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Case Studies 2020

Grenada citizenship for a businessman's family from India: investing in real estate and moving to the US

Moving to the US has always been my dream. And I was really upset when I found out how much an EB-5 business visa to the US cost. To pay $1 million of the investment fee, I would have to withdraw money from my business, which is unprofitable for the company. So, I started searching for alternative ways with Immigrant Invest’s help.

Snehal, 38
IT businessman from India
Grenada passport by investment

Snehal owned a network of construction companies with branches throughout India. Also, he was actively developing his new IT business. The company developed and maintained data processing software. Snehal's IT company received 80% of its orders from clients in the US.

In the next 2—3 years, Snehal wanted to transfer his IT business to the US. He planned to develop it so his son could later inherit an operating company. Shehal decided to move to the US with his whole family. To achieve that goal, he needed residency with permission to conduct business in the US.  

The businessman often participated in conferences and exhibitions and met foreign partners. Therefore, he also needed to resolve the issue of travelling visa-free worldwide before moving to the US.

In mid-June 2020, Snehal contacted Immigrant Invest to find out more about the possibility of getting a US residency and a travel document for the freedom of movement around the world. 

Direct investment routes to move to the US

EB-5 visa. Snehal initially considered applying for an EB-5 business visa, which an Indian citizen could get in return for investing in the US economy. However, after studying the terms and conditions of this visa, he realised that it did not suit him.

How the EB-5 business visa to the US was inconvenient for a foreign entrepreneur were the following:

  1. In 2020, you needed to invest at least $900,000. Snehal would have had to withdraw money from his construction business to participate in the program. Moreover, he planned to invest a small amount in his IT business in the US: he was counting on making an initial investment of up to $300,000.
  2. Under US law, an investor with an EB-5 visa also paid tax on income earned outside the country. For Snehal, that meant he would have had to pay taxes twice: in India and the United States.

The E-2 visa was issued for foreigners who wanted to move to the US and invest in the country's economy. The minimum investment amount was at least $100,000. 

The visa was also available for the investor’s relatives. Besides, investors could extend their E-2 visa an unlimited number of times. 

The benefits of an E-2 business visa to the United States were the following:

  • you could live, work and do business in the United States; 
  • an E-2 visa could also be obtained for your spouse and children under 21;
  • the investor's children could study in US schools;
  • the validity of such a visa for Grenadian citizens was 5 years, and it could be renewed an unlimited number of times, subject to the growth of the investor’s business in the US; 
  • the visa was issued within 1—2 months, but you could pay for an expedited service, which reduced the processing time to 15 days.

This type of visa ideally suited to Snehal’s needs. But as an Indian citizen, he couldn't apply for an E-2 visa. The countries didn’t sign a bilateral E-2 treaty about mutual investments. 

3 reasons why the investor chose to get a Grenada passport

Opportunity to get an E-2 business visa to the USA. Grenada is among the countries with which the US has the E-2 business visa agreement. 

With a Grenada passport, Snehal could apply for an E-2 visa and move to the US with the right to work and study for all family members. Thus, he would develop his business while his son could study at a local school with the prospect of enrolling in a US university.

Grenadian citizens travel to Europe and China without visas. In total, the number of visa-free destinations for Grenada passport holders exceeded 140 countries and territories. It was helpful for Snehal to continue his construction business activities and travel the world with his family. 

Fitting into the investor’s budget. Grenada has a citizenship by investment program, which lets wealthy foreigners obtain a second passport. Investors choose between two investment options; the minimum investment amount is $150,000. Applicants don’t have to come to Grenada at any step of obtaining citizenship or after it. 

Snehal and Disha liked the opportunities offered by the Grenadian passport. They signed an agreement with Immigrant Invest the same day and immediately started preparing the documents required to participate in the Grenada citizenship program.

Grenada citizenship by investment for an Indian family

St George’s is the capital of Grenada and the largest harbour on the island. The city extends for miles in every direction from St George Harbor. There are more facilities ashore than most can ever see in a single visit

Grenada passport by investment

Grenada real estate is a profitable asset: investors can buy a property and get a second citizenship. They can use an object for renting out 

Grenada real estate investment

Annandale Falls is a 30-foot waterfall in a grotto of lush vegetation with a pool that’s deep enough for a swim. The waterfall is easily accessible, approximately a 20-minute drive from St George’s

Choosing an investment option

The Grenada citizenship by investment program offers two options to obtain citizenship: a non-refundable contribution and a real estate purchase. The money under the last one can be returned in 5 years.

A non-refundable contribution of a minimum of $150,000 to the National Transformation Fund. For a family of three, the required investment amount is $200,000. Under this option, Snehal would also pay Due Diligence costs of $10,000 and other processing fees.

Investment of $220,000 in real estate. The investor chooses a property from the list of government-approved properties: shares and apartments in hotels, villas and resorts. Although the minimum investment amount does not increase with the addition of family members, an extra state fee of $50,000 must be paid. Thus, investors usually prefer the option of a non-refundable contribution as the investment requirement is lower.

However, despite its higher cost, Snehal chose to invest in real estate. He had extensive experience in the construction business and understood the real estate market. Most importantly, he knew that the initial investment would be returned to him in 5 years when he would sell the property.

To enable Snehal to make an informed decision, we provided him with information about the projects and development companies involved. We analysed all the risks and submitted the results of our analysis to the client. Eventually, Snehal chose a new resort in Port of Luis to buy shares.

Grenadian project to participate in citizenship by investment program

Grenada citizenship by investment in real estate

Shares of apartments in a new resort project. Equity stake with a minimum investment of $220,000 in an approved company that develops the entertainment centre and rooms

Grenada citizenship by investment

The project will consist of 36 studio apartments forming a hotel for the marina, and will also be complemented by an entertainment and shopping centre, a club with a spa and a swimming pool

Grenada citizenship by investment in real estate

The new resort project is located in the port of Port Louis with a marina that has 300 berths and can handle boats up to 300 feet in length

 

Obtaining a Grenada passport: terms and conditions

All stages of participation in the Grenada citizenship program by investment could be completed remotely. The investor didn’t need to fly to the Caribbean to submit documents or obtain a passport. It was advantageous when borders were closed, as was the case those days due to the pandemic.

Snehal entered into a reservation agreement with the developer for 10% of the total $220,000. The reservation agreement was included in the documents required for participation in the program.

$220,000
Real estate investment amount

Our lawyers immediately started collecting the required documents for Snehal and his wife, Disha. The lawyers filled out the required questionnaires and government forms, translated all documents into English, and notarised and apostilled them. Also, they collected the complete papers for submission to the Grenada CBI Unit in 2 weeks. 

Snehal paid the state and registration fees, 10% of the cost for the shares reservation, and paid for the Due Diligence check. After that, Immigrant Invest lawyers sent the package of documents to the Grenada CBI Unit to undergo Due Diligence.

Due Diligence check completed in record time

According to the terms of the program, the Due Diligence check and processing of the investor's application take 4—6 months to complete. However, Snehal's application was approved exceptionally quickly.

The program’s statistics show that real estate investments are less popular with investors compared to the option of contributing to the National Transformation Fund. In 2019, 43% of the Grenada citizenship by investment program participants chose to invest in real estate. 

As the Caribbean countries derive their main income from tourism, the Grenadian government is highly interested in developing that infrastructure. Attracting foreign investment through the citizenship program is one of the tools for economic growth.

As a result, the Grenada CBI Unit accepted our client’s application, based on investment in real estate, in record time. Just 2 months later, we received notification that Snehal’s application had been approved. It was the fastest instance of getting Grenada citizenship by investment in our practice.

2 months
Due Diligence by the Grenada CBI Unit

Snehal paid the total agreed amount of the investment and waited for his and his family’s naturalisation certificates and passports.

1.5 weeks after the payment of the investment fee, we received the Grenadian naturalisation certificates and passports for Snehal, Disha and their son Hans. The documents were sent to the client's home address in Mumbai. They were pleasantly surprised at how quickly they had gotten their second passports.

$288,000 was paid by Snehal for participation in the Grenada CBI program. $220,000 will be returned to him in 2025

1
1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence
2
June 13th, 2020
Signing a contract with Immigrant Invest
3
+2 weeks
Choosing investment property and paying an advance

$22,000 —
10% from real estate cost as an advance
4
+2 weeks
Preparing and sending documents

$50,000
State fee

$4,500
Application fee
5
+2 months
Due Diligence

€10,000
6
+ 10 days
Application approval and paying investment in full

$198,000
For real estate

$3,500
Processing fee
7
September 2020
Receiving naturalisation certificates and passports

New opportunities with a Grenada passport

Immediately after receiving the Grenada passport, Snehal began to plan to transfer his IT business to the US. He was going to complete the whole process so that the execution of orders was not interrupted. Snehal's dream was to transfer his son's management of a well-established business by inheritance.

Snehal was expected to get an E-2 visa by the end of 2020. The couple wanted to move to the US in the summer of 2021. Then on September 1st, their son Hans would start studying at the local junior school in the US.

Before After 
❌ Apply for an E-2 business visa to the US is impossible✅ The right to apply for E-2 business visa to the US
❌ Indian passport allows travelling visa‑free to 60 countries without covering Europe✅ Visiting more than 140 countries visa‑free, including the UK, the Schengen states, Singapore, and China
❌ Obtaining a special visa to gain the right to attend US schools and universities✅ Education in US schools and universities without getting an additional permit

The couple had always dreamt of holidaying in the Caribbean, so they immediately decided to accept the opportunity of an annual vacation offered by the hotel in which Snehal owns shares. They could go on holiday there as soon as the complex started welcoming guests.  

In 2021, Grenada gradually lifted Covid-19 restrictions on entry into the country for tourists. Snehal followed the news in the Caribbean tourism field and found that the flow of visitors to the island began to return to previous levels. It would play a positive role in the case of renting out the investment property.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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Zlata Erlach, Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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