St. Lucia New Citizenship by Investment Program Changes
In a continuing effort to respond to the changing dynamics of the global economy and more particularly, to the urgent need of families searching for a second passport of excellent international repute offering extensive visa-free travel coupled with very competitive qualifying investments, the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit has announced changes to its Citizenship Act.
The Citizenship By Investment (Amendment) Act No. 4 of 2020 which was enacted on 17th June 2020 builds upon the recent introduction of the Covid-19 Relief Bond and reductions in donation contributions under the National Economic Fund Option. These initiatives together with the provisions of the amended legislation have propelled the Saint Lucia Program into the fore as one of the most competitive citizenship programs in the Caribbean.
Principle Legislative Changes
The legislation both fundamentally expands the definition of a “Qualifying Dependent” which by extension significantly increases the number of persons that may potentially be included in an application and clarifies the law regarding the addition of dependents. The principal changes are as follows:
- An increase in the age of a qualifying child dependent of the main applicant or spouse from 18 years to 21 years.
- An increase in the age of dependents who are fully supported by the main applicant or spouse from 25 years to 30 years and the removal of the requirement for the dependent to be enrolled at a tertiary institution.
- A reduction in the age of parents and grandparents from 65 years to 55 years as well as the removal of the requirement for a parent or grandparent to be living with the main applicant.
- Inclusion of unmarried brothers and sisters of the main applicant below the age of 18 years. This is an excellent addition to the definition of a qualifying dependent and is unique to the Saint Lucia Program in that a sibling is considered the same as any other dependent and no special or increased qualifying investment applies in respect of a sibling who forms part of an application.
- A child to be included in an application of a citizen may be either a legally adopted or a biological child.
- A child born to a citizen or a spouse who married a citizen after the application was made by the citizen may be added to the application at any time.
- A person who was a qualifying dependent of the citizen before the application was made can be added to the application up to 5 years from the date the application was made.
- A qualifying dependent can be added to an application irrespective of the citizen’s investment option.