Dual citizenship is becoming a global norm for people on the move for business or personal reasons. Around 75% of countries allow their people to have citizenship of another country as well without any penalties.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to obtain a legal second passport is through investment in certain countries, one of which is the island of Grenada.
Automotive Industries (AI) asked Nisha Mc Intyre, Managing Director of My Grenada Solutions Inc who should obtain Grenadian citizenship.
Mc Intyre: A second citizenship is like an insurance policy. It helps people hedge their exposure to social, political, educational, and even financial risks that may occur in their homelands. If we look to the most recent example of the COVID outbreak and the unified international approach of countries closing their borders to foreigners, it is evident to see how those who hold multiple citizenships had the unique advantage of being able to wait out the period in the country that feared best amongst their list of nationalities, as opposed to many others, who unfortunately had no choice but to remain stationary in one country and be subject to its regulations.
The reality is that investing in a second citizenship, at its core, gives an individual greater global freedom. He/she gains increased visa-free access to countries they can visit for business, leisure and educational purposes. This makes last minute trips possible and reinforces the ability to capitalise on spur of the moment opportunities across borders. It also increases the amount of countries in which an individual and live and work legally. Ideally, therefore, the best candidate for investing in second citizenship, particularly Grenadian citizenship, is a meriting individual, who comes from a country with limited travel privileges and is interested in investing in a second citizenship that imposes no residency, language, or interview requirements. These are individuals, who do not have a criminal record, have no current visa-free denials to countries with which Grenada has a visa-free waiver agreement, are eager to improve their global standing in a cost-effective manner, and make an investment, whose benefits reverberates for generations.
AI: What advantages are there to a Grenadian citizenship?
Mc Intyre: There are several advantages to investing in Grenada citizenship and to the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme. By far, the greatest advantage is the immediate increase of one’s global freedom. Grenada offers visa-free access to over 148 destinations, including Schengen states, the UK, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and even China. Furthermore, citizens of Grenada can move and live freely in the countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, like Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Dominica, and St. Vincent.
Outside of the region, Grenadians, like myself, are also able to access the US E2 visa – an investor related visa, which allows us to live and work legally in the US at the business for which our visa was approved for a period of five years at a time. Matter of fact, we are able to renew our visa indefinitely as long as we continue to operate the business and keep it in good standing.
There are also economic benefits to Grenada’s citizenship. For starters, Grenada’s currency, the eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD), is stable and has been tied to the US dollar at a rate of 2.7169 since the seventies. This means that the erosion of net worth faced by high net worth individuals in countries where currencies are rapidly depreciating relative to the US dollar, isn’t experienced by Grenadians, who nest their net worth in Grenada in XCD or USD
Further, Grenada offers a rather friendly tax climate, as it imposes no inheritance, wealth, capital gains, or global taxes on its citizens. In-fact, citizens of Grenada are only required to pay income tax on income earned in Grenada that exceeds US $13,500.
Additionally, let’s not discount the affordability of the investment in Grenada citizenship. The cost of the investment for a single individual can cost anywhere from US $150,000 plus associated fees. In the automotive industry, it’s safe to say there are automobiles that are comparable in cost – or even well above.
However, unlike the automobile that depreciates the moment it leaves a lot, the investment that an individual makes in Grenada citizenship stays with them and transfers to their generations for years to come. It’s also worth noting that when compared to other similar programmes by other popular countries, the cost-benefit ratio of Grenada’s programme appears more favourable.
Of course, in addition to these major benefits, there are others worth noting here as well.
Lifetime citizenship that’s inheritable by future generations of the applicant.
The ability to hold multiple citizenships before or after an applicant applies for Grenada citizenship.
International protection in key economic centres where Grenada has an official presence. This includes countries like Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Cuba, China, and Russia, to name a few.
As much as 90% off undergraduate tuition, including pre-med degrees at Grenada’s world renowned medical and veterinary university – St. George University.
The ability to own property in Grenada without being subjected to an alien landholding tax – a timely benefit on account of Grenada’s increasing villa rental industry and its prominence as a sought-after Caribbean destination
AI: In addition, what are the benefits of Grenada’s CBI programme?
Mc Intyre: Aside from the benefits experienced by becoming a citizen, there are also several benefits to Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment programme. For starters, the programme is the most family friendly programme world-wide. Applicants are allowed to apply for citizenship on an application that includes their spouse; their biological and adopted children under age 30, as well as that of their spouse; their parents, and grandparents as well as that of their spouse; and their biological or adopted siblings, who are 18 years and older, unmarried and without children, as well as that of their spouse. Disabled children, who are 30 years or older, and who are dependent on the main applicant or the spouse, may also be included on the application.
Additionally, application to the programme happens remotely. Clients are not required to visit Grenada during the application process to make the investment or visit Grenada after becoming a citizen to keep their citizenship. The entire process is handled by My Grenada Solutions in Grenada. We work remotely with clients from start to finish, ensuring their forms and supporting documents are correctly prepared in keeping with the programme’s regulations.
For applicant’s who hail from countries with restrictions obtaining and moving USD, Grenada’s payment structure is advantageous. Applicants make their payments in two trenches – the first of which is only required after an applicant’s documents have been vetted by the designated escrow bank, and the applicant has been cleared to transfer funds for the program. That first payment is usually a small fraction of the overall citizenship payment and includes application fees, processing fees, due diligence fees, and professional fees , as well as a deposit if the client invested in a real estate project. The second payment, and bulk of the payments, is only required after an applicant has been approved for citizenship which usually occurs approximately three months after an applicant’s first payment.
AI: Are there any particular advantages for automotive executives?
Mc Intyre: I think it’s fair to say that an automotive dealer travels often and travels globally for auto shows and for procurement amongst other auto requirements. Therefore the travel privileges afforded by Grenada’s passport favourably benefits their business growth by allowing these dealers the opportunity to make visa-free business trips, particularly last-minute trips.
AI: How does one qualify for Grenadian citizenship?
Mc Intyre: To apply for citizenship, an applicant must be 18 years or older, without a criminal record of consequence – and by that, I mean that he/she hasn’t served a sentence of six months or more for a crime; is in good health; and does not have a current visa denial from a country with which Grenada has visa free privileges. If for some reason an applicant received a visa denial in the past from a country with which we have visa free privileges, he/she has to show that a visa approval from that country was subsequently obtained in order to proceed with entering an application for citizenship. Of course, a huge part of being able to receive citizenship is demonstrating that one’s funds were sourced legitimately and that there are sufficient funds in a non-sanctioned bank account to cover the cost of the transaction.
AI: What are the costs?
Mc Intyre: Knowing what you will pay for citizenship depends on a few variables, including the type of investment you select and the citizenship agent you choose. In Grenada, you can choose between an investment into the government’s National Transformation Fund, which starts at $150,000 or an investment in an approved real estate project, which starts at $220,000. In addition to the investment costs, government fees, bank fees, and professional fees are charged per application.
Government fees differ based on the number of dependants on an application, their age, and relationship to the applicant – a full breakdown of which you can find on our site. As for professional fees, these are set by respective agents.
The government of Grenada has specifically licensed agents like My Grenada Solutions to operate within the programme and assist clients in achieving Grenada citizenship. Though most licensed agents are located outside of Grenada, as a Grenadian owned company, My Grenada Solutions is headquartered in Grenada and staffed by Grenadian personnel. This, as you can appreciate, positively affects our pricing relative to competitors.
AI: What is the timeline?
Mc Intyre: From our experience, getting citizenship from Grenada usually takes approximately four months to be completed after a client’s application has been submitted to the Citizenship by Investment Unit. Once the application is submitted, it takes on average about three months for the government to conduct its due diligence assessment on the main applicant and his/her dependants. Once this is completed and the applicant has satisfied all outstanding payment and paperwork requirements, the client’s certificate of registration is prepared, and the passport processed.
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APPROVED MARKETING AGENT FOR THE GRENADA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAMME