LONDON, 6 July, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A new documentary by the Financial Times publication PWM, explains why St Kitts and Nevis rejects certain individuals applying to its famous Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. Les Khan, the Head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) suggests that denying an applicant is linked primarily with passing due diligence or the ability to carry out security checks properly.
There are several independent due diligence layers that a CBI applicant must pass before proceeding to the next phase – making a qualifying investment. St Kitts and Nevis has restrictions on certain countries of origin of applicants. Previous visa refusals with countries that the Federation has agreements with are also grounds for denial. Mr Khan says that the Federation draws a clear red line where security concerns of the country and its partners always come first.
"I will be very frank – security concerns coming out of international law enforcement is a no-no for us – we will deny that individual," say Mr Khan. "So if the due diligence is clear from our due diligence company, but it gets a red flag from our international law enforcement group, we will deny [granting citizenship by investment to that applicant]."
Asked what the Federation's attitude towards sanctioned countries is, Mr Khan admits St Kitts and Nevis is strict. Referring to relatively recent regulations, he explained that Iran and Afghanistan are two countries that it cannot accept CBI applications from.
In July 2013, St Kitts and Nevis suspended all Iranian nationals and all Afghani nationals, with immediate effect, from participation in the Programme "regardless of their countries of residence." The same happened for North Korean nationals in June 2017. Moreover, citizens of Iraq, Nigeria, and Yemen are not eligible for Accelerated Application Process – an optional feature that expedites processing to 60 days or less. There are also more restrictions when it comes to the transfer of funds to the bank in St Kitts and Nevis.
"We will offer citizenship to any applicant from any other country around the world as long as we can do proper due diligence on the individual who is being processed by us," Mr Khan commented for FT's PWM. "Having said that, correspondent banking now plays a part in this and the correspondent banks may have further restrictions based on sanctions by the US or otherwise."
St Kitts and Nevis runs the oldest CBI programme in the world, established in 1984. Applicants that successfully pass its due diligence checks can make a contribution worth at least US$150,000 to the fund option. This remains the fastest and most secure route to second citizenship from St Kitts and Nevis.
On July 3rd, the CIU announced that it has temporarily reduced the required investment for families of four to US$150,000. This offer aims to create and economic safety net in light of COVID-19, although health-wise, the country had no related fatalities and only 15 cases.
SOURCE CS Global Partners