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January 31, 2017

St. Lucia: Second citizenship from a luxury holiday destination

St. Lucia: Second citizenship from a luxury holiday destination
Neil new image


Neil Petch

Chairman of Virtugroup

The Caribbean has long been a popular destination for investors in second citizenship, so the newest addition has had the chance to observe plenty of local programmes. Launching in January 2016, the St. Lucian programme has been able to cherry-pick the most desirable elements from other programmes across the region.

The result is second citizenship as it should be done.

St. Lucia offers a competitive investment opportunity with a quick and simple process. Investors need not live in (or travel to) St. Lucia to secure citizenship, although the tropical island nation offers a welcoming home should you choose to do so. An attractive tax regime, fantastic international travel links, and a politically secure landscape make this a truly viable home away from home.

Other benefits aside though, one of the most attractive features of the St. Lucian second citizenship programme is the cost-effective investment requirement. With this programme, the benefits of second citizenship come with an unusually affordable price tag.

A closer look at the St. Lucia second citizenship programme

St. Lucian second citizenship might be the latest addition to the Caribbean, but it offers a very attractive alternative to more established programmes. Offering political stability in a genuine island paradise with extremely cost-effective investment requirements, it’s unsurprising that global investors are flocking to St. Lucia.

Fast process to secure citizenship: The St. Lucian second citizenship programme is one of the fastest of its type, and your application should only take three months to process. Other programmes can take many months, if not years, so St. Lucia is particularly competitive. If you don’t like being kept waiting, this is the second citizenship programme for you.

The St. Lucian second citizenship programme is one of the fastest of its type, and your application should only take three months to process.

Impressive global mobility: Your St. Lucian passport unlocks travel to over 120 countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms. This puts you in the top 35% of nationalities in terms of your global mobility. Your new passport enables you to travel with ease across the vast majority of the world’s business and travel hubs including the UK, the Schengen zone, Hong Kong and Singapore. Whether you’re scratching the travel itch or you have business to conduct abroad, St. Lucian citizenship is an investment in freedom.

Become part of the St. Lucian community: St. Lucia is keen to stress that they’re not just offering citizenship; they’re offering a community. With a strong heritage dating back to the 1600s, the island of St. Lucia has an enduring national identity and a welcoming vibe. A tropical gem in the Eastern Caribbean, St. Lucia is home to stunning volcanic beaches, sprawling rainforest and spectacular waterfalls. The island is famed for its two volcanic mountains, The Pitons, which have been dubbed a World Heritage site since 2004. You’ll also find world-class reef diving opportunities on St. Lucia, with many luxury resorts catering to divers. These factors combined, it’s not hard to understand why St. Lucia has such a thriving tourism industry and offers a must-have passport for discerning investors.

Dual citizenship recognised: St. Lucia legally recognises dual citizenship, so you can apply to become a St. Lucian citizen without renouncing other citizenships you hold. This makes it the ideal investment opportunity. You won’t suffer any awkward transition periods with your home nation, as your home citizenship will remain unaffected. Your right to live, travel and do business at home will continue as normal, but you’ll have an additional citizenship to take advantage of as well.

Family-friendly: The St. Lucian second citizenship programme is attractive to investors with family concerns. For an additional cost, your application can include your spouse and other dependents. This can also include dependent parents of over 65, so you can ensure your entire family benefits from your investment in St. Lucia.

For an additional cost, your application can include your spouse and other dependents.

Cost-effective investment: Second citizenship in St. Lucia is especially popular because it offers a cost-effective investment opportunity. Government donation begins at only USD 100,000 for a single applicant which compares very favourably against many other second citizenship options. Given the benefits second citizenship in St. Lucia offers, it’s amazingly inexpensive.

No prohibitive requirements: Securing St. Lucian second citizenship couldn’t be simpler, as there is no requirement to live or visit the island during your application. Unlike some other schemes, your citizenship isn’t dependent on your language skills either. Securing second citizenship in St. Lucia should be hassle-free if you hold a clean criminal record, are of outstanding character and have good health. The major requirement for second citizenship in St. Lucia is investment – nothing more, nothing less.

Increased security: St. Lucia offers investors a refuge from instability elsewhere in the world. The island is well regarded by major players in the global arena, including the UK and the US. St. Lucia is one of 52 Commonwealth nations, as well as a member of CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). These global alliances ensure that St. Lucia isn’t isolated, and can offer a politically peaceful home for global travellers.

Ease of conducting business: St. Lucia doesn’t struggle to attract foreign investment, particularly in tourism. And the simplicity of carrying out commercial activity here is largely to account for that. The World Bank ranks St. Lucia eighth for ease of doing business across Latin America and the Caribbean. The island is in fact second among all Caribbean nations, only just behind Jamaica. Its two international airports – George F.L. Charles Airport and Hewanorra International ensure simple global travel to and from St. Lucia.

Favourable tax climate: St. Lucia offers an attractive tax haven, empowering you to handle your wealth more efficiently. As long as you spend less than 183 days per year on the island, you’ll be considered a non-resident for tax purposes, and won’t pay worldwide income tax. You’ll also be exempt from capital gains tax. In terms of income tax, the rates are certainly favourable – progressive up to 30%. And there’s a special tax regime available for IBCs. Finally, you will also benefit from no inheritance or net wealth tax.

St. Lucia offers an attractive tax haven, empowering you to handle your wealth more efficiently.

Securing St. Lucian citizenship: The benefits of second citizenship in St. Lucia are numerous, but one of the most attractive has to be the cost-effective investment requirement. To secure your citizenship here, the minimum investment starts at only USD 100,000 for a single applicant into the National Economic Fund. This makes the programme one of the most affordable of its kind.

The National Economic Fund was established in 2015 as a means of accepting investment into the island, to fund government sponsored projects. These projects are approved at parliamentary level to ensure investment is funnelled into areas that genuinely further island interests. In this way, the fund helps ensure the continued prosperity of St. Lucia into the future; a future you’ll have a vested interest in as a new citizen.

Provided you meet the other requirements – that you’re of outstanding character, good health and hold a clean criminal record – your investment into the fund can begin. This takes the form of a one-time, non-refundable investment starting at USD 100,000 for your own application. If you’d like to add a spouse onto your application, you’ll be required to invest a total of USD 165,000. You can add an additional two dependents for a total investment of USD 190,000, and any further dependents for USD 25,000 each.

There are also some application and processing fees involved in securing citizenship. For the principal applicant, you’ll pay USD 2,000 processing fees, plus USD 7,500 for background checks. For any additional dependents including a spouse you’ll pay USD 1,000 processing fees and USD 5,000 for background checks. Children under 16 are exempt from background checks and the associated cost. So to return to our example: For a family of four including you, your spouse and two children of 17, your total investment will be USD 190,000 to the National Economic Fund, plus USD 27,500 in fees. All four of you will then be granted St. Lucian citizenship.

Ordinarily this takes only three months, so if you start the process today you could be enjoying your full citizenship by May. If there are any unexpected delays you’ll be fully informed, so you’ll always be in control. You’ll be guided through the requirements throughout the process, so your citizenship claim can progress as smoothly as possible.

Certainly, the St. Lucian second citizenship programme is still new to the scene, but it offers a very competitive investment opportunity. The benefits of second citizenship here are numerous, but the programme is particularly noteworthy for its cost-effective investment requirements. As such, this is an opportunity to seize the freedom and security that comes with second citizenship, even if your liquid capital is limited. With St. Lucia, freedom comes at a price you can afford.

Next Generation Equity is a government-approved provider of second citizenship and residency programmes tailored to the individual needs of discerning clients across the globe. To learn more about our programmes, please sign up for a free consultation via the form below.

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