The Governments of Dominica and St Lucia almost synchronically announced the amendments to their citizenship-by-investment programs that had been introduced earlier this year. The main changes were made to the requirements related to dependent applicants.
The changes are positive for those applicants for citizenship of these Caribbean countries who would like to include a large number of their relatives in the application while making a single investment.
When applying for citizenship of Dominica or St Lucia, you can file an individual or a family application. In case you would like to obtain foreign passports for all your family members, it will be more economical to include them into application as dependents.
If you would like to acquire Caribbean citizenship by investment as soon as possible, please send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our specialists will gladly provide a detailed consultation on the matter to you.
The passport of Dominica and that of St Lucia allow travelling to all the EU countries without visas and staying there for up to 180 days. The passport holders are also entitled to a ten-year tourist visa to the USA.
Offshore Pro Group will also be delighted to assist you in registering a company abroad, opening a personal or a corporate account in a foreign bank, or acquiring legal residency in a foreign jurisdiction.
Dominican citizenship by investment: include your children and their spouses as well as your brothers, sister, and parents in the application for citizenship
The changes to the citizenship-by-investment program that Dominica has introduced pertain to the dependent relatives that the main applicant can include in the application. The age requirements have not been changed but the notion of the ‘dependent family member’ has been extended. Now the main applicant can add his or her brothers and sisters to the list of people applying for Dominican citizenship as well as brothers and sisters of his/ her spouse. The restrictions are as follows: they have to be under 18 years of age, unmarried, and childless.
According to the new rules, the dependent family members do not have to prove that they live together with the main applicant. Adult children, parents, and grandparents of the main applicant only need to show that they are financially dependent on him/ her. Previously, an adult child had to confirm that he or she was a university student in order to prove the financial dependence on his/ her parents. Since recently, such confirmation is not required.
If a single applicant acquires economic citizenship of Dominica and he or she marries a citizen of any country afterwards, his/ her spouse becomes eligible for Dominican citizenship too. If a child is born to economic citizens of Dominica, he/ she is eligible for citizenship of the country as well.
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If the main applicant’s child gets married after acquiring citizenship of Dominica, his/ her spouse can also become a citizen of the country. The regulations pertaining to these opportunities were unclear before.
The Government of Dominica has declared that the procedure of including dependent family members in the application for citizenship of the country is going to be simplified. However, no clarifications have been provided for the meaning of the word ‘simplified’ in this context. That is, we do not know thus far what the simplification is going to include. Besides, no changes have been announced that would pertain to the required due diligence procedures. As of now, any dependent applicant over the age of 16 (be it the main applicant’s spouse, child, sister, brother, parent, or grandparent) has to undergo due diligence check if he or she is included in the application for Dominican citizenship.
In order to acquire Dominican citizenship by investment every applicant has to submit the following documents:
- A detailed résumé;
- A clean criminal record;
- Documents that confirm the legality of the sources of capital that the foreign national is planning to invest into Dominican citizenship;
- Other documents.
Please contact our specialists to obtain the complete list of documents required for filing an application for economic citizenship of Dominica.
You can acquire a second passport by making two different kinds of financial contributions:
1) You can make a non-returnable donation to the state fund; or
2) You can buy real property in Dominica that you can resell later or let it on a lease thus returning you investment.
The unrecoverable donation to the state fund that makes the donor eligible for Dominican citizenship has to be made in the following amounts depending on the number of applicants:
- US$ 100,000 for a single applicant;
- US$ 175,000 for the main applicant and the spouse;
- US$ 200,000 for the main applicant with not more than three dependents;
- Additional US$ 25,000 for every extra dependent family member.
If you choose to purchase real estate in Dominica rather than make a donation, the minimum required investment amount is US$ 200,000. Besides, the investment has to be made into a Government-approved development project. However, the property has to remain in your possession for three years only. When this period expires, you can resell it and keep the passport of Dominica.
Regardless of whether you make a donation or buy property, you will have additional expenditures when applying for citizenship of Dominica. There is a due diligence fee, an application processing fee, an immigration agent fee, a medical check-up fee as well as fees for the notarization, translation, and apostilling of various application documents.
Citizenship of St Lucia for the main applicant’s parents, brothers, and sisters
On June 23, 2020, the immigration authorities of St Lucia published the amendments to the procedure of acquiring citizenship of the country by investment. Let us specify the key such amendments.
The dependent children of the main applicant can be up to 30 years of age now. (They had to be up to 25 years of age before). The main applicant’s children over the age of 18 do not have to supply any proof that they are university students to be considered financially dependent on the main applicant.
The St Lucian Government is constantly improving the national citizenship-by-investment program to make it more competitive. St Lucia wants to stand out against the background of other Caribbean states that grant citizenship to foreigners in exchange for investment. Some other key changes to the local immigration legislation include the following ones:
- While main applicant’s children used to qualify as ‘young children’ if they were 18 years of age or younger, now they qualify as ‘young children’ if they are not more than 21 years of age. The children do not have to prove that they are full-time students any longer;
- While main applicant’s children used to qualify as ‘adult children’ if they were up to 25 years of age, now they qualify as ‘adult children’ if they are not more than 35 years of age. However, they have to bring proof that they are financially dependent on the main applicant;
- While the main applicant’s parents had to be 65 years of age or older in order to qualify as dependent applicants, now they have to be 55 years of age or older. Again, they have to bring proof that they are financially dependent on the main applicant;
- A new category of dependent family members has been introduced: the main applicant’s brothers and sisters. Now the main applicant brother or sister below 18 years of age will qualify as dependent family members if they supply parental consent (or the consent of their foster parents) to apply for Dominican citizenship.
The following two categories of relatives can still be included in the application for Dominican citizenship just as they could before:
1) Mentally or physically disabled children of the main applicant regardless of their age.
2) Mentally or physically disabled parents of the main applicant regardless of their age if they are financially dependent on the main applicant.
The amended immigration legislation also clarifies issues related to adding new dependent family members after citizenship of St Lucia has been granted to the main applicant. The clarification states that this opportunity is available regardless of the investment option that the applicant for St Lucian citizenship has chosen.
New dependent family members can be added to the application for citizenship post factum (when citizenship has already been granted to the main applicant) during five years since the date of St Lucian citizenship acquisition.
Besides, if an economic citizen of St Lucia gets married, his or her spouse will qualify for citizenship of the country too. If a child is born to a family of economic citizens, the child qualifies for citizenship of St Lucia as well. Finally, if the child is legally adopted by economic citizens of St Lucia, he or she qualifies for citizenship too. At the same time, the legality of the marriage and the adoption has to be confirmed by the corresponding documents. The newborn child has to be registered in accordance with all the official rules.
The amendments mentioned above have made the St Lucian citizenship-by-investment program even more attractive than it was before. It is among the leading Caribbean citizenship-by-investment programs and taking the popularity of the country with tourists into account, we can safely assume that the Government’s efforts in attracting foreign investors will continue to yield fruit.
Why is the St Lucian citizenship-by-investment program so attractive?
St Lucia has proved a very successful pupil of other Caribbean countries that run national citizenship-by-investment programs. Such a program was launched in St Lucia only five years ago, in 2015, which makes it the youngest citizenship-by-investment program in the Caribbean. The authorities of the country have analyzed the practices that their neighbors employ in granting citizenship to foreigners and they have adopted the most successful ones. Besides, St Lucia has been able to position itself in the market very wisely. It has made its citizenship-by-investment program especially appealing to wealthy foreign investors. Becoming a citizen of St Lucia allows extending the investor’s international business and lightening his or her tax burden at the same time. The number of applications for citizenship of St Lucia that can be annually approved has a limit and the requirements to personal capital that the investor has to possess are relatively tougher.
St Lucia is a tropical island located in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea and it is highly popular with tourists from all over the world. The living standards there are higher than anywhere else in the Caribbean and the crime rates are low. Numerous development project can be found in St Lucia where you can invest to become a citizen of the country. The infrastructure development and the service levels are also extremely high. Formerly, the country was a British colony but now it is an independent state and a member of various international organizations such as the UN, CARICOM, and others. The legal system in St Lucia is based on the British law.
Other advantages that the jurisdiction boasts include the following ones:
1) Fast processing of the applications for citizenship (it takes around three months to acquire the St Lucian passport).
2) It is possible to include disabled relatives in the application for St Lucian citizenship.
3) Holders of St Lucian passports are not obliged to live in the country.
4) Applicants for St Lucian citizenship do not have to visit the island when applying nor at any other point in time.
5) No interview nor education certificates nor work experience are required to become a citizen of St Lucia.
6) The passport of the country gives visa-free access to over a hundred and twenty national states including the Schengen zone countries, Great Britain, and Hong Kong, among others.
7) No tax is payable on the internationally derived income.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the Government of St Lucia lower the required amount of money that foreign nationals have to invest into state bonds, which is one of the investment options available to those wishing to acquire citizenship of the country. Investments into Government bonds will not only bring you the St Lucian passport but they are also guaranteed to be returned after the set period of ownership expires. This is a limited-time offer only that is going to be in force until December 31, 2020.
- For a single applicant, 5-year mandatory ownership period.
- For the main applicant with one dependent, 6-year mandatory ownership period.
- For the main applicant with not more than four dependents, 7-year mandatory ownership period.
- For the main applicant with not more than four dependents, 5-year mandatory ownership period.
- Adding any extra family members to the application requires investing additional US$ 15,000 into Government bonds per each dependent.
The application fee has been waived but the administrative fee is still US$ 30,000 and it has to be added to the total required investment amount.
Exactly this opportunity makes St Lucia different from other Caribbean countries granting citizenship to foreigners in exchange for investment. The Government of St Lucia guarantees that it will buy out the bonds from the investor when the mandatory ownership period is over.
In other Caribbean states, you can make a returnable investment into real property. The conditions are the same: you have to hold the property in your possession for a certain period and then you can sell it back. However, the developer is not obliged to buy the property back from the investor. That means that you will have to find the buyer by yourself.
If you would like to acquire Caribbean citizenship by investment, we will be happy to provide all the necessary consultations and legal support in this endeavor. Please write to us to email@example.com and request our services.
What changes have been introduced into the Dominican citizenship-by-investment program in 2020?
The Commonwealth of Dominica has introduced the following amendments to the national citizenship-by-investment program: The list of the relatives categories has been extended and now the main applicant can include his or her brothers and sisters in the application for citizenship as well as brother and sisters of his or her spouse provided that they are under 18 years of age, unmarried, and childless. Besides, adult children of the main applicant do not have to submit any proof of their studentship any longer. They only have to show that they are financially dependent on the main applicant. The same goes for parents and grandparents: they do not have to prove that they live together with the main applicant’s family but only that they are dependent upon him or her.
What changes have been introduced into the St Lucian citizenship-by-investment program in 2020?
The Government of St Lucia has lowered the required amount of investment into bonds from US$ 500,000 to US$ 250,000. In addition, the required donation amount for family applicants has been reduced. An ‘adult child’ is now a person of up to 30 years of age (of up to 25 years of age before) that is financially dependent on the main applicant. The main applicant and his/her spouse’s parents now have to be older than 55 in order to qualify for citizenship of St Lucia on a family application (they had to be older than 65 before). Finally, the main applicant and his/her spouse’s brothers and sisters are now eligible to be included in the family application provided that they are younger than 18.
What benefits does acquiring St Lucian citizenship in 2020 can bring?
The main benefits are as follows: fast rate of application processing and due diligence checks – three months only. The possibility to include children, parents, brothers and sisters of the main applicant and his/her spouse into a family application. No residence nor visit requirements to those wishing to obtain St Lucian citizenship and retain it. The possibility to visit over 120 countries of the world without visas. No obligation to pay St Lucian taxes on the profits earned abroad.