The 2019 CBI Index has named the Caribbean as the leading region within the world’s best citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes. The independent study, first published in 2017 by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine, uses seven pillars to compare all active CBI programmes currently running in the world:
- freedom of movement;
- standard of living;
- minimum investment outlay;
- mandatory travel and residence;
- citizenship timeline;
- ease of processing;
- due diligence.
These are thought to be the main areas applicants consider when deciding on which CBI programme best suits them and their families.
Why Choose CIP St Lucia?
With only three years of experience on the market, St Lucia was comfortably placed in fourth position. Independent researcher James McKay awarded the Caribbean island full marks particularly for its affordability and convenient absence of travel or residence requirements. St Lucia does not require applicants to travel or reside in the country before, during or after receiving their citizenship – an aspect time-poor investors appreciate. Nonetheless, visiting St Lucia or even moving to live there is highly recommended, as the island is an exquisitely beautiful holiday destination, especially popular with newlyweds, and full of business potential.
The sovereign Commonwealth island offers one of the newest CBI programmes on the market, commonly known as CIP St Lucia. The island has been steadily developing its Programme since 2016, aligning it with regional standards and, uniquely, offering investors four options to choose from.
NEF – Most Affordable Option for CIP St Lucia
Under the National Economic Fund (NEF), single applicants are required to make an investment of US$100,000 to qualify for second citizenship in St Lucia. This is one of the most affordable routes to economic citizenship in the investor immigration industry. At the receiving end, this investment channel generates funds for local development projects. Originally priced at US$200,000, the government reduced the investment to US$100,000 in January 2017.
How Many Countries Can I visit with a St Lucian Passport?
Freedom of movement is a key concern to many investors especially those residing in countries that provide limited international mobility – crucial for ambitious entrepreneurs. St Lucia offers visa-free travel to 15 out of the 20 business hubs assessed in the 2019 CBI Index and over 140 visa-free and visa-on-arrival destinations across the globe. Compared to its 2018 ranking, St Lucia performed exceptionally well, notably scoring high marks for its increased global mobility.
How Fast Is My CIP St Lucia Application Processed?
Another key feature of any CBI programme is its processes. How fast can a successful applicant gain citizenship? For investors living in unstable countries, there are encounters that make a successful completion of a CBI application a matter of life and death. St Lucia works continuously to make its procedures more and more streamlined and straightforward, with enhanced, more efficient due diligence standards. Recently, the government proposed introducing new regulations that would expedite all CIP St Lucia applications to 80 days.
Extended Family Now Accepted under CIP St Lucia
All in all, St Lucia moved up the ranks, scoring high in particularly important pillars for investors and for the first time surpassing Antigua and Barbuda. New regulations introduced in April are a testimony to this. Age limitations for dependants are now more convenient, catering to investor’s requests for such facilitations. Family members for up to four generations can obtain citizenship even after an investor has successfully completed the application process.
What Is St Lucia Doing to Ensure Good Due Diligence?
The introduction of new measures saw the exclusion of applications from countries that could not be adequately vetted and could possibly pose a security risk for the nation. This is to ensure St Lucia’s due diligence procedure remains durable.
With success so early on, St Lucia is only set to continue improving.