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Life in the Caribbean

Collaborative Efforts Among Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs


Published   07:07 AM 21 December 2016
Updated    07:11 AM 21 December 2016

Collaborative Efforts Among Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs
There are currently five Eastern Caribbean countries that currently offer Citizenship by Investment Programs, namely St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Dominica. These Caribbean nations are discussing forming a strong and common regulatory framework to enable them to effectively compete globally.

Earlier this month, the Citizenship by Investment Programs Association (CIPA) held its fifth meeting. CIPA was established in 2015 with the goal of creating collaborative efforts among the five Caribbean countries offering Citizenship by Investment Programs, most specifically referring to collaboration relating to the due diligence process of the program. Citizenship by Investment Unit representatives and agents from each of the five countries gathered to discuss formalizations of the collaboration.

Francine Baron, the Minister of Foreign and CARICOM affairs said, “If we are to truly embrace an integrated approach with our programmes we need to think and act in unity and this can only be effectively achieved if we have a single standardized regulatory system; one that amalgamates the very best of the five islands.”

An international due diligence company initiated the need for CIPA by indicating that the Caribbean Citizenship by Investment countries would benefit a great deal more from collaboration, rather than competition.

Dominica’s passport offers its holder the right to live in other Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries, so collaboration was deemed necessary. Thomas Anthony, from the Citizenship by Investment Unit for Antigua said that at the first meeting held in St. Kitts, several tactics were discussed including setting standards for applicant document requirements as well as the background check on applicants. “All of us would benefit from having the same multi-tiered due diligence background check,” he stated.

Anthony also mentioned that at that first meeting, the countries agreed that they would share information on application refusals. This would mean that an applicant who is refused entry in one of the Caribbean Citizenship by Investment countries would not be able to submit an application to another participating country.

The head of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Unit indicated that the countries were discussing one combined goal for the Caribbean which could be attained by having one Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Program for the entire OECS. 

These ideas are still in discussion and no changes have been officially published since the meeting was held. The five nations offering second citizenships to wealthy international investors continue to operate as individual programs.

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