Grenada’s passport holds 33rd position in the Passport Index at the moment, however, this is expected to change really soon as the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement to open its borders to citizens of Grenada.
On November 21, 2017, representatives of Grenada and the UAE have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will allow visa-free entry to citizens of Grenada to the UAE and vice versa. The citizens of both countries can start planning their trips in 30 days after the date of the formal agreement.
This makes Grenada even more powerful in terms of the number of visa-free destinations. At the moment, Grenada’s passport holders can enter 120 countries without undergoing any visa-related procedures. In January 2018, the number of visa-free destinations will reach 121, catapulting Grenada to the higher level of Macao and Taiwan whose passports are on the 32nd position in the Index.
The news will definitely cheer up the investors who obtained Grenada’s citizenship by investing into its economy. As an important business center, the UAE, together with the United Kingdom and Schengen countries, offers great opportunities for Grenada’s passport holders.
Economic citizenship, also citizenship by investment, is a process whereby high net worth individuals obtain a second citizenship extremely quickly in exchange for an investment or donation.
Grenada, together with several other Caribbean countries, is working to attract foreign investors with its citizenship by investment (CBI for short) program. Apart from offering unique travel rights to its economic citizens, Grenada as a treaty nation also makes it possible to obtain the United States’ E-2 Visa. Chinese, Russian and Indian nationals use Grenada’s CBI program as a shortcut to the US, as the alternative – the application processing timeline for the EB-5 program available to these nationalities – can sometimes take years, and even decades.
Let’s go into specifics. Citizenship of Grenada can be obtained through a one-time donation to the National Transformation Fund, with donations starting at $200,000 for a family of four. Prospective citizens may also choose to invest in real estate, as long as the object is pre-approved by the government, is worth at least $350,000, and held by the citizen for a period of three years.
The Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine has recently conducted a CBI Index study on countries that provide citizenship-by-investment programs, and ranked Caribbean countries with CBI programs. Grenada was placed third out of 12 countries, while Dominica, and St. Kitts and Nevis finished in first and second places respectively, with only slightly higher scores.
According to the chair of Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Committee, Kaisha Ince, the Grenada CBI program will undergo significant changes by the end of 2017. The major changes will affect the price: the contribution amount to the National Transformation Fund is to be dropped from $200,000 to $150,000.
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US E-2 Visa through Grenada’s citizenship
The United States of America’s E-2 Visa is an investor visa program, which allows investors and their families to live and work in the United States by making a substantial investment in a US entity. A treaty investor may either start or invest in a business in the US in order to be eligible for the visa.