On 12th May 2020, The government of St. Lucia officially launched the Covid-19 Relief Bond which has now been included as an investment option under the nations Citizenship by Investment Program. Foreigner investors can qualify for the CBI Program by making the following investments (plus government and due diligence fees) into the Covid-19 Relief bond:
- Single applicants can qualify with an investment of just $250,000 and they must hold the investment for a period of 5 years.
- Applicants with just one dependent can also qualify with an investment of $250,000 but the time that the bonds must be held is increased to 6 years.
- Applicants who wish to include up to 4 dependents have the option to invest $250,000 and hold the investment for 7 years or $300,000 and hold the investment for 7 years.
- Families with more than 4 dependents qualify with a investment of $300,000 and are charged $15,000 for each additional dependent and must hold the investment for 5 years. (The maximum amount of dependents that can be included on any 1 application is 8)
The Covid-19 Relief Bond provides both a secure investment for foreign investors by guaranteeing the return of capital at the end of the investment term. Investors must take into account that the bonds must be held for the entire investment period and that no returns will be paid out during this time.
The Covid-19 Relief bond comes in at half the cost of the existing government bond option and while the initial outlay is more than $100,000 donation route the return of capital after a period of 5 years makes this a more cost-effective alternative to the donation option in the long run.
There is no processing fee but instead an fund admin fee of $30,000 USD. The new route will be available until the end of the year.
Besides the introduction of the Covid-19 Relief Fund and a number of changes have been made to the St. Lucian Citizenship by Investment program in order to increase demand. These change include some reduction in fees for the NEF donation option, structural changes to allow much of the application process to be done remotely and a streamlined investment procedure. Overall, the changes are extremely positive and the program offers greater value to investors.