An attorney for the Citizenship By Investment Programme (CIP), Nicholas John, claims that the Government of Saint Lucia will be making significant changes to the programme effective January 2017.
In John’s post on LinkedIn on Thursday, December 29, 2016, he said that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has issued an amendment to the Citizenship by Investment Regulations No.89 of 2015.
The following changes have been made to the programme:
1) Removing the requirement for a sworn affidavit to declare financial resources of at least US$3,000.000.00.
2) Removing the requirement for a successful applicant to attend in person such office in Saint Lucia or before any Saint Lucia Embassy, High Commissioner or Consulate to take the oath or affirmation of allegiance. This is replaced with the requirement that the applicant supplies a sworn declaration before an Attorney-at Law, Notary Royal, Notary Public, Consular Officer of Saint Lucia or Honorary Consul of Saint Lucia.
3) Removing the maximum of 500 applications per year.
4) Amending paragraph 1 of schedule 2 to change the qualifying contribution amounts to the Economic Fund. The new qualifying contribution amounts are as follows:
Single Applicant: US$100,000.00
Applicant with spouse: US$165,000.00
Applicant with spouse and up to 2 dependents: US$190,000.00
Additional dependents: US$25,000.00 each
5) The Government Bond option has been reintroduced but there is now an administration fee of US$50,000.00 per application.
John said these changes which takes effect from January 1, 2017 will make the Saint Lucia programme the best value for money in the Caribbean, whether for single applicants or families.
“Contributors to the National Economic Fund do not have to pay any administrative fees. Saint Lucia is now the cheapest option for an applicant with a family and is on par with Dominica for a single applicant.
However, since the processing fee in Dominica is higher than that of Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia is also cheaper and best value for a single applicant.
With these changes, an applicant is no longer required to demonstrate a net worth of US$3,000,000.00 to qualify. Further, the need to travel to a Saint Lucian Embassy or Consulate office to take the Oath of Allegiance has been done away with. This will eliminate the current cost and inconvenience associated with taking the Oath of Allegiance.
In Parliament on Tuesday 20th December 2016 the Prime Minister also announced that early in 2017 another option for qualifying for citizenship will be introduced.
This will be the establishment of a Saint Lucia Sovereign Wealth Fund into which applicants can invest for a stipulated time. This fund will be managed by professional investment managers and will provide investors with a greater assurance of the return of their capital and a return on their capital than currently exists with the real estate option in the Caribbean.”
Saint Lucia offers the following investment options for qualifying for citizenship by investment:
Contribution to the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund – starting at US$100,000.00
Investment in an approved real estate project – minimum investment of US$300,000.00
Purchase of Government Bonds – starting at US$500,000.00, and
Investment in an approved Enterprise Project.
The opposition has been questioning the legitimacy of such claims and has asked Prime Minister Chastanet to clarify whether the statements are true or not.