06/06/24

CARIBBEAN: Saint Lucia joins four Caribbean CBI nations to sign MOA, announces new changes in CIP

As published on: associatetimes.com, Thursday 6 June, 2024. 

Castries, Saint Lucia: In a historic move, the government of Saint Lucia has decided to sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which was already signed by other four CBI jurisdictions in OECS in March.

With the MOA, Saint Lucia will also agree upon the common standards and procedures in the areas such as pricing, information sharing and transparency standards, regulation, security screening and framework, regulation of agents, marketing, and promotion of programmes, joint training, and capacity building, dispute resolution and amendment and termination.

The agreement stated that the OECS jurisdictions offering Citizenship by Investment Programme will have to increase the minimum investment threshold to US$200,000. The deadline for the step is set for June 30, 2024.

The government of Saint Lucia stated that the careful review and extensive discussions with stakeholders and other OECS Heads of Government with CBI programmes have made them take the decision.

In addition to signing this MOA, Saint Lucia also put forth several suggestions to strengthen the regional agreement and noted the replacement of the proposed legislation with the address change of name requests. As per the reports, the proposed change has been agreed to by other Heads of Government.

Meanwhile, the government of Saint Lucia also proposed further changes to their Citizenship by Investment Programme which could be helpful in strengthening its integrity and reputation. The first change proposed by the government was the introduction of an annual quote, the second one was a net worth for applications.

Further, the third change would include the escrow accounts which will be held in Saint Lucia or in the individual islands. The requirement has also been proposed which stated that only licensed promoters will be allowed to submit applications to local authorities agents and these promoters will have to submit a due diligence report on each applicant.

Notably, the Citizenship by Investment Unit of Saint Lucia has taken several measures and implemented all six principles agreed to with the United States government.

As per the government, the unit has applied a ban on applications from Russians and Belarusians from February 15, 2023, and implemented applicant interviews from September 4, 2023.

In addition to that, the vetting of all applicants through the local Financial Intelligence Authority was implemented on September 4, 2023. The unit also started sharing denials with the Joint Regional Communication Centre (JRCC) in January 2020.

The government also outlined that the operational review of the programme by an international consultancy firm will commence shortly and the Saint Lucia CIP will seek international support with the recovery of revoked passports.

Notably, the Saint Lucia CIP Unit also published an annual report that is tabled in parliament, featuring audited financial statements.

Dr Ernestb Hilaire- Deputy Prime Minister of Saint Lucia cited that the government remains committed to maintaining and reinforcing the integrity of its CIP with a transparent and accountable process that delivers tangible benefits to all Saint Lucians.

He said,” The government of Saint Lucia is dedicated to consistently prioritizing the well-being of its people by doing things the right way. We will continue to make careful and timely decisions related to the CIP program while closely collaborating with our regional community.”

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Caribbean St Lucia CBI Citizenship CIP Programme

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