The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on countries across the world, not least those relying on inward investment through their citizenship by investment programmes. To ensure these countries stay competitive and accessible to the global audience, many of them have introduced changes to their programmes. In a recent conversation with Jason Phillip, Deputy CEO at CCS Ltd, Jason shared with us the latest amendments to the citizenship programmes of Saint Lucia and Antigua & Barbuda.
To ease the ongoing situation and bring in additional foreign investment to the country, the government of Saint Lucia announced important changes and price-cuts to its citizenship by investment programme. The government has introduced Covid-19 government bonds starting from only USD $250,000, as well as reduced prices for family applicants for the National Economic Fund. The Covid-19 government bonds start from USD $250,000 and are only subject to government administrative charges of USD $30,000 in addition to the regular background check fees. However, this option is a limited offering, and does not replace the regular government bond option of USD $500,000.
These interest-free bonds must be held for a minimum of 5 years in exchange for citizenship and the minimum holding period varies as per family size. After the holding period, the bond investment is fully refunded back to the investor while citizenship is permanent.
Furthermore, following recent legislative amendments, the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) has announced facilitations in the application process for “add-on dependents” to the main application. The CIU has made major amendments to existing laws with the Citizenship by Investment (Amendment) Act No 4 of 2020 as part of its ongoing attempt to revitalize citizenship by investments and ensure its programme remains competitive against its rivals in the Caribbean. For example, the age requirement for a qualifying dependent has been increased from 25 years old and 30 years old for a dependent fully supported by the main applicant; the age requirement for a parent has been lowered to over 55 years; and a new Qualifying Dependent category has also been added where, an unmarried sister or brother of the main applicant who is below the age of 18 years and has their guardian’s consent can now be included in an application.
Similarly, Antigua & Barbuda, one of the most beautiful Caribbean countries to offer citizenship by investment, has also announced the introduction of a new investment option, the University of the West Indies Fund option. Investors are required to invest USD $150,000 for a family of six (which is the minimum number of people). Upon investment, one family member will be eligible for a 1-year university scholarship at the University of the West Indies, which ranks in the top 5% of universities globally. This is a good choice for investors who are interested in studying abroad, who are looking for a cultured experience, while enjoying the many benefits offered by their second passport.
To learn more about the recent changes or make an enquiry about any one of the Caribbean citizenship by investment programmes available, please contact us by completing an enquiry form or emailing us at email@example.com