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CIPs Remain Valuable Assets Amid Pandemic

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the globe continue to seize upon opportunities that have the potential to better their lives. In fact, conventional wisdom has always dictated that the best investments are those made not only due to opportunity, but also out of necessity.

Investing in a Citizenship by Investment Programme is one such investment to make presently. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in late 2019, governments around the world have been forced to rearrange their respective priorities. This includes creating policies to protect the health of citizens and to support the economy, all while safeguarding governments’ financial stability. Citizens, too, have had to rearrange their priorities to safeguard their lives and livelihoods.   

In an article published in EUI Global Citizenship Observatory on May 21, 2021, contributor Peter Spiro stated that Citizenship by Investment (and dual citizenship, in general) is unlikely to suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Short of full globalisation and sustained lockdown, citizenship is likely to remain a valuable asset at the same time that states are unlikely to see serious new costs in pre-COVID-19 citizenship practices,” Spiro claimed.

Over the years, the Citizenship by Investment Programme option has helped to attract high net worth individuals to the Caribbean, where Saint Lucia and four other islands – St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada – run respective programmes. 

Under the Citizenship by Investment Programme -- sometimes referred to as “economic citizenship” -- people wishing to acquire citizenship of a country with which they have no previous ties can obtain citizenship after meeting certain criteria and making a significant investment in that country’s economy. In Saint Lucia, an investment as little as US$100,000 sets a non-national investing in the programme on the path to Saint Lucian citizenship

While most people seek to acquire citizenship to benefit from the ease of travel that comes with being the holder of a Saint Lucia passport, others do so in search of decent healthcare and education, social and political stability, a change of culture, and favourable investment climate.

In response to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Saint Lucia has committed itself to stimulating the economic by generating revenue inflows and improving efficiency in various ways, including:

  • Expanding the digital economy.
  • Encouraging and facilitating the broadening of existing services in the financial services sector.
  • Reviewing all taxes, duties and government’s business processes to ease the challenges faced by affected businesses.
  • Reviewing the Value Added Tax (VAT) legislation relating to the manufacturing sector to ease the burden of tax on manufacturing operations.
  • Encouraging and monitoring the deepening of linkages between the tourism sector and the rest of the economy, especially the agricultural sector.
  • Promoting domestic and foreign investments in service industries.
  • Revamping the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).

These key policies, the Government believes, will not only attract foreign direct investment (FDI), particularly via its Citizenship by Investment Programme, but also ensure that Saint Lucia remains competitive as a destination of choice for investors. 

Having been on a successful run since 2015, the Citizenship by Investment Programme in Saint Lucia is the perfect investment. Recognized as one of the top five on the 2021 CBI Index last August, the Programme has seen nearly 600 people from across the globe become citizens of Saint Lucia. These new citizens had the following options to choose from and so do you:

Government Bond Investment. This option requires:

  • A minimum investment US$500,000.00 that must be held for five years. 
  • If the applicant’s spouse is also participating in the programme, the combined investment for both spouses is US$535,000.00. 
  • Two spouses and two dependents participating in the programme require an investment of US$550,000.00, while any additional dependent will each cost the applicant US$25,000.00.

Once your application for citizenship and been approved, the investment must be made. These bonds are non-interest bearing, and must be registered and remain in the applicant’s name for a five-year holding period from the date of first issue.

National Economic Fund Investment. For this option, a minimum investment of US$100,000.00 is required. 

Real Estate Investment option, a minimum investment of US$300,000.00 is required.

The Enterprise Investment is another option under Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, and requires a minimum investment of US$3,500,000.00.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Saint Lucia introduced a fifth option, the COVID-19 Bond Relief. For this option, a minimum investment of US$250,000.00 must be made. The offer lasts until December 31, 2021, having been extended by another year in December 2020. The terms are as follows:

  • Single applicant: A minimum US$250,000.00 -- (five-year holding bond)
  • Applicant plus 1 qualifying dependent: US$250,000.00 -- (six-year holding bond) 
  • Applicant plus up to 4 qualifying dependents: US$250,000.00 -- (seven-year holding bond)
  • Applicant plus up to 4 qualifying dependents: US$300,000.00 -- (five-year holding bond)
  • Each additional qualifying dependent (subsequent to applicant plus 4 qualifying dependents): US$15,000.00 each

The COVID-19 Bond Relief option is especially attractive for families, is low-risk, and offers a more favourable long-term value proposition in comparison to the donation to the National Economic Fund or Real Estate Investment options. 

Of the five Caribbean countries currently offering a Citizenship by Investment Programme, Saint Lucia is the only one that offers the purchase of Government Bond Investment and COVID-19 Bond Relief as options. 

The COVID-19 pandemic proves how convenient and invaluable having a second passport is. The Guide Passport Ranking Index currently ranks the Saint Lucia passport in 31st place, allowing the holder visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to 145 countries globally. 

This is an overall high mobility score, making the Saint Lucia passport a very desirable pathway to the world. As a tourist destination, Saint Lucia’s main source market is the United States, therefore a second citizenship in Saint Lucia is definitely worth the investment. The island’s relatively close proximity to the United States is also a major plus. 

As an Authorized Agent for Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, McNamara Citizenship Services Inc. recognizes the importance the Programme plays in changing the lives of our clients for the better. We have literally guided people from across the globe seamlessly to becoming citizens of Saint Lucia. We can also do it for you!

As a full-service advisory agency providing all the relevant services associated with your acquiring citizenship in Saint Lucia, our intimate knowledge of the Programme allows us to guide you through every stage of obtaining your citizenship

Contact our capable team at McNamara Citizenship Services Inc. today!

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