Canada says terrorists buying St. Kitts and Nevis passports

 

The Canadians have stated that they have evidence to prove that people with ties to terrorist organizations and organized crime, are using the easily obtained St. Kitts and Nevis passport, to avoid immigration screening.

 

The Canadian authorities say they are concerned that people who wouldn’t otherwise be eligible to enter Canada for security reasons could change their names and sneak into Canada using St. Kitts & Nevis passports.

St. Kitts and Nevis passport applicants can easily change their name, the source said, and the passport doesn’t require prior names to be included in the document.

The source said the majority of St. Kitts and Nevis passport buyers are from Syria and Iran and that “questionable individuals” have received St. Kitts and Nevis passports.

 

This comes as Canada on Saturday, 22nd November, 2014, issued new restrictions on Kittitians and Nevisians, requiring them to now have a visa to travel to that North American country.

 

This became effective from midday on Saturday.

 

Since earlier this year it was made known that the Canadians were unhappy with certain aspects of the program that allows foreigners to qualify and if approved, obtain citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis. However, the Canadians were so concerned that they dispatched an official envoy to Basseterre to address the matter with the Administration of Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas.

 

The changes pledged by the Douglas Administration apparently were not enough for the Canadians and they have now moved to ban the “visa-free” travel.

 

Matters took a turn for the worse when the US Government too, said it was very concerned about the citizenship program and the weaknesses and possible security threat and potential for illegal financial transactions.

 

 

The US Government said the St. Kitts and Nevis program “…is attractive to illicit actors because the program, as administered, maintains lax controls as to who may be granted citizenship.”

 

The Americans were also of the view that the pledges made by Dr. Douglas and his Government to improve the controls, that these were inadequate and they are of the view that the safeguards remain “ineffective”.

 

The US also said that they too were concerned that certain foreign nationals including those from Iran and other countries in the Middle East were using the St. Kitts and Nevis program, to get their hands on passports from the Caribbean island, as a means of evading US authorities.

Getting a US visa has recently become a difficult talks for many Kittitians and Nevisians applying through the Barbados based embassy.

 

There has been no official response by the St. Kitts and Nevis Government regarding the move by the Canadians. They have however issued a press release advising their nationals how to apply for a visa.


 

 

Canada says terrorists buying St. Kitts and Nevis passports

 

The Canadians have stated that they have evidence to prove that people with ties to terrorist organizations and organized crime, are using the easily obtained St. Kitts and Nevis passport, to avoid immigration screening.

 

The Canadian authorities say they are concerned that people who wouldn’t otherwise be eligible to enter Canada for security reasons could change their names and sneak into Canada using St. Kitts & Nevis passports.

St. Kitts and Nevis passport applicants can easily change their name, the source said, and the passport doesn’t require prior names to be included in the document.

The source said the majority of St. Kitts and Nevis passport buyers are from Syria and Iran and that “questionable individuals” have received St. Kitts and Nevis passports.

 

This comes as Canada on Saturday, 22nd November, 2014, issued new restrictions on Kittitians and Nevisians, requiring them to now have a visa to travel to that North American country.

 

This became effective from midday on Saturday.

 

Since earlier this year it was made known that the Canadians were unhappy with certain aspects of the program that allows foreigners to qualify and if approved, obtain citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis. However, the Canadians were so concerned that they dispatched an official envoy to Basseterre to address the matter with the Administration of Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas.

 

The changes pledged by the Douglas Administration apparently were not enough for the Canadians and they have now moved to ban the “visa-free” travel.

 

Matters took a turn for the worse when the US Government too, said it was very concerned about the citizenship program and the weaknesses and possible security threat and potential for illegal financial transactions.

 

The US Government said the St. Kitts and Nevis program “…is attractive to illicit actors because the program, as administered, maintains lax controls as to who may be granted citizenship.”

 

The Americans were also of the view that the pledges made by Dr. Douglas and his Government to improve the controls, that these were inadequate and they are of the view that the safeguards remain “ineffective”.

 

The US also said that they too were concerned that certain foreign nationals including those from Iran and other countries in the Middle East were using the St. Kitts and Nevis program, to get their hands on passports from the Caribbean island, as a means of evading US authorities.


Getting a US visa has recently become a difficult task for many Kittitians and Nevisians applying through the Barbados based embassy.

 

On Monday, 24th November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, for St. Kitts and Nevis, took to the media to speak to the issue. He also made reference to a press release that the Government issued on Saturday, giving its version of the breaking story. The full text of that release is shared below:

Details regarding the securing of Canadian travel visas

The Government of Canada has shared with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis the fact that, effective November 22, 2014, citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, like the citizens of the vast majority of Caribbean nations and the citizens of some 147 countries, will now travel to Canada on visas issued by the Government of Canada. 

St. Kitts and Nevis nationals in good standing travelling to Canada between now and November 24, 2014 will be granted a temporary resident permit upon arrival in Canada, free of charge.

Visa applications will be processed by the Canadian High Commission in Trinidad & Tobago.  However, it will not be necessary to travel to Port-of-Spain to apply for a visa. Applications can be made on-line, by mail, or in person.  Processing will be completed within two weeks, and visas of up to 10 years will be issued.

A thorough report will be made to the Nation by the Minister of Immigration pertaining our country’s immigration policy in general, and changes that we have made to our St. Kitts and Nevis passports in particular. The key changes regarding the latter, in summary, are as follows:

  • Effective February, 2014 any name changes made by a St. Kitts and Nevis passport holder has been reflected on the passport’s observation.
  • Effective July 2014, all passports issued by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis have had the place of birth printed in the passport.
  • New St. Kitts and Nevis passports are being issued which will replace any passports in existence which may not indicate the place of birth.
  • The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to review our Nation’s Immigration policies in the months and years ahead, and will make whatever changes the Government deems necessary to advance the interests of our Nation. 

And the Government will continue to work with the Government of Canada to maintain and strengthen the positive relations which have long characterized relations between that nation and ours.



 


 

 

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