Full House: St. Lucia Becomes 5th Caribbean CIP to Suspend Russians, Belarusians
The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) issued a memorandum today informing Authorized Agents, Marketing Agents, and Promoters of its decision to suspend Russian and Belarusian applicants from applying to its Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP).
The CIU had already informed its stakeholders on February 28th that one of its two banking partners would no longer accept CIP-related funds originating from Russia. Whether today’s policy change results from a change of heart in Saint Lucia’s government (it had previously hesitated to discriminate against Russians and Belarusians based on nationality alone) or from a decision also in the program’s second banking partner to not accept Russia-source funds remains uncertain. The CIU did not immediately respond to IMI’s request for comments.
“The Government of Saint Lucia,” reads the circular issued today, “continues to join the rest of the international community to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and expressed its solidarity and support for the Government and the People of Ukraine. In accordance with the policy position of the Government of Saint Lucia, effective immediately, the Citizenship by Investment Unit shall suspend the processing of applications from nationals of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.”
Amid a global trend of barring Russians and Belarusians from applying to investment migration programs in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Saint Lucia was the final holdout among the five Caribbean CBI jurisdictions. The CIPs of Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Kitts & Nevis have already issued suspensions of their own.
Russian/Belarusian CBI suspension timeline:
- February 28th – St. Lucia’s CIU informs its Agents and Promoters that Republic Bank Limited, one of the two CIU partner banks, has suspended the facilitation of funds originating from Russia for CIP applicants, agents, and promoters.
- March 4th – Dominica suspends CIP applications from Russian and Belarusian nationals, while Antigua & Barbuda temporarily suspends applications originating from Russia, Belarus, and – notably – Ukraine, citing an inability to conduct adequate due diligence for the time being.
- March 8th – St. Kitts & Nevis suspends Russians and Belarusians from applying to its CIP.
- March 10th – Grenada suspends Russian and Belarusian applicants.
- March 18th – St. Lucia suspends Russians Belarusians from applying to its CIP.
As it stands, Russians are suspended from all five Caribbean CIPs, as well as from four of Europe’s major investment migration programs; Malta’s MEIN and MPRP, and the golden visa programs of Greece and Portugal.
European RCBI Suspensions:
- February 26th – Portugal bans Russians from applying to its Golden Visa Program
- February 28th – Greece suspends new Golden Visa issuances and renewals for Russian applicants
- March 2nd – Malta suspends Russians and Belarusians from applying to its MEIN and MPRP programs
Ahmad Abbas is Director of Content Services at Investment Migration Insider and a six-year veteran of the investment migration industry.