ST. LUCIA

 

 Name of country

ST. LUCIA

Region

Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago

 Population

166,637 (July 2021 est.)

General Introduction

St. Lucia is a Caribbean island located in the eastern Caribbean Sea, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It is a volcanic island that is mostly covered in rainforest and is known for its twin peaks, known as the Pitons, and its magical beaches. St. Lucia is a Commonwealth and CARICOM member with excellent air connections to Europe and North America.

Saint Lucia is an island nation located in the Caribbean Sea. It has 11 quarters or parishes, with Castries as the capital and largest city. The official language of Saint Lucia is English, and the currency is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD).

Saint Lucia, with its fine natural harbour at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times). It was finally ceded to the United Kingdom in 1814. Even after the abolition of slavery on its plantations in 1834, Saint Lucia remained an agricultural island, dedicated to producing tropical commodity crops. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979.

The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries, with a surge in foreign direct investment in 2006, attributed to the construction of several tourism projects. Although crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, tourism provides Saint Lucia's main source of income, and the tourism industry is the island's biggest employer. The Saint Lucia manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean, and the government is trying to revitalise the banana industry.

 Wifi Speed

Speed test results show an average of 1.72 Mbps download and 0.94 Mbps upload speeds across all mobile, tablet, and desktop devices tested.

 Electrical outlet

For Saint Lucia the associated plug type is G, which is the plug that has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. Saint Lucia operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

Per Capita GDP

$12,300 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)
$15,400 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)
$15,300 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Climate

tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season January to April, rainy season May to August

Residence-by-Investment

The government of Saint Lucia launched the Citizenship by Investment program on January 1, 2016. Applicants can apply for citizenship in St Lucia through one of three investment options: a donation, a real estate investment, or a government bond investment. Successful applicants will be issued a St Lucia passport, allowing them to travel visa-free to more than 157 countries around the world.

Investment

ST LUCIA CITIZENSHIP BY DONATION

A donation to the National Economic Fund is the cheapest way to obtain Saint Lucian citizenship. The minimum investment for a single applicant is $100,000, $165,000 for a couple, and $190,000 for a family of four. Additional due diligence and processing fees may apply, and these will vary depending on the applicant's age and family size.

ST LUCIA CITIZENSHIP BY REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

For the real estate route, applicants must invest a minimum of $300,000 in a government-approved real estate development, plus fees. The investment must be held for a minimum of five years before it can be liquidated.

Processing Time

Three–four months

Key Benefits

  • A St. Lucian passport allows visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 146 countries, including the Schengen Area of Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and many others.
  • There is no requirement for residence or visitation.
  • Applicants may include a spouse, children under the age of 31, siblings under the age of 18, and parents aged 56 and up, as well as dependents after they have been granted citizenship.
  • The program offers low investment and processing costs.
  • St. Lucia accepts dual citizenship.

Requirements

  • The Citizenship by Investment Act No. 14 of 2015 governs the St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program. Section 33 of this act established the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund (NEF), which receives qualifying investments of program donations. The government will use these funds in accordance with the national development agenda.
  • Applicants must make a significant economic contribution to the country in order to be considered for the program. In exchange, the applicants and their families are granted full citizenship, subject to a rigorous application process and due diligence checks. To qualify, the main applicant must be at least 18 years old, meet the application requirements, and choose one of the following investment options:
  1.  A minimum investment of USD 300,000 in an approved real estate development that must be held for a minimum of five years. Depending on the real estate developer, additional costs may be incurred.
  2. A minimum investment of USD 3.5 million in an approved enterprise project (as defined by the regulations), plus the creation of at least three permanent jobs. Alternatively, a joint contribution of USD 6 million (with each applicant contributing at least USD 1 million) plus the creation of at least six permanent jobs. The following government administration fees will also apply to the above two options:
  • USD 30,000 for the main applicant
  • USD 45,000 for the main applicant and his or her spouse
  • USD 10,000 for each dependent over the age of 18.
  • USD 5,000 for each dependent 17 and older.
  • Each additional family member after the sixth — USD 10,000

A $100,000 non-refundable contribution to the NEF (for a single applicant). An applicant may make a contribution in one of the four categories listed below:

  • USD 100,000 for the main applicant
  • USD 140,000 for the main applicant and his or her spouse
  • USD 150,000 for the main applicant, spouse, and up to two other qualifying dependents.
  • USD 15,000 for each additional qualifying dependent applying with the main applicant, spouse, and two other qualifying dependents.
  • USD 25,000 for each additional qualifying dependent

Investment in non-interest-bearing government bonds with a five-year holding period:

A.  In accordance with Regulation 12(1) of the Citizenship by Investment Regulations, Cap. 1.20

  • USD 500,000 for the main applicant
  • USD 535,000 for the main applicant and spouse
  • USD 550,000 for the main applicant, spouse, and up to two other qualifying dependents.
  • USD 25,000 for each additional qualifying dependent of any age.
  • USD 50,000 for government administration.

B. Under the Covid-19 Relief Bond, which is only available for a limited time until December 31, 2021.

  • USD 250,000 for the main applicant (bond holding period is five years)
  • USD 250,000 for the main applicant and one qualifying dependent (bond holding period is six years)
  • USD 250,000 for the main applicant and up to four qualifying dependents (bond holding period is seven years)
  • USD 300,000 for the main applicant and up to four qualifying dependents (bond holding period is five years)Each additional qualifying dependent — USD 15,000
  • USD 30,000 administrative fee levied by the government

Citizens who have already been approved may add dependents within five years of their application being approved. Spouses are eligible for a donation of USD 35,000, while each additional qualifying dependent of any age is eligible for a donation of USD 25,000. There is also a USD 5,000 due diligence fee for each qualifying dependent aged 16 and up. For each qualifying dependent, the government charges a fee of USD 1,000.

All qualifying dependents must have a clean personal history with no criminal record and must not be the subject of any criminal investigation (other than in respect of a minor offense). A person who is considered a potential security risk or who is or has been involved in any activity that is likely to bring St. Lucia into disrepute will not be granted citizenship.

Procedures and Time Frame

  • Talk to your immigration advisers
  • Prepare documents
  • A detailed checklist will be provided, and you will be guided through the documents collection stage. Experienced citizenship advisers will collect and check all the documents for compliance and ensure all requirements are met.
  • Submit your application
  • Once all your original documents are collected and sent to us, citizenship specialists will review your file and prepare it for submission. Your application will be submitted to the Government of Saint Lucia via an authorised local agent, as required by law

Processing of application

  • Each application is vetted by the Government through a thorough due diligence background check, during which time submitted information is examined and verified. There is currently
  • no interview requirement
  • Receive your pre-approval
  • Once the application is reviewed by the Government and the decision is made, the applicant will be issued a letter advising of the decision. This letter will be forwarded to you.
  • Complete your investment
  • Once your application has been approved, you will be required to complete your investment. (non-refundable contribution, purchase of real estate or investing in government bonds).
  • Passport of Saint Lucia in 3-4 months
  • Upon completion of the investment your citizenship certificate will be issued, and your passport application submitted on your behalf. No visit to Saint Lucia is required, your passport will be couriered to your preferred address.

Natural Resources

forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential

Ethnic Groups

Black/African descent 85.3%, mixed 10.9%, East Indian 2.2%, other 1.6%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)

Languages

English (official), French patois

 Religion

Roman Catholic 61.5%, Protestant 25.5% (includes Seventh Day Adventist 10.4%, Pentecostal 8.9%, Baptist 2.2%, Anglican 1.6%, Church of God 1.5%, other Protestant 0.9%), other Christian 3.4% (includes Evangelical 2.3% and Jehovah's Witness 1.1%), Rastafarian 1.9%, other 0.4%, none 5.9%, unspecified 1.4% (2010 est.)

Median Age

total: 36.9 years
male: 35.7 years
female: 38 years (2020 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 18.9% of total population (2021)
rate of urbanization: 0.98% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Physician density

0.64 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Government type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

Unemployment Rate

20% (2003 est.)

Taxes

Headline Personal Income Tax Rate (highest marginal tax rate)

 

 

An individual is regarded as resident in Saint Lucia if one of the following applies:

  • The individual's permanent place of abode is in Saint Lucia and the individual is physically present for some period of time in the income year, unless absent for purposes considered reasonable by the Comptroller of Inland Revenue.
  • The individual is physically present in Saint Lucia for not less than 183 days in the income year.
  • The individual is physically present in Saint Lucia for a continuous period of less than 183 days in the year of income but is resident in the immediately preceding or succeeding year of income.

Headline Corporate Income Tax Rate (excluding dividend taxes)

Resident companies are taxed on gains or profits accrued directly or indirectly from all sources in Saint Lucia and are subject to tax at a flat rate of 30%. The 30% tax rate is only applicable to companies that, prior to income year 2003, have no tax arrears and have complied with the requirements of any enactment administered by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). The tax rate of 33.33% will still apply to those companies that have tax arrears and have not complied with the requirements.

A new territorial tax system for all companies is in effect after 31 December 2018, subsequent to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Harmful Tax Practices - 2018 Progress Report on Preferential Regimes publication on 24 January 2019.

Based on the new territorial system, resident companies, except for those incorporated as international business companies (IBCs) before 1 January 2019 that have elected to pay 1% tax, shall not be taxed on income accruing from sources outside of Saint Lucia.

Non-resident companies are taxed on Saint Lucia-source income. The gross amount of such income is liable to 25% withholding tax (WHT), while WHT of 15% applies to interest.

Associations of underwriters are taxed at 30% on 10% of the gross premium arising in Saint Lucia, and life insurance companies are taxed at 30% on 10% of the gross investment income arising in Saint Lucia.

Saint Lucia or Helen of the West Indies has various forms of corporate entity inclusive of the ubiquitous IBC.

Generally, corporate tax is levied at 30%, both resident and non-resident companies are taxed only on income derived in or sourced from Saint Lucia.

Dividends and capital gains tax are not subject to tax, foreign tax relief is also available.

VAT of 12.5% (reduced rate of 10% for hotels) on good and services consumed in Saint Lucia., some goods and services are exempt or zero-rated.

In respect of withholding tax, a sliding scale of 10 – 25% (dependent on residence) is levied on interest, royalties and other fees, there is no branch remittance tax.

Curiously, there is a withholding tax of 10% on withdrawals from a pension fund or insurance policy less than 10 years old.

Stamp duty of roughly 1% is chargeable on any document evidencing a legal or contractual relationship between 2 or more parties.

Saint Lucia has a sole Double Taxation Agreement applicable to member states of CARICOM.

So far Saint Lucia has concluded 31 other tax treaties / tax exchange information agreements and is party to a series of treaties under negotiation.

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