A second passport is a magnificent opportunity to broaden horizons for visa-free travels, to minimize tax payments and to create a safe haven in case of political and economic risks in the homeland. Making an investment is the fastest and the simplest way to obtain a second citizenship. High-income business people have a wide range of options to choose from: there are official passport programs valid in 4 EU countries (Cyprus, Malta, Austria, Bulgaria), in 5 states in the Caribbean region (Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia and Grenada) and in Vanuatu. In this article we’ll focus on Saint Lucia, the country with the youngest program in the Caribbean.
Saint Lucia has been offering economic citizenship since 2015. Although this country passport program is the youngest in the Caribbean, it is already a strong competitor on the market. Saint Lucia can boast of the record number of investment options, 4 of them, to be specific: donation into the state fund, investment in government bonds, business or real estate. In comparison with other Caribbean countries that have similar CBI programs, Saint Lucia CBI program offers twice as much options. Antigua and Barbuda is the only exception as it allows one to invest in business as well.
Moreover, Saint Lucia’s passport is one of the most beneficial variants for an individual investor, with the donation sum corresponding to at least $100,000. The passport is obtained within 3-5 months and allows one to travel visa-free to 127+ countries. Another advantage is the absence of world income tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax there.
Saint Lucia may soon become even more appealing for wealthy foreigners. Information surfaced about the jurisdiction authorities preparing to launch the program on issuance of the non-domiciled tax status (non-domiciled are temporary residents without a permanent place of residence).
Things to know about the non-domiciled status
To clarify the details, let us imagine the following situation: people having links whatsoever with the countries B, C or D, but residing in the territory of the country A, can claim another country to be the place of their permanent residence or ‘domicile’, if the law of the country A allows this. It does not matter where these people actually live. As a result, they receive the non-dom status in the country A without having to pay taxes related to the foreign income and capital income.
Such tax privileges are quite rare. Most countries have the rule according to which every person must pay the taxes with respect to all the income sources in the country of living.
World experience: Where do similar schemes exist?
Similar schemes aimed to encourage the flow of foreign investments to the state are available in some European countries, in particular, in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
It is worth noting that the non-dom status holders in the UK now tend to be looking for alternative ways, since the mentioned regime has become less attractive after a series of tax amendments was introduced.
Many investors pay attention to the Italian program. It is noteworthy that in Italy, the non-domiciled status was issued for the first time to the former holder of a similar status in the UK.
Receiving the non-dom tax status in Saint Lucia
Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia’s PM, made a public announcement on April 4, 2018, stating that the country had introduced the opportunity for one to receive the non-domiciled tax status in the jurisdiction. The official made this known while delivering his speech to the Parliament. Chastanet mentioned that preparatory work was being conducted ahead of the launch of the tax residence program for people having big capital.
The Prime Minister also emphasized that Saint Lucia had been removed from the blacklist of the EU countries, which list was posing threat to the local industry of financial services. After the global tax legislation got tightened, Saint Lucia decided to add domiciled persons category to the Income Tax Law. The aim was to multiply or, in fact, to substitute the income lost by the country for this reason.
It is hard to say whether the jurisdiction will be able to compete with its ‘colleague countries’. But independent experts think this initiative might increase Saint Lucia’s rating in the investment immigration market and make more high-income investors consider Saint Lucia as the place of their second citizenship.
Recall that in 2017, the EU published the first blacklist of tax haven countries. Seventeen states, including Saint Lucia, were mentioned there. The jurisdiction was removed from the list in March 2018.
Fairmont Saint Lucia apartments
The language of facts: Relevant statistics
It is evident that Saint Lucia will be offering the non-dom tax status as an additional advantage to the second passport.
Saint Lucia citizenship by investment program is the youngest in the Caribbean. Judging by the recent statistics, its popularity keeps growing. The government has published the report about the activities carried out under the program. The review titled Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2018-2019 states that $5,900,000 has been contributed to St. Lucian
budget in the first year of the program’s existence, and in the period from 2017 to 2018 this figure corresponded to $21,400,000.
Local authorities have prepared the forecast on the financial flows under Saint Lucia’s economic citizenship program. It is expected that by the end of the 2018–2019 term, the contribution to the country economy will have totaled $29,030,000, of the 2019–2020 period — $51,610,000, 2020–2021 — $64,510,000.
The document also provides information about the optimization of the document submission process with the aim to increase the local immigration program effectiveness. In 2019, investors are likely to receive the opportunity to submit citizenship and residence applications online. There is also an idea to develop a citizenship database in order to enable easier access to the relevant information.
Nestor Alfred, the Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Unit, says that since the program launch, 259 people have been issued passports.
The official information about the first Government-approved project available for investment with the purpose of getting citizenship has been recently disclosed. The project is Fairmont Saint Lucia resort. The construction works have been carried out since 2017. The project is planned to be commissioned in 2021.
Saint Lucia’s tourism sector has been actively developing since 2017. It can be proved by the official statistics: 94,432 tourists visited the country from January to September 2017, this figure is 14.5% higher than the one recorded in the same period of 2016. The tendency is expected to continue in the upcoming years.
Saint Lucia’s passport is a valuable investment for successful business people and travelers, as it broadens visa-free horizons. Soon investors will have an additional reason to get this Caribbean passport, with the non-dom fiscal status being a key to tax optimization.
Interested in more detailed information about Saint Lucia’s Citizenship By Investment Program? Contact us!
- We offer free consultations, understanding how important it is for the client to make the only correct decision.
- We work only in the field of investment immigration, integrating gained experience into the investor’s goal.
- We work only with official programs of the European Union and Caribbean countries.
- Before signing the contract, we inform our clients about all additional fees and expenses.
- We conduct a screening to assess the investor’s chances of obtaining the desired citizenship.
- We oversee the process at each stage and work exclusively towards the result.
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