Citizenship Investment Act 2015

Link to law: http://www.palemene.ws/new/wp-content/uploads/01.Acts/Acts%202015/Citizenship-Investment-Act-2015-Eng.pdf

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rangement of Provisions

PART 1
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement
2. Interpretation
3. Application

PART 2
ELIGIBILITY AND
APPLICATION FOR
INVESTMENT

4. Recognised countries
5. Qualifying investment
6. Eligibility for investment
7. Investment on land
8. Applications
9. Due diligence
10. Processing of applications
11. Temporary resident permit

PART 3
CITIZENSHIP
INVESTMENTCOMMITTEE

12. Establishment
13. Functions
14. Meetings
15. Appeal

PART 4
RESIDENT PERMIT
AND CITIZENSHIP

16. Permanent resident permit
17. Granting of citizenship by
investment
18. Conditions of citizenship by
investment
19. Cancellation of permit or
citizenship

PART 5
MISCELLANEOUS

20. Promotion and marketing
21. Agents
22. Annual reports
23. Determined amount and
approved forms
24. Regulations and amendment
of Schedule
25. Consequential amendments

Schedule
__________



2 Citizenship Investment 2015, No. 48

2015, No. 48

AN ACT to regulate citizenship by investment to foreigners
who make qualifying investments and for related
purposes. [05th
November 2015]

BE IT ENACTED by the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in
Parliament assembled as follows:

PART 1
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement - This Act may be cited as
the Citizenship Investment Act 2015, and commences on a date
nominated by the Minister.

2. Interpretation-(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise
requires:
“agent” means an investor’s agent approved under section 21;
“Appeal Panel” or “Panel” means the Appeal Panel appointed
under section 15;
“application” means an application made under section 8;
“charitable trust” means a trust incorporated under the
Charitable Trusts Act 1965, and includes a church, other
religious organisation, non-government school or non-
governmental organisation;
“child” includes an unmarried step-child or an unmarried
legally adopted child under 18 years of the investor or
spouse;
“Citizenship Investment Committee” or “Committee” means
the Citizenship Investment Committee established by
section 12;
“determined amount” means an amount determined under
section 23;
“family member” means the spouse of the investor or an
unmarried child under 18 years of the investor or spouse;
“fixed deposit account” means the fixed deposit account of the
investor mentioned under section 8(3)(b)(i);



2015, No. 48 Citizenship Investment 3

“government development fund” means any development trust
fund established or created pursuant to any enactment for
the purpose of funding any income generating public
project;
“government land” has the meaning in the Lands, Surveys and
Environment Act 1989;
“guidelines” means guidelines issued under section 13(d);
“investment plan” means a plan setting out the details of the
proposed qualifying investment by the investor;
“investor” means an individual aged 18 years or over who is a
citizen of a recognised country;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Commerce;
“Ministry” means the Ministry responsible for Commerce;
“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made under
section 24;
“qualifying investment” means an investment in an area of
investment specified in section 5;
“recognised country” means a country to which section 4(1)
applies;
“spouse” means the wife or husband of an investor recognised
under the laws of Samoa.
(2) Reference to any amount in this Act is a reference to
Samoan Tala or its equivalent in a foreign currency.

3. Application - This Act:
(a) applies to citizens of recognised countries who apply
for citizenship by investment or have been granted
permanent resident permit or citizenship by
investment pursuant to this Act; and
(b) does not apply to customary lands or any lease, licence
or interest in it.

PART 2
ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION
FOR INVESTMENT

4. Recognised countries-(1) A citizen of any country is
entitled to apply for citizenship by investment under this Act.



4 Citizenship Investment 2015, No. 48

(2) The Minister may, by Order in the Savali, exclude any
country from the application of this Act.
(3) Any Order made under subsection (2) does not affect any
application for citizenship by investment granted (including any
associated rights and benefits) to a citizen of a country excluded
under the Order before the Order commences.

5. Qualifying investment - In order to qualify for citizenship
by investment, an investor must invest in one (1) or more
qualifying investments specified in the Schedule.

6. Eligibility for investment-(1) An investor is eligible to
apply for citizenship by investment if the investor:
(a) intends to invest in any qualifying investment; and
(b) shows an ability and willingness to invest a minimum
determined amount in a qualifying investment
within three (3) years from the date the application
is granted; and
(c) has, at the time of the application, a minimum net
worth of a determined amount; and
(d) complies with any other prescribed conditions.
(2) Any funds or assets required under this section must:
(a) be owned by the investor or jointly owned by the
investor and family members; and
(b) be earned and acquired legally; and
(c) for funds, be unencumbered; and
(d) comply with any other prescribed requirements.
(3) Until a determined amount is made for subsection (1), the
minimum determined amounts are:
(a) for subsection (1)(b), $4m; and
(b) for subsection (1)(c), $2.5m.

7. Investment on land-(1) An investor may invest, in a
qualifying investment, a determined amount in developing, within
three (3) years from the date of application, a lease of government
land.
(2) The Minister may, with the approval of Cabinet, approve
any government land from which lease may be granted pursuant
to subsection (1) for the purpose of this section.


2015, No. 48 Citizenship Investment 5

(3) The Committee may determine whether or not a lease of
government land granted to the investor before the date of
application is to be part of a qualifying investment under
subsection (1).
(4) This section is in addition to any other requirements in
section 6.

8. Applications-(1) An investor (or the investor’s agent on
behalf of the investor) may apply to the Committee for citizenship
by investment in the approved form and accompanied by the
prescribed fees for application and for due diligence.
(2) Application must also include the following information:
(a) an investment plan, in the approved form;
(b) names of family members, including their birth
certificates or official records of birth;
(c) proof of net-worth of current business and assets;
(d) audited financial statements for the last three (3)
financial years for any business in which the
investor held directorship, a senior management
role or proprietary interest;
(e) police clearance of the investor and, if relevant, any
family members in their country or countries of
citizenship or permanent residence;
(f) doctor’s reports on full medical examinations of the
investor and any family members;
(g) any other prescribed information or any other
information required by the Committee.
(3) The Committee must only consider an application if:
(a) the prescribed fees for application and for due
diligence have been paid in full; and
(b) the Committee has -
(i) proof of the opening of the fixed deposit
account and the payment into that account of
the amount required under section 10(2)(a);
and
(ii) has received the report on due diligence
check; and
(c) any other prescribed condition is met.



6 Citizenship Investment 2015, No. 48

(4) The investor must comply with any direction issued by the
Committee on any other requirement for qualifying investment or
the application.
(5) Any document attached to the application must be the
original document or a copy of the original document certified by
a lawyer in Samoa or of the country where the investor resides.

9. Due diligence-(1) The Committee may engage a qualified
and experienced individual or entity to conduct due diligence
check on the investor and any family member.
(2) The investor and any family member are treated as having
consented to due diligence being carried out on them under this
Act.
(3) The Committee may also interview the investor and family
member in Samoa or through any means of audio-visual or
telecommunication from a place outside Samoa.
(4) The Committee may consult any other person in Samoa or
another country for the purpose of due diligence.
(5) The due diligence requirements and processes are as
prescribed.

10. Processing of applications-(1) The application must not
be granted if the investor or, where applicable, a family member:
(a) has or is believed to have provided false or misleading
information in the application or information in
support of the application; or
(b) is subject to any investigation for an offence specified
under paragraph (c) committed in Samoa or
another country; or
(c) has been convicted in Samoa or any other country for
an offence for which the penalty is a fine of at least
500 penalty units (or its equivalent), or
imprisonment of at least two (2) years; or
(d) is considered a potential national security risk to
Samoa or any other country; or
(e) is involved in any activity that causes or likely to cause
disrepute to Samoa; or



2015, No. 48 Citizenship Investment 7

(f) has been denied entry to Samoa or any other country to
which Samoa has an arrangement for visa-free
travel; or
(g) fails to comply with any other prescribed requirement.
(2) When an application is granted, the formal approval must
not be issued unless the investor:
(a) deposits at least 70% (or instead a prescribed
percentage of at least 50%) of the investment sum
under section 6(1)(b) in a fixed deposit account in
a bank or financial institution in Samoa; and
(b) complete and sign all documents required for payment
or investment of all sums to implement the
investment plan pursuant to any guidelines; and
(c) complies with any other prescribed requirements.
(3) If the application is refused, the Committee must give
reasons for the refusal and send the decision and reasons to the
investor or agent within 15 working days of the refusal.
11. Temporary resident permit - When the application is
lodged by the investor, the investor and any family member may
be issued with temporary resident permits for business purpose
under the Immigration Act 2004 to allow the investor and any
family member to pursue the application in Samoa.
PART 3
CITIZENSHIP INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
12. Establishment-(1) The Citizenship Investment Committee
is established comprising the following members:
(a) the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry, as
Chairperson;
(b) the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry responsible
for Finance;
(c) the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry responsible
for Revenue;
(d) the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Prime
Minister and Cabinet;
(e) the Governor of the Central Bank of Samoa.



8 Citizenship Investment 2015, No. 48

(2) The Committee may invite any person or officer of any
statutory body to advise or assist the Committee when considering
any application or matter but the person or officer has no right to
vote on the application or matter before the Committee.

13. Functions - The Committee has the following functions:
(a) to receive, process, determine and, with or without
conditions, grant applications;
(b) when approving an application, to recommend to the
Minister responsible for Immigration the granting
of permanent resident permit;
(c) to continuously monitor the qualifying investments to
ensure compliance with international best
practices, investment plan or guidelines;
(d) to issue guidelines for the purpose of this Act;
(e) to provide report to the Minister on its functions, duties
and powers when required by the Minister;
(f) to carry out other functions under this Act or any other
enactment.

14. Meetings-(1) The following rules apply at a meeting of
the Committee:
(a) meetings may be convened by the Chairperson once a
month or as necessary to carry out its functions,
duties and powers under this Act or any other
enactment;
(b) a meeting is to be chaired by the Chairperson or a
member elected by the members present, if the
Chairperson is absent;
(c) four (4) members constitute a quorum;
(d) the presiding member has a deliberative vote and a
casting vote;
(e) a decision is the decision supported by majority of the
members;
(f) minutes are to be kept and maintained by the
Committee.
(2) Subject to this Act, the Committee may regulate its own
procedures.



2015, No. 48 Citizenship Investment 9

(3) The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry may appoint a
senior officer of the Ministry to be the Secretary of the
Committee.

15. Appeal-(1) The Head of State acting on the advice of
Cabinet may appoint the Appeal Panel comprising the following
members:
(a) a lawyer with at least eight (8) years legal practice, as
chairperson; and
(b) two (2) other members who are qualified and have
extensive experience in finance, trade, investment,
commerce, economics or other prescribed
qualification or experience.
(2) An applicant whose application is refused may, in person
or through an agent, appeal (in the approved form and
accompanied by the prescribed fee) to the Appeal Panel.
(3) The Panel may, pursuant to prescribed procedures:
(a) hear and determine the appeal; and
(b) dismiss the appeal and confirm the decision of the
Council to grant the application; or
(c) allow the appeal and grant the application for
citizenship.
(4) If the Panel grants the application for citizenship, the
Committee must carry out its function under section 13(b).
(5) The Panel may require further information from the
investor or further due diligence check to be carried out under
section 9.

PART 4
RESIDENT PERMIT AND CITIZENSHIP
16. Permanent resident permit-(1) When an application is
granted under section 13(a), the investor and any family member
are entitled to be granted a permanent resident permit for three (3)
years under the Immigration Act 2004.
(2) The resident permit is subject to the following conditions:
(a) the investor -



10 Citizenship Investment 2015, No. 48

(i) may withdraw any amount in the fixed
deposit account to be used in accordance with
the investment plan; but
(ii) must maintain at least 15% of the
original sum deposited in that account; and
(b) any other prescribed condition.
(3) The Committee may, during the 3-year period of
permanent residence of the investor, continue to review and
monitor the progress of the qualifying investment pursuant to the
investment plan or guidelines or as the Committee considers fit.
17. Granting of citizenship by investment-(1) Within three
(3) months before the expiry of the investor’s permanent resident
permit, the investor, including any family member, may apply in
person or through the investor’s agent for citizenship by
permanent residence pursuant to section 8 of the Citizenship Act
2004, if the investor:
(a) (including a family member or members) has resided
in Samoa for at least 15 days a year during the 3-
year period of the permanent resident permit; and
(b) has complied with the investment plan to the
satisfaction of the Committee; and
(c) (including a family member or members) has complied
with any other prescribed requirement.
(2) A copy of the application for citizenship must be sent to
the Committee for its report on the status of the qualifying
investment to be given by the Committee to the Minister
responsible for citizenship when considering the application for
citizenship by the investor.
(3) The investor may apply under the Immigration Act 2004 to
extend his or her (including any family members) permanent
resident permit if the permanent resident permit expires before the
citizenship is granted.
18. Conditions of citizenship by investment-(1) A
citizenship by investment is subject to the following conditions:
(a) as an exception to sections 6 and 7 of the Passports Act
2008, any passport issued under that Act to an
investor or any family member is valid for five (5)



2015, No. 48 Citizenship Investment 11

years, subject to renewals for another five (5) years
under that Act;
(b) upon granting of citizenship, the investor is entitled to
invest in any other business or economic activities
listed under the Reserved List and the Restricted
List in Schedules 1 and 2 of the Foreign
Investment Act 2000;
(c) any investment made must be retained by the investor
for at least five (5) years;
(d) any other prescribed conditions.
(2) The investor may sell an investment within the 5-year
period specified under subsection (1)(c), but the investor must
invest a minimum determined amount in another qualifying
investment business.
(3) If there is no determined amount for subsection (2), the
minimum determined amount for that subsection is $1m.
19. Cancellation of permit or citizenship-(1) A permanent
resident permit or citizenship by investment may be cancelled
under the Immigration Act 2004 or the Citizenship Act 2004 (as
the case may be) if the investor:
(a) fails to carry out the qualifying investment as required
under the investment plan to the satisfaction of the
Committee; or
(b) fails to maintain the minimum determined amount
under section 6(1)(b), subject to section 16(2); or
(c) (or a family member) has been convicted in Samoa or
any other country for an offence for which the
penalty is a fine of at least 500 penalty units or
imprisonment of at least five (5) years
imprisonment; or
(d) (or a family member) becomes a potential national
security risk to Samoa or any other country; or
(e) (or a family member) is involved in any activity that
causes or likely to cause disrepute to Samoa; or
(f) (or a family member) provided false or misleading
statement or information upon which the
application was granted; or



12 Citizenship Investment 2015, No. 48

(g) (or a family member) fails to comply with any other
prescribed requirement.
(2) This section does not affect the provisions of the
Citizenship Act 2004 and the Immigration Act 2004 on
cancellation of permanent resident permit or citizenship under
those Acts.
(3) If a permanent resident permit or a citizenship by
investment is cancelled under this Act or any other enactment, the
investor has the right to sell or dispose any property being
invested and to repatriate any funds out of Samoa pursuant to the
laws of Samoa.

PART 5
MISCELLANEOUS

20. Promotion and marketing-(1) A person must not
promote or market, in Samoa or another country, the citizenship
by investment scheme under this Act unless the Minister approves
the person (“approval”) to undertake the promotion or marketing.
(2) This section does not apply to:
(a) a Ministry or other government agency; or
(b) the Samoa Tourism Authority; or
(c) other prescribed person or class of persons.
(3) A person who intends to undertake promotion or
marketing under this Act may apply to the Minister in the
approved form accompanied by the prescribed fee.
(4) A person must not be given an approval unless the person
has the qualification, experience, skills, expertise and integrity to
undertake the promotion or marketing of citizenship by
investment scheme under this Act.
(5) The Minister may:
(a) impose any condition on the approval; or
(b) amend, suspend or revoke any condition; or
(c) impose any new condition; or
(d) amend, suspend or, for cause, revoke the approval.
(6) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an
offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 50
penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2)
years, or both.


2015, No. 48 Citizenship Investment 13

21. Agents-(1) A person must not act as an agent under this
Act unless the person is approved (“approval”) by the Minister.
(2) An investor may apply for citizenship by investment
through an agent in Samoa approved under this section.
(3) The Minister may:
(a) impose any condition on the approval; or
(b) amend, suspend or revoke any condition; or
(c) impose any new condition; or
(d) amend, suspend or, for cause, revoke the approval.
(4) A person who intends to be an agent may send an
application (in the approved form and accompanied by the
prescribed fee) to the Committee to process and submit the
application to the Minister for determination.
(5) An agent must inform the Committee of the following:
(a) the registered office or principal place of business;
(b) any change in the registered office or principal place of
business;
(c) any other matter required by the Committee relating to
the agency.
(6) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an
offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 50
penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2)
years, or both.

22. Annual reports-(1) The Committee must, before 30 June
each year, prepare and submit to the Minister an annual report of
the previous calendar year.
(2) The annual report must set out the following:
(a) any application pending, refused, appealed or granted;
(b) the details of the investors and any family members
who have been granted permanent resident permits
or citizenship by investment;
(c) the amount of investment and the qualifying
investments relating to applications granted;
(d) any other prescribed information or other information
considered relevant by the Committee.
(3) The Minister must present the annual report to the
Legislative Assembly pursuant to its Standing Orders, as soon as
practicable after receiving the report.


14 Citizenship Investment 2015, No. 48

23. Determined amount and approved forms-(1) The
Minister may, by Order in the Savali, determine an amount in the
following sections:
(a) for section 6, an amount not less than any amount
respectively stated in section 6(3);
(b) for section 18(3), an amount not less than $1m.
(2) A determined amount under section 6(1)(b) may specify
different amount that applies to different types of qualifying
investments.
(3) In determining an amount under this section, the Minister
may impose other conditions or take into account any prescribed
requirements.
(4) Minister may approve forms for this Act.

24. Regulations and amendment of Schedule-(1) The Head
of State, acting on the advice of Cabinet, may make regulations to
give effect to any provision or for the purpose of this Act, in
particular to make any of the following regulations:
(a) prescribe fees, subject to the approval of the National
Revenue Board established under the Public
Finance Management Act 2001;
(b) prescribe additional documents, information or other
procedures required for the purpose of this Act;
(c) prescribe any quota for citizenship to be granted for the
purpose of this Act;
(d) prescribe any matter required to be prescribed under
this Act.
(2) Any prescribed fee payable under this Act is non-
refundable.
(3) The Minister may, by Order in the Savali, amend the
Schedule.

25. Consequential amendments-(1) For section 6 of the
Passports Act 2008, after subsection (2) insert:

“(3) This section and section 7 are subject to section
18(1)(a) of the Citizenship Investment Act 2015.”.



2015, No. 48 Citizenship Investment 15

(2) For section 8 of the Citizenship Act 2004, after subsection
(2), insert:

“(3) For the purposes of the Citizenship Investment Act
2015, the Minister may, on application, grant citizenship by
permanent residence to an investor (including any family
member) who:
(a) has continuously held a valid permanent resident
permit in Samoa for three (3) years from the
date the permit was granted; and
(b) has resided in Samoa as required under section
17(1)(a) of the Citizenship Investment Act
2015; and
(c) is of good health and character; and
(d) understands the responsibilities and privileges of
being a citizen of Samoa; and
(e) has paid the required fee under this Act; and
(f) has complied with any other prescribed
requirements.
(4) When determining an application under subsection (3),
the Minister must also take into account the report of the
Citizenship Investment Committee (established under the
Citizenship Investment Act 2015) required under section
17(2) of that Act.”.

(3) For section 14 of the Immigration Act 2004, after
subsection (3) insert:

“(4) As an exception to subsections (2) and (3), the
Minister may grant a permanent resident permit for three (3)
years to an investor (including any family member) whose
application has been granted under section 13(a) of the
Citizenship Investment Act 2015.”.



16 Citizenship Investment 2015, No. 48

SCHEDULE
(section 5)

QUALIFYING INVESTMENT

The following investment areas are qualifying investments for
the purpose of this Act:
(a) leasing and developing of government lands; (b) processing or manufacturing of agricultural
produce;
(c) processing or manufacturing of fishery products; (d) tourism; (e) information or communication technology; (f) electricity generation through bio-fuel, solar, water
or wind;
(g) investment in a government development fund for the purposes of national development established
by an enactment or prescribed by regulations under
this Act or investment in a prescribed charitable
trust;
(h) any services other than any services listed in the Reserved List under the Foreign Investment Act
2000.

__________
The Citizenship Investment Act 2015 is administered
by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour.