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Citizens of OECS to move freely in Economic Union from August 1

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Come Monday, August 1, citizens of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will be allowed to move freely within the OECS Economic Union.{{more}}

This decision was made by the OECS Heads of Government in keeping with Article 12.1 of the Protocol of OECS Economic Union, which states that Freedom of Movement for Citizens of Protocol Member States shall be secured within the Economic Union Area.

The members of the Economic Union are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

According to Article 12.2 of the protocol, such Freedom of Movement means that there shall be no discrimination based on nationality between citizens of the Protocol Member States as regards employment, remuneration and other conditions of work and employment.

Citizens of the OECS Protocol Member States ,therefore, have the freedom to move to another Member State to live and work on the same conditions as the nationals of that state.

Administrative arrangements have been put in place to give effect to Freedom of Movement in accordance with the Revised Treaty of Basseterre and the decision of the OECS Heads, a release from the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit said.

Effective August 1, 2011, OECS citizens entering a Member State within the Economic Union will be required to produce any one of the following documents to an Immigration Official at the point of entry: A valid Passport or a valid photo identification card with the nationality of the holder clearly stated; and a completed immigration (E/D ) form to the official.

According to the release, the immigration official, having satisfied him or her self that all security and other reasonable precautions are taken, shall grant entry for an indefinite period. Family members and dependants who are not OECS Citizens shall be given a definite stay of six months, during which time their status can be regularised.

Further information on the OECS Economic Union can be obtained from the website or Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit, Office of the Prime Minister, 2nd Floor Administrative Building, Kingstown, Tele: 784 457 2430, email: [email protected] / [email protected]