About Nevis

History

Nevis is a 36-square-mile island situated in the Eastern Caribbean, three hours' flight time from the United States, eight hours from Europe, and lies two miles southeast of its sister island, St Kitts. Nevis is noted by its circular shape, and is easily identified by Nevis Peak, a 3,232 feet cloud capped mountain rising in its centre. The island was sighted by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage, and was named 'Nuestra Senora de Las Nieves'. English is both the official and spoken language in Nevis.

Government Structure

Nevis and St. Kitts have long enjoyed political stability and independence which was achieved from the United Kingdom (UK) in 1983, and together they form the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis (also referred to as the Federation of St Christopher and Nevis – the Federation). Although independent, the parliamentary and legal systems are respectively based upon the Westminster model of government and the English common law, with the former being set out in the Federation’s Constitution.

The Constitution empowers Nevis with certain national sovereign rights to self-government, while the Federal Government retains the right to determine foreign policy for St. Kitts and Nevis. Nevis also has its own autonomous legislative body that enacts laws to develop the island in the areas of trade, industry and finance.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is still the putative head of state, represented in St. Kitts by a Governor-General, and in Nevis by a Deputy Governor-General. All legislation passed in the Federation Parliament requires the Governor-General's assent on behalf of the Crown, similarly legislation passed in the Nevis Parliament requires the Deputy Governor-General's assent on behalf of the Crown.

Legislative Environment
Nevis has taken full advantage of the autonomy afforded to it under the Constitution, and has enacted a suite of legislation that continues to make it a competitive, relevant and respected centre for international finance. Dedicated legislation has been enacted and refined with respect to international banking, international business corporations, limited liability companies and trusts, to enable service providers to better meet the wealth-management needs of clients. In 2004, legislation was introduced governing insurance, mutual funds and multi form foundations.