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Saint Lucia Ranked Among Top 5 CBI Programmes

For the past six years, Saint Lucia has continuously been carving out an impressive reputation for its Citizenship by Investment Programme. With nearly 600 people from across the globe becoming citizens of Saint Lucia via the Programme thus far, Saint Lucia now seems poised to capitalize on the strength and positive feedback it has garnered to outperform itself in the ensuing years.

In fact, in August 2021, Saint Lucia was named among the Caribbean countries that dominated the top five places on the 2021 CBI Index. The other countries were St. Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, and Antigua & Barbuda.

The findings were reported in the fifth edition of the annual CBI Index, published by the Professional Wealth Management magazine (PWM), a publication by the Financial Times. The report is considered to be the industry’s most comprehensive and reliable tool in comparison of the world’s Citizenship by Investment Programmes.

In the case of Saint Lucia, the importance of having a second citizenship in today’s climate makes perfect sense. Which is why since 2015, people from across the globe who do not have the option to secure citizenship in Saint Lucia through descent or residency have looked to the island’s Citizenship by Investment Programme as an alternative solution.

Earlier this year, a UK-based legal advisory that specializes in providing citizenship and residency solutions, CS Global Partners, reported that over the past year there have been a significant growth of interest in Citizenship by Investment Programmes.

Based on the statistics, the company noted a 42% increase in interest in Citizenship by Investment Programmes from Americans compared to the previous year. Principal factors for this marked increase included the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced many Americans to protect their nest egg.

Another factor for this increased interest in Citizenship by Investment Programmes was the 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 decline in the passport privilege power for the U.S. passport was due to the U.S.’s high number of COVID-19 cases in 2020 and the politicization surrounding the handling of the pandemic. 

The situation in the United States – and almost similar situations elsewhere around the globe – present excellent opportunities for Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme. With progressive and wide-ranging plans outlined by the Government for growing the economy in various sectors, now is the perfect time to become an investor and new citizen of Saint Lucia.   

How important are Citizenship by Investment Programmes?

Globally, nearly 5,000 people receive a second citizenship annually via a Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), 30% of whom are millionaires seeking new business opportunities or favourable tax systems. Others are simply interested in a change of scenery as they plan their retirement or in search of better healthcare or education prospects.

Nearly one hundred countries now offer a residency permit or Citizenship by Investment Programme to wealthy people. Depending on the country and programme being offered, participants can gain a second citizenship for a minimum investment of between US$100,000 to US$2.4 million. In Saint Lucia, the investment options are very competitive.

Especially in markets like the Middle East and Asia, Citizenship by Investment Programmes have long been popular options that can be used as a ‘Plan B’ during times of unpredictability. The COVID-19 pandemic and socio-political factors have led to increased demand in these Programmes, especially as the industry evolves to include more family-friendly environments.

How can one buy into Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme?

In 2015, the following four options were introduced to make the Saint Lucia new Citizenship by Investment Programme both attractive and rewarding in a marketplace that is becoming increasingly competitive. You can buy into any of these programmes, and the turnaround time and process is hassle-free. 

1. 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.

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

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

4. 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.

5. Since 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. 

What are the benefits of having a Saint Lucian passport?

  • Becoming a citizen of Saint Lucia via its Citizenship by Investment Programme means that you automatically become a citizen of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and 11-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) blocs.
  • Having dual citizenship allows you visa-free travel or visa-on-arrival to more than 146 countries, including the European Union Shengen countries, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. Depending on where you’re from originally, your passport might only allow you to visit a minimal number of countries. However, a Saint Lucia passport allows you to go farther across the globe.  
  • You acquire similar rights with native-born citizens of Saint Lucia when you gain your second citizenship here, including the right to pass on citizenship to family members and the right to vote.
  • You are able to own properties in either country. With a robust real estate market offering myriad of options available in Saint Lucia, you’re guaranteed to find a piece of paradise that will become your home away from home and even start a business.

To participate in Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, you will need McNamara Citizenship Services Inc. The largest law firm in Saint Lucia, we take great pride in our excellence and professional service. We also keep you informed throughout the entire process -- from the initial application stage to you becoming a citizen of Saint Lucia

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

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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