As global unrest and economic uncertainty continue, more and more Americans are looking for options to diversify their citizenship. A second passport provides security and allows more freedom of mobility. And so the one attractive option for Americans is through Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Program.
Saint Lucia is a beautiful Caribbean island nation known for its lush rainforests, tropical beaches and colonial architecture. As a former British colony, it maintains close cultural and economic ties to the United Kingdom and Europe.
Saint Lucia launched its citizenship by investment program in 2015 as a way to attract foreign investment and boost its economy. So far, it has proven successful in bringing valuable capital while granting individuals and families a valuable second citizenship.
So if you are looking about Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment for American Investors, this complete guide is for you!
Eligibility and Application Process
The eligibility criteria for Saint Lucia’s citizenship by Investment program are straightforward for most American investors to meet.
- The main applicant must be over 18 years of age
- No criminal record or pending charges
- Standard due diligence checks on source of funds and background will be conducted by the citizenship unit.
The process begins with an initial application submitted to the citizenship by investment unit. Common documentation includes passport, utility bill for proof of address, bank statements, source of funds documentation. Prior to the submission of the application, a non-refundable due diligence fee is paid upfront for the file to be processed by the unit.
If clear, pre-approval is granted within 60-90 days. However, due to a high volume of applicants it can take several months for file to be processed. Only upon approval is the full contribution paid into an escrow account. Once received, the Citizenship Unit issues a Certificate of Registration as a citizen. A legal oath of allegiance then needs to be taken at a local law office or consulate.
The entire process from initial contact to receiving the physical passport is typically 3-8 months. Passports are then mailed within 2-4 weeks to you or alternatively you can come to St.Lucia to collect your passports.
Top Options of Saint Lucia Citizenship for American Investors
For American investors seeking cost-effective second citizenship, Saint Lucia’s program holds strong appeal. Let’s explore the options in more detail:
1. Citizenship by Direct Donation
The most straightforward route is to make a one-time non-refundable contribution directly to Saint Lucia’s National Economic Fund. A single applicant donation is just $100,000 plus government processing fees of around $7,500. There are additional fees applicable.
This makes the total investment a highly competitive price when compared to other citizenship by investment programs in the region.
2. Real Estate Investment
Real estate opens up another option for those wishing to make a tangible investment in Saint Lucia. A minimum US$200,000 purchase is required from an approved development list. Property must be held 5 years before it can be sold. An additional smaller donation and other fees apply.
3. Government Bond Investment
As an alternative to holding property long-term, Saint Lucia also offers the chance to invest in 5-year non-interest bearing government bonds.
For a single applicant the minimum outlay is just $250,000 plus $30,000 in fees. This route appeals to investors who are looking to invest in government bonds.
4. Approved Business Venture
For high net worth entrepreneurs, there is the prestige option to set up or invest in a pre-approved Saint Lucian business.
Minimum investments starta at US$1 million but bring benefits like job creation and long term ties to the country.
Key Benefits of Saint Lucia Citizenship
There are several compelling reasons why Saint Lucia’s program appeals specifically to American investors:
- Visa-Free Travel – A Saint Lucia passport opens up travel to over 140 countries visa-free, including the entire EU Schengen Area and United Kingdom. This can expands travel opportunities especially for United States citizens who choose to renounce their citizenship.
- Low Minimum Investment – Saint Lucia has one of the lowest minimum investments required for citizenship at just US$100,000 for a single applicant. This makes it very affordable compared to other Caribbean CBI programs.
- Multiple Options – Saint Lucia offers four investment routes including direct donation, real estate purchase, government bonds or an approved business venture. This flexibility suits different financial circumstances.
- Fast Processing – Citizenship through donation can be obtained in just 3-8 months, one of the fastest programs worldwide. This means new travel freedoms are gained quickly.
- Family Inclusion – Spouses and minor children under 25 can be included for an additional fee, allowing entire families to gain citizenship.
- No Residency Requirements – Unlike some countries, there is no need to ever live or spend time in Saint Lucia after obtaining citizenship. Americans can remain living in the US.
- Tax Benefits – As a Caribbean nation, Saint Lucia does not tax foreign income or gains for non-residents. It is important to get specific tax advice for your particular situation.
Cons with Saint Lucia’s citizenship
Some potential cons to consider with Saint Lucia’s citizenship by investment program are as follows:
- Minimum investment required is still substantial – While more affordable than many other options, US$100,000 is still a sizable sum of money that not all investors may be able to part with.
- No interest earned on investment amounts – The donations, real estate purchases, and bonds involved in the program do not generate regular returns like other investments might. The money is effectively tied up for 5+ years in most cases.
- Limited property options for real estate route – Only a handful of approved development projects are listed, so you have less choice in the quality and location of the purchased real asset. Properties may also be overvalued relative to market prices and may not be built yet.
Saint Lucia Citizenship: A Smart Second Passport Solution
So finally, Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Program presents an excellent opportunity for Americans to cost-effectively gain increased travel freedom, options for global business expansion, and a vital insurance policy for themselves and future generations.
While the minimum investment is demanding for some, others will view the lifelong benefits more than worth the one time contribution to Saint Lucia’s development. Overall, Saint Lucia offers Americans a smart solution for attaining a valuable second citizenship.