BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 1ST 2013 (CUOPM) – St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says international reputable agencies are involved in screening applicants for economic citizenship.
Dr. Douglas was at the time defending the government’s economic citizenship programme that allows foreigners to obtain citizenship through its “Citizenship by Investment” programme established in 1984.
While the passport allows holders to travel visa-free to numerous countries around the world, Dr. Douglas said he’s confident the travel document will not end up in the “wrong hands” and thus lead to the imposition of visa requirements for St. Kitts and Nevis nationals seeking to enter Canada.
Citing criminality, security and border integrity concerns posed by their controversial economic citizenship programme, the Canadian Government enforced visitor visa requirements on Grenada and Dominica 12 years ago for selling passports to anyone who could afford to purchase the travel document.
“We are very much concerned about security and that is why we have reputable international agencies that do the screening,” said Dr. Douglas at a press briefing carried by Share, Canada’s largest ethnic newspaper.
“We are very concerned that our jurisdiction can be tainted if the checks are not in place. We have a citizenship programme that’s very attractive and a number of countries support our programme, including those in the European Union that allow our citizens to travel visa free within their territories,” Prime Minister Douglas said.
“Canada has also traditionally allowed our citizens to travel without a visa. We want to safeguard that, so the government and out Citizenship Investment Unit work closely to ensure that those traditional relationships are in no way affected as a result of the citizenship programme.”
Applicants for Economic Citizenship must present police records for each of the countries that they have lived in over a 10 year period.