On the 13th of May, Mr Chastanet, St Lucia's Prime Minister, together with the head of the St Lucia CIU, Nestor Alfred, announced very significant changes to the St Lucia Citizenship by investment programme.

These changes have been reflected on its Citizenship by Investment (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 74 of 2020), published on 12 May 2020 that implemented changes to the country's Citizenship by Investment Programme.

In total, the changes cover different areas and are very significant:

1. The COVID19 Relief Bonds

Whilst applicants could be granted with Citizenship by Investment in St Lucia by investing a minimum of USD500,000 in government bonds, the amendments implemented a COVID19 Relief Bond Option, valid until the 31 December 2020.

The investment amount is slashed to half of that amount – USD250,000- which makes an incredible option for those seeking a Caribbean passport at an affordable investment, especially for big families.

The only caveat is that the bonds do not bear any interest – but the costs of applying and inflation rates make this a fantastic investment to be granted with alternative citizenship. Contact us for a detailed capital outlay.

Applicants will need to hold the bonds for a certain amount of time, and this starts from the moment that the bonds are issued (not from when the application is submitted or approved, for example)

Depending on the application structure, we can have different scenarios in terms of investment and holding period:

Application Structure Qualifying Investment Holding Period
Main applicant US$250,000 5 years
Main applicant plus 1 dependant US$250,000 6 years
Main applicant plus four dependants US$250,000 7 years
Main applicant plus four dependants US$300,000 5 years

Also, there are no Processing fees and the amendments also reduced the Government fee very considerably – to USD30,000 from USD50,000

In a nutshell should you be interested in a Caribbean Citizenship programme, the St Lucia option is the option to consider. Also, the application can be done entirely remotely so contact us should you be interested in pursuing this option forward.

2. The National Economic Fund

But the changes do not stop there. St Lucia has also significantly changed their contribution amount, especially for families, in an attempt to be more aligned with other jurisdictions.

Cutting to the chase, amendments are as follows:

  • US$100,000 contribution for a Single Applicant, which remains unchanged.
  • US$140,000 contribution for a Main Applicant plus Spouse, whilst before was USD165,000
  • US$150,000 contribution for a family of maximum four, whilst before was US$190,000
  • US$15,000 contribution for any additional dependants, whilst before was an extra fee of US$25,000

The last notable change is the slash on fees for newborn additions – whilst before this entailed a cost of USD25,000 now that has been reduced to USD500.

Certainly, the actual changes make the programme more competitive and are done in an attempt to make the St Lucia Citizenship by Investment programme more competitive so it can drive more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.

However, would this end into a price war like we have seen in 2017 after that the hurricanes devastated some Caribbean islands? We hope not – that certainly won't be good for the Caribbean countries or the Investment Migration industry as a whole.

Investing in a second Citizenship or Residence by investing in the jurisdiction of choice can certainly protect HNWI and their families, as well as giving them independence, freedom and flexibility.

Originally published 15 May, 2020

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.