CaribbeanPolicy Updates

St. Lucia PM Confirms MoA Signing, Proposes Annual Quota, Minimum Net Worth, On-Island Escrow

In a statement released today, Saint Lucian Prime Minister Philip J Pierre announces that his government has finally decided to join the other four Caribbean citizenship by investment (CBI) program countries in signing the Memorandum of Agreement. Among other measures, the MoA will harmonize pricing, regulations, and vetting practices among the region’s CBI programs.

While the other four countries—Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, and Saint Kitts & Nevis—signed the agreement in March, Saint Lucia requested more time to “address some housekeeping matters and discuss legal obligations.” Last week, Saint Lucia CIU boss Mc Claude Emmanuel told attendees at an industry summit that PM Pierre intended to sign the MoA but did not specify when.

Today’s official statement also eschewed setting a date for the signing but revealed that Saint Lucia had “made further suggestions to strengthen this regional agreement, including proposing legislative changes to address change of name requests” and that the other four prime ministers had agreed to the same.

Moreover, Saint Lucia also proposes several measures that would broaden the scope of the MoA, including:

  • An annual quota on CBI approvals
  • A minimum net worth requirement for applicants
  • A requirement for escrow accounts to be held on each respective island (off-island escrow accounts have been subject to controversy)
  • Barring unlicensed promoters from submitting files through local authorized agents.
  • A requirement for international promoters to submit separate due diligence reports on each applicant.

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Saint Lucia’s PM also pointed out that the country has already “instituted all six principles agreed to with the United States Government” in March last year by

  • banning Russian and Belarusian applicants;
  • implementing applicant interviews;
  • subjecting applicants to enhanced vetting;
  • sharing rejection cases with the other islands;
  • inviting an international third party to review the program (“which will commence shortly”); and
  • seeking international support for the recovery of revoked passports.

The MoA’s measures – which include raising the minimum donation amount to $200,000, double its current level – are slated to take effect at the end of this month.

In an interview with IMI during Global Citizen Week in Cairo some six weeks ago, Thomas Anthony, the chief executive of Grenada’s program, indicated he expected the original four signatory countries to be ready to implement the measures according to schedule.

At least one influential agent indicated he thought the deadline would be “a bit tight” considering the legislative changes that would need to take place first.

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Christian Henrik Nesheim AdministratorKeymaster

Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.

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