by Tammy Fox-Isicoff
If you have clients that would like to invest in a business in the United States but are not from E treaty countries, there is a creative solution: Citizenship by investment in Grenada. Grenada has both treaties of trade (E-1) and investment (E-2) with the US, unlike countries such as Venezuela, India, China, Brazil, Russia, Vietnam Nam, Dubai, and Saudi. But what many practitioners do not know is that Grenada citizenship can be acquired by investment in a relatively short period of time. Thus, once a client has made the right investment in Grenada, the client might then qualify for an E visa. This article outlines some of the basic requirements for Grenadian citizenship by investment – and investment that can lead to E visa eligibility.
The Citizenship Investment
Grenadian citizenship appears to be surprisingly easy to acquire. There are two paths to acquiring citizenship in Grenada.
- The first path is called the NTF program. This requires a non-refundable $200,000 donation to the government. Sound easy? It is.
- The second path is a real estate investment program. This requires an investment of $350,000 in one of currently 14 government-approved real estate projects, plus an additional non-refundable $50,000 payment to the Grenadian government. The property must be held for at least three years. Beware, as there is no guaranteed buyer for the property.
Whichever path a client elects, the client should be prepared for other additional administrative expenses. Moreover, the non-refundable payments must be paid before any serious vetting of the application takes place. And the Grenada government has numerous layers of vetting that occur concurrently.
E visas for Grenada Citizens
Whether your client is interested in an E-1 visa or an E-2 visa, the advantages of this country’s E visa are several. First, the reciprocity schedule for the E visa with Grenada is 60 months. Thus, your client can get the generous grant of a 5-year visa not offered by all treaty countries. Be sure to prepare your clients thoroughly for the E visa application interview.
Other Advantages of Grenada Citizenship
Recently, the travel bans have caused a great deal of consternation for people from the banned countries. The travel bans do not apply to those traveling on third country passports, so even citizens of the six named countries could travel without being banned.
Grenada citizenship also offers the traveler the option of using another more user friendly passport to travel to the Middle East. Even U.S. citizens could obtain Grenada citizenship and use an alternate passport when traveling to the Middle East. Indeed, Grenada citizenship allows visa free travel throughout the EU and a host of other countries. Perhaps, more importantly, there are many wealthy families facing removal because of denied asylum applications. Grenada offers a nice life style with a wonderful university, medical school and veterinary school.
Acquiring Grenada Citizenship
While acquiring citizenship in any country is never an easy task, Grenadian citizenship is at the low end of the complexity scale. First, there is no requirement of residence in Grenada and no Grenada tax on worldwide income. Second, the citizenship application can include spouse, parents and dependent children under 26. And there’s another advantage that children are “protected” until age 26. This makes Grenada citizenship one of the least expensive programs for families.
Third, the applicant can acquire a residential address, especially if the applicant is using the real estate investment option. A residential address can be obtained with the donation option at a minimal additional cost. For an additional minimal fee, the Grenada government will provide a residence card with the applicant’s address on it (assuming the applicant has a residence), verifying that the applicant has a residence in Grenada Anecdotally, it appears that some EU countries are asking Grenada passport holders whether they have ever been to Grenada in order to allow them visa free entry into the EU. .It also appears that E issuance at the American Embassy in Barbados may be contingent upon having a residential address in Grenada and the Embassy would prefer that there be an entry into Grenada, but E issuance will be on a case by case basis.
There is a strict vetting process for citizenship and those declined citizenship in other Caribbean islands are ineligible for Grenada citizenship. Agents represent the investor and the investor will need to complete a detailed questionnaire. Failure to fully and properly respond to the questions will delay the application process. We are awaiting additional guidance on E visa issuance from the American Embassy in Barbados.