CBI Index was launched today by Professional Wealth Management (PWM) - a publication from the Financial Times.
The St Kitts and Nevis Programme was pitted against the 11 other countries that populate the CBI industry, and finished on top in four out of the seven components tested, including due diligence, speed and ease of processing applications, and mandatory travel or residence requirements.
The seven components (referred to as 'pillars' in the report) were used to rank countries based on variables such as freedom of movement, standard of living, and whether an applicant must adhere to a mandatory period of residence in his or her country of choice.
Known within the industry as the 'Platinum Standard' Programme, St Kitts and Nevis is the only CBI programme with the ability to fast-track applicants and deliver their new passport within a definite timeframe. Titled the Accelerated Application Process (AAP), this feature ensures a 60-day turnaround.
St Kitts and Nevis rated the highest in due diligence owing to its strict parameters around vetting a potential applicant, which includes collaborating with international partners and non-governmental organisations to perform thorough on-the-ground and online checks of the applicant.
CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit for St Kitts and Nevis, Les Khan, stressed the need to have strict processes in a global environment where illicit actors continue to seek out opportunities to fund terrorist acts or launder money:
"The key is to have robust regulations and proper due diligence and vetting procedures so as to not allow individuals of ill repute to get through."
Mr Khan also points to St Kitts and Nevis' growing tourism sector and real estate market as avenues of opportunity for potential investors:
"[Potential] clients need to know they are getting a citizenship that is of value in a stable economic and political environment."
St Kitts and Nevis also received a perfect score in the Mandatory Travel or Residence Pillar because applicants are not required to travel to or reside in the country at any given point. According to the CBI Index, this is considered an appealing aspect of CBI programmes due to the high calibre of CBI applicants - typically high net worth international businesspeople with limited capacity to travel outside their work commitments.
St Kitts and Nevis was also ranked top in Ease of Processing for its streamlined and clear approach to processing applications - a system refined by St Kitts and Nevis as the world's longest serving programme in economic citizenship history.
It is no surprise that that St Kitts and Nevis scored so highly as St Kitts and Nevis remains a leader in the CBI industry, continuing to attract the discerning applicant.