SAINT LUCIA EXPANDS CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM TO INCLUDE DEPENDENTS 5 YEARS AFTER CITIZENSHIP
Imagine being a citizen of a Caribbean island country, known for its unspoiled exotic beaches and year-round tropical climate. Imagine being able to extend the benefits of such citizenship to your spouse or dependent children. Such result became easier in Saint Lucia, with the recent expansion of Saint Lucia’s citizenship by investment program to include dependents within 5 years after the citizenship of the main applicant.
Specifically, Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment (Amendment) Act 2019 amended Section 36 of its Citizenship by Investment Act No. 14 of 2015 (the Principal Act). According to CIP Saint Lucia (which officially administers Saint Lucia’s citizenship by investment program), this amendment “allows a qualifying dependant to make an application for CITIZENSHIP within five (5) years after the grant of citizenship by investment to a main applicant”. It is believed that this amendment will help spouses of a citizen who marry after the citizen’s application was made, and children of a citizen who are born after the citizen’s application was made, more easily attain citizenship in Saint Lucia. This amendment applies to citizenship applications from January 1, 2016.
There are 4 alternative financial options to achieve citizenship under Saint Lucia’s citizenship by investment program. First, you can make a one-time “donation” to the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund (established for funding government-sponsored projects). The amount of this “donation” varies – $100,000 for a single applicant, $165,000 for an applicant applying with a spouse, and $190,000 for an applicant applying with a spouse and up to 2 other qualifying dependents (with an additional $25,000 for each additional qualifying dependent). Second, you can purchase real estate (for 5 years) for at least $300,000 (plus non-refundable administration fees of $50,000, plus $35,000 for each qualifying dependent age 18 or older and $25,000 for each qualifying dependent under age 18) from a list of government-approved real estate projects. Third, you can invest at least $3,500,000 ($6,000,000 if there are multiple applicants (joint venture), with each applicant investing at least $1,000,000) in a “business enterprise project” on a government-approved list from 7 categories (specialty restaurants, cruise ports and marinas, agro-processing plants, pharmaceutical products, ports, bridges, roads and highways, research institutions and facilities, and offshore universities). This third option also requires that you create certain jobs. Fourth, you can purchase non-interest-bearing Saint Lucia government bonds (for 5 years) in an amount of $500,000 for a single applicant, $535,000 for an applicant applying with a spouse, and $550,000 for an applicant applying with a spouse and up to 2 other qualifying dependents (with an additional $25,000 for each additional qualifying dependent), plus non-refundable administration fees of $50,000, plus $35,000 for each qualifying dependent age 18 or older and $25,000 for each qualifying dependent under age 18. Each of these 4 options is also subject to due diligence fees of $7,500 (plus $5,000 for each qualifying dependent over age 16).
Applications for citizenship by investment in Saint Lucia are processed within 3 months.
Citizenship in Saint Lucia can cover dependent children under age 26 (including subject to the amendment described above), dependent parents above age 65, and mentally or physically challenged dependent children and parents, and can be passed on to future generations.
Among the advantages of citizenship in Saint Lucia are visa-free travel to over 120 countries, and zero taxation on worldwide income (solely based on citizenship).