Saint Lucia remains competitive and attractive among other CIPs in the region due to efficiency in the processing of applications of potential investors. The average processing time for the year 2021/202 remained 75 days having remained well below the longstanding 90 day marketed threshold. The CIP Board has however approved additional human resource and given the Unit the mandate to process compliant applications within 50 days at no extra processing fee cost to the applicant. This is to increase the attractiveness of CIP Saint Lucia to potential applicants. The CIP Board mandate to reduce processing time by almost 50% will ensure to work closely with third party stakeholders to meet the desired turnaround times. This will be facilitated by in-house training, improved capacity and the move to a paperless system which will eliminate the lags associated with delivery of process-critical documents.
CIP Unit received sharp increase in citizenship applications filed 1st quarter of 2021 (April – July). The Citizenship by Investment Unit immediately actioned out strategically on the enhancement of the Information Technology (IT) platform which is essential to the functioning of the Citizenship by Investment Programme and processing of all citizenship applications. The Unit through the IT Department enhanced the reliability of the citizenship application portal, increased server specifications, upgraded server hardware and made improvements to the overall efficiency of the IT platform
The following steps applied with processing of citizenship by investment applications received to the Unit through authorized international and marketing agents.
1.Receipt of Citizenship Application
All applications for citizenship are received in physical and electronic form. CIP Saint Lucia has a dedicated online portal which allows for the processing of applications for citizenship online.
They ensure that every applicant submits the required forms and supporting documents to allow for the processing of the application. The Verification Department ensures that all applications received are complete and in compliance with
CIP legislation and Guidelines.
Due Diligence continues to be a core foundational principle of the operations of the Citizenship by Investment Programme The Citizenship by Investment Unit has a robust multi-faceted approach to due diligence. Prior to receipt of a citizenship application, the partner agents vet the applicants through KYC (know your client) and other online database systems ensuring that the applicants are the right fit for the Saint Lucia programme. Additionally, during the verification and vetting of an application for citizenship, the Citizenship by Investment Unit works closely with local law enforcement, regional intelligence partners and third party international firms.
CIP Saint Lucia has a three-tier approach to due diligence which is standard for every applicant.
• KYC- Know Your Client (Online Database)
• Local Law Enforcement(RSLPF) & Regional Border Control
• 3rd Party – International Due Diligence Firms
The Due Diligence (DD) Department ensures that the applicant is- ‘who he says he is’ – through vetting and the conduct of due diligence on every applicant above the age of 16 years.
4.Application Review & Recommendation
Once the team are fully satisfied with the findings of an individual and sufficient information is obtained on the applicant to make an informed decision. A recommendation is prepared by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to the Board of Directors recommending the grant or denial of an application for citizenship.
The Board of Directors reviews the application and the due diligence findings on the applicant. Thereafter, a final decision is made to grant or deny an application. There may be instances where the Board may ‘delay for cause’
an application, pending further information. Once a unanimous decision is made by the Board, the applicants are thereafter informed of the decision of their application, through status: Grant, Deny, delay for cause.
The Applicant is informed of the status of his/her application. All requisite requirements must be fulfilled before the issuance of Saint Lucian Citizenship. The applicant is thereby required to make their
• Qualifying Investment – one of the four investment options
• Sign the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance to Saint Lucia and;
• Pay any applicable administrative fees
Once the applicant has met the above requirements. The individual is then issued a Certificate of Registration otherwise known as the Citizenship Certificate. Being a citizen of Saint Lucia allows for all rights and entitlements as held by any
other citizen. The citizen may, through their appointed proxy or local Agent, apply for a national insurance number, passport and national identification through the relevant governing bodies.
The Applicant is informed on the status of his/her application and the reasoning for the denial as per the governing Act. This is the end of the citizenship application process for the Unit, the Board and the applicant. The applicant is not required to make an investment or meet any other requirements.
Delayed for Cause
The Applicant is informed of the status of his/her application and a request is made for the applicant to provide clarification and/or information by means of additional documentation to the Unit and Board for further consideration and final decision. Once the applicant has provided the requested information and, the Unit and the Board are satisfied with the request, a final decision is made by the Board to grant or deny the application for citizenship.