How to obtain citizenship in St Lucia
Under the Citizenship Act of Saint Lucia, there are several ways to gain citizenship.
Citizenship by birth is acquired by a child who was born in St Lucia:
- before February 22 1979, and is a UKC citizen;
- after February 22 1979, regardless of the nationality of the parents. Exception: сhild born to foreign representatives or diplomats.
Citizenship by descent: Child born abroad, before or after independence on February 22 1979, at least one of whose parents is a citizen or was eligible for citizenship at the time of independence.
Citizenship by registration can be obtained by a foreigner married to a citizen of Saint Lucia, living or deceased, if approved by the government.
Сitizenship by naturalisation may be obtained under the following conditions:
- residence in the country for seven years before the application;
- stable income in the country;
- no criminal record;
- knowledge of the English language and customs of the country;
- intention to reside in Saint Lucia.
Applicants submit an application to the Minister responsible for immigration, who reviews compliance with the conditions and verifies whether the applicant has lived in the country, worked for the government or combined residence and civil service for seven years.
Once approved, applicants must take The Oath of Allegiance to nation and state.
The Citizenship by Investment program has been in place in Saint Lucia since 2015.
St Lucia's passport by investment costs $100,000. Four options are available: contribution to a government fund, purchase of real estate or government bonds, and investment in a business.
The main applicant's spouse, parents, siblings, and children, even from previous marriages, can participate in the program. Family members can obtain dual citizenship at the same time as the investor or after the investor has obtained citizenship.
Obtaining a second passport for Saint Lucia is confidential and is not disclosed by the Government of Saint Lucia to other countries.
Dual citizenship is allowed in Saint Lucia, and investors can choose any country to live in.
Investment options for dual citizenship in St Lucia
St Lucia reduced the cost of its citizenship program in 2020 in order to continue receiving investments during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, a family of 4 will save $40,000 by investing in a government fund. Families of 5 or more members will pay $10,000 less for the fifth and each additional family member than had been the case previously.
After undergoing the Due Diligence process, an investor needs to select one of the proposed investment options.
- $100,000: a non-refundable contribution to the National Economic Fund for a single applicant. For an investor and their spouse, the minimum contribution is $140,000, and for a family of up to 4 people, it is $150,000. A $15,000 is required for each additional dependent, starting with the fifth family member. These prices include the discounts mentioned in the previous paragraph, which are available for a limited time.
- $200,000: investment in real estate approved by the government. The investment amount does not depend on the number of participants. The property can be sold after 5 years without affecting the investor's citizenship status. The government has approved luxury hotels and resort complexes for the program, which well-known international companies manage.
- $300,000: investment in government bonds for 5 years. There is a fixed administration fee of $50,000.
- $3,500,000: investment in a government-approved business project. The investor needs to create a minimum of 3 jobs in St Lucia. In a joint investment, at least $6,000,000 needs to be invested and 6 jobs created. Each participant's share starts at $1,000,000.The list of business projects includes highways, bridges, marinas, ports, hotels, restaurants and research institutions.
St Lucia second citizenship costs consist of the following fees:
- Investment fee;
- Due diligence fee;
- Application processing fee;
- Administration fee for investments in real estate, securities or business.
Due Diligence cost: $7,500 for an investor and $5,000 for each family member over 16 years old included in the application. The fee for processing the application is $2000 for the investor and $1000 for each additional family member.
We illustrate the cost of participating in the program for an investor and their family based on the example of a contribution to the National Economic Fund.
Investment in the St. Lucia National Economic Fund, including fees
|Costs||Investor||Investor and spouse||Family of 4 (children 7 and 23 years old)|
|Investment in the state fund||$100,000||$140,000||$150,000|
Documentation requirements for the Saint Lucian citizenship by investment
The Government of Saint Lucia allows applications for citizenship by investment only through authorised agents who hold a government licence. A licensed program agent must apply on the investor’s behalf. A licensed agent is a consulting company that assists applicants every step of the way in obtaining citizenship by investment.
In order to obtain second citizenship of Saint Lucia by investment, the following documents are required:
- Passports and visas.
- National ID document.
- Birth certificate.
- Certificate of name change (if applicable).
- Certificate of military service.
- Marriage or divorce certificate.
- Criminal records from applicants' country of birth.
- Criminal records from any other country where applicants have lived for more than one year in the past 10 years
- Proof of address, valid for the last 3 months. For example, a copy of a utility bill or a bank statement with a residence address.
- Education certificates.
- Curriculum vitae of the applicant, including occupation, the full length of residence in the last 10 years, source of income, and companies in which the applicant is a director or shareholder.
- Power of attorney from a spouse or former spouse for minor children.
- Proof of maintenance for dependants.
- Residence permit (if applicable).
- Work permit (if applicable).
- Detailed bank statement for the last 12 months.
- A letter of recommendation from a bank.
- Payment of Due Diligence fee.
Documents have to be translated into English and notarised.
Investments in real estate in St Lucia
The government has approved elite resorts managed by well-known international brands that can be purchased under the terms of the citizenship program. An investor can buy a share in real estate, an apartment, or a hotel. They may be under construction or in operation.
The Minister selects real estate projects for the program after a recommendation from the St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Board and after consultation with the Cabinet.
Approved real estate projects include:
- Upscale branded hotels or resorts;
- High-end boutique hotels.
Well-known international companies operate investment resorts. They maintain a high level of service and income in Europe, the US, and the Caribbean. These companies look after all aspects of the project: they find tenants, renovate the premises, pay bills and maintain the properties.
An investor earns an income of 4% per annum on average if the resort is in operation and rented out.
After 5 years, investors can sell the property. The potential profit from the sale is 3 to 5%. The purchase and sale transaction can take place remotely. There is a 5% sales tax on the investment property.
To invest in the real estate program, the applicant signs a sales agreement appoints an escrow agent and opens an escrow bank account.
Using an example of a real estate investment, we show the costs of participating in the program for an investor and their family.
Costs of St Lucia real estate investment, including fees
|Costs||Investor||Investor and spouse||Family of 4 (children 7 and 23 years old)|
|Real estate investment||$200,000||$200,000||$200,000|
Administration fee when buying real estate:
- $30,000 for an investor;
- $45,000 for an investor and spouse;
- $10,000 for each additional participant over 18 years old;
- $5,000 per child under 18;
- $10,000 per member for a family with more than 6 people.
Cost of St Lucia dual citizenship by investment
The total cost of citizenship depends on the investment option chosen, participants' number, age, and degree of kinship. We break down the costs of different options for participating in the citizenship program for a family of 4.
Calculation of the investment amount for the investor, their spouse and two children (7 and 23 years old)
|Expense item||Contribution to state fund||Real estate||Government bonds|
|Due Diligence fee:|
$7,500 for the investor
$5,000 per family member over 16
|Investment amount returned||None||$200,000||$300,000|
7 Benefits of St Lucia second citizenship by investment
Saint Lucia passport gives cosmopolitans a number of advantages.
- Reasonable cost of dual citizenship. To obtain a passport, an applicant must make a minimum investment of $100,000 into the National Economic Fund.
- Quick processing time for citizenship. The procedure for obtaining second citizenship can take between 2 and 6 months. There are no compulsory conditions for staying in the country. St Lucia Citizenship by investment can be processed remotely through a licensed program agent. The investor does not need to be present to submit the documents and obtain a passport.
- The opportunity for visa-free travel around the world. St Lucia passport holders visit the Schengen countries, the UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong visa-free. Up to 90 days: citizens of St Lucia can stay in the EU 90 days in six months visa-free.
- The possibility of visiting the USA. Saint Lucia's citizens can obtain a 10-year multiple-entry US tourist visa B-1/B-2. This visa allows the holder to stay in the USA for 180 days per year. Citizens of countries outside the European Union are granted this visa for up to 3 years.
- Opportunity to recover a significant amount of investment. If investors have purchased real estate or government bonds, they can get their money back in 5 years.
- Optimisation of taxation. The government of Saint Lucia provides advantages for international business in the country. Tax residents of St Lucia benefit from some of the lowest tax rates in the world. There is no tax on wealth, inheritance or capital gains in Saint Lucia. Tax residents do not pay taxes on income earned outside the country.
- Saint Lucia allows dual citizenship. In unforeseen situations, citizens are under the protection of the embassies of the Commonwealth of Nations member states.
List of visa-free countries for St Lucia dual citizenship
The government of St Lucia is expanding the number of visa-free destinations for its citizens from year to year. The list of countries for which its citizens do not need an entry visa is steadily growing. A St Lucia passport gives the holder free movement in 146 countries for leisure or business travel.
Visa-free countries for citizens of St Lucia
|№||Country||Conditions of entry|
|1||Armenia||visa upon arrival|
|3||East Timor||visa upon arrival|
|7||Jordan||visa upon arrival|
|8||Iran||visa upon arrival|
|9||Cambodia||visa upon arrival|
|10||Laos||visa on arrival|
|13||Maldives||visa on arrival|
|14||Nepal||visa on arrival|
|20||Sri Lanka||electronic permission to enter|
|№||Country||Conditions of entry|
|2||Burundi||Visa upoon arrival|
|4||Guinea-Bissau||visa upon arrival|
|5||Egypt||visa upon arrival|
|8||Cape Verde||visa upon arrival|
|10||Comoros||visa on arrival|
|13||Mauritania||visa on arrival|
|14||Madagascar||visa on arrival|
|17||Mozambique||visa on arrival|
|18||Saint Helena||visa on arrival|
|20||Rwanda||visa on arrival|
|21||Seychelles||visa on arrival|
|23||Somalia||visa on arrival|
|24||Sierra Leone||visa on arrival|
|26||Togo||visa on arrival|
|28||Uganda||visa on arrival|
|№||Country||Conditions of entry|
|5||Bosnia and Herzegovina||visa-free|
|№||Country||Conditions of entry|
|7||Palau||visa on arrival|
|8||Samoa||visa on arrival|
|9||Solomon Islands||visa on arrival|
|10||Tonga||visa on arrival|
|11||Tuvalu||visa on arrival|
|№||Country||Conditions of entry|
|2||Antigua and Barbuda||visa-free|
|22||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||visa-free|
|23||Saint Kitts and Nevis||visa-free|
|25||Turks and Caicos||visa-free|
|26||Trinidad and Tobago||visa-free|
|27||French West Indies||visa-free|
|№||Country||Conditions of entry|
|3||Bolivia||visa upon arrival|
|4||Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba||visa-free|
5 steps to obtain St Lucia dual citizenship by investment
When an investor contacts Immigrant Invest, we conduct a preliminary check for information held on the investor in international databases.
A certified Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer checks the investor’s data and assesses the potential risks of complications or rejection of the citizenship application. Our lawyers will study the investor’s situation and recommend solutions that are suitable for the applicant.
Our verification procedure reduces the risk of an application for citizenship by investment being rejected to 1%.
Immigrant Invest’s lawyers compile a list of the documents required. The investor provides passports, certificates, statements and other personal and financial papers. Our lawyers make certified copies, translate documents, fill out all forms, and prepare affidavits and other documents to apply for participation in the program.
When the package of documents is ready, Immigrant Invest’s lawyers send it to the government department dealing with citizenship by investment in St Lucia. The Due Diligence check takes place with the government officers checking the reputation and finances of the applicants.
The investor and all family members over 16 years of age included in the application must pass the Due Diligence check.
Once Immigrant Invest receives the government’s approval of the application, the applicant must fulfil the investment condition within 90 days: transfer the required amount to the selected fund, buy real estate or bonds, or invest in a business.
Immigrant Invest’s lawyers and the investor need to send the final documents to St Lucia: an oath of allegiance and birth certificates. Within 4 weeks, a passport and a certificate of naturalisation are produced. They are sent to the investor by courier at the specified address.
Who can obtain St Lucia second citizenship by investment
Citizenship is available to the investor’s entire family: spouse, children, parents, and siblings. After obtaining a passport, the investor can include family members in their original application for St Lucia dual citizenship or add them later.
To include children and parents in the application, the investor confirms that the family members included in the application will be maintained by them. Siblings under 18 can participate in the program if they are not married and have received parental or their guardian’s consent for second citizenship.
Family members can obtain dual citizenship as part of the same application up to five years after the investor receives a St Lucia 2nd passport.
There is no time limit within which family members have to apply in some cases. The investor's future spouse and children born after the investor's application can become Saint Lucian citizens at any time.
State fees for adding family members to St Lucia's citizenship program by investment: $35,000 for a spouse; $25,000 for children, parents and siblings (per person); $500 for an infant up to 1-year-old.
Age of family members participating in the St Lucia citizenship program
|Investor||18 years or older|
|Children||Up to 30 years old|
|Children with mental or physical disabilities||Any age|
|Parents||Over 55 years old|
|Siblings||Under 18 years|
For an application for dual citizenship to be approved, the investor undergoes a rigorous Due Diligence process. St Lucia will verify the authenticity of the documents and the legality of the applicant's income. The investor mustn't have a criminal record, has not been declared bankrupt and has not been refused citizenship or a residence permit in the past.
In addition to the investor, Due Diligence is also conducted on all family members over 18.
My brother and I co-founded a portfolio investment fund. We have been professionally involved in selling and buying securities from various companies for more than ten years. So the choice of an investment option was not one we had to make. So we chose to buy government bonds under the St Lucian citizenship program.
CBI approved our applications. But Dasya changed his mind: he decided against buying the bond in favour of another option to cut the cost of participation by half.
Taxation in St Lucia
In St Lucia, there are no taxes on dividends and capital gains, and income earned outside the state is not taxed.
- 0% on income earned outside St Lucia;
- Up to 0.4% on real estate;
- 2.5% when buying real estate;
- 5% when selling real estate;
- 5% social contributions;
- 30% on income earned in St Lucia.
Companies pay a flat annual tax of $300. Income tax can be replaced by paying an annual license fee. The amount of the license fee depends on the company's authorised capital. If the license fee is paid, the company has no obligation to submit tax and accounting reports.
If a company's annual revenues are more than $67,000, they must be reported every month to the tax authorities of St Lucia.
To avoid double taxation, an investor with dual citizenship can select the country where they prefer to pay taxes. A company can obtain the tax resident status if registered and managed in St Lucia.
St Lucia joined the international Common Reporting Standard (CRS) in 2018. The standard ensures the automatic exchange of financial and tax information between countries. At the same time, St Lucia does not disclose the names or information of the beneficial owners in the companies' register.
International Business Company (IBC) registration takes up to 2 weeks. The registration cost is about $2,400, and the minimum charge for maintaining a company is about $1,800 per annum. St Lucia's legislation does not specify the minimum amount of authorised capital for companies. In practice, $50,000 is sufficient.
- articles of Incorporation;
- order to appoint a director;
- certificate of registration of the company’s office in St Lucia;
- statement of the company’s owner that they have reached the age of majority.
Companies registered in St Lucia inspire more confidence in foreign partners than those registered in a number of other jurisdictions. It is easier for IBCs to open an account with international banks.
Interesting facts about St Lucia
The island state of St Lucia is located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The capital, Castries, is the main port for cruise ships, and Hewanor International Airport is the larger of the two airports serving St Lucia. There are many resorts, medical spas, hot mineral springs, restaurants, and nightclubs. St Lucia also hosts an annual international jazz festival and carnival.
Nature and climate. In St Lucia, it is sunny all year round. The temperature ranges from +24 to +32°C. The rainy season lasts from May to August, and hurricanes can occur in August and September.
There are two cone-shaped volcanoes in the western part of the island: Gros-Piton and Petit-Piton. Submarine volcanoes are located off the coast of St Lucia. As a result, the sand on the island is volcanic, i.e., black. However, the beaches are covered with white sand. Pink coral reefs grow around the island. There are many beautiful waterfalls in the rainforest. The island is famous for its mineral and thermal springs.
Economy. Tourism and elite medical resorts are being developed actively in St Lucia. The country exports tropical fruits and cocoa, and the island has many fruit plantations. The citizenship program brings stable income to the country.
Currency. St Lucia is a member of the CARICOM Commonwealth of Caribbean States. The East Caribbean dollar (EC$ or XCD) is the common official currency of the Commonwealth. As in other Caribbean countries, the US dollar is also accepted.
Language. The main language in the country is English. Part of the local population speaks the Dominican-Sentlusian dialect/St Lucian French Creole, derived from French.
Public transport in St Lucia is mostly shuttle buses and taxis. A ticket on a shuttle bus costs about $1, and a taxi ride costs $1 per km. Car rental costs from $70 to $250 per day.
Medicine. There are 12 public and private hospitals and clinics operating in St Lucia. The doctors and nurses have been trained in US and European accredited colleges. The largest hospital is located in Castries. Doctors and qualified medical personnel staff the hotels and resorts. An appointment with a private doctor starts at $50.
Communication. Several mobile operators operate in St Lucia: Cable & Wireless, Caribbean Cellular, Digicel Limited, and Wireless Ventures (St. Lucia) Limited. An unlimited internet package costs $75/month. The internet speed is 60 Mb/s. International calls can be made at the hotel, from city payphones and the post office. A long-distance call from a post office or a payphone is 15% cheaper than a mobile call.
Purchases. The largest shopping centres are located in Castries: La Place Carenage, Pointe Seraphine and JQ Rodney Bay Mall. The Baywalk Shopping Mall is located in Gros Islet, in the island's north. In the shopping centres, goods of famous brands are duty-free. The duty-free Pointe Seraphine Shopping Complex, covering an entire street, is located in the port, in the cruise ship terminal.
The most famous market in Castries is called Jeremy. It sells local organic products, wooden furniture and tableware, souvenirs and clothing.
Cost of groceries in St Lucia
|Milk, 1 L||$2|
|Rice, 1 kg||$2|
|Eggs, 12 pcs.||$3|
|Local cheese, 1 kg||$11|
|Beef, 1 kg||$20|
|Chicken, 1 kg||$12|
|Local beer, 0.33 L bottle||$2|
|Wine, bottle 0.75 L||$8|
Cuisine. The national dishes are made from lobster, crab meat, shrimp and fresh fish. Chicken fillets and goat meat are often used in meat recipes. The food in inexpensive cafes is just as delicious as in the restaurants of St Lucia. For $5, you can dine at a street café. A three-course lunch at a mid-range restaurant costs $30 for two.
Frequently Asked Questions
St Lucia 2nd passport can be obtained by investment. The program offers 4 investment options to choose from:
- $100,000 or more — a contribution to the National Economic Fund (NEF);
- $200,000 or more — investment into real estate approved by the government;
- $300,000 or more — purchase of government bonds;
- $3,500,000 — enterprise investment.
Options of real estate and bond investments are more pricey than the contribution to the NEF. But an investor can sell real estate or pay off bonds and refund investments. And the St Lucia citizenship stays with the investor for life.
St Lucia citizenship provides visa-free access to 146 countries. The passport replaces entry visas to the EU countries, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The St Lucians easily obtain a visa to the USA. They can get a tourist visa B1/B2 for 10 years in a couple of days by applying to a US consulate located in any country St Lucia has the visa-free agreement.
The St Lucia tax legislation is beneficial to companies that are tax residents of the country. 0% tax is provided for income earned outside St Lucia.
St Lucia citizens get all the benefits of the Commonwealth of Nations. For example, they can get a scholarship to study at a university in the UK and reduce expenses for education.
No, the St Lucia citizenship is valid for life. The first passport is valid for 5 years. A citizen should get a new passport after the first one expires. The procedure is simple and remote. The new passport issuance fee is $500. Each next passport is valid for 10 years. Citizens cannot be refused to renew their passports.
If an investor’s application is approved for participation in the St Lucia program, in that case, he can get the following delays: 90 days to pay the investment sum and 60 days to pay the government fee. If the investor fails to meet the deadline, he can apply for a delay extension. The payment deadline will be moved in case of unforeseen circumstances.
The obligatory program payments can be made with a bank card. In this case, the money is transferred within one bank day. If the payment is made via bank transfer to the banking details, the transfer will take longer — up to 1 week.
The Commonwealth of Nations is an intergovernmental organization. It used to be known as the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth head is the incumbent UK monarch. Fifty-four countries are members of the Commonwealth.
Citizens of the Commonwealth countries have several benefits. For example, they have visa-free access to the Commonwealth countries. They are under the protection of the Commonwealth countries’ embassies around the globe. They also can get a scholarship to study in universities across the Commonwealth.
Due Diligence is a juridical audit of an investor and his family. The audit results influence the approval of an investor’s application. The application will be rejected if the applicant has a criminal record, has already been refused citizenship or a residence permit, and has been subject to sanctions.
St Lucia maintains a state’s reputation governed by the rule of law and conducts its audit meticulously. For example, 46 applicants have been rejected since 2016.