Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 21, 2023 (SKNIS): Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and Chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, said that the European Union has agreed to set up a committee to discuss and structure the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme.
Several OECS countries including St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Saint Lucia all have CBI programmes that have been a good source of revenue. However, issues related to due diligence and the management of these programmes have raised concerns with countries such as the United Kingdom, which has recently revoked visa-free access to Dominicans because of those very concerns. Beginning August 16, 2023, citizens of Dominica will have to apply for a visa to enter the UK.
The Honourable Prime Minister stated that he met with EU representatives at the EU-CELAC (European Union-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Summit in Brussels, Belgium, where various concerns regarding the programme were discussed.
“These concerns were surrounding issues of security, issues of abuse of the programme and the opportunity to be invited to be a citizen of the country,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew stated that these concerns were ultimately addressed in a document put forward by him and the Head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit, Michael Martin, which outlined how the programme has been strengthened.
“We showed in the document we sent to them that our due diligence is strong and where we think there might be abuse, we are going to address those matters,” he said.