What is the Citizenship by Investment Program?
The Citizenship by Investment Program offered by Grenada allows those who apply and their families to become citizens or offers them permanent residency. Those that apply cannot apply on their own and have to take the help of licensed agents instead.
This program began in 2013 under the government’s Act of Citizenship by Investment. It was started in an attempt to attract foreign investment to the country, the revenues of which the government will later use on the tourism and offshore financial industries, as well as their manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
The variety of spices that the country produces has given it the name of “The Spice Island”. This beautiful country contains the most breathtaking waterfronts that the Caribbean Islands have to offer, which, in addition to the astounding scenery, is among the various reasons that tourists from all over the world are drawn to this place.
Investors with high net worth aren’t just lured in by the country’s sublime natural beauty, but also by the sailing, diving, beautiful beaches, fantastic restaurants, as well as the several different one-of-a-kind events.
Advantages of the Citizenship by Investment Program
- Although there are many other similar citizenship programs for other countries, Grenada is a lot cheaper than many of them.
- The processing is fast and will be completed within 4 months.
- The applicant will not be expected to sit for an interview.
- Management or educational experiences are not required.
- It is safe to invest in this program because the government of Grenada will ensure that the investment bonds are secure.
- Once an applicant receives their permanent residency, he/she will be able to apply for citizenship, and those that become citizens through the investment program will have all the rights and freedoms that a natural citizen is able to enjoy.
Map credit : http://www.freeworldmaps.net/centralamerica/grenada/
Advantages of becoming a Grenadian citizen
There are several advantages of becoming a Grenadian citizen, and these include:
- The applicant can include their dependent children under the age of 25.
- The applicant can include their parents if they are above the age of 65.
- One will not need to physically reside in the country in order to become a citizen.
- During the process of application, one will not have to travel to Grenada in person.
- A citizen will easily be able to travel to more than 100 countries around the world without visas, which includes Europe’s Schengen zone.
- Citizens of Grenada may decide to reside in the US and start and manage a business there, all thanks to the E-2 treaty, which is known as the ‘Investor Visa’ that has been signed between the US and Grenada.
- A Grenadian citizen will not need to pay taxes for any income that they may earn from outside the country.
- Grenadian citizens are allowed to have dual citizenships, so you will not need to forsake any other citizenship that you may have.
- Citizens get to live in one of the world’s most beautiful places.
Requirements of becoming a citizen
To ensure that the citizens of Grenada are protected, the government will only approve citizenships for people who are deserving of it. The applicant must meet the following criteria:
- The applicant must have no criminal records.
- The applicant must have an outstanding character.
- The applicant must have enough funds for the investment. His/her source of income must also be legal.
- The applicant must be of excellent health.
- The applicant must be at least 18 years or age.
In order to ensure that all of the requirements mentioned above are met, each and every applicant must strictly stick to their procedures with diligence throughout the whole period. Not to mention, he/she must present their application alongside their supporting document. Some of these documents include:
- A police certificate.
- A medical certificate to prove that the applicant and his/her family members do not suffer from any diseases and that they are in good health.
The 2 ways of becoming a citizen
There are 2 routes that one can take in order to become a citizen in Grenada, and they are:
- By investing in a real estate project that has been approved by the government in Grenada.
- By contributing to the fund of national Transformation.
Investing in real estate
When investing in real estate, one has to make sure that the project that they’re about to invest in has been approved by the government. The projects that one can invest in include villas, hotels, and resorts. This is due to the increase in tourism in the country, which, in turn, has increased the demand for housing facilities for these tourists. For investors that are looking to make a good deal of profits, this is an excellent opportunity.
Those that decide to invest in real estate need to own the property for 3 years or more after they receive the citizenship grant. The costs of real estate investment are:
- Minimum investment amount: $350,000
- Application fee: $1500 per person
- Government fee: A single applicant will have to pay $50,000, and the cost is the same for both the married applicant and his/her spouse, as well as for the applicant and his/her family of 4 (applicant + spouse + 2 dependents). However, if the applicant has more than 2 dependents, then the applicant will have to pay an additional $25,000 per dependent after the applicant’s third dependent.
- Due diligence fee: each person above the age of 18 will have to pay $5000, but if the applicant has dependents between the ages of 12-17, then the cost for those dependents will be $2000 per person.
- Processing fee: $1500 for each person above the age of 18, while the cost for dependents below the age of 18 will be $500.
Contributing to the NTF
The NTF is a fund that belongs to the government, which is also known as the National Transformation Fund. This fund finances projects that help with Grenada’s diversification and also helps its economy. A one-time contribution is necessary if an applicant is interested in pursuing this route. Those that choose this route may choose to apply for citizenship immediately, or apply for a permanent residence (PR) first before applying for the citizenship. The following are the costs that the applicant will have to pay:
- Minimum required amount: $200,000; however, if an applicant has more than 2 dependents, then an extra $25,000 is required for each dependent after the applicant’s third dependent.
- Application fee: $1500 for each person.
- Processing fee: $1500 for each person above the age of 18. For the dependents below the age of 18, the applicant will have to pay $500 per person.
- Due diligence fee: The cost is $5000 for each person above the age of 18, while the cost for each dependent between the ages of 12-17 is $2000.
Applying for the Citizenship by Investment Program
A person can only apply for the citizenship program if they fulfil the necessary requirements.
- The potential applicant has to first begin by contacting an International Marketing Agent that is authorized. That is because applications for citizenships cannot be submitted directly to the CBIC and must be handled by an agent instead. The International Marketing Agent will then get in touch with a Local Agent that is, once again, authorized. The applicants aren’t allowed to contact Local Agents on their own.
- The Local Agent then assists the applicant with the preparation of the necessary documents for submission. The applicant will have to have a medical exam, complete the official forms, and get the necessary supporting documents. These documents must all be in English and legalized as necessary. For those purchasing real estate, the supporting documents should be reserved in an agreement of sale and purchase. The Local Agent should be able to provide the applicant with the necessary advice.
- The Local Agent will submit the application to CBIC once it is completed. The agent then becomes responsible for keeping in touch with the CBIC in terms of all the questions or queries that the applicant’s file may arise. So far, the applicant is not expected to sit for a mandatory interview for the citizenship program.
- A thorough check is then done on the applicant and all the files are verified. The CBIC issues recommendations about applications once they’re done checking, and the final approval is given by the Minister, who typically gives importance to the CBIC recommendations. The applicant is sent a letter through their Local Agent once the Minister comes to a decision, and the applicant is informed of the state of his/her application.
- If the applicant’s application is deemed successful, then the CBIC sends a letter to the applicant through his/her agent instructing them to complete the real estate purchase or to make the contribution. In the case of the real estate process, the applicant must provide proof of the successful purchase as well as all the other necessary documents. Once CBIC verifies the payment, a certificate of registration is issued, meaning that the applicant has now become a Grenadian citizen. The Local Agent must then use that certificate on behalf of the applicant to apply for the Grenadian passport.