International citizenship and residence advisory firm, Henley & Partners, has been appointed by the Government of Grenada to restructure its Citizenship-by-Investment program.
The mandate of the firm’s Government Advisory Team is to work hand in hand with the Citizenship by Investment Unit and other government officials to revitalise the program.
Grenada’s Citizenship-by-Investment program is the only one in the Caribbean that offers successful applicants visa-free access to China, as well as the opportunity to apply to enter, live and do business in the US under the E-2 Investor Visa Treaty.
Bata Racic, Manager of Henley & Partners in the Middle East, says they will be working closely with the Government of Grenada over the coming months to strengthen the application processes, in order to attract the very best applicants from around the world.
“Our firm has over 20 years of relevant experience and expertise in working with governments in North America, the Caribbean and Europe on the design, implementation and operation of the world’s most successful residence and citizenship programs, including the most recent launch of the Malta Individual Investor Programme.”
Racic continues, “Our government advisory practice has raised billions of dollars in foreign direct investment. We are confident that we can help make a significant difference to Grenada’s economy by creating a world-leading proposition for those seeking a beneficial second citizenship.”
The Grenada Citizenship-by-Investment Program is currently ranked as the 2nd best program in the Caribbean, according to the Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2016 index.
This index considers a broad range of factors, including legal aspects, tax, and quality of life, as well as transparency, risk and compliance issues.
Grenada is also ranked 39th globally on the Visa Restrictions Index, a widely regarded index which Henley & Partners has published annually with IATA for over 10 years.
Grenada is currently offering visa-free travel to 112 countries, including the EU’s Schengen area, the UK, Singapore, Brazil, China and Hong Kong.
On the new Henley & Partners-Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index, Grenada is ranked 91st, performing well in terms of its Human Development and Diversity of Travel Freedom scores.
Alexandra Otway-Noel, the Grenadian Government Minister for Citizenship by Investment Promotions, adds that, “there is increasing competition worldwide to attract wealthy and talented global citizens as more and more governments realise the considerable benefits of investment migration programs.”
Minister Otway continues, “We will work with Henley & Partners to take the Grenada program to the next level. The program has contributed significantly to the growth of our nation’s economy, and we expect it will continue to do so for many years to come.
“The inward investment it promotes has led to the creation of sustainable long-term employment, specialist training, and the general broadening of skills for many Grenadians. We aim to build a flourishing private investment market in Grenada for the benefit of its citizens and their general well-being.
“There has been a sharp increase worldwide in the number of individuals wanting to acquire a second or third citizenship to globalise their family’s opportunities and expand their business interests in a changing and uncertain world. Grenada has a great deal to offer, especially in terms of its exceptional visa-free access to the world’s largest markets.
“It also is very competitive compared to the other citizenship programs in the Caribbean, and we are about to make it even more attractive in terms of process quality and attention to detail for wealthy applicants from around the world.”
To qualify for citizenship through the program, an applicant needs to either make a minimum non-refundable contribution to the National Transformation Fund (NTF) of $200,000 or invest in an approved real estate project for a minimum of $350,000.
The NTF was established in 2013 as a means of transforming Grenada’s economy into a system oriented one to meet Grenada’s domestic needs and create sustainable long-term employment.
The NTF finances various projects in Grenada for the benefit of its citizens and its strategic industries, including tourism, agriculture, and alternative energy.
Significantly, the government-related application fee for the NTF donation option is nearly five times less than other Caribbean programs.
Minister Otway says the government is working with Henley & Partners to ensure a fast and efficient application process of around three months from submission to approval, with no visit by the applicant required.
Racic concludes, “The Grenada program offers international property buyers an exceptional opportunity to maximise the value of their overseas real estate acquisitions by connecting them to a quality second nationality. Investors also recognise the need to develop a diverse citizenship portfolio alongside the traditional investment portfolio to reduce their exposure to risk and open up new business opportunities.”
The 1999-2003 New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell was forced to abandon an earlier passport-selling scheme after Canada expressed concerns about Grenadian passports falling into the wrong hands, which posed a threat to its national security.