Grenada is a small island country in the southeast of the Caribbean Sea. It is known as a spice island and a tropical paradise. Tourists are attracted to Grenada by its astounding nature, beautiful coral reefs, sandy beaches, and world-class services. Besides, the country has an economic citizenship program: a foreigner who invests in Grenada’s economy can obtain a passport of Grenada within 3 to 6 months.
Brief history of Grenada
Europe learned about the existence of Grenada in 1498 after Columbus’ third trip to America. At that time, the island was inhabited by Caribs but they were completely exterminated by the end of the 17th century. Today, 80% of the population are descendants of African slaves who worked on Grenadian plantations a long time ago.
Before Grenada became independent in 1974, it had been a Spanish, a French, and then a British colony (beginning 1783 and until the year of independence). Now Grenada is an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations and constitutional monarchy is the political system in the country.
Grenada launched the first economic citizenship program in 1997 but it was closed in 2001. The program was relaunched in 2013 and the opportunity to ‘buy’ a Grenadian passport has been available ever since. The Grenada economic citizenship program is a rather reputable one. You can make a donation of US$ 150,000 (plus pay the administrative fees) thus qualifying for a passport of Grenada. There are other investment options too (see below) but US$ 150,000 (plus the fees) is the least that you can pay to become a citizen of Grenada.
General information about Grenada
The island is referred to as a tropical paradise partially because the average yearly temperature is +25-28 С° there. St George’s is the capital of Grenada. The country occupies the island of Grenada and the southern part of the Grenadines. The population is a bit more than 110,000 people, the official language is English, and the national currency is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD).
The pillars of the country’s economy are agriculture, trade, services, and tourism. Over recent years, the Government of Grenada has been trying to enhance the investment attractiveness of the country. The tourist industry has a great potential but it requires investments. The tourist infrastructure is best developed on the island of Grenada but some promising development projects can also be found on Carriacou Island, for example.
Why should you invest in Grenada? First, to make a profit and second, to qualify for citizenship of the country. According to International Wealth, investments into real property in the country can make foreigners eligible for Grenadian passports.
Taxes in Grenada
Grenada is sometimes referred to as a ‘tax haven’. Well, it is not but the country does offer some tax advantages. For instance, no capital gains, nor inheritance, nor gift tax are charged in Grenada.
The country is an offshore zone offering advantages to business owners but it is a reputable offshore zone. The local fiscal legislation is in conformity with the international regulations.
Property prices in Grenada
Grenada is NOT a cheap Caribbean country. The living standards are high by the regional standards and the average monthly salary is about US$ 1,000. Unemployment is not an issue in the country.
You can invest in real property to qualify for citizenship of Grenada but please do not expect that the prices will be low. For instance, apartments sell for US$ 350,000 to US$ 970,000 in Mariposa Residence, a resort complex. The apartments have 1 to 3 bedrooms. On average, an apartment of 100 m2 to 150 m2 in size will cost you between a quarter and a half a million US dollars in Grenada. If you would like to buy a villa in the country, you could hardly find anything that costs less than 3 million.
Citizenship of Grenada: a powerful passport
The Grenadian passport is a rather strong travel document. The fact that Grenada is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations already gives its passports a serious advantage. For instance, a holder of a Grenadian passport can spend 180 days in the UK within any 360-day period without having to apply for a visa. As far as the EU countries are concerned, Grenadians can stay there for 90 days within any 180-day period.
Besides, Grenada is the only Caribbean state that has a visa-free agreement with China. Grenadian passport holders can stay in the Middle Kingdom for 30 days within any 180-day period without visas.
A Grenadian passport also gives visa-free access to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and most South American countries. Moreover, Grenada has special relationships with the USA: its citizens are eligible to apply for non-immigration E2 visas to the States.
Economic citizenship of Grenada: program conditions
You can apply for citizenship of Grenada only via a licensed immigration agent. This is actually good news because your personal involvement in the process is going to be minimal. All you have to do is this:
- Supply personal identification documents for all family members included in the application for Grenadian citizenship.
- Fulfill the investment obligations: buy property in Grenada or make a non-returnable donation. You have to make the investments only after your application for citizenship has been approved.
You can choose one of the following investment options:
- US$ 150,000 – non-returnable donation to the state fund;
- US$ 220,000 – returnable investment into property (shared ownership);
- US$ 350,000 – returnable investment into property (individual ownership).
Please note that you can make investments only in Government-approved development projects. You can buy any piece of property in Grenada that you like, of course, but then you won’t be able to qualify for Grenadian citizenship.
Citizenship of Grenada: pluses and minuses
Grenada is not the only country in the world that issued passports in exchange for investments. It has to compete with others and this makes the local immigration authorities work rapidly and efficiently. You can obtain a passport of Grenada after 3 to 6 months from the date of application.
Let us point out the main advantages of the Grenadian citizenship-by-investment program:
- Competitive price: passports of some other countries cost more than US$ 150,000.
- Family applications for citizenship are accepted: you can add your spouse, children of up to 30 years of age, parents, and siblings. Please note that adding an extra relative to the application for Grenadian citizenship entails an extra charge.
- No need to live in Grenada prior or after obtaining the passport. Most procedures can be carried out remotely. Even though a personal interview with a Government official is now required, you might be able to get away with an online interview.
- You can hand down Grenadian citizenship to your descendants.
- Grenada allows dual citizenship.
- The process of acquiring citizenship of Grenada is confidential: the Government does not publish lists of economic citizens.
- Investments into property can be returned after 5 years: sell the property back after the period expires and keep your Grenadian passport.
The only disadvantage that the Grenada economic citizenship program has is the price. A bit less expensive options can be found in the Caribbean. All the outstanding advantages of the program, however, outweigh this drawback.
Grenadian citizenship: due diligence procedures
All applicants for Grenadian citizenship have to go through strict due diligence procedures. They take a month or two and cost US$ 5,000 per each applicant above 16. The following facts, among others, will be of interest to the Grenadian immigration authorities:
- Your police record: it has to be clean if you are to qualify for citizenship of Grenada.
- Your business and personal reputation in your home country.
- Your credit history: it has to be spotless.
- The level of your solvency and your ability to confirm that it is sufficiently high.
- Your health conditions: they have to be satisfactory. If you have infectious diseases or cancer, your application for Grenadian citizenship will be rejected.
If you fail to prove that you are reliable enough on any of the points, your application will be rejected.
On the other hand, if you are a healthy, wealthy, and a law-abiding person, acquiring Grenadian citizenship by investment is not going to be a problem for you. Just make sure that you seek qualified professional assistance in the application process.