Does the idea of securing your future in a paradise sound appealing? If so, join the club! In recent years, second citizenship or dual nationality has gained significant traction. In this regard, St. Lucia, a one-of-a-kind island nation in the Caribbean, has emerged as an attractive place for those looking to obtain a second passport. This is not at all surprising as St. Lucian citizenship comes with multiple perks. With it under your belt, you will travel visa-free to countless states, pay low taxes, and explore a diverse culture all in one bottle.
Why St. Lucia?
The sovereign island nation in the eastern Caribbean Sea may be also known to you as the Helen of the West Indies. No wonder that with its serene beaches and lush rainforests St. Lucia is a tourist paradise hard to beat. However, it is not just its natural beauty that has captured the attention of second passport seekers. St. Lucia has also introduced a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) scheme that turns it into a preferred choice for those about to acquire second citizenship in an exotic jurisdiction.
St. Lucia’s CBI
Launched in 2015, St. Lucia’s CIP is a sound way to stimulate the country’s economic growth and raise FDI. For individuals and families alike, the initiative is a chance to get St. Lucian citizenship in exchange for a qualifying investment:
- Under the NEF donation option, applicants make a non-refundable donation to the country’s National Economic Fund. The donation amount for a single applicant is USD 100,000, while for a family of 4 or more, it increases to USD 150,000 and above.
- In St. Lucia, you have an opportunity to invest in approved local real estate developments. The lowest investment requirement for this option is USD 200,000. To keep your citizenship, you will have to hold the property for a prescribed period, which is usually 5 years.
- Enterprise Project Investment means that as an investor you will be involved in an approved business venture that creates jobs and contributes to the local economy. The investment amounts range from USD 3.5 million for a single applicant to USD 6 million for 2 or more applicants (with each applicant investing at least USD 1 million). In the former case, you will have to create at least 3 permanent jobs, while in the latter the number makes 6 or more.
- To qualify as a government bond investor, you will have to purchase non-interest-bearing government bonds and hold the latter for at least 5 years. The minimum investment amounts are USD 250,000 for a single applicant, USD 300,000 for an applicant with a spouse, USD 350,000 for an applicant with a spouse and up to 2 dependents, plus USD 50,000 for each additional dependent.
Acquiring citizenship of St. Lucia through the local CIP is relatively easy but applicants must still meet certain criteria:
- Age: The main applicant must be at least 18 years old.
- Clean Criminal Record: Applicants and their dependents should have a clean criminal record and not have been denied a visa to a country with which St. Lucia has visa-free travel agreements.
- Good Health: To prove they are in good health, applicants and their family members are required to provide corresponding medical certificates.
- Source of Funds: Applicants for the St. Lucian CIP must demonstrate a legitimate source of funds to make the required investment.
- Dependents: The program allows for the inclusion of dependent family members, e.g., spouses, children under the age of 25, and parents above 65.
How to apply
In the case of St Lucian citizenship by investment, the application process involves the below steps:
- Select your authorized agent: In St. Lucia, applicants for the local CIP shall use an authorized agent to submit an application and act as their representative throughout the process. You will find a list of authorized agents on the CIU’s official website.
- Choose an investment option: You should decide which investment option you would like to pursue and prepare the necessary documents and funds.
- Apply: As the next step, you will submit your application and supporting documents to the CIU through the chosen authorized agent. NB: Don’t forget to pay due diligence and processing fees.
- Undergo due diligence: This is a requirement for every applicant about to become an economic citizen of St. Lucia. They will all undergo a thorough background check conducted by an independent due diligence firm appointed by the CIU.
- Receive approval: If your application is approved, you will receive an approval letter from the CIU with instructions to make your investment within 90 days.
- Make the investment: As any other applicant, you will make the chosen investment and provide proof of payment to the CIU within 90 days of receiving the approval letter.
- Receive citizenship: If the investment is verified, you will receive a registration certificate confirming your citizenship together with a passport application form.
Although this may seem quite a burden, the resulting rewards are worth your time and efforts. St. Lucian citizens enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 140 countries, including the Schengen Area, the UK, and most Commonwealth states. St. Lucia’s geographical location makes it an ideal hub for international business and travel and offers an ideal environment for relaxation and leisure. It is close to major financial centers like Miami and New York. With no wealth, inheritance, or gift taxes to pay, the jurisdiction is a great place if you wish to protect and grow your wealth. Its political stability creates a secure environment for both business and family life, which are all extra draws if you want to relocate to St. Lucia or make it your second home.
Don’t be. Top industry experts are here to take all your worries away. Apply for a free consultation with International Wealth’s creme de la creme to choose the best CBI program out there, have your questions about St. Lucia or any other chosen jurisdiction answered and worries resolved in no time! Our experts will help you avoid any offshore risks and keep your personal data confidential.