In this case, a citizen of one of these countries, Italy, contacted us with a request to help him find a way to travel visa-free to China. We solved his problem without much difficulty.
Federico: 42 years old, an Italian citizen. A businessman engaged in the distribution of medical equipment to the European Union from Asian countries.
Federico's business is inextricably linked with Asian countries, and is registered in Singapore. He is constantly holding meetings with business partners from China and Hong Kong. However, it is extremely difficult to obtain a Chinese visa due to the international geopolitical situation and the prevalence of the communist system there. The Chinese authorities are reluctant to let EU citizens into the country.
As a result, Federico had found it difficult to get visas to China. This led to appointments not being kept, a breakdown of business agreements, and financial losses. It also negatively reflected on the reputation of his company.
Federico set himself the goal of obtaining visa-free access to China. He knew that becoming a citizen of one of the Caribbean countries would allow him to achieve his goal. However, he was not sure about which country to select for his second passport. That is why he turned to us for help.
Searching for a solution
Indeed, in our practice we had dealt with cases related to clients getting a Caribbean citizenship for visa-free travel to Asia. A second passport does indeed open up business opportunities for businessmen in Asia.
However, of all the Caribbean countries that operate government programs for obtaining second citizenship by investment, only Grenada has an agreement on visa-free travel to China. Although for most of our clients this was an additional advantage, for Federico it was the main advantage.
In Asian countries, Grenadian citizens can easily open bank accounts and register a business. Chinese companies are more than willing to cooperate with Grenadian businessmen.
What do the investor need to get Grenadian citizenship
The Grenada citizenship by investment program is one of the oldest in the Caribbean. It has been operating since 1997, and in 2013 it was updated in accordance with the latest international requirements.
An investor can apply for a Grenada passport in one of the following two ways:
- Make a non-refundable contribution to Grenada’s National Transformation Fund. The contribution required in Federico's case was $150,000. In addition, the applicant pays for a Due Diligence check, a registration fee and a one-time commission of $8,000.
- Buy real estate in Grenada, in a government-approved project. These are usually hotels or other tourism infrastructure projects. It is sufficient for the investor to buy a share in the project rather than the entire project. After 5 years, the share can be sold and the initial investment returned to the investor, while, at the same time, the investor remains a Grenadian citizen for life. The minimum investment is $220,000. In addition, the investor pays an administrative fee of $50,000, as well as a fee for a Due Diligence check, a registration fee and a one-time commission costing another $8,000 in total.
On average, it takes 4-6 months for a Grenada passport to be issued. There are no requirements for compulsory residence in the country or knowledge of the language. The vast majority of investors who have obtained Grenadian citizenship by investment have never visited the country and do not plan to do so.
Our cooperation with Federico
Since Federico was constantly on business trips, actively traveling around the world and did not have time for personal meetings with our specialists, we collected most of the documents electronically and submitted them on his behalf.
We were prepared for the fact that when documents are collected remotely, our clients may have a number of questions that need to be resolved quickly. Despite the significant difference in time zones, the lawyer who is assigned to a specific client always remains in touch. Thus, Federico was confident that he could contact us and get an answer immediately to any question that arose regarding the application. This was reassuring for him and gave him confidence that we were always available to support him despite the lack of physical contact.
What problems did we encounter in collecting documents
Each country has its own system for providing and certifying personal documents and certificates. Our client in this case was based in Singapore, where a police clearance certificate is issued only when there is a clear justification of the need to issue it.
We quickly arranged for an official request for the certificate from the Grenada government addressed to the relevant authorities in Singapore explaining the purpose for which the certificate would be used.
At the same time, according to the requirements of the Grenada citizenship by investment program, the personal documents of the applicant (in our case, Federico) must be apostilled by the relevant authority in the country in which they were issued. As there is no Italian consulate in Singapore, and since our client was Italian, we had to contact the relevant authorities in Italy through a power of attorney to ensure that Federico remotely was sent the necessary documents with the apostille of a certain magistrate in Italy.
Registration of Grenadian citizenship
We collected all the necessary documents in a month, which is impressive considering that we had to obtain them remotely from Italy and Singapore. During this time, Federico visited our office (in Vienna) only once, when he happened to be there on other business and so did not have to fly there specially for the meeting at our office.
As a result, we submitted all the necessary documents to the relevant government departments in Grenada.
Results of our cooperation
3 months after the application was submitted, our client received a certificate of naturalization, confirming that he was now a Grenada citizen. He had a second passport with which he could visit China, Singapore and other Asian countries without a visa.
If you are facing similar problems, please contact us. We will find a solution even for the most difficult cases and help you travel freely around the world and expand your international business.