Saint Lucians Should Not Worry About Visa-Free Travel to EU Being Abolished, PM Pierre Assures

The Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Philip J Pierre, has assured citizens of the country that they should not be worried about the visa-free travel agreement with the EU being abolished.

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Prime Minister Pierre had a meeting with the EU representatives in Brussels, and there were allegations that the EU summoned him to talk about concerns related to the visa-free access that Saint Lucians enjoy.

However, Prime Minister Pierre denied such allegations, stressing that the country does not risk losing visa-free travel privileges to the Schengen member states, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

According to Prime Minister Pierre, the agreement on visa-free travel to the EU remains safe, and citizens of the country should not worry about the possibility of visa requirements being introduced for them.

As Loop St. Lucia News explains, Prime Minister Pierre said that it is “ridiculous” to assume that the EU has problems with the country and that he was “summoned” there.

The same revealed that the main purpose of the meeting was to explain the strict rules that the country has taken in its Citizenship by Investment Program.

Europe has no problems with us. I was not summoned. Saying that I was summoned there is ridiculous. I wanted to speak to the EU, face to face, to explain the rigorous due diligence taken by our Citizen by Investment Program.

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Philip J Pierre

Concerns on Visa-Free Access to EU Raised Due to Citizenship by Investment Program

The concerns about the possible introduction of visa requirements for Saint Lucians were raised by the Citizenship by Investment Program.

According to Loop St. Lucia News, the opposition leader said that the programme could have disadvantages for citizens of the country, and the EU might have irregular migration concerns.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Pierre stressed that the country applies strict rules when it comes to granting citizenship through investment and, at the same time, said that the country is committed to completing obligations with existing investors before entering into new commitments.

EU has required the countries that have visa-free travel agreements to align visa policies with the bloc so that no concerns about irregular entries appear.

Saint Lucians Eligible to Enter EU Visa-Free Since 2015

Saint Lucia gained visa-free access to the Schengen Area in 2015. Since then, passport holders of the country have been able to enter all the Schengen member states without having to apply for and obtain a Schengen visa for short-term stays.

Under the visa-free travel agreement, Saint Lucians are permitted to stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. On the other hand, those who plan to stay more than this period need to apply for a long-term visa.