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COVID-19 pandemic boosts interest in CIPs

Ever thought of having the freedom to live, work and play from various parts of the world and feel right at home doing so? Now’s an opportune time to get a Saint Lucian passport by becoming a citizen of the beautiful Eastern Caribbean nation.

Over the years, Saint Lucia has steadfastly focused on making its Citizenship by Investment Programme more attractive and competitive to people and investors across the globe. 

Since 2015, when it was inaugurated, the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme has resulted in hundreds of people gaining dual citizenship and a second passport.

This level of success is expected to continue for the island. In fact, CS Global Partners, a UK-based legal advisory that specializes in providing citizenship and residency solutions, recently reported that, over the past year, interest in citizenship by investment programmes has “grown significantly”.

The company said that, based on the statistics, there was a 42% increase in interest in citizenship by investment programmes from Americans compared to the previous year. Among the principal factors for this marked increase was the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic which has forced many Americans to protect their nest egg and plan for the future.

Another reason for the upsurge in interest in citizenship by investment programmes among Americans was a decline in the power of the U.S. passport, which limited the ability of high net-worth people to travel freely as they would have during the pre-pandemic era. 

This decrease in passport privilege power for the U.S. passport stemmed from the United States’ high number of COVID-19 cases in 2020 and the politicization surrounding the handling of the pandemic there. 

However, those who held second citizenship and passport could enjoy loosened restrictions, continuing to conduct business globally without any major impact,” CS Global Partners said in a July 9, 2021 article. 

It stated further that: “In addition, the landscape of US politics and the rise of civil unrest contributed to a surge in Americans seeking shelter abroad. For many, this meant securing citizenship through familial descent. However, for those that did not have that option, CBI became a viable and popular route.

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic proved just how convenient and invaluable having a second passport is. The Guide Passport Ranking Index currently ranks the Saint Lucian 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 Lucian 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. 

According to another article from CS Global Partners, published on July 4, 2021, there was also a 72% spike in interest from clients from North America seeking second citizenship in the first half of 2021, compared to the same period last year. The data is based on findings from Libya, Algeria and Morocco. 

In 2021 so far, Moroccans accounted for well over half the North African inquiries regarding the attainment of second citizenship, especially in the Caribbean, a region known as the cradle of Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes,” CS Global Partners said. 

Except for Iran and North Korea, people from across the globe can participate in Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme.

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. 

These options were introduced to make the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme more attractive in a marketplace that is becoming increasingly competitive.

The Government Bond Investment option requires:

  • A minimum investment of US$500,000.00 and must be held for five years. 
  • If the applicant’s spouse is also participating in the programme, the combined investment for both spouses will be US$535,000.00. 
  • Two spouses and two dependents participating in the programme requires 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.

The COVID-19 Bond Relief option, for which minimum investment of US$250,000.00 must be made, lasts until December 31, 2021, having been extended by another year last December. 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. 

  • For the National Economic Fund Investment, a minimum investment of US$100,000.00 is required, whereas, 
  • For the 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.

McNamara Citizenship Services Inc., a full-service advisory agency, provides all the relevant services associated with your acquiring citizenship in Saint Lucia. As an approved authorized agent under the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme, we use our intimate knowledge of the Programme to guide you through the process of obtaining your citizenship.

McNamara Citizenship Services Inc. the largest law firm in Saint Lucia, and we take great pride in our hallmarks of excellence and professionalism. We also keep you informed throughout the entire process -- from the initial application stage to you becoming a Saint Lucian citizen. 

At McNamara Citizenship Services Inc., we have witnessed firsthand the great satisfaction and positive feedback from clients whom we have represented successfully on their path to having dual citizenship in Saint Lucia.

Contact us today at McNamara Citizenship Services and let us help you make it easier to travel, work and play across the globe.

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