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How investment migration is shaping economies

Over 80 countries around the world, including several EU countries, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Caribbean nations, use investment migration as a form of legal migration, offering citizenship or residence rights in return for investments in their host countries. These investments are often via real estate purchase, donation to a national development fund, or business investments. 

Globally, investment migration is a US$21.4 billion industry that helps to create jobs, protect countries vulnerable to the effects of climate change, boost infrastructure investments, widen social programmes, and redound in economic growth. 

Many host countries, especially those in the Caribbean whose governments depend on inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI), offer investment migration in order to fund crucial government activities, such as disaster relief, public infrastructure, and social programmes. Essentially, such investments redound to improving quality of life and well-being of citizens.  

While many people express qualms about investment migration, its full economic impact is far-reaching. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), international migration has become an integral component of the global development agenda. As such, international migration influences investment migration.

Immigrants affect not only a country’s economic prosperity, but also the well-being of the native-born population, social protection systems and other compensatory schemes. They also play a diverse set of roles and exert a variety of influences on the economy of the host country, including: 

  • As workers, immigrants are part of, but also have an impact on, the labour market. They also alter the country’s income distribution and influence domestic investment priorities.
  • As students, immigrants – or their children – contribute to increasing the stock of human capital and diffusing knowledge.
  • As entrepreneurs and investors, they create job opportunities and promote innovation and technological change. 
  • As consumers, they contribute to increasing the demand for domestic – and foreign – goods and services, thus affecting the price and production levels, as well as the trade balance. 
  • As savers, they not only send remittances to their countries of origin, but also contribute indirectly, through the bank system, to fostering investment in their host countries. 
  • As tax-payers, they contribute to the public budget and benefit from public services.  
  • As citizens, they play a crucial role in the democratic process, including voting in general elections. 

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), foreign investment and government revenues from investment migration in some island states account for between 10% and 40% of gross domestic product (GDP). This level of revenue injection into an economy is essential as it often serves to make up for the shortfall experienced in other sectors of the economy. 

In Saint Lucia, where tourism is the main revenue earner, attracting foreign direct investment via the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) has become an alternative means of drumming up economic activity in the island nation. Since its introduction in 2015, the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

In its 2019/2020 Annual Report, CIP Saint Lucia received 193 applications for citizenship, which represented a 26.97% increase compared to the prior year. Of that number, 143 applicants were granted citizenship. As interest in the Programme continues to grow, so will the benefits to the local economy.

While attracting investment into the country is a primary criterion for the Citizenship by Investment Programme, Saint Lucia has remained resolute in ensuring that strong governance, accountability, transparency and a focus on very high levels of compliance and due diligence remain hallmarks of the Programme.

With the COVID-19 pandemic having an adverse effect on many countries’ economic performances, many countries are finding even more creative ways to attract investment, including Saint Lucia. 

Last year, the 238-square-mile Caribbean island introduced a COVID-19 Bond Relief option for non-nationals wishing to participate in its Citizenship by Investment Programme. This option complemented the already existing four options by which foreign nationals can become Saint Lucian citizens via the Programme.

This option is especially suitable for non-nationals displaced from their home countries for various reasons, including stringent lockdowns due to COVID-19, upsurge in socio-political instability, quest for a better business climate, and a change of scenery. As globalization continues to take root, more and more people will continue to seek out destinations that offer competitive advantages.

Saint Lucia is one such destination.

With its friendly disposition, strategic location, favourable tax incentives and an investment climate that continues to expand in new sectors, Saint Lucia is the perfect place to live, work, and invest.

Let the trusted team at McNamara Citizenship Services Inc. assist you in acquiring your 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.

Our excellence and professionalism has resulted in us representing a long list of clients on their successful path to having dual citizenship in Saint Lucia. Contact McNamara Citizenship Services today and let our family take care of you and your family.

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