St. Lucia Citizenship Program
St. Lucia is located in the Lesser Antilles region of the Eastern Caribbean covering an area of 617 km2. It is one of the Windward Islands and is more mountainous than most Caribbean islands. St. Lucia’s highest point is Mount Gimie, which is 950 meters above sea level. Two other mountains, the Pitons, form the island’s most famous landmark. St. Lucia’s other attractions include national parks, botanical gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a drive-in volcano. The country’s history has been influenced by the native Carib people as well as Africans, the British, and the French. Its official language is English; however, locals also speak French Creole. St. Lucia is a member of the United Nations (UN) and other regional partnerships, including the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The country attracts foreign business and investment, especially in its international banking and tourism industries. Tourism is St. Lucia’s main source of employment and its manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean.
St. Lucia’s Citizenship-by-Investment Program is regulated by the Citizenship by Investment Act No. 14 of 2015. Section 33 of this Act established the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund, which receives the qualifying contributions of donations from the program. These funds will be used by the government under the national development agenda. The program requires a person to make a significant economic contribution to the country. In exchange, and subject to a stringent application process and due diligence checks, the applicants and their families are granted full citizenship. The main applicant must be at least 18 years of age to qualify, meet the application requirements, and select one of the following options:
- Purchase of real estate with a minimum value of USD 300,000 from an approved real estate development, which must be held for a minimum period of five years — additional costs may also be incurred depending on the real estate developer
- Participation in an approved Enterprise Project (as set out in the regulations) with a minimum contribution of USD 3.5 million plus the creation of no less than three permanent jobs, or a joint contribution of USD 6 million (each applicant committing a minimum of USD 1 million) plus the creation of no fewer than six permanent jobs
For the above two options, the following government administration fees will also apply:
- Main applicant USD 50,000
- Spouse USD 35,000
- Dependent under 18 years USD 25,000
- Dependent 18 years and older USD 35,000
- A non-refundable contribution to the National Economic Fund (NEF) of USD 100,000 (for a single applicant). An applicant may make the contribution under one of the four following categories:
- Main applicant USD 100,000
- The main applicant and spouse USD 165,000
- Main applicant, spouse and up to two other qualifying dependents USD 190,000
- Each additional qualifying dependent of any age USD 25,000
- Investment in non-interest bearing government bonds, which must be held for five years:
- Main applicant USD 500,000
- Main applicant and spouse USD 535,000
- Main applicant, spouse and up to two other qualifying dependents USD 550,000
- Each additional qualifying dependent of any age USD 25,000
- A government administrative fee of USD 50,000
In addition, due diligence and government processing fees are charged on all options. Due diligence fees are USD 7,500 for the main applicant, and USD 5,000 for each qualifying dependent age 16 and older. In the event that an application for citizenship is being sponsored by a third party, a due diligence fee of USD 7,500 is applicable to the sponsor. Government processing fees are USD 2,000 for the main applicant and USD 1,000 for each qualifying dependent. The main applicant and any dependents must have a clean personal background with no criminal record and not be under any criminal investigation (other than in respect of a minor offense). A person that is deemed a potential security risk or who is or has been involved in any activity that is likely to bring disrepute to St. Lucia shall not be approved for citizenship.
Qualifying dependents include the applicant’s spouse; children younger than 18; adult children up to the age of 25, who are fully supported by the applicant and in full time attendance at a recognized institution of higher learning; a child of any age who is physically or mentally challenged and fully supported by the applicant; a parent of the applicant or their spouse who is over the age of 65 and habitually lives with and is fully supported by the applicant; and a parent of any age who is physically or mentally challenged and fully supported by the applicant.
Procedures and Time Frame
The documentary requirements of the St. Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment Program are reasonable and the procedures are quite straightforward. The application process should take no longer than three months from submission of the application to issuance of the certificate of citizenship, assuming there are no areas of concern with the application. Under the real estate option, the time frame may vary depending on the development.
The Citizenship by Investment Board (CIB), which provides oversight to a dedicated Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), will consider an application for citizenship and the outcome may either be to grant, to deny or to delay for the cause. The average processing time from receipt of an application to notification of the outcome is three months. Where, in exceptional cases, it is expected that the processing time will be longer than three months, we will inform the applicant of the reason for the anticipated delay.
All requisite supporting documents must be attached to an application before it can be processed by the CIU. All applications must be accompanied by the relevant non-refundable processing and due diligence fees for the principal applicant, his or her spouse, and each qualifying dependent.
Where an application for citizenship-by-investment has been granted, the CIU that the qualifying funds and requisite government administration fees must be paid before the Certificate of Citizenship can be granted. Where an application has been denied, the applicant may, in writing, request a review by the Minister.
The principal applicant must remit the required funds for the qualifying option within 60 calendar days after notice of approval of their application. In the case of the purchase of the approved real estate of participation in an Enterprise Project, the principal applicant must pay the government administrative fees due within 60 full days after notice of approval of their application.
A successful applicant shall sign the oath or affirmation of allegiance before an attorney-at-law, Notary Royal or Notary Public.
The Minister may, by order, revoke a grant of citizenship in exceptional circumstances as may be deemed necessary
There are no restrictions on dual citizenship in St. Lucia.
- A St. Lucian passport provides visa-free travel to 146 destinations, including Europe’s Schengen area, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, and many others
- No residence or visitation requirements
- A range of options are available
- Attractive program and processing costs
- St. Lucia recognizes dual citizenship