London, 12 January 2017
Caribbean Citizenship-by-Investment Programs
Following a report broadcast on the 60 minutes television program in the US, Henley & Partners, the globally leading firm in citizenship by investment, is concerned about the one-sided image that the report paints of Caribbean Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) programs.
Henley & Partners has been involved in the region for over 20 years and has worked with all Caribbean CBI programs to date. While every program is exposed to certain risks and challenges, the firm is of the view that today, the Caribbean citizenship programs are generally very well run and do not pose a security threat as was suggested in the TV program.
In particular St Kitts and Nevis, which was unfairly singled out in our view, has made significant progress in strengthening and further improving its program. It is a fact that it has now one of the
best run CBI programs in the world, with very tight due diligence and strict procedures in place that match or even exceed international best practices. By not mentioning this important fact, the
TV program gave a very one sided and incorrect picture of the St Kitts and Nevis CBI program and the country.
Dr. Christian H. Kalin, a specialist in immigration and citizenship law and policy and the Chairman of Henley & Partners, who was also interviewed on the TV program, says that what was stated in
the program also regarding security risks is inaccurate and does not reflect the current reality. Kalin states: “Of course there is always room for improvement, but generally speaking the Caribbean
has well governed and secure programmes. The alleged sale of diplomatic passports is an entirely different matter and lies outside the scope of Citizenship-by-Investment programs. I believe that
major countries such as the US actually recognize those facts and will continue to work with the Caribbean governments to further strengthen the measures already in place. No Caribbean
government is interested in having their CIP cause a problem to the international community.” Kalin continues: “It is important also to realize that Citizenship-by-Investment programs have played and continue to play an important part in attracting much needed foreign direct investment in the Caribbean. The programs are therefore of vital economic interest in the region and have helped several economies, notably St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica as well as Antigua and Barbuda, to sustain sufficient capital inflows during economically challenging periods.”
Henley & Partners and its Chairman Dr. Kalin are concerned that only small and selective extracts of Dr. Kalin’s carefully differentiated interview were aired, so that the TV program did not reflect
his views comprehensively. The comments that were aired have not properly communicated the context in which he spoke.
Henley & Partners is one of the most important firms in the investment migration sector not only worldwide but in particular in the Caribbean, and remains committed to the region. This is reflected
not least by its long-established presence in the region with offices in St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and most recently Grenada.