Saint Lucia – Helen of West Indies
The volcanic island of Saint Lucia is a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It is renowned for its incomparable beauty highlighted by rainforests, mountains and spectacular scenery. Because of this beauty, the island’s history is replete with long squabbles over it between the British and the French, eliciting the apt nickname, “Helen of the West Indies”.
More mountainous than most Caribbean islands, Saint Lucia is famous for two other mountains – the Pitons. Saint Lucia is also one of the few islands in the world that contains a drive-in volcano.
The island nation is a participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and La Francophonie. Saint Lucia is a Commonwealth Realm.
Offshore banking and tourism industries form the backbone of SaintLucia’s economy and are the main sources of the country’s revenue. Its manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area.
The island’s currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (EC$), a regional currency shared among members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECU). It has been pegged at XCD 2.70 per dollar of the United States of America (USD) since July 1976.
Residency &Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP):
Saint Lucia offers four different options to investors looking to invest in the island nation and obtain its passport. The four options are:
- Saint Lucia National Economic Fund
- Real Estate Projects
- Enterprise Projects
- Government Bonds
- Saint Lucia National Economic Fund:
Saint Lucia National Economic Fund is a special fund established for the sole purpose of receiving qualifying investments of cash for funding government sponsored projects.
Once an application for citizenship by means of an investment in the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund has been approved, the following minimum investment is required:
Applicant applying alone: US$100,000
Applicant applying with spouse: US$165,000
Applicant applying with spouse and up to two (2) other qualifying dependents: US$190,000
Each additional qualifying dependent, of any age: US$25,000
- Real Estate Projects:
The Cabinet of Ministers approve real estate projects to be included on the approved list for the Citizenship by Investment Program. Approved real estate projects fall into two broad categories:
- High-end branded hotels and resorts
- High-end boutique properties
The applicant is required to execute a binding purchase and sales agreement for an investment in an approved real estate project. Investments, equaling the agreed purchase price, are deposited in an approved irrevocable escrow account managed jointly by the developer and the Citizenship by Investment Unit in Saint Lucia.
Once an application for citizenship by means of an investment in a real estate project has been approved, the following minimum investment is required:
Main Applicant: US$300,000
- Enterprise Project:
The Cabinet of Ministers approve the enterprise projects to be included on the approved list for the Citizenship by Investment Program.
Approved enterprise projects fall into seven (7) broad categories:
- Specialty Restaurants
- Cruise ports and marinas
- Agro-processing plants
- Pharmaceutical products
- Ports, bridges, roads and highways
- Research institutions and facilities
- Offshore universities
Once an application for citizenship by means of an investment in an approved enterprise project has been approved, the following minimum investment is required:
Option 1 – A sole applicant.
A minimum investment of US$3,500,000
Option 2 – More than one applicant (joint venture).
A minimum investment of US$ 6,000,000 with each applicant contributing no less than US$1,000,000
- Government bonds:
Citizenship by investment may be made through the purchase of non-interest-bearing Government bonds. These bonds must be registered and remain in the name of the applicant for a five (5) year holding period from the date of first issue and do not attract a rate of interest.
Once an application for citizenship by means of an investment in government bonds has been approved, the following minimum investment is required:
Applicant applying alone: US$500,000
Applicant applying with spouse: US$535,000
Applicant applying with spouse and up to two (2) other qualifying dependents: US$550,000
Each additional qualifying dependent: US$25,000
An application for citizenship by investment must be submitted by an authorized agent on behalf of an applicant. The average processing time from receipt of an application to notification of the outcome is generally three months.
Benefits of the program:
- Applicants can choose from four options which range from an investment amount of US $100,000 to US $3,500,000 for a single applicant.
- Short processing times
- No interview or language requirement
- No requirement of physical presence
- Inclusion of dependent children under 25, dependent parents above 65 and mentally or physically challenged dependent children and/or parents
- Visa-free travel to over 120 countries around the world
- Good quality of life
- No tax on worldwide income