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 by 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.