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EU Urged To Review Agreements With Caribbean Countries Offering Passports For Sale

By NAN Contributor

News Americas, LONDON, England, Thurs. Oct. 18, 2018:  A major global organization that fights against corruption is urging the European Union, (EU), to review its visa free agreements with Caribbean jurisdictions that offer citizenship and visa-free Schengen travel via Citizenship by Investment Programs, (CPIC).

Transparency International, in a report issued Wednesday, urged the EU to consider following Canada’s lead by suspending the visa waiver for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia.

These Caribbean countries offer a fast-track route to citizenship, with a significantly low investment requirement and an extremely fast processing time.

Macys.com

TI called the CPIC programs, “golden visa schemes” in its report “European Getaway: Inside the Murky World of Golden Visas.”

The organization, in its report, said “the opacity of these programmes compounds the risks” since “Caribbean countries publish limited information about due diligence checks carried out during the application process.”

“There is also limited information regarding the number of applications received and rejected,” the report states. “None of the countries publish the names of individuals granted citizenship, thus preventing public scrutiny.  … Weak due diligence processes and lax control can result in security and reputational risks not only to the countries running these programmes, but also to all countries and regions with which they have visa-free agreements, including the European Union.”

TI urged the EU to review the agreements or encourage governments to set high due diligence and integrity standards.

“Ultimately, if the EU is not confident in the ability of these schemes to identify and reject high-risk applicants, it should consider following Canada’s lead by suspending the visa waiver to golden visa schemes outside the EU,” the report added.

Caribbean Citizenship Investment Offers

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Minimum investment: US$100,000 for a family of up to four people

Timeframe: 90 to 120 days

Visa-free Travel: 149 countries

Key countries: EU Schengen area, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore,

Residence requirement: Minimum period of 5 days during the first five years when the investment must be maintained.

DOMINICA

Minimum investment: US$200,000 for a family of four people

Timeframe: 90 days

Visa-free Travel: 120 countries

Key countries: EU Schengen Area, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore

Residence requirement: None

GRENADA

Minimum investment: US$150,000

Timeframe: 90 days

Visa-free Travel: 141 countries

Key countries: EU Schengen area, UK, China; E-2 Investor Visa treaty with the US, allowing Grenadian nationals the opportunity to enter and work in the US.

Residence requirement: None

KITTS AND NEVIS

Minimum investment: US$150,000 single applicant + US$25,000 for a spouse and US$10,000 for each additional dependent

Timeframe: 60 days accelerated process available

Visa-free Travel: 151 countries

Key countries: EU Schengen Area, UK (6 months), Hong Kong, Singapore,

Residence requirement: None

LUCIA

Minimum investment: US$190,000 for a family of four people

Timeframe: 90 days

Visa-free Travel: 142 countries

Key countries: Schengen area, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore

Residence requirement: None

Macys.com

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