The country’s authorities took into account the existing experience and developed a balanced and flexible mechanism for issuing investment citizenship. It is able to compete with popular Caribbean programs and is interesting with its extensive prospects.
CIP is regulated by a special legislative act, during the development of which global political and economic trends were taken into consideration. After the reform in 2017, the citizenship obtainment program became more transparent and cheaper – both for individual investors and for “average” families obtaining second passports. Today, CIP is considered along with the proposals of Saint Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, and Antigua (the main “competitors” in the Caribbean Region) and in some cases becomes more beneficial than such.
- four options of investment – more than the main “competitors” have
- refundable government bonds – they need to be bought for a five-year period and are allowed to be sold later;
- the absence of previously existing quotas – after the reform, they were canceled – as well as the obligation to confirm financial security for USD 3,000,000.
Benefits of the Investment Program
One of the main benefits is the provision of tax preferences. The well-known “tax haven” levies taxes from residents only on income earned in the jurisdiction. Profits and inheritance amounts received outside of it have been removed from the fiscal burden.
A firm on the island is also able to bring benefits to an entrepreneur-citizen: tax rates are among the lowest in the world, it is easy to create and maintain the operation of a company. The island is connected by direct flights to all regions of the world, it has a pleasant tropical climate and developed infrastructure.
Other benefits of the CIP program:
- recognition of dual citizenship – you will not have to refuse from your existing passports;
- confidentiality and security: there are rules on non-disclosure of information about obtained passports, bank accounts opened, this is a politically “calm” jurisdiction with a clear, well-formed law and economic systems;
- visa-free entry to more than 120 countries, including the United Kingdom (even after the completion of the Brexit procedure), the Schengen Area entirely, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.;
- the opportunity to live in any CARICOM country after obtaining citizenship;
- the simplicity of organizational procedures – CIP participants no longer need to come to the island for the oath, live permanently in the jurisdiction, there are no conditions for interviewing the applicant, education, business experience, etc.;
- obtaining additional opportunities for offshore activities, including opening bank accounts.
Terms of Formalization
Citizenship of Saint Lucia is granted to both individual applicants and groups – families, business partners. The main applicant must be over 18 years old, without problems with the law – this parameter has recently become more tightly controlled by the state authorities. In the application that the main applicant shall fill, it is allowed to include spouses, children under the age of 25, and older dependents (children, parents over 65) who are physically or mentally disabled.
Other general requirements:
- the necessity to submit a set of documents through authorized agents with a license in order to comply with the SL1 state form;
- medical insurance policy and certificates confirming that potential citizens do not have HIV, tuberculosis, other dangerous, infectious diseases;
- the necessity to pay fees to the state treasury – this is a procedural fee and one for Due Diligence verification.
For the main applicant, the procedural payment shall comprise USD 2,000, for his family members who have reached the age of sixteen – USD 1,000. If the investment is made in real estate, business, the amounts may vary – USD 50,000 for the main applicant, USD 35,000 for spouses and children from 16 years old, USD 25,000 for children under 18 years old. The Due Diligence fee is USD 7,500 for the applicant and USD 5,000 for family members who have reached the age of sixteen.
When all the requirements are met, the passport registration procedure takes around three months.
Three of the four investment options presented by the jurisdiction are associated with a significant contribution to governmental institutions and businesses on the island, while the fourth is real estate acquisition. If the applicant tends to prefer to make public-sector investment opportunities, he or she can make a non-refundable contribution to the Saint Lucia Economic Fund or buy government bonds. This is a method of registering without being required to travel to a jurisdiction or conduct business there.
The first option is cheaper – the investment in the state fund for the main applicant is USD 100,000. If a spouse obtains a passport with him/her, the amount shall be increased to USD 140,000, three dependents – USD 150,000. For each additional applicant, it is necessary to pay an extra USD 25,000. This is relatively a bit. For instance, in Dominica, the expenses of similar programs start from USD 200,000.
Applicants who have bought government bonds – that are not allowed to be sold for the first five years – are also entitled to obtain St Lucia citizenship. The amount shall comprise USD 500,000 for the main applicant, USD 535,000 – if a spouse is included, USD 550,000 – three dependents. For each additional applicant, it will be necessary to pay an extra USD 25,000. An administrative fee is added to the expenses – USD 30,000. This amount, unlike the government bonds themselves, is non-refundable.
Business Projects in Saint Lucia
In Saint Lucia, it is possible to invest in business projects approved by the authorities. For citizenship, an investor shall have to invest at least USD 3.5 million in an enterprise, create at least three job openings. There may be two applicants in one project, but the amount of investment will be increased to USD 6 million, and it will be necessary to hire at least 6 employees. The authorities of Saint Lucia approve business projects only in certain areas. These are:
- restaurant business;
- cruise ports, bridges, ordinary marinas, and marinas for yachts;
- road transport network (highways, ports);
- agricultural products procession;
- pharmaceutical industry;
- research laboratories, centers.
Business investors are charged a fee for information procession – USD 2,000 for the main applicant and an extra USD 1,000 for the spouse and each additional applicant for citizenship. The Due Diligence verification shall be also paid– USD7,500 for the applicant, USD 5,000 for the spouse and each dependent.
Investments in real estate shall be also made in projects approved by the authorities of the jurisdiction. The minimum investment amount shall be USD 300,000, it is impossible to sell the purchased objects within five years. The list of approved projects is quite extensive – these are both hotels and residential development. Local management companies take care of the maintenance of the built tourist real estate.
To get second citizenship in St Lucia, an investor shall be entitled to purchase several objects – the total amount of the investment will be taken into consideration. It is allowed to include other applicants in one application – spouses, children, dependents. It is possible to formalize transactions remotely, through representatives. After five years, the property is allowed to sell property without prejudice to the citizenship status.
The applicant is obliged to pay for Due Diligence verification– USD 7,500 for one person, USD 5,000 for spouses and dependents who have reached the age of sixteen. A separate administrative fee shall comprise USD 30,000 or USD 45,000 for spouses as well as an additional USD 10,000 for each dependent over the age of 18 and USD 5,000 for each dependent who has not reached the age of eighteen.
The Procedure of Getting St Lucia dual citizenship
It is possible to get second citizenship in Saint Lucia after passing the following approximate stages of the procedure:
- Collecting the necessary information as well as forming a package of documents for consideration. It shall be carried out through an authorized agent. The duration of the stage depends solely on the speed of the collection of documents by the applicant.
- Submission of documents for consideration.
- Passing verifications.
- Obtaining approval/refusal.
- Implementation of the selected investment option.
- Registration of a Saint Lucian passport.
The possibility of application submission is open to representatives of all jurisdictions. Among other things, it will be necessary to submit the following information for consideration:
- applicant’s name;
- date and place of birth;
- data on permanent residence and work permits;
- military service details;
- social security number;
- driver’s license number (if any);
- passport details;
- contact details;
- current residential address as well as residential addresses for the last 10 years;
- marital status as well as the information about the spouse;
- data about family members (father, mother, children, brothers, sisters);
- income and business details;
- professional experience.
Applying for a passport in Saint Lucia also requires the provision of answers to some questions, including questions about:
- possible bankruptcy cases against him/her;
- cases of cancellation or refusal to issue a visa;
- cases of arrest, detention, the conviction in criminal cases;
- possible previous cases of deportation from any country;
- cases of refusal to grant citizenship in any country;
- involvement in terrorism financing;
- staying in the status of a politically exposed person;
- fulfillment of all tax obligations in full.
It is important to provide maximally complete and credible information for these and other questions.
When getting St Lucia citizenship by investment, it is necessary to understand that the passports of the jurisdiction are not inherited according to the existing legislation. A child born after the family has passed the CIP procedure does not become a resident of the country automatically – he/she will have to lodge documents separately after reaching the age of eighteen. However, the government of the jurisdiction regularly reforms the citizenship program, and it should not be excluded that the legislation will be altered at this point. However, due to the legal nuances in obtaining Saint Lucia passports, it is worth enlisting the assistance of professional consultants.
The Prifinance company offers comprehensive assistance in applying for citizenship for productive investments. Our experts will clarify all current requirements of the jurisdiction’s legislation, assess prospects, tax, and legal risks, and create a successful strategy. We will handle all organizational procedures when submitting a citizenship application and will assist you in obtaining it as quickly as possible.