Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons, on its west coast. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and fishing villages. Trails in the interior rain forest lead to waterfalls like the 15m-high Toraille, which pours over a cliff into a garden. The capital, Castries, is a popular cruise port.
Saint Lucia is strategically located between the Americas and is only eight (8) hours away from Europe. Saint Lucia’s closest neighbors are Martinique to the north and St Vincent and the Grenadines to the south. The island is 27 miles long and 14 miles wide with a total area of 238 square miles or 616 square km.
The island is famously known for its two Nobel Laureates – Sir Derek Alton Walcott (Literature 1992) and Sir William Arthur Lewis (Economics 1979).
Saint Lucia is also renowned for its iconic twin peaks – the Pitons which received WORLD HERITAGE status by UNESCO in 2004. The Pitons are regarded as an important landmark and a great nautical guide to travelers. The island is also famous for its tropical rain-forests and drive-in Volcano, which is replete with therapeutic hot spring baths.
The capital city (Castries) is located in the northern section of the island and represents approximately 40% of the population. Individuals have the choice of living in or around major population centers (such as Vieux-Fort and Gros-Islet), or to live in some of the less populated towns or villages (such as Dennery, Soufriere, Anse-La-Raye) within easy reach of the capital.
Weather and climate
Saint Lucia is a tropical island bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast, and the Caribbean Sea on the west, and is located between the Americas. As a result,St Luciahas a hot, tropical climate throughout the year, balanced by the northeast trade winds. The average annual temperature is estimated between 77F (25C) and 84F (29C).
There is a two seasoned weather period on the island, like all islands in the region, the driest period on the island starts from February to May, whereas the hurricane season (the wet season) commences from June 1st to November 30th yearly. Though there is a dry and wet season, the island experiences rainfall throughout the year.
Why live in St Lucia?
Home to about 172.000 people, St. Lucia is one of the ‘bigger’ Caribbean islands. The country’s business environment has attracted many immigrants and that is only one of the things that make St Lucia a great place to work. The people of St Lucia are well educated and the infrastructure and port facilities are good, making it an inviting place for foreign investors.
St. Lucia is more mountainous than other Caribbean islands and there is plenty of beauty to see and enjoy. The famous twin peaks that form ‘The Pitons’, a drive-in volcano, the St Lucia jazz festival, scuba diving and the delicious cuisine are all things you must experience when you’re living on the island.
The official language of the country is English, but the majority of the population also speaks Saint Lucian Creole French. Trade and tourism are both essential to the island’s economy; over 350.000 people visit every year. Local products are of great quality and cheap, housing is reasonably priced and while imported products can be expensive, the sunshine and beaches are free and the cost of living is still cheaper compared to other Caribbean countries.
Business culture on the island is unlike most places. Meetings generally start with prayer, rarely begin at the agreed time and often include food. People communicate in a direct way and honesty is highly appreciated.
Residential property is available to buy or rent in the city, towns and villages throughout Saint Lucia. The prices vary between locations and are often negotiable. All non-nationals are required to obtain an Aliens Landholding License, in order to purchase property in St Lucia. The license is obtained from the Ministry with responsibility for Planning, and has to be registered by a local solicitor. The process is relatively straightforward. we recommend you to check out this article about alien landholding act St Lucia.
St Lucia Culture
There are a number of cultural festivities that are indigenous to Saint Lucia including the La Rose and La Margeurite Flower Festivals. Additionally, the island’s CARNIVAL is celebrated on the 3rd Monday and Tuesday of the month of July. Jounen Kweyol (Creole Day) is the premiere cultural festival and is celebrated on the last Sunday in October. Saint Lucia is also known for its quadrille dance and folk songs made famous by the island’s queen of folk song, the late – Dame Marie Selipha “Sesenne” Descartes.
The northern most part of the island is famously known as the entertainment hot spot, with exquisite internationally acclaimed restaurants which cater to a wide range of tastes and use of all types of international cuisines. Although the north of the island house’s the country’s famous pubs and bars, there are many other entertainment hot spots around the island every day of the week. The SAINT LUCIA’S JAZZ AND ARTS FESTIVAL is the island’s highest grossing festival and it is second only to Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival in the Caribbean region.
The island is also host to the renowned Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, the Caribbean premiere yachting event. For the spontaneous excursionist and adventure seekers, there is a litany of tour operators and sightseeing guides available daily.
There are five (5) large hotels, ten (10) luxury hotels, nine (9) all-inclusive hotels, five (5) boutique properties, eighteen (18) small hotels, thirty-four (34) villa/cottages, sixty (60) apartments, and sixteen (16)guest houses with a plethora of packages to cater to the weekend getaway personalities. There is also a multiplex cinema in the north of the island which adds to the entertainment offerings and you must know that Driving in Saint Lucia is done on the left side of the road with vehicles configured to UK and Japanese models (right-hand). To drive a vehicle, you will need to complete a driver’s license application provided that you already have a valid driver’s license from your home country. A local license is not required if you are a holder of a valid OECS or International Driving Permit. However, a transfer of license is done.
ST LUCIA CITIZENSHIP
St Lucia citizenship through family
- If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
- If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident, you are eligible for residency. If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship. Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognized in this country.
Citizenship by Investment
- If you contribute a minimum of USD$100,000 to the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund, you can apply for citizenship. The exact amount is dependent on the size of your immediate family as follows:
- Applicant applying alone: US$100,000
- Applicant applying with spouse: US$165,000
- Applicant applying with spouse and up to two (2) other qualifying dependents: US$190,000
- Each additional qualifying dependent, of any age: US$25,000
- If you invest more than USD$300,000 in approved Real Estate, you can apply for citizenship.
- If you invest more than USD$3,500,000 in an Approved Enterprise Project, you can apply for citizenship.
- If you purchase non-interest bearing Government Bonds to the value of USD$500,000 (or more depending on the size of your family) you can apply for citizenship.
The due diligence fees, processing fees and government fees are to be paid in addition to the above mentioned investment requirements depending on the investment option chosen.
The application must be submitted through a registered agent. There is an application form that you’ll need to complete. we recommend you to check out Nomad capitalist article about St Lucia citizenship by investment.
The St Lucia government website has more information on the requirements and the application process here.