Jeremy Savory speaking to investors on global mobility at an event held in the US in May 2024 Image Credit: Supplied

With a historic Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) now signed, four of the five Caribbean nations have agreed to enhance cooperation and integration among their Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes, setting a minimum investment threshold at $200,000 (Dh734,500), effective June 30, 2024. St. Lucia has now shown interest in joining the other nations in signing the MoA.

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Setting the stage for closer regulatory integration, pricing harmonisation, enhanced transparency, and improved protocols, the MoA’s clauses contained several matters:

Jeremy Savory with current Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. Terrence Michael Drew, and Savory & Partners Managing Director, Helena Savory Image Credit: Supplied

Harmonised pricing and investment thresholds

One critical aspect of the MoA is the commitment to harmonise the minimum investment thresholds by June 30 this year.

This unified pricing strategy aims to establish a level playing field and eliminate the price war, which has been a significant concern in the past.

Information sharing and transparency standards

The signatory countries have committed to sharing applicant information in accordance with the six citizenship by investment principles agreed upon with the US Treasury.

The four countries have also pledged to enhance programme transparency by disclosing programme revenues and disbursements.

Establishment of a common regional competent authority

Antigua, Dominica, Grenada and St Kitts have agreed to establish a joint regional competent authority to bolster regulatory oversight and ensure adherence to international requirements and best practices.

Enhanced screening and agent regulation

The MoA also highlights the signatory countries’ commitment to strengthening protocols, screening of citizenship by investment citizens, and retrieving cancelled passports. The signatories have also decided to establish common standards for agent regulation and marketing practices.

In 2023, a Caribbean-US roundtable discussion, as well as the EU-CELAC Summit in Brussels, resulted in six new principles the Caribbean CBIs must follow:

1. Collective agreement on the treatment of denials between Caribbean states

2. Mandatory interviews with applicants

3. Enhanced due diligence checks

4. Periodic audits of the CBI programmes

5. Law enforcement-assisted retrieval of revoked or recalled passports

6. Strict regulations in granting second citizenship