In 2019, IM companies rate Saint Lucia’s citizenship program 0% effective. In 2020, St. Lucia was rated at 21%. The survey and Investment Migration Executive Survey was conducted by the investment migration portal Imi Daily.
The program department took longer to process documents than other Caribbean countries. Some applications took St. Lucia about nine months to process, while other countries averaged about 40 days.
Investors waited longer to have their applications processed, with some opting to obtain passports from other Caribbean countries. St. Lucia’s program was the least competitive in the region between 2016 and 2019, according to the department head.
Approved applications for St. Lucian citizenship in four years
The blue chart shows how many applications were submitted to the St. Lucia Program Department, and the orange indicates the number of applications the department was able to review and approve. For example, in fiscal year 2017-2018, the department received 345 investor applications but was only able to review half of them.
In 2020, the department got it right: the average time to review applications was reduced to 56 days.
What has changed in the Saint Lucian citizenship program
The department has revised the stages of obtaining citizenship by investment and simplified some bureaucratic points. The country’s government has changed the terms of St. Lucia’s citizenship program to make it more comfortable for investors.
The innovations have made the program more competitive, and the influx of foreign investment is supporting the country’s economy during a time of crisis amid a coronavirus pandemic.
Payments under the program began to be accepted online through a secure platform through which investors pay the contribution to the state fund, administrative fees, and due diligence. We talked about it in the article “Paying for expenses in 2 minutes instead of 2 weeks”.
The platform has helped the program department reduce the time it takes to process investor applications.
The cost of participation for two options has decreased. St. Lucia changed the minimum investment amounts for purchasing government bonds and the non-refundable contribution to the National Economic Fund.
The government bond purchase discount has been extended through Dec. 31, 2021. The minimum transaction amount does not change if family members are added to the application. But the number of applicants depends on how long the bonds are held – five, six, or seven years.
Participation costs before and after the change
|Expense item||Under the old rules||Under the new rules||Purchase of government bonds||$500,000||$250,000|
for a single investor
$165,000 for an investor with a spouse
$190,000 for a family of 3 or 4
for a single investor
$140,000 for an investor with a spouse
$150,000 for a family of 3 or 4
There were also reductions in the administrative fee, the accession fee for additional family members, and the accession fee for a newborn child.
Allowed new family members to be added. In 2021, along with the investor, a St. Lucia passport can be obtained:
Children under 21, including those from previous marriages.
Children ages 21 to 30 who are financially dependent on the investor.
Parents over 55 years of age who are totally financially dependent on the applicant.
Unmarried siblings of investor under 18 years of age with permission of parent or guardian.
Previously, the investor’s siblings were not eligible, and the investor’s parents had to be 65 or older. We discussed the other requirements in the article “St. Lucia: New Terms for Family Members”.
The program’s department head also shared that St. Lucia plans to add a new real estate option project.
How to get St. Lucian citizenship by investment
Investors choose St. Lucian citizenship for the ability to travel freely to 146 countries, including Schengen states, Great Britain, Singapore, and Hong Kong. By comparison, a Russian passport allows visa-free entry to only 118 countries.
To obtain St. Lucian citizenship, investors choose from three options:
From $100,000 – a non-refundable contribution to the National Economic Fund.
From $300,000 – purchase of real estate from a list of approved projects.
From $250,000 – purchase of government bonds. Starting January 1, 2022, the amount will increase to $500,000.
Citizenship processing time takes from 3 months.
Immigrant Invest is a licensed Caribbean investment program agent. If you want to travel freely around the world with a St. Lucia passport, seek advice from expert investment programs.