Prime Minister Chastanet of Saint Lucia, together with Nestor Alfred, the head of the CIU, announced several significant changes to the country’s citizenship by investment program, during an Arton Capital webinar today, including a halving of the investment required to qualify for citizenship through bond acquisitions.
The new bond option (valid through Dec 31st, 2020):
- Prospective citizens will be able to qualify through the purchase of a new, non-interest-bearing bond with a five-year holding period, called the COVID-19 Relief Bond, for US$250,000 (as opposed to US$500,000 under the conventional bond option) for a single applicant. The government administrative fee is reduced from $50,000 to $30,000 and is now only payable upon approval.
- For an applicant with one dependent, the bond purchase also amounts to $250,000, but the holding period is extended to six years. Also here, the government administrative fee is reduced from $50,000 to $30,000 and is now only payable upon approval.
- For up to four dependents, the minimum bond purchase is either US$250,000 (at a six-year holding period) or US$300,000 (at a five-year holding period) by US$15,000 per additional dependent, while the holding period increases to seven years.
- For any applications with more than four dependents, an additional US$15,000 bond investment applies.
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The National Economic Fund (contribution) option:
- For a single applicant, the required contribution remains unchanged at US$100,000.
- For an applicant with a spouse, the new contribution requirement is US$140,000, down from US$165,000.
- For an applicant with a spouse and up to two other dependents (i.e., a family of maximum four), the minimum contribution requirement is now US$150,000, down from the previous US$190,000.
- For any additional dependents beyond the family of four, the contribution requirement increases by US$15,000 (rather than US$25,000, as before).
Tiny prices for tiny family members
One additional notable change, says Jonathan McNamara – Chief of Operations at McNamara Citizenship Service, an authorized agent under the program – relates to how the program will henceforth deal with the newborn children of its CIP-participants.
“The cost of adding a newborn has been drastically reduced, from US$25,000 to just US$500”, explains McNamara, who also hints we can expect legal amendments that would widen the definition of “qualifying dependents”, likely with an eye to remaining competitive with Grenada’s CIP.
“These are sweeping changes for the program and they are going to position us to be very competitive in the Caribbean citizenship marketplace,” he adds. “The feedback I have received from my industry partners has been overwelmingly positive.”
Want to know more about the Saint Lucia CIP? To see recent articles, statistics, official links, and more, please visit its Program Page. To see which firms can assist with an application to the program, visit the Residence & Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.