SAINT LUCIA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
Overview Part of The Commonwealth, Saint Lucia is a sovereign island nation in the West Indies that is located in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital, and largest, city, Castries, represents 40% of the island’s population. St Lucia is known for having a low crime rate, along with modern infrastructure and services, and as a first-class tourist destination, it boasts world-class restaurants and hotels and prime real estate.
Health and Education Life expectancy is quite high in Saint Lucia, at 75 years. Primary healthcare is delivered through a network of 33 health centres, two district hospitals and one polyclinic in each of the eight health regions. Education is free and compulsory for all, aged 5-15. There is a community college, two prestigious university campuses (University of the West Indies Open Campus and Monroe College) and several medical schools.
Transport St Lucia has two airports, including the largest, its international airport (Hewanorra International Airport), which is located 30 miles from the capital, Castries. Currently operating just one terminal for both domestic and international flights, the airport is currently being developed with a new larger and state-of-the-art terminal under construction. There are direct and regular international flights to London, UK; Toronto; Grenada, Spain; New York and Atlanta. In terms of getting around the island, minibuses serve as the main public transport, while taxis are also available, as are hire cars (St Lucian’s drive on the left). St Lucia is further well-serviced by ferries, making island hopping a breeze.
Lifestyle St Lucia is a volcanic island, 77% of which is forest, that is more mountainous than most of the other Caribbean islands. Not only does the island boast the world’s only drive-in volcano, but its most famous landmark, the Pitons, are majestic twin peaks that have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Other natural highlights include the Caribbean island’s Sulphur Springs, which are known to be the hottest and most active geothermal area in the region featuring a number of man-made hot pools whose mineral properties are designed to heal. There are also Botanical Gardens, zip lining, rainforests, a Nature Reserve. The culture of St Lucia has been influenced by African, East Indian, French and English heritage and there are many cuisines to try. While Castries is the capital city, the entertainment capital is Rodney Bay. St Lucia offers a variety of cuisines and events, including Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival in May. Sports played include cricket, football, tennis, swimming and volleyball.
Climate Unsurprisingly, St Lucia delivers a year-round hot and tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 24C to 30C. Rain season is officially June-November with hurricanes most likely to hit in September and October.
Population 181,889 (2018)
Languages English is the official language, but French Creole is also used
Religion Christianity is the dominant religion with 61.5% of the population Catholic and 25.5% Protestant.
Capital City The capital, and largest, city of St Lucia is Castries
Currency East Caribbean Dollar (ECD)
GDP Per Capita $10,566.00 (2018)
Economy According to the Doing Business Report by the World Bank 2019, St Lucia’s economy ranks as 93rd out of 190 economies, giving the island the healthiest economy of all the Caribbean islands. Dubbed a Small Island Developing State by the UN, the services sector accounts for 82.8% of Saint Lucia’s GDP, which is followed by industry and agriculture at 14.2% and 2.9%, respectively. St Lucia attracts a lot of foreign business and investment in its offshore banking and tourism industries, which is its main source of revenue. On the tax front, there is no tax on worldwide incomes.
Did you know…? Saint Lucia boasts the second highest ratio of Nobel Laureates: Sir Arthur Lewis (Economics 1979) and poet Derek Walcott (Literature 1992).
SAINT LUCIA CBI PROGRAMME
- Established 4 years
- Minimum outlay $100,000
- Processing time 3 months
- Residency or travel requirements None
- Freedom of movement 146 countries
- Investment Options 5
Overview Launched in 2016, Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment program is the newest of the five CBI programmes offered in the Caribbean. It is also one of the cheapest, with a minimum outlay of just $100,000, and one of the most straightforward in terms of ease and speed of passport processing, though its due diligence checks have been enhanced. According to the CBI Index 2019, St Lucia surpassed Antigua and Barbuda for the first time with improvements to its scores in the categories of freedom of movement, citizenship timelines and due diligence, with new measures recently introduced to exclude certain passports from applying.
Best for Value for money. For just $100,000, individuals can obtain a second passport and lifetime citizenship, making St Lucia the most affordable citizenship by investment option along with Dominica.
Pros In addition to offering the cheapest financial outlay for single applicants, St Lucia’s citizenship by investment programme is currently offering the most affordable second passport option for families too, with its temporary special Covid-19 offer (a reduction of $40,000), which runs until December 2020. A further positive of St Lucia’s citizen investment program is that there is no need for applicants to reside in or travel to the island during the application processing. Finally, as a second home, St Lucia not only offers a very relaxing lifestyle, it also boasts the best economy in the Caribbean.
Cons There are very few cons with the Saint Lucia economic investment programme, which really has upped its game in the last few years; however, one disadvantage is that its real estate investment only offers one government-approved development option currently.
USP How Saint Lucia stands out from the crowd with its citizenship by investment program is via the offer of a COVID-19 Relief Bond (running until December 31, 2020). This temporary CBI programme gives potential investors the chance to purchase a non-interest-bearing government bond for just $250,000 (that is half the original price of its usual bond investment) for a single applicant with $30,000 added on as an admin fee. Applicants can add dependents to the application for the exact same price, though number of years will increase with each add-on.
Ease of processing The average time for processing a St Lucia second passport is three months and the process of application for St Lucia’s CIP is known to be transparent and thorough. The rules of the application of a St Lucia dual citizenship do not require the applicant to reside in or travel to the island during the three-month process of citizenship. Plus, no interview, education or managerial experience is required.
Freedom of movement A second passport from St Lucia gives individuals free access to more than 146 countries, including the UK, Schengen area, EU, South America and Singapore.
Investment options St Lucia’s Economic investor programme delivers five investment options, the most of any other country.
SAINT LUCIA CBI INVESTMENTS
Option 1 The fastest and cheapest dual citizenship option is a non-refundable donation to the St Lucia National Economic Fund (NEF), which goes towards financing local development projects. For a single applicant, a donation of $100,000 is required, while for a couple, the donation is $140,000 and for a family of four, just $150,000. The latter has been reduced by $40,000 during Covid-19 only (and ends December 2020) though government and processing fees of $17,500 are extra. Any additional qualifying dependents (of any age) will cost $25,000, or $15,000 if going for the family of four option and admin fees equal $30,000.
Option 2 The second option in gaining St Lucia dual citizenship is via investment in government-approved real estate projects. This translates as a minimum investment of $300,000 in either a high-end branded hotel or resort or a high-end boutique property. Fees of $72,500 on top of this bring the total investment to $372,500 and the property must be held for a minimum of five years. While St Lucia’s real estate investment option is fairly competitive price-wise, the options for investment are limited as there are only currently two approved real estate projects: The Saint Lucia Canelles Resort, which includes oceanfront apartments and resorts; and The Alpina Saint Lucia Hotel, which is part of an island resort comprising an international-standard horseracing track and residential and commercial development.
Option 3 In addition to property investment, the St Lucia economic citizenship program further allows for investment in enterprise projects. These can be already existing government-approved projects or one that is initiated by the applicant themselves, but either way, it must create at least three permanent jobs and must cover be in a category that the government has deemed needing investing; these include: speciality restaurants, cruise ports/marinas, agro-processing plants, pharmaceutical products, ports/bridges/roads, research institutions and offshore universities. For a single applicant, the minimum investment needed is that of $3.5 million, while for a joint venture (more than one applicant), $6 million is the minimum outlay, with each applicant contributing no less than $1 million each, and with six jobs created.
Option 4 Finally, St Lucia offers a fourth investment option, the purchase of non-interest-bearing government bonds, which applicants must keep in their name for five years. For this option, a minimum of $500,000 is required for a single applicant; $535,000 for a couple; and $550,000 for family of four, with each additional dependant requiring a further investment of $25,000. Admin fees are $50,000 per application.
Option 5 In lieu of the global issues and challenges faced by Covid-19, the Caribbean island has reacted with a reduction in minimum outlay for investment in bonds and a guarantee of return of investment after a prescribed time. St Lucia has created the Covid-19 Relief Bond, a temporary non-interest-bearing government bond (until 31 December 2020) that single applicants can invest in for just $250,000 (half the price of the usual government bond investment) with no processing fees (though there are admin fees of just $30,000). Dependents can be included within this same price, but with each dependent will come an increase in the number of years you will need to hold on to the Government bond for: five years for a single applicant; six years for a couple; and seven years for up to a family of five.
SAINT LUCIA CBI RANKINGS
Passport Ranking (Henley Passport Index Q4 2020) 32 / 109
CBI Programme Ranking (CBI Index 2020, Financial Times) 81% / 4th out of 14 countries
Ease of doing business Ranking (Doing Business 2019, The World Bank) 93 / 190
Economic Freedom (2020 Index of Economic Freedom) 50 / 186
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