Retaining Competitiveness and Securing The Island’s Strong Presence In The Migration Industry
The government of the beautiful Caribbean island of St Lucia has announced a series of changes to the island’s popular Citizenship by Investment program, aimed at remaining one of the most competitive programs worldwide and fulfilling its mandate of providing for the betterment of its citizens.
Having started in 2016, St Lucia’s program is one of the youngest but has proved attractive to investors. The island is considered one of the best in the Caribbean, with a mix of the stunning scenery of the Piton mountains, lush rainforest and beautiful beaches, combined with a good standard of living and relatively low costs, attractive tax arrangements with no tax on income, wealth or inheritance, reasonable property prices and good transport links with the rest of the world.
St Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Unit has recently undertaken a thorough review of its program. As a result of this, Mr Earnest Hilaire, the Hon. Deputy Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, and the Citizenship by Investment Board have announced the following changes with effect from 1 January 2023:
- A new reduced fee for investors in real estate, who will now only be required to pay a minimum of US$200,00 (previously US$300,000)
- A due diligence and background check fee of US$7,500 will now have to be paid by developers applying to construct approved real estate under enterprise projects or the Citizenship by Investment program
- There will be an increase in the replacement fee for lost or damaged certificates, from US$100 to US$500
- Citizens by investment in the country’s National Economic Fund, who have less than 12-months’ St Lucia citizenship and wish to include a newborn child will now have to pay a fee of US$5,000, an increase from US$500
- There is a new bond offer for investors purchasing non-interest-bearing Government Bonds with the following qualifying investment sums:
|Category of applicant||Bond purchase sum||Bond Holding Period|
Applicant and all qualifying dependents
of any number
|US$300,000||5 year holding bond|
Administrative fee (regardless of number of dependants)
Although one of the youngest Citizenship by Investment programs, the St Lucia program has proved to be one of the most popular. The island is highly regarded as one of the best places to invest in the Caribbean and is known for providing a beneficial environment for investments and business. St Lucia provides the ideal opportunity for those looking to protect their financial interests worldwide, as well as providing security for themselves and their families in times of political, financial and social uncertainty.
With a good standard of living, a thriving tourist economy, a sophisticated infrastructure and modernised healthcare and education facilities, the CBI Index 2022, published by PWM Magazine of the Financial Times, called St Lucia “independent, developed and prosperous in the true sense” making it a highly trusted destination in which to invest.
The report also added praise for the island’s program in the areas of Ease of Processing and Due Diligence, raising St Lucia’s place in the index to a prestigious third position.
Minister Earnest Hilaire recently gave assurances that due diligence in ensuring that citizenship is only granted to those deserving of the status, was of the utmost importance to his government.
He said that multi-layered due diligence checks were carried out on all applicants and their dependants over 16 years of age, by his Unit as well as by the banks and security services, with detailed information required on funding sources to ensure they were of legal origin.
Minister Hilaire added that the new updates to the Citizenship by Investment program would maintain the country’s rigorous but seamless vetting process.
This process contributes to St Lucia’s CBI programme being widely regarded as one of the most advanced, secure and transparent programs available to investors.
The program fulfils its aim of providing for the betterment of its citizens through investments in the National Economic Fund, which provides crucial support for the public infrastructure of the nation.
St Lucia has worked hard to offer a raft of opportunities for the investor through its Citizenship by Investment program. The new changes will help to ensure that the program remains a thriving, attractive and secure destination for the benefit of investors and all of St Lucia’s citizens.
Astons have a wide-ranging portfolio of high-quality real estate in St Lucia as well as elsewhere in the Caribbean and worldwide.
Our international team of experienced real estate and legal experts are ideally placed to advise and guide you through all aspects of international property purchase and Residency and Citizenship by Investment.
For a friendly, no-obligation consultation, please contact us here.