Why is Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment one of the best program on the world?
The prosperous island nation of St. Lucia has started a new Citizenship for Investment Program in 2015 which has been designed keeping in mind the best practices of other successful programs across the world. The program has been introduced to provide a boost to the economy of the tiny Caribbean nation and also for the creation of new jobs in the country.
The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program was commenced in 2015 on the basis of the Citizenship by Investment Act №14 of 2015. Regulations were further framed under the Act in the form of the Citizenship by Investment Regulations, 2015 to provide the effect to the Act and set the detailed criteria and rules for the program. Overall, the entire program is overseen by the Citizenship by Investment Board which has established under the Act.
The provisions of the act have been designed keeping in mind the needs of prospective applicants on one hand and ensuring exclusivity and national interest on the other. The eligibility criteria for an application under the Program are:
- Age of the applicant must be a minimum of 18 years;
- A net worth of at least US $ 3 million;
- The applicant and their qualifying dependents over the age of 16 pass due diligence and background check.
- Making the necessary disclosures as provided in the application; and
- Payment of administrative, processing and other requisite Fees
- A minimum qualifying investment through one of the following categories of investment –
The Saint Lucia National Economic Fund
Under this provision, a onetime investment must be made to the National Economic Fund which has been established under Article 33 of the Act. The minimum investment amounts prescribed are:
- For each Individual applicant: $200,000
- For a Joint Application with spouse: $235,000
- For a Joint application with spouse and up to two (2) other qualifying dependents: $250,000
- Additional amount for each additional dependent, of any age: $25,000
An approved Real Estate development
An applicant can also make an investment of $300,000 in an approved real estate project. These projects are approved by the Council of Ministers and fall in two broad categories of High ended Branded Hotels and resorts and High-End Boutique Properties.
The purchase of Government bonds
Applicants may also choose to invest in non-interest bearing Government bonds for a period of five years during which the bonds must remain in the name of the applicant. The bonds must be purchased for the following minimum amounts:
- For an individual applicant: $500,000
- For each Individual applicant: $535,000
- For a Joint Application with spouse: $235,000
- For a Joint application with spouse and up to two (2) other qualifying dependents: $550,000
- Additional amount for each additional dependent, of any age: $25,000:
The Government of St. Lucia has tried to make the process investor-friendly through the varied options and in case all the documents and investments are in place, the certificate of citizenship is also granted within a period of three months.
An approved Enterprise project
Enterprise projects are approved by the Council of Ministers and call fall under the seven broad categories of Specialty Restaurants, Cruise ports and marinas, Argo-processing plants, Pharmaceutical products, Ports, bridges, roads and highways, Research institutions and facilities and offshore universities.
The amount of investment under this category is a minimum of $3.5 million for a single applicant or a minimum amount of $6 million for a group of applicants, with each individual contributing a minimum sum of $1 million.
Features of the Saint Lucia Economic Passport program
The St.Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program is considered to offer one of the best passports in the world within the shortest waiting period of three months. Since St. Lucia has permitted dual citizenship, so in practice, you are able to hold an additional passport without losing your original citizenship making it one of the easiest countries to get citizenship. The additional St. Lucian Passport brings its holder a host of benefits which includes Visa-Free Travel to more than 120 Countries which also includes the core of Europe and the Schengen Zone. Visa-Free Travel opens a host of opportunities including hassle-free business travel and vacations for your family. Only 500 new passports will be issued every year under the program which ensures exclusivity perfectly complementing your lifestyle.
Although St. Lucia does not require any residency for citizenship or any visit to St. Lucia for acquiring the Passport, but it also opens a gateway for settlement in the beautiful island nation or any of the other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. It is also one of the best citizenship for business as St. Lucia does not tax your global income and allows you the freedom of tax planning.