The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) has distributed a memo to inform authorized agents that they will no longer be accepting applications from nationals of Iran. Based on statements made in the memo, it appears as though the reasons for the change is the inability of the Citizenship Unit to conduct thorough due diligence. It also goes further to indicate that the bank faciliting banking for the CIU will not accept funds coming out of Iran.
The memo reads:
We have recently been informed by all of the due diligence firms who conduct due diligence checks on behalf of the Citizenship by Investment Programme that they are unable to undertake due diligence checks on site in Iran and validate documents issued from Iran. This is applicable for all Iranian citizens residing in and out of Iran.
Furthermore, the sole domestic bank that facilitates banking for the Unit will not facilitate inflows of funds that are coming out of Iran for the Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Saint Lucia is the second Citizenship by Investment Program to announce it will not accept applicants from Iran, following Malta. Other programs in the Caribbean (Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis) had previously announced they would accept Iranian nationals on a case by case basis assuming they meet specific requirements.
In a recent interview, the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Allen Chastanet echoed those points:
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… The sources of information from the banks in Iran aren’t trusted sufficiently, so therefore it would make the application process virtually impossible.
If you have any questions regarding the changes to the St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program or get more information be sure to request your free, no-obligation consultation today.