OECS citizens can now stay in St. Lucia indefinitely

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OECS citizens can now stay in St. Lucia indefinitely


PRESS RELEASE –
 Citizens of the OECS Economic Union who travel to Saint Lucia can now stay there indefinitely.

The OECS Commission’s Regional Integration Unit made the official announcement on Friday August 15, 2014.

The Castries based Regional Integration Unit says upon arrival in Saint Lucia, Citizens of the OECS Economic Union will be offered an indefinite stay stamp.

The OECS Commission says the new arrangements for Citizens of the OECS Economic Union travelling to Saint Lucia relate to Article 12 entitled the “Movement of Persons” as guided by the Protocol of the OECS Economic Union.

The OECS Commission adds that Citizens of Member States of the OECS Economic Union who travel to Saint Lucia will also be able to drive without a driver’s permit once they are in possession of a valid driver’s license with photo identification and the nationality of their respective OECS Member State highlighted.

Regarding this new arrangement, the OECS Commission has also stated that Citizens of the OECS Economic Union seeking employment in Saint Lucia will no longer require a work permit once they receive the stamp for indefinite stay.

The OECS Commission says Saint Lucia’s implementation of the administration arrangements to give effect to the Movement of people Regime was further facilitated through an intensive training programme organised by Saint Lucia OECS Commissioner Ambassador June Soomer, and facilitated the OECS Regional Integration Unit. Training was held for over 100 officers attached to the traffic, immigration, customs, transport, external affairs, National Insurance Corporation, and other relevant departments. Under the new arrangement, Citizens of the OECS Economic Union can travel to Saint Lucia using a valid photo identification which displays their nationality and is issued by their respective government agency.

On Tuesday August 12th Saint Lucia’s house of parliament discussed the legislation that gives effect to the new regime regarding movement of persons through the OECS Economic Union.

The matter was also taken to the senate on Thursday 14th August 2014. The OECS Commission adds that plans are ongoing in Antigua and Barbuda to have that country fully become part of the OECS Free Movement Regime.

 

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Lucians migrate elsewhere and do crime, drugs, etc. just like everybody else. So what?
    Good Move for OECS governments

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  2. It seems that there is a 50% split between for and against. I'm from Europe and although there are some advantages to traveling around, the problem comes because you cannot refuse entry to people you don't want. As some people have seen already, you will get undesirables getting citizenship for one country, then getting the others thrown in for free.

    I believe that it is the right of every country to be allowed to control who comes in. This one size fits all policy will harm the poorest and most vulnerable. It's a policy which benefits the rich/criminal fraternity. You should all be vigilant.

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  3. Worst crap. Now all Caribbean criminals coming to settle in St Lucia .now look at the crime rate. Soon

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  4. Wow awesome idea! While some might find this daunting...because they're afraid of change. I think we can look at this initiative in a positive light.I always say don't bash it until you try it. Sometimes the opportunities we're looking for can be found in another Islands. I'm an Entrepreneur who aspire to set up business in other Islands in the future. This creates employment and boost that economy. Crime & Unemployment is an issue that is everywhere. Cheers to increased productivity, higher education, diverse skills, more Entrepreneurs. One Caribbean!

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  5. I'm all for free movement of genuine OECS citizens. My concern is about the nefarious characters that St Kitts, Antigua and Dominica have been selling passports to under "economic citizenship". (There have been several stories online identifying specific individuals and their criminal history). As "OECS nationals", do they automatically get the right to settle in St Lucia, even if we don't want them?

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  6. HAHAHA, FINALLY some of you will get a chance to travel outsIde the country. YAYY!!

    So THUMBS DOWN to all those who are concerned about CRIME, SECURITY, UNEMPLOYMENT and RESOURCES !!

    >
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    OOPS!! WHAT CAN I SAY "I LOVE TRAVELING ALSO" !!

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  7. @sniffing dog Do you realize that anyone can fly out of their country and come to St. Lucia, commit a crime, and then return to their country just like what some St. Lucians do abroad even without this policy? Come on man...make some sense please. People travel to Lucia every day for various reasons ..
    And one needs to be a citizen before they can vote in another country...which involves a different procedure/process than that of the free movement. We need to educate ourselves before we make those kind of remarks and stop being so biased, we have had several cases of Lucians committing crimes overseas recently.

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  8. I think this is brilliant idea and may potentially bring skilled migrants, create a more culturally diverse and aware Saint Lucia.

    What do I have to do to get a permanent visa to saint lucia lol?

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  9. Wow I guess it's ok 4 a person to take LIAT from their country in d morning from any OECS country rob or kill any amount of people then take LIAT later on in the day to go back whiles a local gets d blame right huuuuum just think of that before we get happy and hope we not one of d people that mite take PLOCK I hope we voting with Lucian ID only to

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    • Imagine the possibility of a Lucian taking LIAT in the morning to another territory to perform a task that require specific skills and knowledge and being back home that same day or the following day... imagine no more it's already a reality, what are you doing to ensure that you can benefit from such opportunities? do you have a personal development plan to mitigate the likelihood of you being displaced in your current profession? food for thought.

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  10. Its a great move, it will help the Caribbean currency to retain its value and the free move can send their skilled people to other Caribbean islands, such trade can build a stronger Caribbean nation.

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  11. We can barley keep up in St.Lucia with person driving without valid licences. We are extending an invitation to our OECS brothers and sisters to drive with a valid drivers licence from their respective countries.

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  12. Lucian and Proud I quite agree with you....those like only in Lucia need to expand their experiences....travel a little to understand the world.....ask how many St. Lucians have family in say Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Barbados, Panama and the list can go on....I have travelled to many of the caribbean Islands and South America, Central America and we would be amazed at how many St. Lucians are living there or their ancestors lived there. When we needed jobs many islands and other countries took us in without problems....and to those who always seem to come down on the Guyanese....in the 1960's Guyana opened its borders for caribbean people, some are still there.....so get this small minded island thinking out of here....it was about time this legislation was passed....I am in total agreement...

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  13. actually St. Lucia and Antigua & Barbuda were the LAST two OECS countries to implement this. Antigua ratified it earlier this month.

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  14. 2 to 3 years ago i travel to dominica i stayed for a week i got my life time stay.i went to st vincent by boat i got my life time stay with ease i stayed bequia for 3 months.i den went to grenada i got my life time stay with ease i stayed for 1 month no problem.u can work no permit required.so my friends st lucia is very much late to jump on the band wagon

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  15. while the policymakers have made the correct decision making the OECS a model for freedom of movement within the Caribbean, the private sector lags far behind. For this economic space to truly benefit us, the private sector - banks, credit unions, schools, communication service providers must buy into this system.

    It makes no sense that one can work in another state without any hassle yet to open a bank account or to become a member of a credit union, or to buy a post paid account at a telecommunications company is hell and high water

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  16. I don't know man, I have mix feelings about this. In a time when St.lucia has a growing crime and unemployment rate, I don't think it is a good idea to give this much privilege to foreigners IN OUR COUNTRY

    I am for the free movement of foreigners in the OECS. But am not A fan of the stamp for indefinite status in our country.

    BOY I DON'T WANT TO SOUND NEGATIVE BUT AM SKEPTICAL!!

    Does that mean people can purchase land and start businesses at will also?

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    • As a Saint Lucian living and working in Trinidad, you are full of shit.

      I bet you have no skills to offer

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      • lucianintrini don't be naïve and ignorant!!! there are concerns I thoughthis initiative would have been postpones until we got the unemployment figures down a bit and the region was bouncing back from the recession. it would have made sense to do that. You have to look at data in terms of the islands who's economies are growing and its an indication of GDP growth, available jobs etc. Its a no brainer person from other caricom countries will flock to these countries to find a better way of life. Can our public services (fire, police and medical services)handle this. God forbid we have surge in persons coming across to find work as this would place a demand on our already taxed public services.

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  17. Hope when other nationals come take yall jobs yall dont cry and complain about it. While this has many benefits there are also many disadvantages. ...just wait for it......wait for it.....waaaaiiit......

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      • Hello ! All u are seeing is Skills , Skills, Skills . .. ) Only inLucia is Correct . For example , other Nationals can Come to Slu - ask for lower Wages - and slu nationals Can Loose their Jobs . That is true for every profession - Even YOURS . Oh ! Dominica , Grenada and st kitts Sell their Citizenship - via that Economic Citizenship Program . These so call Citizens BOUGHT ONE COUNTRY and THEY get 3 Other Countries for FREE.

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    • @ only in Lucia...if we have to continue to think that way then other countries have the right to send all of our nationals working abroad back to their homeland St. Lucia. That means no more barrels for alot of us, no more US EURO and Pounds for many lucian families who invest in their kids to send them abroad to work for a bigger income so they can help their families who cant afford our increasing cost of living. I had the opportunity to work abroad in one of our sister islands and gain the knowledge and expertise I have in the field I work...I had to put up with discrimination just like you're doing here, but employers welcomed a positive, ambitious youth who did not allow small-minded, insecure people to be an obstacle. I came back to my beloved Lucia just like many of my former school mates and play my part in contributing to the nations GDP. Look at the bigger pic here, not just the one or two little jobs that are offered to foreign nationals compared to the hundreds held by our own citizens.

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      • agreed! I too suffered discrimination in other OECS territories at the time despite having a work permit, hopefully the situation is much improved today.