St. Lucia will begin accepting applications for its new citizenship-by-investment (CIP) program Jan. 1, 2016.
Applicants must have a minimum net worth of US$3,000,000 to qualify, and the country has set an initial limit of 500 applications per year. A St. Lucia passport will have a Passport Power Rank of 45 and grant the holder visa-free access to 105 countries, according to Arton Capital’s Passport Power Index.
St. Lucia will be the fifth, and probably the last, Caribbean jurisdiction to offers wealthy individuals from all over the world the opportunity to invest in the country’s economy to obtain citizenship of St. Lucia and a new passport for them and their families. A list of board members was announced recently. Here are the first details of the St. Lucia citizenship-by-investment program.
In accordance with preliminary document No. 89 of 2015, the citizenship-by-investment program of St. Lucia provides four investment options that qualify for citizenship granting purposes:
- Donation to the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund.
- Investment in an approved real estate project.
- Private business investment in compliance with the mandatory creation of new permanent jobs.
- Investment by purchase of non-interest bearing government bonds.
The amount of investments in the National Economic Fund of St. Lucia is set preliminarily at US$200,000 for a single applicant, US$235,000 for the principal applicant and spouse, and US$250,000 for a family of 4 members.
The minimum amount of real estate investment required in St. Lucia at the moment is US$300,000. However, it should be noted that the list of approved real estate projects is yet to be published.
Business investment in Saint Lucia is set at US$3,000,000 for a single investor or US$6,000,000 in the event of a joint investment. The amount of contribution from each investor must be at least one million U.S. dollars.
Investment by purchase of non-interest bearing Government bonds is the new investment mechanism for obtaining citizenship. This model has not been offered by any of the Caribbean citizenship program before. In order to qualify for citizenship, the single applicant must purchase bonds worth US$500,000, US$535,000 for the investor and his/her spouse, or US$550,000 for a family of 4 members.
Just like any other Caribbean citizenship program, the program of Saint Lucia includes additional fees for processing, registration, due diligence check, among other fees.
We presently know the cost of due diligence will be USD$7,500 US dollars for the main applicant and USD$5,000 for each dependent under 16 years old. Processing fees are set at US$2,000 and US$1,000, respectively.
Additional administrative fees apply for both real estate and business investment in the following amounts:
USD$50,000 for the principal applicant;
USD$35,000 for each dependent 18 years;
USD$25,000 for each dependent under age 18.
It should be noted that document No. 89 of 2015 related to the program of economic citizenship of St. Lucia is yet to be finalized.