One consequence of global unrest is an increase in global migration. There are now more than 258 million people living in a country other than their country of birth, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This is an increase of 49 percent since 2000.
In particular, there has been increased demand from High Net Worth Individuals in these jurisdictions seeking second passports as a way to protect themselves and their families from the risks caused by external political and economic factors beyond their control.
The 2018 Global Risks Report, developed with the support of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Advisory Board, said that this was "another year of heightened concern." The report based its conclusions on the annual Global Risks Perception Survey. Out of nearly 1,000 experts asked for their views about the trajectory of risks in 2018, nearly 60 percent of the answers pointed to an intensification of risks.
Obtaining a second citizenship gives a person options and security, much like buying insurance. It can provide a bolt-hole for hard-earned wealth and even a new home for those wrongly persecuted by unfair governments. A second citizenship also provides those in need with another passport to travel visa free, as many unsettled country’s passports afford very restricted international mobility.
OPPORTUNITY TO BE FOUND IN THE U.S.
Donald Trump, in his speech to world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, referred to the United States’ economic achievements during his first year in office. These included cutting corporation tax and lowering the unemployment rate. Trump stated that the U.S. was more attractive than ever to foreign investment. In his own words:
"I'm here to deliver a simple message - there has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States. America is open for business and we are competitive once again."
This upbeat message is supported by fact. The U.S. annual economic growth for 2017 was 2.3 percent, up from 1.5 percent in 2016.
So naturally, the U.S. is very popular with those wanting to escape high risk regimes.
But this coincides with a time when the U.S. is tightening border control and immigration, so what are foreign HNWI's to do?
THE BENEFITS OF HOLDING A US E2 INVESTOR VISA
Historically, entry to the United States for many foreign nationals has been achieved by obtaining permanent residence through a "green card" by way of the EB-5 investment program. However, these visas are strictly controlled, have long waiting lists in many countries, and require a substantial amount of money to be put at risk within strictly defined criteria.
As an alternative, an E-2 investor visa provides HNWIs with a relatively quick and easy way to acquire, or set up, an operating business in the United States and move there to operate it.
Spouses of E-2 investor visa holders may also enter and work in the U.S. Their children under the age of 21 may attend public or private schools and, in many states, are eligible for in-state university tuition pricing.
E-2 visa processing times are fast and successful applicants are usually approved within 60 days of applying. This means that foreign nationals can enter and be living in the U.S. in next to no time compared with the EB-5 process, which can now take up to 13 years for some nationalities, like the Chinese. While the EB-5 program requires at least a $500,000 investment and the creation of 10 jobs, an E-2 investment is much more loosely defined. The E-2 visa is granted for a period of one to five years and can usually be renewed as many times as needed, provided the underlying investment still qualifies.
HNWIs and their family members can spend as much or as little time in the U.S. as they wish and, provided they do not exceed their limit of days, they will not incur U.S. liability.
GRENADA'S CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM
Only citizens of countries that have a bilateral treaty with the United States are eligible to apply for an E-2 investor visa.
Of over 70 countries that have an E-2 visa treaty with the US, Grenada is the only country that offers a pathway to citizenship through an investment program, without requiring an individual to first reside there for a number of years.
Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment program is known for its rigorous due diligence, which ensures that successful applicants can rest easy knowing that the integrity of their new citizenship is protected. Despite the extensive due diligence carried out on applicants, processing times seldom exceed four to five months.
Applicants must contribute either $200,000 as a donation to the government or invest a minimum of $350,000 in a government-approved real estate project. If they choose the latter, the investor only needs to “hold” the property investment for three years before selling. In addition, there are certain government fees and taxes to pay on top of the capital cost.
Applicants must be of outstanding character, in good health and have no criminal record. There is no requirement to visit for an interview for the Grenada citizenship program. In fact, there is no need to travel to the country to complete the application or to reside there once citizenship is approved.
GRENADA'S CBI PROGRAM IN HARMONY WITH U.S. E-2 VISA
Generally, if you are in the market for a second citizenship, you want it quickly with minimum hassle and maximum global access. If the property you are buying has a similar resale value to your initial investment cost, you may well have found the perfect citizenship package.
Citizenship of Grenada grants you visa-free travel to 124 countries including the E.U. Schengen area, the UK, China, Russia, Singapore and the UAE.
It is one of a select few countries in the world that has a 30-Day Stay Permit (visa waiver) with China.
But the most exciting part: once your Grenadian citizenship is approved you can apply for the U.S. E-2 visa. Grenada is the only country in the world that has an active CBI program and whose citizens are eligible for the U.S. E-2 Investor Visa, which allows foreign nationals to start businesses in the U.S. and live there to operate them.
Grenada’s CBI program is a fast, financially sound citizenship investment opportunity that gives global access rights that other CBI programmes around the world simply cannot rival.