The Government of Saint Lucia, in its continued effort to revitalize the Citizenship by Investment Program, has made some important changes to the existing legislation through the Citizenship by Investment (Amendment) Act No.4 of 2020. The changes make the program competitive with its Caribbean counterparts and position the island to be able to leverage its name recognition, distinguishing it from other similar programs.
The key changes are to the definition of who can now apply as Qualifying Dependant along with a Main Applicant on a citizenship application:
- The age requirement for a child of the Main Applicant – or his or her spouse – has been raised from eighteen years old or below, to twenty-one years old or below. Furthermore, there is no requirement for the child to be a full-time student.
- The age requirement for a child of the Main Applicant – or of his or her spouse – has been increased from twenty-five years to no more than thirty years. The child must still be fully supported by the Main Applicant.
- The age requirement for a parent of the Main Applicant or of his or her spouse has been lowered from over sixty-five years to over fifty-five years. The parent must still be fully supported by the Main Applicant.
- A completely new category of Qualifying Dependant has been created whereby an unmarried sister or brother of the Main Applicant who is below eighteen years of age, and who has received the consent of his or her parent or guardian can make an application for citizenship.
The below categories have remained the same under the amended legislation and these persons can still apply as Qualifying Dependants:-
- A spouse of the Main Applicant
- A child of the Main Applicant of any age who is physically or mentally challenged and who is fully supported by the Main Applicant.
- A parent of the Main Applicant of any age who is physically or mentally challenged and who is fully supported by the Main Applicant.
The amended legislation further qualifies the situation with regard to whom exactly can be added to an existing application for citizenship once the Main Applicant is approved. This amendment makes it clear that Add-ons can occur under any investment option that was originally made by the Main Applicant and, as a result, is no longer restricted to cases of a qualifying investment of cash made under the National Economic Fund by the Main Applicant.
Citizenship may be granted once the Board is satisfied that the Add-on:
- Is a child born, or legally adopted, after the application was made by the citizen;
- Is the spouse of the citizen who was married after the application was made by the citizen;
- An already existing Qualifying Dependant of a citizen will have a maximum of five (5) years after the applications had been made by the citizen to make their application for citizenship.
The amendments to the program have increased the appeal to potential applicants and positioned Saint Lucia as a real contender to other more active, mature Citizenship by Investment Programs in the region. Given the advantage of Saint Lucia’s profile in the tourism market, exciting times are ahead.
To learn more about the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program and its new terms, contact Saint Lucia CIP specialists McNamara Citizenship Services Inc on email (email@example.com) or call +1 758 724 6628.
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