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St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment & Passport Guide for 2024

Mark Damsgaard

Mark Damsgaard

Founder of Global Residence Index

Last updated: March 29, 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 December 2015, 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 obtain St. Lucia citizenship within 3-4 months.
  • St. Lucian citizenship offers considerable travel benefits and potential financial benefits.

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 Citizenship

Acquiring citizenship from St. Lucia through its Citizenship by Investment program provides several benefits, 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, no capital gains tax, and no 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.

 

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.

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

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 Inclusion

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
    • Siblings may be included if they are unmarried, childless, under 18 years of age, and have consent from their parents or legal guardians

 

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.

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.

1. 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

Importantly, the donation is only to be made after citizenship approval.

2. 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
    • Government Administrative Fees applicable to the real estate route: $50,000

3. 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.

4. 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.

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)
  • Government Administrative Fee: $50,000 (applicable only when investing in real estate and 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

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

  • Criminal Record: Confirmation of no criminal background.
  • Financial Probity: A check to confirm a 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 Guidance for the St. Lucian Citizenship Program?

Navigating through immigration programs, such as Saint Lucia’s, 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, including St. Lucia.

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

Here is how we can help you:

  • We can address any specific questions: We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.
  • We can detail every step: We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.
  • We can 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.
  • We can connect you with local professionals: Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers in St. Lucia, as well as trusted providers of eligible investment options.

 


 

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.

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.

Eligible 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.

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 Caribbean Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs, 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)
  • Minimum donation for a family of four: $150,000
  • Processing time: Approximately 3-4 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:

  • Investment minimum: $100,000 (donation to EDF), $200,000 (real estate)
  • Minimum donation for a family of four: $175,000
  • Processing time: Roughly 3 months
  • Visa-free access: Over 140 countries including the EU Schengen Area, and Singapore, but without access to the UK.
  • Taxation: Same benefits as St. Lucia

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 has visa-free to the UK, while Dominica does not.

St. Lucia vs. Antigua

Antigua:

  • Investment minimum: $100,000 (donation to the NDF), $200,000 (real estate), or $1.5 million (business investment)
  • Minimum donation for a family of four: $130,000*
  • 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
  • Taxation: Same benefits as St. Lucia

Antigua requires a visit to the country (which St. Lucia does not), but offers slightly more visa-free travel access, including access to South Africa.

* The minimum donation for a family of four in Antigua is technically $100,000 but the country (unlike its Caribbean neighbors) has a $30,000 ‘administrative fee’ payable to the Government Unit upon approval. So when we want to compare donation requirements between Antigua and other countries, it is most accurate to call it $130,000.

 

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.

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 legal source of funds.

Citizenship for future generations:

  • Citizenship for future generations 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.

 

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

While the processing can be completed in 3-4 months, the citizenship by investment program in St. Lucia typically involves a six-month processing period from the application preparation to the issuance of the passport. Due diligence checks are a critical component of this timeline and can vary in duration depending on the complexity of each case.

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. Feel free to contact us for professional assistance.

 

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 (starting at $100,000). 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 (including fees) for an individual is about $111,500, 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 146 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, as well as providers of eligible investment options.