Launched in 2016, St Lucia has the newest citizenship by investment programme in the Caribbean. Inheriting decades of experience from its island neighbours, St Lucia’s programme is an amalgamation of practices from its surrounding islands and provides a wide range of benefits for investors and locals alike.
The St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme provides an opportunity to apply for St Lucia citizenship and a huge range of benefits including:
1. Global mobility to 116 countries
2. Right to hold dual citizenship
3. Citizenship for life, with the right to live and work in the country
4. Four investment options
5. Ten year B1/B2 USA tourist visa
6. Tax optimisation
7. International company registration
1. THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC FUND
The National Economic Fund (NEF) was established to receive qualifying investments to fund Government-sponsored projects on the island. Applicants can obtain citizenship by making a monetary contribution to the NEF via one of the prescribed contribution levels. Due diligence and processing fees apply.
2. REAL ESTATE
Applicants may obtain citizenship by purchasing Government-approved property valued at a minimum of USD 300,000. This property must be owned and maintained for a minimum of 5 years after citizenship has been granted. Due diligence fees apply.
3. PRE-APPROVED ENTERPRISE PROJECT
Applicants can obtain citizenship by making an investment, either independent or joint, in a pre-approved enterprise project. Independent investment must be valued at USD 3.5 million and create at least 3 permanent jobs. For joint investments, each investor must contribute at least USD 1 million, resulting in a joint investment worth USD 6 million and creating at least 6 permanent jobs. Due diligence, processing, and Government administration fees apply.
Minimum independent investment
USD 3,500,000 (creation of 3 local jobs)
Minimum joint investment
USD 1,000,000 (creation of 6 local jobs)
4. GOVERNMENT BONDS
Applicants may choose to invest in government bonds to obtain citizenship. Once citizenship has been granted, investments in government bonds must be held in the applicant’s name for a fixed period of time that varies according to the applicant’s family structure. The bonds must not attract a rate of interest for the duration of this period.
St Lucia Citizenship by Investment application process consists of seven steps, which are:
Application and pre-approval
Submission of citizenship application
Government processing and due diligence checks
Approval in principle
Investment in the National Economic Fund, pre-approved real estate, pre-approved enterprise project, or government bonds
Citizenship certificate issued
From submission of the application to an approval in principle, applicants are generally expected to wait three months.
Applicants for citizenship should be at least 18 years of age, in good health and of good character, without a criminal record, and able and willing to make the required contribution.
You can include:
2. Children of the main applicant or of the spouse aged 21 or below
3. Children of the main applicant or of the spouse aged no more than 30 and fully supported by the main applicant
4. Children of the main applicant or of the spouse, of any age, who are physically or mentally challenged, and fully supported by the main applicant
5. Parents of the main applicant or of the spouse if aged 55 or above and fully supported by the main applicant
6. Parents of the main applicant of any age if physically or mentally challenged and fully supported by the main applicant
7. Siblings of the main applicant aged under 18, unmarried, and in receipt of consent from their parent or guardian to make an application.
Saint Lucia recently made several key amendments to its legislation to make its citizenship-by-investment program even more attractive to investors and families. It has amended the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) Act 2019 making it simple to applicants.
– Real estate investment reduced to US$ 200,000 (shares in a resort)
– Government bonds are now cheaper for families set at US$ 300,000 (any number of dependents)
– St Lucia now issues biometric passports to all citizens from 2022 upgrading passport security.
– A newborn child can be added after receiving citizenship within 12 months by paying $5000 to the government.
– Average CIP application processing times reduced to 56 days making Saint Lucia the fastest CIP in the Caribbean.
– New e-payment payment platform rolled out for faster receipt payments avoiding bank delays
– The category of ‘qualifying dependant’ has been expanded and now includes the option to “add-on” qualifying dependants in all investment options for the granting of citizenship. Besides your spouse, you can now include children up to the age of 30 as well as parents over 55 if they are fully supported by you. An unmarried sister or brother who is under 18 can also be included in your application.
From now on family members of CBI citizens also receive citizenship with ease and without complications if applied within five years of their citizenship. Newborn children can be added as a dependant of CBI citizens within 5 years
New Spouses can also added as dependant of CBI citizens within 5 years
Real estate processing fee cut from $50,000 to $30,000
The Processing time of applications was significantly reduced averaging 80 days.
CIP Board to grant authorized agent licenses. All agents must undergo due diligence checks, pay a USD 10,000 agent fee, and must not have a criminal background or bankrupt
Applicants who cannot make payments within 90 days for the citizenship program can be extended with a written request to the Board
Another very important change is, that if St Lucia revokes/deprives citizenship for CBI citizens, then all or any dependents also lose citizenship under the citizenship scheme.
CBI applicants can also make use of the government bonds option which requires $500K fully refunded after five years.