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St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment & Passport Guide for 2024

Mark Damsgaard

Mark Damsgaard

Founder of Global Residence Index

Last updated: February 21, 2024

St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment & Passport Guide for 2024

Saint Lucia offers a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program which presents a valuable opportunity for individuals seeking a second passport. Since its inception in 2016, the program has attracted investors by offering a straightforward path to citizenship through various investment options. By participating in the program, investors can enjoy the benefits of a St. Lucia passport, including visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to numerous countries across the globe.

Potential applicants should understand the eligibility criteria, which include due diligence checks to maintain the integrity and reputation of the program. The investment routes provided by the St. Lucia CBI program include contributions to the National Economic Fund, real estate investments, government bond purchases, or investments in approved enterprise projects. Each option has different financial thresholds and benefits tailored to meet the diverse needs of investors.

Key Takeaways

  • St. Lucia’s CBI program provides diverse investment options for acquiring citizenship.
  • Eligible investors can potentially obtain a St. Lucia passport within several months.
  • St. Lucian citizenship offers considerable travel benefits and financial opportunities.

Understanding Citizenship by Investment

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs are routes established by nations like St. Lucia to grant individuals citizenship in exchange for significant investment in the country. St. Lucia Citizenship offers a legal pathway for investors to acquire a second passport, enhancing their global mobility with visa-free access to over 140 countries.

Investors are attracted to these programs for the promise of dual citizenship in a region that is considered safe and stable. The St. Lucia CBI program, established in 2015, is one of the select few Caribbean CBI initiatives fulfilling this promise.

St Lucia Passport by investment

Benefits of St. Lucia’s CBI Program:

  • Fast-track to dual citizenship: A second passport in 3-6 months.
  • Global Mobility: Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to numerous countries.
  • Tax Advantages: Potential for favorable tax conditions.
  • Family Inclusion: Eligible to include family members.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Good health.
  • Outstanding character.
  • No criminal record.
  • Satisfactory financial background.

St. Lucia’s program offers several investment options, such as:

  1. National Economic Fund (NEF) Contribution: A financial contribution to a government fund.
  2. Real Estate Investment: Purchasing government-approved real estate.
  3. Enterprise Investment: Investing in an approved enterprise project.
  4. Government Bonds: Investing in non-interest-bearing government bonds.

Investment thresholds vary based on the option chosen and the number of dependents included in the application. Each investment category is carefully designed to contribute to the nation’s economy while offering the investor and their family a secure future with enhanced travel possibilities and lifestyle benefits.

Eligibility Criteria

To acquire St. Lucia citizenship through investment, applicants must satisfy specific eligibility criteria. These prerequisites ensure that only individuals who meet the nation’s legal and regulatory standards can proceed with the citizenship process.

Age Requirements

Minimum Age: All applicants must be at least 18 years old. This basic requirement is set to ensure that each candidate is legally an adult and can make formal decisions regarding citizenship.

Health and Background Checks

St. Lucia requires that applicants have a clean criminal record and undergo thorough health and background checks. These checks are crucial in maintaining the integrity of the program and the safety of the nation.

  1. Health Clearance: Applicants must not have any contagious diseases or serious health conditions that might pose a threat to public health.
  2. Criminal Clearance: A clean criminal record is mandatory, and individuals must provide proof from their country of origin as well as from any other country they have lived in for more than one year during the past ten years.

Dependents and Family

Applicants can also include dependents in their citizenship application, but these family members must meet certain requirements:

  • Spouse: Legally married partners are eligible.
  • Children: Applicants’ dependent children under 21 who are fully supported by them are eligible.
  • Other Dependents:
    • Children aged 21-30 if they are full-time students or have disabilities
    • Parents or grandparents over 55 if they are financially dependent on the principal applicant

Investment Options

The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program offers several qualifying investment routes for applicants. Each option caters to diverse investor needs, ensuring a solid and beneficial contribution to the nation’s development.

National Economic Fund Donation

Applicants can make a non-refundable donation to the National Economic Fund (NEF), which finances various government-sponsored projects aimed at boosting the country’s economy. The minimum donation required depends on the number of dependents included in the application:

  • 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

A real estate investment must involve property purchase within a pre-approved development project. Investors must retain the property for a minimum period, contributing to the thriving local property market. The minimum investment amounts for this category are as follows:

  • Minimum investment: $200,000 (*the requirement was recently lowered from the previous $300,000 to the current $200,000)
  • Additional government, due diligence, and administrative fees apply.

Government Bonds

Investing in government bonds is a secure option that contributes to the national treasury. These are interest-free and must be held for a set period. The government bond option requires:

  • Single applicant: $500,000 held for 5 years
  • Applicant with dependents: Increased investment amounts and holding periods apply.

Enterprise Projects

Contributions to approved enterprise projects provide an opportunity to invest in established enterprises or upcoming projects across various sectors. These projects aim to bolster the national economy and create jobs. The investment must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum investment for a sole investor: $3,500,000 with the creation of at least 3 permanent jobs.
  • Joint investment: $6,000,000 total, with each investor contributing at least $1,000,000 and creating at least 6 permanent jobs.

Investors can choose from these options based on their financial goals and willingness to contribute to St. Lucia’s economy, ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship between the investor and the island nation.

Fees and Other Costs

Investors should anticipate a range of fees when applying for St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment. The non-refundable processing fees for an application are set at $2,000 for a single applicant and $3,000 for a family application. Due diligence is a significant aspect, with due diligence fees of $7,500 for the main applicant and $5,000 for each dependent above 16 years. An additional administrative fee applies for real estate and enterprise project investments, amounting to $50,000.

  • Processing Fees: $2,000 (single), $3,000 (family)
  • Due Diligence Fees: $7,500 (main applicant), $5,000 (dependents over 16)
  • Administrative Fee: $50,000 (real estate/enterprise projects)

Application Process

The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment program mandates a thorough application process that requires specific documentation and goes through multiple steps, including a rigorous due diligence and background check.

Required Documents

Applicants must provide a series of documents, all of which are critical to the application process. The required documents typically include:

  • Birth Certificate: To establish the applicant’s nationality.
  • Passport: Valid passport copies for identity verification.
  • Proof of Address: Utility bills or bank statements as residence proof.
  • Financial Documents: Showing the origin and source of investment funds.
  • Marriage or Divorce Certificates: If applicable, for relationship status.
  • Professional References: Typically from a lawyer or accountant.
  • Health Certificate: Ensuring the applicant has no contagious diseases.

Steps to Apply

The steps to apply for St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment involve:

  1. Preparation and Submission: Applicants must gather all the supporting documents and complete the necessary application forms.
  2. Investment Decision: Choose one of the qualified investment options.
  3. Payment of Fees: Non-refundable processing fees and due diligence fees are paid.
  4. Official Submission: The complete package, including the investment agreement, is submitted to the St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU).

Due Diligence and Background Check

An exhaustive due diligence and background check is conducted to ensure applicants meet the program’s integrity standards:

  • Criminal Record: No criminal background. Police certificate is a must.
  • Financial Probity: A check to confirm clean financial history and lawful source of funds.
  • Personal History: Scrutiny of personal and professional background.

The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit conducts the due diligence and ensures only eligible individuals obtain citizenship.

Seeking expert immigration guidance?

Navigating through immigration programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

During our call, we will:

  • Address any specific questions: We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.
  • Detail every step: We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.
  • Evaluate program suitability: We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.
  • Connect you with local professionals: Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers in the respective country, as well as trusted providers of eligible investment options.


 

Benefits of St. Lucia Citizenship

Acquiring citizenship from St. Lucia through its Citizenship by Investment program provides a multitude of tangible assets, from enhanced global mobility to favorable tax conditions, contributing to a superior quality of life.

Passport and Global Travel

St. Lucia’s passport is a powerful travel document, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 146 destinations. This includes the entire Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and key business hubs like Hong Kong. Holders benefit from increased freedom in global mobility, facilitating easier travel for business or pleasure.

Tax Advantages

The island nation presents an appealing tax regime for its citizens. There is no wealth tax, no inheritance taxes, and no capital gains tax on worldwide income. St. Lucia’s fiscal policies aim to protect wealth while promoting growth, making it an attractive location for investors seeking tax efficiency.

Quality of Life

Citizenship in St. Lucia opens the door to a high standard of living. The Caribbean island is known for its excellent health care system and education opportunities. It is a safe, stable, and serene environment, perfect for individuals and families seeking a peaceful lifestyle alongside the economic benefits of an investment-friendly locale.

Taxes and Financial Considerations

Investors gain significant tax advantages as St. Lucia citizens, such as no inheritance tax, no wealth tax, and no capital gains on worldwide income. However, they must be aware of their tax responsibilities in their home countries or other jurisdictions. Moreover, St. Lucia has signed agreements to exchange tax information, which means they could share financial account information with other countries for tax purposes.

  • Inheritance Tax: None
  • Wealth Tax: None
  • Capital gains: None on worldwide income

Living in St. Lucia

Residing in St. Lucia offers a blend of investment opportunities and an appealing Caribbean lifestyle. This section navigates through the essentials of real estate, business environment, and the community life that collectively make living on the island a compelling proposition for investors and residents alike.

Real Estate and Residency

St. Lucia’s property market provides a range of options for real estate investment, a key route for acquiring residency on the island. The government facilitates residency through property investment, which often appeals to those seeking not only a home but also a path to a Saint Lucia passport. The investment requirement for real estate starts from $200,000, and properties can range from luxury villas to serene beachfront getaways.

Real Estate Investment Options:

  • Luxury Villas
  • Beachfront Properties
  • Pre-approved Development Projects

Investment in real estate ensures a stable asset within a growing tourism sector.

Business Environment

St. Lucia’s business setting is characterized by its stability and support for foreign investment. With English as the official language, communication barriers are minimal, facilitating smoother transactions and integration into the local market. The government has proactively set up special enterprise projects to attract investment that can lead to significant economic growth within certain sectors. These projects often align with obtaining a Saint Lucia passport and residency, signifying a commitment to fostering a reliable and attractive business milieu.

Enterprise Project Sectors Include:

  • Specialty Restaurants
  • Cruise Ports and Marinas
  • Pharmaceutical Products
  • Ports, Bridges, Roads, and Highways

Lifestyle and Community

The lifestyle in St. Lucia is a balance of laid-back island living and vibrant community engagement. Residents can partake in a rich cultural tapestry, from the annual Jazz Festival to the colorful Carnival. The community is friendly, and there’s a spirit of camaraderie, particularly in expat circles where many have bonded over their mutual journey through the Citizenship by Investment program.

Lifestyle Highlights:

  • Vibrant Local Festivals
  • Warm, Welcoming Community
  • Blend of Leisure and Adventure Activities

Through investment, whether in property or enterprise projects, individuals can gain not only a stable asset and potential residency but become part of a unique and engaging island community.

Comparing Caribbean CBI Programs

When evaluating Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs in the Caribbean, potential investors often consider factors such as the ease of processing, investment options, and visa-free travel access. St. Lucia stands among the prominent options alongside other countries like Dominica and Antigua.

St. Lucia vs. Dominica

St. Lucia:

  • Investment minimum: $100,000 (donation to NEF), $200,000 (real estate), or $3.5 million (enterprise project)
  • Processing time: Approximately 3-6 months
  • Visa-free access: Over 145 countries, including the EU Schengen Area, UK, and Hong Kong
  • Additional benefits: No physical residency requirement; included in application family members

Compared to Dominica Citizenship by investment:

  • Investment minimum: $100,000 (donation to EDF), $200,000 (real estate)
  • Processing time: Roughly 3 months
  • Visa-free access: Over 140 countries including the EU Schengen Area, and Singapore, but without access to the UK

St. Lucia is the cheaper option for families when considering all fees. For single applicants, the costs are more or less the same.

St. Lucia vs. Antigua

St. Lucia:

  • Investment minimum: Same as above
  • Visa-free access: Same as above
  • Additional benefits: No worldwide income, wealth or inheritance taxes

Compared to Antigua by investment:

  • Investment minimum: $100,000 (donation to the NDF), $400,000 (real estate), or $1.5 million (business investment)
  • Visit requirement: Minimum 5-day stay within the first 5 years (unlike St. Lucia)
  • Visa-free access: Over 150 countries including EU Schengen Area, UK, and South Africa

Antigua requires a minimum visit (which St. Lucia does not) but offers slightly more visa-free travel access. Investors should evaluate these differences in light of their personal circumstances and long-term goals to decide which Caribbean CBI program aligns best with their needs. Our advisory team will be happy to discuss further in detail with you.

Legal Framework and Regulations

The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program operates under a robust legal framework established by the Citizenship by Investment Act No. 14 of 2015. This program allows individuals to obtain citizenship through various investment avenues, reinforcing its legal structure with stringent guidelines and regulations.

Key Regulations:

  • The program is governed by Act No. 14 of 2015.
  • Applications are processed by the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU).
  • Due diligence checks are mandatory for all applicants.

Investment Requirements:

  • Qualifying investments include real estate, the National Economic Fund, and approved enterprise projects.
  • Minimum investment levels are set by the government and are subject to change.

Guidelines and Procedures:

  • The CIU stipulates clear guidelines for the submission of applications.
  • Applicants must provide all required documentation as per the official checklist.
  • Investment funds are verified to ensure lawful sourcing.

Citizenship Benefits:

  • St. Lucia citizenship offers visa-free access to numerous countries.
  • Citizenship is granted with full rights, mirroring those of natural-born citizens.

Through the well-defined Citizenship by Investment Program, St. Lucia maintains a transparent and structured pathway for individuals seeking citizenship while upholding international standards of due process. The CIU’s trifold focus on eligibility, documentation, and investment legitimacy underpins the integrity and reliability of the citizenship acquisition process.

Family and Inheritance

St. Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Program allows investors to secure a second citizenship not only for themselves but also extends benefits to their families. With provisions for family inclusion and inheritance, applicants can ensure their investment reaches beyond their own personal gain.

Adding Dependents

When applying for St. Lucia’s citizenship, the main applicant has the option to include dependents in their application. The list of eligible dependents typically consists of:

  • Spouse: inclusion is straightforward, requiring marriage certificates.
  • Children: under the age of 21, and in some cases up to 25 if they are full-time students.
  • Parents and grandparents: eligible if they are financially dependent on the main applicant.
  • Siblings: may be included if they are unmarried, childless, and under 18 years of age.

Each dependent added to the application may increase the required investment or government processing fees.

Inheritance Planning

Regarding inheritance, St. Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Program is advantageous as it facilitates the passing down of citizenship to future generations. Key points include:

  • Second Citizenship Inheritance: Children born to individuals who have obtained citizenship through investment will usually be citizens of St. Lucia by descent.
  • Inheritance Tax: Currently, St. Lucia imposes no inheritance tax, enhancing the desirability of the program for inheritance planning.

It is recommended that investors seeking to include family members in their citizenship application or who have specific inheritance scenarios consult with a qualified legal advisor to understand how St. Lucia’s laws may apply to their circumstances.

Additional Considerations

In navigating the path to St. Lucia citizenship through investment, applicants should be aware of the timelines involved, the possibility of revocation, and the importance of engaging professional assistance for a streamlined procedure.

Citizenship Timeline

The citizenship by investment program in St. Lucia typically involves a six-month processing period from the submission of the application to the issuance of citizenship. Due diligence checks are a critical component of this timeline and can vary in duration depending on the complexity of each case. Applicants should prepare for the necessary paperwork and be ready to invest in approved projects, such as resorts or other real estate developments, which are part of the economic contribution options.

Revocation of Citizenship

The government of St. Lucia reserves the right to revoke citizenship granted through the investment program if it is discovered that the applicant provided false information or engaged in activity that contravenes the regulations of the program. It is imperative that during the procedure all information submitted is accurate and that the due diligence checks are passed without discrepancies.

Professional Assistance

Securing professional assistance during the investment application process is highly recommended to ensure that all paperwork and legal requirements are completed accurately and efficiently. Expert advisors can guide applicants through the procedure, offering advice on the most appropriate investment options, such as premium resorts or other government-approved real estate, to meet the investment threshold for the St. Lucia citizenship program.

Frequently Asked Questions

The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program provides a legal route to citizenship for qualified investors. The following are common inquiries regarding the program’s requirements, costs, travel privileges, application procedures, and benefits.

What are the requirements for obtaining citizenship in St. Lucia through investment?

Prospective applicants must be at least 18 years old and make a qualifying investment in one of the approved options. They must also pass a thorough due diligence background check.

What is the cost associated with the St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program?

The minimum investment cost for an individual is $100,000, while a family of four is about $168,000. These figures vary depending on the chosen investment option.

Which countries can I travel to visa-free with a St. Lucia passport?

A St. Lucia passport holder has visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 148 countries, including the European Union, the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

How can one apply for St. Lucia citizenship by descent?

Individuals with a parent who is a citizen of St. Lucia can apply for citizenship by descent. They must provide evidence of parentage and complete the relevant application forms.

Can I maintain dual citizenship if I become a citizen of St. Lucia?

St. Lucia allows dual citizenship, so individuals may maintain their original citizenship alongside their new St. Lucian citizenship.

What are the specific benefits of having dual citizenship in St. Lucia?

Dual citizens of St. Lucia enjoy increased travel mobility, the right to live and work in the country, and potential tax advantages.

 

 

Need help?

Navigating through golden visa & citizenship by investment programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

GET PERSONALIZED GUIDANCE

During our call, we will:

Here is what to expect from a call with our advisory team:

1

We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.

2

We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.

3

We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.

4

Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers in the respective country, as well as trusted providers of eligible investment options.