Roseau, March 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The citizenship by investment programme (CBIP) countries within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have agreed upon legislation to ensure the integrity of their CBIPs, supported by the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The virtual signing ceremony was held on Wednesday, 20 March, the four OECS countries, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and St Kitts and Nevis signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 20 March 2024. This landmark pact included setting a minimum CBIP price threshold to US$200,000, elucidating the commitment of Caribbean CBI countries to solidify their commitment and maintain the dialogue with international partners.

The MoU includes outlined agreements among the four CBI countries to accomplish the following:

  • Exchange of best practices and due diligence processes
  • Set a minimum threshold of USD200,000 and this threshold must represent the actual amount of funds received
  • Sharing information on applicants;
  • Enhance transparency by disclosing funds;
  • Conduct independent financial and operational audits;
  • Establish regional authority to set regional  standards;
  • Set common standards for communication and promotion;
  • Regulate agents; and
  • Conduct joint training programmes and capacity-building initiatives for CBI administrations.

Dominica leads on CBIP integrity 

The Commonwealth of Dominica was at the forefront of these changes, with the Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, announcing that he signed the agreed-upon changes ahead of his Tuesday press conference. Dominica continues to demonstrate receptiveness towards enhancing and maintaining the integrity of the CBIP.

As announced in the press conference, Honourable Dr Skerrit explained that the Caribbean CBI countries will work together to address the European Union’s (EU) questions about CBI and visa-free travel to the Schengen area. Honourable Dr Skerrit explained that CBI countries are continuing the push to strengthen the integrity of the CBIPs.

“As you know there are countries within the OECS who have these programmes, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis…and the concerns have been raised by these [European] countries…and the need for all of us to take certain actions to set aside the concerns which the EU in particular would have had with these programme,” Honourable Dr Skerrit said.

Changes made in line with EU dialogue  

Honourable Dr Skerrit reiterated Dominica’s consistent dialogue with the EU, emphasising the meeting held between the five CBI Caribbean countries and the EU Directorate General of Migration and Home Affairs. This is evident in the EU officials visit to Dominica on 24 January 2024 with the OECS countries to discuss the Caribbean CBIPs.

Honourable Dr Skerrit stated that “Dominica has taken some very comprehensive measures to allay and to set aside the concerns of the European Union and other parties who we engage in on this matter.”

“Further to that, the countries within the OECS who have these programmes, we have met jointly, and we have agreed to take some joint actions, some of which, not limited to but include having the same legislation to deal with the whole (CBI) programmes”.

Standardising CBIPs 

The legislation standardises due diligence, information between CBIPs, and sets minimum price structures to ensure no applicants could apply for citizenship ‘below a particular fixed rate’.

These things, Honourable Dr Skerrit maintained, “will place all of us in a much stronger position in terms of our response to the concerns the EU would have raised.”

Attachment

Secretary of Dominica Citizenship by Investment
Commonwealth of Dominica
001 (767) 266 3919
info@cbiu.gov.dm

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9078632

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