Les Khan says number of passports sold under SKN citizenship programme is “trade secret”

By Erasmus Williams

London, England, April 23, 2018 – While the number of applicants to St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programme “remains a trade secret,”  official figures from Grenada and Antigua & Barbuda, indicate those programmes received 302 and 330 applications, respectively, in the year leading up to June 2017.

That’s according to the Invest Migration Insider, the leading source of intelligence for the Citizenship and Residence by Investment Industry.

It reported that during a panel discussion at the Investment Immigration Summit in Ho Chi Minh City, head of the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Unit, Emmanuel Nanthan, revealed that his country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme had received somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 applications in the preceding fiscal year.

The figure is likely the highest reported by any such programme worldwide in several years and represents a volume not officially heard of in the Caribbean since 2015, when St. Kitts and Nevis posted application numbers of 2,296 “which, incidentally, is the last year for which we have been able to obtain figures for the Kittitian programme.”

Investment Migration Insider, however carried a statement from the CIU-head, Les Khan who  considers such information competitively sensitive and to be shared only with governments and parliamentarians, not necessarily with his competitors.

Nanthan said the vast majority of Dominica’s CIP-participants choose the contribution option, which starts at US$100,000 for a single applicant.

Questioned as to the country of origin of most of his applicants, Nanthan told Investment Migration Insider that, while he did not have exact figures, the great preponderance of applicants were from the Middle East and China.

Speaking to Investment Migration Insider on the sidelines of the conference, several CIU officials from other Caribbean countries acknowledged that the number reported was remarkably high.

“I would love to know what Dominica is doing! With those numbers being rolled out today, I’m impressed. I would love to hear their secret so that some of us in the other programmes can emulate them,” said Lucius Lake, Director of the CIP Board of St. Lucia.

Asked what he thought it would take for his own programme to reach similar application volumes, Lake indicated he would have to have a chat with Nanthan in private to get some pointers.

“2,000 applications in a fiscal year? Wow! That speaks volumes about what they’re doing and what we’re not doing,” continued the director, whose own programme recently reported that 259 individuals had been granted citizenship in 2017.

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