Haven for investment

With seed money of $100,000 i.e., Dh365,000 roughly, expatriates living and working in the UAE can obtain a new window of opportunity for hassle-free travel around the world With seed money of $100,000 i.e., Dh365,000 roughly, expatriates living and working in the UAE can obtain a new window of opportunity for hassle-free travel around the world



by

Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri

Published: Wed 12 Sep 2018, 10:59 AM

Last updated: Wed 12 Sep 2018, 1:06 PM

Settling in greener pastures is a dream. So is the case with the empowerment of freedom to travel worldwide. St. Lucia, an eastern Caribbean Island, is an instant and accessible answer to attain both objectives. Through its Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), St. Lucia squeezes the globe in your palm, as it makes you a global citizen. Moreover, it opens a window of opportunity for you to do business and lead a life of your choice. 
The CIP programme was launched in 2016, and is a success story since then. Hundreds of people are interested in making St. Lucia their second home and, moreover, making use of its passport to broaden their business and travel horizons. The programme is primarily aimed at attracting foreign direct investments, and at the same time enable its new citizens to benefit from plenty of opportunities that exist in trade, tourism, real estate and fixed investment.
The beauty of the programme is that the applicant shouldn't bother about his credentials in the form of education, age or nationality, as all he has to do is to meet the investment criterion, which is one of the lowest, i.e., $100,000, and wait to see his application vetted by competent authorities in St. Lucia. There is no need to travel to St. Lucia, even after the success of his application, as the new passport is good for Visa-free travel to more than 100 countries, including the Schengen zone, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. The benchmark to apply for St. Lucia citizenship is that the applicant must be at least 18 years old, good health and no criminal record. 
St. Lucia with a population of less than 200,000 is the new heartthrob destination for investors and migrants. The island, which doesn't share borders with any country, has a landmass of 617 km2, and offers four investment categories for citizenship. They are: A) investment in the National Economic Fund, B) investment in approved real estate, C) pre-approved enterprise project and D) investment in non-interest-bearing government bonds. 
The entire investment and citizenship programme enjoys cover under national legislation and is transparent to the core. Saint Lucia National Economic Fund is a special fund established under Section 33 of the Citizenship by Investment Act No. 14 of 2015. Investment Programme establishes the National Economic Fund for the sole purpose of receiving qualifying investments of donations under the Citizenship. Funds collected via the National Economic Fund shall be used for purposes, which have been approved by Cabinet as part of the national development agenda.
With seed money of $100,000, i.e., Dh365,000 roughly, expatriates living and working in the UAE can make use of the facility, and obtain a new window of opportunity for hassle-free travel around the world. It is worth an investment as it brings with it stability and peace of mind for the applicant and his immediate dependents. 
Some of the salient features of the programme are: application processing within three months; inclusion of dependent children under 25; inclusion of dependent parents above 65 (who are currently residing with the applicant); inclusion of mentally or physically challenged dependent children and/or parents; no physical residency requirements; no need to travel to St. Lucia during the application process; no interview, education or managerial experience required. Last but not the least, there isn't any tax on worldwide income. 
- mehkri@khaleejtimes.com


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