St Lucia's Citizenship by Investment
Citizenship by investment provides an attractive platform for investors of luxury property in St Lucia, business people, and those making a lifestyle move.
From January 2016, the government of St Lucia began accepting applications from foreign nationals to join their 'Citizenship by Investment' programme, opening up exciting possibilities and incentives to those considering business opportunities, relocation, or investment in the development of luxury property in St Lucia.
What is Citizenship by Investment?
As would be expected from its name, the programme allows foreign nationals to obtain citizenship of the country through substantial investment.
There are some basic requirements for the Citizenship by Investment programme applicants:
• You must be over 18 (dependents can be applied for)
What Are the Investment Criteria?
There are four different platforms upon which a candidate can apply for Citizenship by Investment.
Approved enterprise: An approved enterprise project that includes the creation of a minimum of three jobs and the investment of at least USD$3.5 million. (These figures are per applicant, meaning that for two applicants in the enterprise the investment must be USD$6 million with the creation of six jobs.)
Government bonds: Through the purchase of government bonds, which must be held for a period of five years. For a single applicant the figure is USD$500,000; for a couple with no dependents USD$535,000; and for a couple with three dependents USD$550,000. Any further dependents are an extra USD$25,000 each.
Real estate development: An approved development of property in St Lucia, of which ownership and maintenance must be held for at least five years. A minimum investment of USD$300,000 is required, not including the costs of taxes, processing and registration incurred by the development.
The National Economic Fund: Payment to the St Lucia National Economic Fund. Single applicants USD$200,000; a couple with no dependents USD$235,000; couple with three dependents USD$250,000. Any further dependents are USD$25,000 per person.
The Attractions of Applying
Following the success of similar programmes in four other Caribbean nations (Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, and St Kitts & Nevis) there are a number of attractions of applying.
• Applications are processed within a short timeframe – usually three months
Registration Costs of Application
As well as the basic fiscal requirements, applications attract a number of non-refundable due diligence, administration and processing fees.
Single applicant: Processing USD$2,000, administration USD$50,000, due diligence fee USD$7,500
Per dependent: Processing fee USD$1,000, administration USD$35,000 (under 18 USD$25,000), due diligence (over 16 years) USD$5,000.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Gobat is a renowned expert on the Caribbean, with a passion for its culture, history, people and places. His indepth local knowledge and wealth of experience in luxury property in St Lucia, are key to the marketing and sales of the luxury villas and penthouses in The Landings, one of the most desirable freehold beachfront developments in the Caribbean.