On 16 June 2017, the Commission of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) called together representatives from the OECS’ five citizenship by investment nations to discuss standardisation of processing and of due diligence.
The five nations, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis, are some of the most popular destinations for economic citizenship, and have taken remarkable steps towards improving their citizenship proposition. The 16 June meeting is an iteration of their commitment to refining their citizenship programmes, and a reflection of their ambition to do so together.
Significant weight was placed on the issue of due diligence, particularly with respect to information sharing and consistency. “If an applicant applies in Saint Lucia and is rejected, mechanisms must be in place to ensure that this person does not surface elsewhere in the region as a citizen through another [citizenship by investment programme],” said Saint Lucian Prime Minister and incoming Chairman of the OECS Authority, the Honourable Allan Chastanet.
Due diligence is vital for the reputation and longevity of CBI in the Caribbean
The Director General of the OECS, Dr Didacus Jules, further stressed the significance of due diligence for the reputation and longevity of citizenship by investment in the Caribbean, particularly in light of pressure from larger nations. “Our only chance of winning is to make the integrity of these programmes unassailable,” he emphasised.
The meeting also occasioned an appraisal of the planned amendments to the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS)’s Policy and Procedures Manual. Citizenship by investment jurisdictions work closely with IMPACS as part of their applicant screening procedures.