St. Lucia gives effect to free movement within sub-region

St. Lucia has implemented all administration arrangements to give effect to the movement of people across the nine-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), according to a statement issued by the OECS Commission’s Regional Integration Unit.

It said that citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadine, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands will now be able to stay in St.Lucia for an indefinite period.

The St. Lucia-based Regional Integration Unit said that upon arrival here, the nationals of these countries that are part of the OECS Economic Union will be offered an indefinite stay stamp by immigration.

“The new arrangements for citizens of the OECS Economic Union travelling to St Lucia relate to Article 12 entitled the Movement of Persons as guided by the Protocol of the OECS Economic Union,” the Unit said, adding that citizens of member states of the OECS Economic Union who travel to St. 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 Commission said that these citizens seeking employment here will no longer require a work permit once they receive the stamp for indefinite stay.

“St Lucia’s implementation of the administration arrangements to give effect to the Movement of people Regime was further facilitated through an intensive training program organized by St Lucia OECS Commissioner Ambassador June Soomer, and facilitated the OECS Regional Integration Unit,” the Commission noted.

It said that 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, OECS citizens can travel to St. Lucia using a valid photo identification which displays their nationality and is issued by their respective government agency.

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