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Making the move - St Lucian partner

Making the move - St Lucian partner

Old Jul 4th 2013, 8:56 pm
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Default Making the move - St Lucian partner

Hi all.

My partner and I have been considering the move to St Lucia for a while now, and think we will look to make the move in around a years time. I do have a few questions, not on the island as we have visited many times, but on making the move.

My partner is St Lucian born and is a citizen, which I understand could make the move easier. We are also likely to be married before we make the move, but if we werent, would this make it harder for me? And would I be able to gain citizenship or would it take a while for me to get this?

We will be saving hard for a year or two before we make the move so we will have enough to buy a small property close to his family when we move. Although, if we dont its not a problem for us to live with family for however long it takes. How hard would it be for us to buy a house as he is a citizen? Also, does anyone know about bringing cash from the UK to St Lucia in large amounts? Would there be any tax or fees to pay?

Work wise, he will be able to get a job with family, as for me, if I were to gain citizenship would this help me gaining a job or would it not make a difference? I have a wide range of experience in fields such as childcare, bar work, admin/office role, and I am currently working in a hospital doing admin work. Are any of these areas lacking in applicants? As we would be living with family/buying a property, it would not be the end of the world if only my partner could get a job, but I tend to get bored when Im not working!

Thanks for any advice in advance
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Old Jul 6th 2013, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Making the move - St Lucian partner

Originally Posted by AmyLMurray View Post
Hi all.

My partner and I have been considering the move to St Lucia for a while now, and think we will look to make the move in around a years time. I do have a few questions, not on the island as we have visited many times, but on making the move.

My partner is St Lucian born and is a citizen, which I understand could make the move easier. We are also likely to be married before we make the move, but if we werent, would this make it harder for me? And would I be able to gain citizenship or would it take a while for me to get this?

We will be saving hard for a year or two before we make the move so we will have enough to buy a small property close to his family when we move. Although, if we dont its not a problem for us to live with family for however long it takes. How hard would it be for us to buy a house as he is a citizen? Also, does anyone know about bringing cash from the UK to St Lucia in large amounts? Would there be any tax or fees to pay?

Work wise, he will be able to get a job with family, as for me, if I were to gain citizenship would this help me gaining a job or would it not make a difference? I have a wide range of experience in fields such as childcare, bar work, admin/office role, and I am currently working in a hospital doing admin work. Are any of these areas lacking in applicants? As we would be living with family/buying a property, it would not be the end of the world if only my partner could get a job, but I tend to get bored when Im not working!

Thanks for any advice in advance
My first piece of advice would be that you will be in a much stronger position if you are married as you will then become a St Lucian via marriage and will not be restricted. You will still have to get your N.I number etc as a spouse before you can work. Your husband is already a St Lucian so there will be no restrictions on you buying a property. I would say build up a good support network and use them as a lot of the non professional jobs go by way of mouth and recommendation. Just remember the pace of life in St Lucia is much slower than in England so make sure you are prepared for that. Have you considered buying a piece of land and building a new home. This can work out cheaper, especially if you are only building a simple home.
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Old Jul 6th 2013, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Making the move - St Lucian partner

Thanks pgtips

I think it is very likely we will be married before we move so hopefully this will make the process a whole lot easier.

Obviously it also makes it a lot easier to have so much family around as I know they will be able to help ie with jobs, lots work for hotels etc. so should be no problem with that. I was also considering nanny work as I have seen some other expats in need of a nanny so something to consider.

Yes, we have thought about buying a piece of land and building, especially since we wont be in desperate need of a place, we will be able to stay with family for as long as it takes us to find somewhere so this could be a good option.

Yes, I cant wait for the slower life style, being so stressed here in the UK is not good for me!
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Old Jul 7th 2013, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Making the move - St Lucian partner

Originally Posted by AmyLMurray View Post
Thanks pgtips

I think it is very likely we will be married before we move so hopefully this will make the process a whole lot easier.

Obviously it also makes it a lot easier to have so much family around as I know they will be able to help ie with jobs, lots work for hotels etc. so should be no problem with that. I was also considering nanny work as I have seen some other expats in need of a nanny so something to consider.

Yes, we have thought about buying a piece of land and building, especially since we wont be in desperate need of a place, we will be able to stay with family for as long as it takes us to find somewhere so this could be a good option.

Yes, I cant wait for the slower life style, being so stressed here in the UK is not good for me!
I'm not sure if it makes sense to you but you can set up a St Lucia company to own your property jointly (actually 55% the St Lucian 45% the non) and this can be a more favourable arrangement for holding family assets - seek further legal advice ref this.

Personally, I would say that buying an existing property - if it meets your needs ref proximity to family - is a better way to go as there is better value and there is plenty of general supply, it is a buyer's market, and there is less potential for hassle. I also believe that at present if you add up the cost of the land, the property that you have to put on it and other costs, the resultant value will actually unlikely be what you have paid in total for it.

The St Lucia real estate market is soft like that in the rest of the Caribbean while building contractors are not tending to sharpen their pencil when it comes to pricing because the slowness it seems is giving them a tendency to still charge top-whack for what they actually get rather than their working to stimulate construction in general by charging at more moderate levels - groan!

Ref transferring money into St Lucia one only has to tag the money as being from savings to pass the anti money-laundering requirements here. There is no potential tax on transfer of capital/savings when arriving in St Lucia.

For me, it has been easiest to transfer US dollars into the island by wire as the system seems to work much better than transferring Sterling, but I guess it depends upon what you have at the other end.

Note the foreign exchange facilities on BE which could help if you are converting Sterling to EC$ as EC is pegged to the USD.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jul 7th 2013 at 5:42 pm. Reason: Ref transferring money into St Lucia......
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Old Sep 9th 2013, 7:18 pm
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Default Re: Making the move - St Lucian partner

Sorry for late posting - a rule of thumb for mid income families moving to any Caribbean island - Buy NOT build. ( unless you know the construction trade)
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Old Sep 9th 2013, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Making the move - St Lucian partner

Thank anuny.

Is there a specific reason for that? He has family in the construction trade and my partner is in the construction trade in the UK so him and his family would be able to do a lot of the work themselves.
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Old Sep 10th 2013, 3:18 am
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Default Re: Making the move - St Lucian partner

Originally Posted by AmyLMurray View Post
Thank anuny.

Is there a specific reason for that? He has family in the construction trade and my partner is in the construction trade in the UK so him and his family would be able to do a lot of the work themselves.
Not knowing how buildings are put together, and the by laws in one's own country is a PITA, let alone in another.


For various reasons there are a lot of unfinished, and half finished structures dotting the otherwise beautiful countryside.
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 1:25 am
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Default Re: Making the move - St Lucian partner

I agree with Pistol Pete! Buy! There are so many nice homes available and it will cost you much less than building. You can use your construction skills for the extensive upkeep you will need to do in order to keep a home in the Caribbean maintained!
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Making the move - St Lucian partner

I have noted from the amount of time, money and effort a cousin of mine has put into building his dream house in St Lucia he may well of been better off buying. I have noticed some properties languishing on the market for a very long time now and with some good negotiation skills I am sure you can pick up a bargain. There was a tax break on building materials but I am not sure if this has made a huge difference to overall build cost.
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