The number of approved applications for Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme fell to 143 during the 2019-20 fiscal year (which ended on March 31st, 2020), a reduction of about 32% compared to the preceding fiscal year, in which 210 approvals were granted.
The drop, according to Ryan Devaux, Chairman of the country’s Citizenship by Investment Board, was owed to a now-resolved impasse with the program’s international promoters. “During the period of negotiation, the marketing agents’ efforts towards marketing the program and driving applications was suspended,” Devaux wrote in the annual program report seen by the Saint Lucia Star. (The report, lamentably, is only viewable by physical visits to the Parliament building in Castries.
In the report, Devaux characterized the 2019-20 fiscal year as one of “challenge, hard work and ultimately success.”
The 143 approved applications had resulted in the bestowal of 188 new citizens, down from 288 in 2018-19 fiscal year. Of those, 70 were of Chinese origin, 23 were Russian, 15 Nigerian, and 10 Turkish. Since the program’s inception, Saint Lucia’s CIP has naturalized more than 800 individuals and raised some EC$131 million (about US$49m).
Nestor Alfred, the helmsman of the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit, expressed satisfaction with his unit’s ability to adapt to the unexpected circumstances that arose in 2020 and carry on processing relatively uninterruptedly, even as staff members worked remotely.
“[…] This Unit has clearly demonstrated its ability to continue doing this despite any pandemic or natural disaster,” said Alfred, according to the Star.
The true impact of the pandemic on Saint Lucia’s CIP will not be clear until figures covering the FY2020-21 period (April 1st 2020 to March 31st, 2021) are published next year.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.