St Lucia is a small Caribbean country known for its beaches and good climate. It also has one of the most popular citizenship-by-investment programmes in the area.
In August 2018, the government of Saint Lucia announced that Iranian nationals were no longer eligible to receive Saint Lucian citizenship through the citizenship by investment programme. This decision was made due to the inability to carry out the necessary checks and background checks in Iran and documents issued from Iran, processes that are very necessary for the continuation of the citizenship by investment programme.
Regrettably, this ban was applied to all Iranian citizens residing inside and outside Iran. For the past four years, Iranian investors have been banned from applying for many of the investor visa programmes around the world. This is partly due to the global banking sanctions imposed on the country and also because of the security risks that can arise with the inability to conduct full due diligence checks on Iran-based applicants. On the other hand, some programmes have conditionally allowed Iranians who have lived outside Iran for the past ten years and whose funds originate from outside Iran to apply.
But on 14 September 2022, McCloud Emanuel, executive director of the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme, announced that they have reopened their programme to Iranian citizens. They have resumed processing applications from Iranian nationals and have been able to secure relationships with due diligence service providers who are capable of performing the necessary and comprehensive standard on Iranians. These providers have provided assurances on the presence and access of their officials inside Iran. Currently, St. Lucia only imposes a total ban on Russians and Belarusians, possibly motivated by the war in Ukraine.
Citizen benefits from investment in St Lucia
Saint Lucian citizenship has many benefits including lifetime citizenship for all family members, including children; the Saint Lucian passport allows visa-free travel to 145 countries, including England, EU countries, Switzerland and Germany. In addition, there is no income, estate or inheritance tax; citizenship is received within sixty days; there is no need to reside in St Lucia and holders can enjoy the beautiful beaches for which St Lucia is known.