Important factors to consider in residence planning
The St. Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment Program is regulated by the Citizenship-by-Investment Act No. 14 of 2015. § 33 of this act established the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund (NEF), which receives the qualifying investments of donations from the program. These funds will be used by the government under the national development agenda.
The program requires applicants to make a significant economic contribution to the country. In exchange, and subject to a stringent application process and due diligence checks, the applicants and their families are granted full citizenship. The main applicant must be at least 18 years of age to qualify, meet the application requirements, and select one of the following investment options:
1. An investment in an approved real estate development with a minimum value of USD 300,000, which must be held for a minimum period of five years. Additional costs may also be incurred depending on the real estate developer.
2. An investment in an approved enterprise project (as set out in the regulations) with a minimum investment of USD 3.5 million, plus the creation of no less than three permanent jobs. Alternatively, a joint contribution of USD 6 million (with each applicant contributing a minimum of USD 1 million), plus the creation of no fewer than six permanent jobs.
For the above two options, the following government administration fees will also apply:
3. A non-refundable contribution to the NEF of USD 100,000 (for a single applicant). An applicant may make the contribution under one of the four following categories:
4. Investment in non-interest-bearing government bonds, which must be held for five years:
a. Under regulation 12(1) of the Citizenship by Investment Regulations, Cap. 1.20
b. Under the Covid-19 Relief Bond, available for a limited period until 31 December 2020
Already approved citizens may add dependents within five years of their application being approved. A donation of USD 35,000 applies to spouses, while a donation of USD 25,000 applies to each additional qualifying dependent of any age. In addition, there is a USD 5,000 due diligence fee for each qualifying dependent aged 16 and older. The government processing fee is USD 1,000 for each qualifying dependent.
All qualifying dependents must have a clean personal background with no criminal record and not be under any criminal investigation (other than in respect of a minor offense). A person that is deemed a potential security risk or who is or has been involved in any activity that is likely to bring disrepute to St. Lucia shall not be approved for citizenship.
The application process should take no longer than four months from submission of the application to issuance of the certificate of citizenship, assuming there are no areas of concern with the application. Where, in exceptional cases, it is expected that the processing time will be longer than three months, Henley & Partners will inform the applicant of the reason for the anticipated delay.
The Citizenship-by-Investment Board, which provides oversight to a dedicated citizenship-by-investment unit (CIU), will consider an application for citizenship and its outcome may be to either grant, deny, or delay for cause. A citizenship-by-investment application will be submitted in electronic and printed form by Henley & Partners on behalf of the applicant. All applications must be completed in English.
All requisite supporting documents must be attached to an application before it can be processed by the CIU. All applications must be accompanied by the relevant nonrefundable processing and due diligence fees for the principal applicant, their spouse, and each qualifying dependent. Where an application has been approved in principle, the CIU will notify Henley & Partners that the qualifying funds and requisite government administration fees must be paid before the certificate of citizenship can be granted.
The main applicant must remit the required funds for the qualifying option within 90 calendar days after notice of approval of their application. A successful applicant shall sign the oath or affirmation of allegiance before an attorney-at-law, notary royal, or notary public. The minister may, by order, revoke a grant of citizenship in exceptional circumstances as may be deemed necessary.
There are no restrictions on dual citizenship in St. Lucia.