National Transformation Fund
Real Estate Investment
Visa Free Travel
Grenada positions itself as a more boutique and discreet program where quality not quantity is the goal. Its due diligence system is among the strongest.
The donation-based program is still very affordable, at a reduced price of $150,000 for an individual investor or $200,000 for a family of four. A $220,000 real-estate investment option provides an additional option for applicants who prefer to make a real investment, with the potential for annual visits, future returns and eventual divestment. By opting for the investment route, applicants also create a true and more tangible nexus with Grenada. They will be able to apply for a tax id number, driver's license, open a bank account and create a strong link as the basis for other investments. This will be particularly important if applicants are considering the E- 2 visa of the United States.
Unique selling points for Grenada include visa free travel to China. Grenada is also the only Caribbean country with an active citizenship program and an E-2 treaty with the United States. This is prompting a growing number of investors from China, Vietnam, Brazil, India and other countries with no treaties with the U.S.to use Grenada as a bona fide route to live in the U.S. and an alternative to the EB-5 program.
Grenada offers a full citizenship option but no equivalent program for investors seeking residency without full citizenship. It is possible to acquire permanent residency in Grenada through other means, such as by converting an existing employment visa or purchasing real estate but for investors, full citizenship is the easiest and most attractive option.
Applications for Grenada’s CBI program can only be submitted by government-approved local agents, who in turn can only be approached by government-approved international marketing agents, so the first step for would-be applicants is to select an international marketing agent to handle their application.
Applicants must submit a fairly standard set of paperwork, including a medical examination, and if applying through the investment route must also show that they have reserved an appropriate investment through a sale and purchase agreement and lodging the investment amount in escrow with an approved escrow (local) agent. Once an application is accepted, applicants must complete the sale or make the required donation and after confirming the transaction, the applicant is issued a certificate of registration confirming their Grenadian citizenship and allowing them to apply for a passport. The entire process can be completed without investors having to travel to Grenada.
The Grenadian passport is well-regarded and allows visa-free travel to more than 143 countries and territories, including the UK and Schengen area, China, Brazil, Russia and UAE. Officials are actively seeking visa-free access to additional countries, seeing it as a major selling-point for their CBI program.
Visas are required for the U.S. and Canada, but Grenadian passport holders benefit from the right to seek E-2 visa status in the U.S., allowing long-term U.S. residency (without worldwide taxation if done properly) in exchange for a “substantial” business investment that, in practice, is usually far less than the minimum amount required for an EB-5 visa.
Relatively few CBI investors actually visit Grenada, but those who do can look forward to an idyllic Caribbean setting with an economy powered by tourism, along with an export trade in spices and tropical fruits. As the island lies technically below the de facto hurricane belt, it escapes the devastation that big storms bring to other islands in the region and generally have a year-round climate and temperature. The people are friendly and welcoming, the island has excellent infrastructure and it is east to explore the many pink and black sand beaches, hot springs, waterfalls and lakes, flora and fauna, not to mention the underwater corals, aquatic life, dive wrecks and even a sculpture park.
Updated by Richard Hallam and Sheila Harris
Grenada’s CBI program offers two main options:
Not all developments are approved at the minimum investment level of US$220,000. So for those applicants that may be interested in full freehold title and not a shareholding or shared title, there are developments that offer this opportunity from $US350,000.
Significant Investment: This option involves a significant investment into Grenada for either the purchase of real estate or the establishment of a bona fide business. For investors who are interested in applying, the minimum investment level for this sector is US $1.5 million. The more one invests, the greater control he or she has over the investment and the greater flexibility for divestment.
Applicants must pay $8,000 per adult and $4,000 per child for application, processing and due diligence fees, regardless of which investment option they select. These fees are subject to change based on the dependents’ ages. Recent reforms to the CBI program rules allow investors to include children aged up to 30, dependent parents and grandparents of any age of the main applicant and spouse, and unmarried siblings of the main applicant and spouse over the age of 18, if other conditions are met.
Updated by Richard Hallam and Sheila Harris
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