saint lucia citizenship by investment program
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Is Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program Right for You?

The Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia is a remarkable destination not only for its breathtaking landscapes but also for one of the most cost-effective Citizenship by Investment programs in the Caribbean. This program attracts investors with its straightforward process and various investment options, through which participants gain access not only to citizenship benefits but also to hold a St. Lucia passport, which grants visa-free travel or visa-on-arrival access to numerous countries worldwide.

NazranRoth's impactful campaign initiatives played a crucial role in significantly enhancing the success of the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment program. By actively involving the Global Indian community, reshaping perceptions surrounding Citizenship by Investment, and advocating for the concept of freedom beyond mere passport acquisition, these efforts significantly influenced global perspectives on the project. As a result, the project's perception and understanding underwent a significant transformation, altering the international discourse surrounding it.

Join us in this blog, where we take a sweeping look into the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment programme, from eligibility and procedure to perks and often overlooked repercussions.

What is the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program?

Citizenship by Investment is a method by which individuals make a substantial economic contribution to a country in exchange for full citizenship. This program operates the regulations outlined in the Citizenship by Investment Act No. 14 of 2015, entailing a rigorous application procedure and thorough diligence assessments to ensure that applicants and their families meet the criteria for obtaining citizenship through investment.

Section 33 of this act created the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund (NEF), which collects qualifying investments and donations from the program. The government uses these funds to support national development initiatives.

The Citizenship program offers investors seeking dual citizenship in a secure and stable region a legitimate route to obtaining a second passport. This gives them enhanced travel privileges with visa-free access to over 140 countries. The program's emphasis on due diligence and integrity standards ensures that only eligible individuals are granted citizenship, maintaining the initiative's reputation and credibility. Saint Lucia is among the few Caribbean nations that deliver on this commitment.

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Benefits of the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program

Enhanced Global Mobility: Saint Lucia passport holders are granted visa-on-arrival or visa-free access to over 140 countries, including key business hubs and popular travel destinations like Hong Kong and Singapore.

Dual Citizenship: Acquiring second citizenship in Saint Lucia offers you and your family newfound opportunities and flexibility. This Caribbean passport is not only affordable but also convenient and swiftly attainable.

Tax Benefits: Saint Lucia offers a favourable tax regime for its citizens, with no wealth tax, inheritance taxes, capital gains tax, or tax on worldwide income, promoting wealth preservation and financial efficiency.

No Residency Obligations: Obtaining citizenship in Saint Lucia does not entail any language barriers, English being the official language, or physical residency requirements. The entire process is conducted remotely, eliminating the necessity of visiting Saint Lucia at any stage.

Access to European Bank Accounts: Acquiring citizenship through the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program allows you to open accounts in European banks through a comparatively less stringent process. EU bank accounts offer a high standard of financial security and convenient international transfers.

Quality of Life: Citizenship in Saint Lucia opens doors to a high standard of living, with excellent healthcare, education opportunities, and a safe, stable environment conducive to a pleasant lifestyle.

Investment Options: The program provides various investment routes, such as contributions to the National Economic Fund, real estate investments, government bond purchases, or business investments in approved enterprise projects, catering to diverse investor needs.

Family Inclusion: The program allows applicants to include family members in the application, offering a pathway for spouses, children, and additional qualifying dependents, enhancing the benefits for the entire family unit.

Despite the countless incentives of the program, it must be acknowledged that as the current scenario stands, there are certain drawbacks to it as well. There are currently very limited real estate options in the Caribbean island to invest in. The only government-approved real estate project is a resort by the village of Micoud on the east coast.

Requirements of Saint Lucian Citizenship by Investment

Obtaining St. Lucia citizenship via investment requires applicants to be at least 18 years of age and meet some basic eligibility requirements. This ensures that only individuals compliant with the country's legal and regulatory norms can proceed with the citizenship application.

Age: Primary applicant must be at least 18 years old.

Good health: Applicants must be free from contagious diseases or serious health issues that could endanger public health. St. Lucia mandates that applicants undergo comprehensive health and background checks to ensure program integrity and national safety.

Criminal Background: A clean criminal record is essential. Applicants must provide documentation from their home country and any other country where they've resided for over a year in the past decade.

Satisfactory financial history: Applicants must provide evidence of their financial stability, including proof of funds for the chosen investment option. Complete transparency in financial records, including assets, tax obligations, liabilities, and income sources, is expected to maintain program integrity and transparency.

Additionally, applicants can include dependents in the family in their citizenship application. Qualifying dependents include:

  • Legally married partners
  • Dependent children under 21, fully supported by the applicant, or between aged 21-30, if full-time students or with disabilities.
  • Dependent parents or grandparents over 55, financially reliant on the principal applicant.
  • Unmarried, childless siblings under 18, with consent from parents or legal guardians.

Investment Options

The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program provides several investment pathways for applicants, each designed to cater to diverse investor needs while contributing to the nation's development.

National Economic Fund (NEF) Contribution: Applicants can opt to make a non-refundable donation to the NEF, which supports government-sponsored projects aimed at augmenting the economy. The minimum donation required varies according to the number of dependents in the application and is listed below (minus service fees):

  • Single applicant: $100,000
  • Applicant with spouse: $140,000
  • Family with up to 4 dependents: $150,000
  • Additional dependents: $25,000 each

Real Estate Investment: Investors may choose to purchase government-approved real estate, contributing to the local property market. The minimum investment requirement for the real estate route is $200,000, with additional government administrative fees of $50,000 applicable to this route.

Enterprise Projects: Investments in approved enterprise projects across various sectors - city infrastructure, institutions, housing projects, specialty restaurants or social development projects - are considered a significant contribution to the national economy. The minimum contribution must meet the threshold and certain specific criteria:

  • $3,500,000 for sole applicants, along with the creation of at least 3 permanent jobs.
  • $6,000,000 for joint ventures, with each investor contributing at least $1,000,000 and creating at least 6 permanent jobs.

Government Bond Acquisition: Investing in non-interest-bearing government bonds is a secure choice that directly aids the national treasury. The minimum contribution is $500,000 for a single applicant, alongside an administrative fee of $50,000. These bonds are interest-free and must be retained for a minimum period of five years.

It is also essential for investors to be aware of associated fees, including processing fees, diligence fees, and administrative fees applicable to certain investment options, as listed below:

  • Processing Fees: $2,000 (single applicant), $3,000 (family application)
  • Due Diligence Fees: $7,500 (main applicant), $5,000 (dependents over 16)
  • Government Administrative Fee: $50,000 (applicable only to real estate and enterprise project investments)

Applying to the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program

The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment application process is thorough and involves several steps, including a rigorous background check and detailed diligence screenings of applicants.

Required Documents

  • A certified copy of the birth certificate
  • Certified copy of Passport
  • National Identity Card (if applicable)
  • Six passport-sized photographs of each applicant taken within the last six months
  • Residence proof: Certified copies of utility bills or bank statements showing full name and address
  • Financial documents: Demonstrating the source of investment funds.
  • Marriage or Divorce Certificates, if relevant
  • Academic certificates and transcripts
  • Affidavit of support for applying dependents
  • Professional references, typically from a lawyer or a chartered accountant
  • Health certificate confirming good health.

Other Subsidiary Documents

  • Certified copies of current and expired visas
  • Police certificate from country of birth or residence for more than a year
  • Custody and Legal Guardianship records
  • Certified copy of the photo ID of a non-accompanying parent (if applicable)
  • A statutory declaration by a non-accompanying parent of any qualifying dependent under 18 years of age consenting to their acquisition of Saint Lucian citizenship.

Note: For non-English documents, a faithful and certified translated copy, produced by a qualified translator with appropriate credentials, should be provided.

Steps of Application

Preparation and Submission: Gather necessary documents and complete application forms.

Investment Decision: Choose from the range of qualified investment options, such as the donation route or investment route.

Payment of Fees: Non-refundable processing and due diligence fees.

Official Submission: Submit the application package to the St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) through an Investment Migration Specialist or authorised agent.

Persons aged 16 and above must undergo due diligence screening and a virtual interview.

The average processing time is about 30-60 days. Upon passing the application and diligence process, you will receive a letter of approval of your application.

Make the investment of your choice and send its proof to the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIP).

Receive your Saint Lucian passport(s) and citizenship certificate at your designated address within 3-6 months.

Domestic Repercussions of the Citizenship by Investment Program

In the context of St. Lucia, the Citizenship by Investment Program has been a significant source of revenue and economic growth for the country, contributing to nearly 30% of GDP in St. Kitts and Nevis. However, alongside the benefits, potential domestic issues arise with citizenship by investment programs.

Undermining Integrity: Citizenship by investment programs can potentially undermine the integrity of the citizenship process by allowing individuals to acquire citizenship based on financial contributions rather than traditional criteria like residency or familial ties, raising concerns about the commodification of citizenship.

Corruption Risks: These programs may be susceptible to corruption and misuse, as they provide a route for individuals with questionable backgrounds or intentions to gain citizenship through financial investments, bypassing the usual stringent background checks.

Security Concerns: Granting citizenship through investment without thorough scrutiny can pose security risks, as individuals with dubious backgrounds could potentially gain access to the benefits of citizenship, raising concerns about national security and integrity.

Marketisation of Citizenship: The commercialisation of citizenship through investment schemes can lead to a market-driven economic citizenship, where wealth becomes the primary criterion for acquiring it, potentially devaluing the concept of citizenship and nationality.

Erosion of Public Trust: Using citizenship by investment programs can erode public trust in the fairness and transparency of the citizenship process, leading to concerns about the credibility and legitimacy of the citizenship system.

These ill effects point to the need for implementing robust regulations, thorough diligence checks, and transparency measures in citizenship by investment programs to mitigate risks and preserve the integrity of citizenship and nationality.

Check Out This Article On: Addressing Environmental Concerns: The Impact of St Lucia’s CIP

Conclusion

In the context of Caribbean nations, the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program is a significant attractor for international investors, offering a pathway to citizenship through investments in various areas, enhancing its global appeal and fostering economic growth. However, despite its numerous benefits, it prompts discussions about the integrity and marketisation of citizenship. As such, a balanced approach controlled by regulations and transparency measures is necessary for protecting national integrity and public trust. Overall, the Citizenship by Investment Program aligns with the country's goals of promoting investment, enhancing global mobility, and providing a secure and stable environment for its citizens and residents.

FAQs

How to get citizenship by investment in St Lucia?

The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment program allows applicants to choose from investment options such as contributing to the National Economic Fund, investing in real estate, purchasing government bonds, or investing in an approved enterprise project, with varying minimum investment amounts depending on the chosen option.

How much does citizenship cost in St Lucia?

Citizenship in St. Lucia, encompassing all available options beyond investment, generally starts from around $100,000 for the National Economic Fund contribution and can vary based on additional fees and requirements. Economic citizenship can cost up to $500,000, depending on the chosen investment route and the number of family members included in the application.

How do I become a resident of St Lucia?

To become a resident of St. Lucia, individuals can apply for Permanent Residence after five years of continuous residence in the country. This status allows for the convenience of not needing to apply for residence permits every three months and eliminates time-consuming procedures at the port of entry after overseas trips.

Anuska Saha

Anuska Saha is an aspiring academician and musician pursuing her Master's in English. A passionate book enthusiast and a singer-musician, she navigates the realms of academia and creativity with equal enthusiasm.

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