In light of growing unrest in some parts of the world, the demand for global migration is increasing. One of the option destinations for a second passport is the island of Grenada in the Caribbean, which citizenship allows investors to quality for the U.S. E-2 Investor Visa.
Grenada Investment Immigration Programs Overview
After launching a new marketing strategy in 2015, Grenada’s CBI program has been booming, and now draws well over $100 million a year in revenues for the Caribbean island. Though not the cheapest of the Caribbean programs, Grenada positions itself as a more boutique and discreet program where quality not quantity is the goal.
The donation-based program is still very affordable, at a newly reduced price of $150,000 for an individual investor or $200,000 for a family of four. A $350,000 real-estate investment option provides an additional option for applicants who prefer to make a real investment, with the potential for future returns. By opting for the investment route, applicants also create a true 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 E2 option.
Unique selling points for Grenada include visa free travel to China. Grenada is currently the only country in the world with an active citizenship program and an E-2 treaty with the United States. That’s prompting a growing number of investors, many from China, to use Grenada as a bonafide route to live in the U.S. and an alternative to the EB-5 program.
RESIDENCY BY INVESTMENT
Grenada offers a full citizenship option but no equivalent program for investors seeking residency without full citizenship. It’s possible to acquire permanent residency in Grenada through other means, such as by converting an existing employment visa, but for investors, full citizenship is the easiest and most attractive option.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications for Grenada’s CBI program can only be processed by designated local agents, who in turn can only be approached by approved international marketing agents, so the first step for would-be applicants is to select an international marketing agent to handle their application. Many of the approved developments are also approved marketing agents.
Applicants must submit a fairly standard set of paperwork, including a medical examination, and if applying through the real estate track 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 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 136 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 US, 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. After an unsettled period following Grenada’s independence from Britain, marked by a short lived coup and culminating in the intervention by the US in 1983, Grenada has settled into a prolonged period of political stability. Though hard-hit by a hurricane in 2004, the island lies technically below the de facto hurricane belt, and escapes the devastation that big storms bring to other islands in the region.
Citizenship By Investment
Grenada’s CBI program offers two main options:
- Donation: The most straightforward and popular option is to invest in Grenada’s National Transformation Fund, which funds a range of tourism, agriculture and alternative energy projects. The donation is pegged at $150,000 for an individual investor, or $200,000 for the investor, their spouse, and up to two dependents, plus $25,000 for any additional dependents.
- Real estate: More ambitious applicants can invest $350,000 in an approved real estate project. At least 16 projects, including hotels, villas, and even an aquaculture enterprise, have been approved so far. The core real estate investment covers an investor and all their dependents, but investors must also make a government donation of $50,000 per person for the applicant and up to three dependents, and $25,000 per person for any additional dependent.
Applicants must also pay $8,000 per adult and $4,000 per child in application, processing and due diligence fees, regardless of which investment option they select. A recent tweak to the CBI program rules means that investors can now include children aged up to 30, and dependent parents aged 55 or more.