Basseterre, St. Kitts, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris made the recently improved Citizenship-by-Investment Unit a focus of his press conference on Tuesday, March 15th.
Prime Minister Harris affirmed to the world that, “Our CIU is now open for legitimate business. It is now administratively and legally stronger and better.”
The Prime Minister said the reasons behind the amelioration of the CIU were the deliberate and necessary steps his Team Unity Administration took to reform, restructure and reposition the citizenship program, including the implementation of 20 recommendations by IPSA International, a regulatory risk mitigation company.
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris recalled some of the harsh challenges, with respect to the Citizenship-by-Investment program, that he and his Unity Government had to confront as soon as they assumed office in February 2015, namely the program’s “pariah status” in the wake of it being “denounced by international governments and shunned by others.”
The Prime Minister said, “This pejorative status was the legacy of the Douglas Administration.”
Prime Minister Harris proceeded to list several new features and improvements introduced by his reform-minded Unity Government.
“It [the Citizenship-by-Investment Unit] offers a 24/7 case management system. This is the only one of its kind. Our system can be accessed by service providers who can track online the status of the applications submitted by them any hour of the day and any day of the week,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris announced, adding that, “Efficiencies are being realized and once the due diligence report is clean, we can deliver results on applications between 45 and 75 days. This is one of the best turnaround times in the world.”
The Prime Minister’s March 15th press statement on the sweeping reforms to the country’s Citizenship-by-Investment Unit came nine months to the day of his address at the IPSA International Conference on Monday, June 15th, 2015. The conference was held at the Ocean Terrace Inn in Basseterre.
During his address to stakeholders in the citizenship by investment industry at the one-day conference, Prime Minister Harris stated that, “Certainly, my focus since becoming Prime Minister has been to restore credibility to our program. However, I want to assure you credibility also means ensuring that people have confidence that when we say we will deliver a product in a certain period, we deliver. Please know that every effort is being made to eliminate the delays that this necessary and urgent process had brought about. Our reforms to our Citizenship Unit will lead to greater efficiency being experienced.”
On June 15th, 2015, the Prime Minister reiterated to the CBI stakeholders his Government’s commitment to rejuvenating the Citizenship-by-Investment program. “In St. Kitts and Nevis, we are committed to running the best CBI program. This means one distinguished for its efficiency as well as its integrity. We hope that when we would have made all the necessary internal, administrative infrastructural adjustments and put the necessary changes in place, St. Kitts and Nevis will again retake its place as the CBI leader,” Prime Minister Harris said.
In less than one year, the Team Unity Administration has successfully reorganized, restructured and repositioned the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship program as the best in the world. Having been tried and tested, the oldest citizenship program is now stronger and better to discharge its mandate.