Virginia, US

For high net worth individuals looking for an economic citizenship solution to facilitate ease of travel,  Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme is now open to applications.

To qualify for citizenship under this new programme, applicants must demonstrate a net worth of at least USD 3 million (unlike other programmes in the region). They will also be required to make one of four possible qualifying investments.

  1. Firstly, an applicant can choose to contribute USD 200,000 to Saint Lucia’s National Economic Fund (or  USD 235,000, if applying with a spouse; and USD 250,000, if applying with a spouse and up to two dependants). An additional USD 25,000 is payable for other dependants.
  2. Alternatively, an applicant can invest USD 300,000 in an approved real-estate project in either high-end branded hotels and resorts, or high-end boutique properties.
  3. Investments can also be made in Enterprise Projects individually or as part of a collective investment scheme in various sectors.  For individual investors, the minimum required investment is USD 3.5 million. Those investing collectively will be required to invest no less than USD 1 million each, provided that the total investment made by the group is at least USD 6 million. 
  4. Finally, applicants for citizenship may also invest in governments bonds (non-yielding) which must be maintained for a period of 5 years. The minimum investment is USD 500,000, if applying alone; USD 535,000, if applying with a spouse; or USD 550,000, if applying with a spouse and up to two dependants (USD 25,000 is payable for each additional dependant)
Citizenship applications are processed within 3 months and there is no residency requirement. Applications have been limited to 500 applications per year. Holders of Saint Lucian passports are permitted to travel visa-free to 114 countries, including the Schengen countries. It is interesting that options are opening up in the Caribbean, whilst restrictions are being mooted around Europe. You can follow my thoughts on EU reform and investor migration here over the coming months.
Restaurants; Cruise ports and marinas; Agro-processing plants; Pharmaceutical products; Ports, bridges, roads, and highways; Research institutions and facilities; Offshore universities.