Aug 3, 2018
The Latest Fact-Finding Trip to Grenada
We have discussed at length how the acquisition of Grenadian citizenship through investment (CBI) can uniquely unlock the ability to apply for an E-2 nonimmigrant investor visa without lengthy naturalization requirements. A few months ago, I published an article in EB-5 Investors Magazine with a leading Grenadian attorney detailing both programs’ requirements. This week I returned from a due diligence trip to Grenada. During this time, I had the pleasure of meeting with several high-ranking government officials in the capital city of St. George’s, Grenadian government officials stationed abroad, and project principals. Here are some of my most notable takeaways:
1. Above all else, Grenada’s CBI Committee values the integrity of its program. During my trip, I was fortunate to be able to meet with a senior CBI official, who candidly offered valuable insights to the program. The official noted the importance of due diligence on its potential citizens, a responsibility it shares with licensed marketing agents. The country performs a comprehensive background check on all CBI applicants, which includes reporting from international intelligence agencies. Adjudicators have access to applicants’ previous visa denials to third countries (including the U.S.) as well as the basis of those denials. Applicants must accordingly be truthful and forthcoming in their application materials, as fraudulent answers will lead to CBI denial. Grenadian CBI is, accordingly, not a means for unscrupulous individuals to abscond from justice, and of course not a means to evade other countries’ immigration laws.
This week, Prime Minister The Hon. Dr. Keith Mitchell called for the creation of a pan-Caribbean due diligence regime to ensure that CBI applicants across the region are appropriately vetted. With each CBI applicant requiring approval by his Cabinet, this commitment to program integrity is pervasive throughout the Grenadian government.
2. The Grenadian passport is, in and of itself, a valuable asset. Although we have mentioned this before, it bears repeating that Grenadian citizenship has its own benefits independent of the E-2 visa option. This necessarily includes domicile in a country with universal healthcare, boasting a flagship university that ranks fourth in supplying U.S. doctors. The Grenadian passport allows for visa-free entries to the Schengen Zone, the U.K., Ireland, P.R. China, Russia, Korea, and most of South America. This is a critical benefit for travelers that otherwise possess relatively weak passports requiring visas, often limited to single-entry, and subject to the often unpredictable discretionary decisions of consular officials.
3. The Grenadian CBI market offers a wide variety of options. One can immigrate to Grenada through a donation to the country’s National Transformation Fund (NTF), a significant investment that creates positive economic impact per the country’s regulations, or an approved real estate project. This latter category offers a relatively diverse portfolio of potential projects. Unlike Regional Center EB-5 or the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, there is no one prevailing investment model. During my tour, I met with principals offering investment opportunities such as the fractional purchase of condominiums, shares in hotel room offerings, freehold (fee simple) real estate purchases, and even agricultural ventures. Rather than a one-size-fits-all kind of approach, investors are much more likely to be drawn to a particular project offering that could be equipped to meeting their unique investment and/or residency objectives.
4. The government is committed to streamlining the CBI process. As discussed above, Grenadian CBI officials are focused on extensive investor due diligence, which has inflated processing times to 4-6 months, start to finish. However, the committee states it is dedicated to bringing processing times down and implementing reforms to do just that. Even at the status quo, these processing times are relatively fast compared to programs such as EB-5, and are significantly more predictable.
5. Grenada is a shockingly beautiful country. Grenada’s famed Grand Anse Beach is among the most beautiful in the world. The geography includes mountainous terrain akin to many Mediterranean islands, with a biodiversity comparable to the Vietnamese countryside. Lemongrass and mango trees are pervasive, while the country’s ubiquitous “flambo” trees (Delonix regia) provide vibrant red highlights to an impressive thick green landscape of tropical flora.
Disclaimer: The foregoing information is not intended to be legal advice. Green and Spiegel International Inc. operates as a licensed subagent to several Grenadian CBI marketing agents. For specific information regarding the Grenadian CBI program, or for legal advice regarding U.S. / Canadian visa options, please contact us today.
Green and Spiegel attorney Matthew T. Galati meets with Grenada Minister of Foreign Affairs ,The Hon. Peter David