On February 25, 2023, a Roundtable on Caribbean Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs was held in Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis. The roundtable involved delegations from the five Eastern Caribbean states with CBI Programs led by their Prime Ministers, the US Government delegation led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury, the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, and the Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. The productive engagement discussed the threats and challenges faced by CBI programs and their contribution to national development in small states.
The US Government recognized the CBI Programs’ legitimacy and contribution to the participating economies, providing revenues to fund major infrastructure and development projects and building resilience. Dismantling these Programs would compromise the prosperity and prospects of the countries, triggering negative social consequences domestically and potentially leading to an upsurge in criminality. Both parties affirmed their commitment to safeguard their financial systems against threats posed by illicit actors.
The following six principles were agreed to:
- Collective agreement on treatment of denials: Not to process applications from persons whose applications have been denied in another CBI jurisdiction, by proactively sharing information on denials.
- Interviews: Conduct interviews with applicants, whether virtual or in-person.
- Additional checks: Each jurisdiction will run checks on each application with the Financial Intelligence Unit of its respective country.
- Audits: Audit the Programme annually or every two years in accordance with internationally accepted standards.
- Retrieval of passports: Request law enforcement assistance to retrieve revoked/recalled passports.
- Treatment of Russians and Belarusians: Suspend processing applications from Russians and Belarusians. Four jurisdictions have already suspended applications and Grenada which processes applications from Russians and Belarusians with enhanced due diligence, will suspend processing new applications from Russia and Belarus from March 31, 2023.
Both parties agreed to convene a technical discussion within the next four to six months to assess the status of implementation of the agreed six principles. Additionally, at this next engagement, the OECS States requested further discussion on the US Government’s risk management framework for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program as it relates to the processing of applications from Russians.
The CBI States requested that the US Government facilitate a similar engagement with the European and United Kingdom Governments based on the six agreed principles. Both parties reiterated their commitment to ongoing constructive engagement that takes account of the special circumstances of small states and their needs.
Stay updated on Caribbean CBI programs in 2023.
Source: Investment Migration Council Press release