St. Lucia Considers Citizenship-by-Investment

The Caribbean Island nation of St. Lucia has commissioned a report on the feasibility of implementing a citizenship-by-investment program. This was after appointing a task force to analyse which economic activities no longer provided sustainable and persistent economic growth, and to identify models that could potentially spur it on. Henley & Partners has contributed to this report.

The task force is in favour of citizenship-by-investment, i.e. the granting of citizenship and residence on the basis of financial investments of one form or another in the country. The report details the benefits and highlights the successes that this model has already yielded for the Caribbean. As a relatively new mode of economic development, it elaborates on which of the existing models could be made appropriate to the sovereign island country. It does this by drawing parallels with other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Singapore, Cyprus and Malta.

Although the objective is to differentiate a St. Lucian program from other country participants in the field, it defines four possible specific investment options for the country including minimum investment thresholds, which have not yet been made public. It also recommends the establishment of a designated Citizenship–by-Investment Unit (CIU) as a statutory body to manage the program.

Particular emphasis is placed on the necessity for appropriate due diligence and background verification policies, with the specific intention of protecting the integrity of the country and its passport. In this regard, particular attention is paid to the issue of appropriate security arrangements.

St. Lucia’s Cabinet plans to call for widespread public consideration and feedback on the report and its recommendations. St. Lucia will be the fifth Caribbean country with a citizenship-by-investment program, after St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Dominica.

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