The heads of state from all five Caribbean nations offering Citizenship by Investment programmes met recently with several US government officials to discuss ways to enhance security and due-diligence checks and minimise any potential risks of the various CBI programmes on offer. Prime Ministers from St Kitts, Antigua, St Lucia, Dominica and Grenada were all in attendance, alongside the heads of each nation’s Citizenship by Investment Units (CIU). The meeting, which was led by the Assistant Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury had some positive outcomes and all nations agreed to follow six processing principles which were suggested by the US. The six areas discussed were:

  • The suspension of processing for Russian and Belarussian applicants in all five nations. 
  • Introduction of application interviews, either in person or via virtual interview.
  • To never process applications from those who have previously been denied visa in other jurisdictions
  • Conduct regular audits either annually or bi-annually in line with international standards. 
  • Introduce additional due-diligence checks to be made through each nation’s Financial Intelligence unit.
  • Retrieval by law enforcement of all revoked passports

There is nothing set in stone yet on when the above stipulations will officially kick in, but all five nations agreed to discuss the technicalities of implementing these points within the coming four-six months.

During the meeting, the US recognised how valuable the CIP programmes are for each nation and how they depend on the revenue to safeguard their economies.

According to the press release that followed, the five CBI nations that took part also requested that the USA assists them to facilitate a similar agreement with the UK and the EU commissioner. Support shown by the USA and its participation in helping strengthen procedures is positive for CBI programmes in general.

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Tags: antigua, dominica, grenada, russia, st kitts, st lucia