Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Unit will no longer accept applications from Iranian citizens. The ban will apply to all Iranian citizens, whether or not they reside in Iran. This was announced by the CIP Unit on August 9, 2018. Four other Caribbean islands—Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Dominica and Grenada—have citizenship by investment programmes. However, Saint Lucia’s programme alone has an ‘Iranians need not apply’ condition.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet called Timothy Poleon’s Newsspinlunchtime radio show to address the ban. He said: “The issue with Iran is determining the source of funds, as well as being able to confirm whether the information that the applicant is giving us is correct. We cannot do it ourselves and the agencies that would normally do the third party background checks for us are themselves struggling with that.”
He said: “The sources of information from the banks in Iran aren’t trusted sufficiently, so therefore it would make the application process virtually impossible.”
Host Timothy Poleon asked, “Prior to the ban were any applications accepted from any Iranian nationals?” The PM’s response: “Yes there were, and the policy that we had in existence only accepted applications from Iranians who were residing and had bank accounts outside of Iran.”