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What's the process of buying a 'slice of paradise' in St Lucia?

What's the process of buying a 'slice of paradise' in St Lucia?

Fri 03 May 2024


Buying a home in St Lucia does not need to be daunting. The method of buying property and land for UK residents is different, however our local expert Asnia Ste Marie will guide you every step of the way.

Asnia will ensure buyers understand the documents required and the timescale for their submission to the relevant authorities in what is actually a fairly straightforward process - with our help.

Marigot Bay, St Lucia. 

The basic premise is that if you are a UK resident and wish to buy, lease, acquire or develop property and/or land in St Lucia, you need a licence. 

The rules surrounding this changed when the new Alien Landholding (Licensing) Act (No. 1 of 2020) became law in March 2020 followed by the attendant Alien Landholding (Licensing) Regulations (S.I. No. 70 of 2020) subsequently thereafter. 

If you intend to buy as an investment with the intention of gaining citizenship, the process is different again as you can apply for a licence separately to the Citizen by Investment Unit (CIU) on the island. Asnia can advise accordingly.

None of these rules apply, however, if you are already a resident in the Caribbean; for instance in St Lucia or Antigua, Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. 

For UK residents, initially, after you make an offer which is accepted, we will help you make an application for a Certificate of Eligibility before a submission to acquire the Alien licence itself. 

It is standard practice to pay a 10% deposit on the price of the property/land which is held in escrow, ie: temporarily until the sale completes.

You will need a local solicitor in St Lucia to prepare the documents and submissions for the licence and we can advise you on a firm to use.

They will prepare a Deed of Sale and do their due diligence along with applying for the Certificate of Eligibility - all of which requires buyers to submit various documents which differ according to whether you are buying as an individual or through a business. 

Documents you will need which differ from those needed when buying property or land in the UK, include a police certificate verifying you are of good character or an equivalent form (we can advise you more on this) your birth certificate and a bank reference letter. Others include the usual formal documents required such as proof of ID and your address.

Once the Certificate of Eligibility has been approved, a second application can be made by your solicitor in St Lucia for the actual Alien licence. 

Again, the requirements vary according to what you have purchased; land, residential or commercial property and there can be some exemptions.

The process of buying a property like this with lush, tropical views in St Lucia is relatively straightforward with the help of our St Lucia office.

Once you have the licence, it doesn't need to be renewed going forwards and you enter the final stages of the purchase.

This involves paying various taxes and fees and finally, the balance of the price of the property at which point the Deed of Sale is transferred to you meaning you are the rightful owner.

In terms of fees, there is a non-refundable application fee which costs around US$1,978 (around £1,580 depending on exchange rate) and then the cost of the licence itself which varies depending on the size of land/and or property you are purchasing and whether it's being held in trust.

Then there is stamp duty (2%) and lawyers' fees on top - again these vary but expect to pay in the region of 4% of the property/land price.

In terms of residing in St Lucia once purchasing, you can do so with a visa, which you will need to renew every three months - however after living on the island continuously for at least five years, you can obtain permanent citizenship. 

If you are an investor, you can potentially obtain citizenship through the CIU - however you would need to make a non-refundable contribution to the St Lucia National Economic Fund of US$125,064 (around £100,000 depending on the exchange rate) so the former route is usually the best option.

"Buying property and/or land in St Lucia may seem very different to doing so in the UK but actually we find it is a much simpler, straightforward process and we aim to guide our buyers every step of the way to make it a stress-free experience," said Asnia Ste Marie.

To find out more about buying property/land in St Lucia and to see what our office has to offer you either as an individual or investor buyer, please contact Asnia Ste Marie, manager of our St Lucia office by emailing or contact her on +1 (758) 716 7133.

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