The modern world is fast-paced and changes rapidly around us. And our clients are no exception: sometimes their lives undergo changes that we need to respond to in a discreet and timely manner. This Case will show how we managed to bring together the best professionals in the field of law and to solve the problem of changing the name of one of the family members, whilst already in the process of registration of the clients’ Grenada citizenship.
- Alexey, 44, a former athlete and currently an owner of several companies providing trainings for professional athletes
- Natalia, his wife, 39, loves to travel and breeds pets for hobby
- Ksenia, their daughter, 16, studying in one of the best schools in the USA and planning to continue her education in this country
- Roman, their son, 24, studying Design at the American University and has prospects to obtain the US working visa.
The ProblemAlexey had a business visa L-1 for the United States that allowed permanent residence for all family members in the country. But now he has decided to return back to Russia and develop his network of training centers for professional athletes. Thus, he no longer needed a business visa for himself and his wife. However, Alexey wanted to ensure that his children can stay in the US for as long as they need. Ksenia’s boyfriend, a US citizen, made her a marriage proposal, but the father was not very happy with such an early marriage for his daughter. Even the potential Green Card for Ksenia would not change his mind. Thus, we were facing with the following tasks:
- Ksenia should have a possibility to stay in the United States after she graduates university.
- Roman (the son) was close to graduating as well. The problem was that after completing his study, he would lose all grounds for the extension of his US residence permit.
- Alexey and Natalia wanted to have the possibility to visit their children and control their business in the US as well, but they did not plan to become the tax residents there
- The spouses planned to travel a lot in the coming years. Therefore, they required a convenient and inexpensive access to a wide range of countries, without long visa formalities before travel
The OptionsAfter Alexey and Natalia turned to our company for help, we examined their goals and objectives and offered them to take part in two programs that allowed them to obtain a second citizenship.
Citizenship of MaltaMaltese citizenship grants free traveling to more than 100 countries, as well as easy access to the USA without any additional visa. Moreover, Maltese citizens can take advantage of the Maltese tax incentives. Maltese citizenship can be granted after an investment of EUR 1,000,000 or more. Of that, only EUR 150,000 will be refundable (i.e. selable) investments, such as government securities or bonds held for a period of 5 years. The applicants also need to buy a property on Malta, worth up to EUR 350,000, or rent a residential property for 5 years with the minimal rent of EUR 16,000 per year. The mandatory non-refundable investment in the National Fund comes up to EUR 650,000. Other additional expenses for our applicants would be EUR 25,000 for Ksenia (child, under 18 years old) and EUR 50,000 for Roman (adult, over 18 years). For each child they would have to pay EUR 5,000 in administrative costs, EUR 3,000 for the Due Diligence of a child aged 13-18 and EUR 5,000 for a child aged 18-26. The state administrative costs for issuing of each passport amount to EUR 500.
Citizenship of GrenadaGrenada citizenship entitles its holders to apply for an E2 visa for the United States, which allows you to start a new business or to maintain an already existing one, as well as to enter the US freely. The application for the Grenada citizenship can include all children under the age of 30 that are financially dependent on the main applicant. Roman exactly matched this requirement. In 2018, Grenada reduced the amount of non-refundable investments into the National Fund to USD 150,000. Additionally, the applicant had to pay extra for the Due Diligence: USD 10,000 for the wife Natalia, USD 5,000 for his son Roman (over 18), USD 2,000 for his daughter Ksenia (under 18). The administrative expenses amounted to extra USD 12,000 for the whole family.
The Decision ProcessAlexey compared both offers and decided in favour of Grenada as, compared to the Maltese citizenship, this program saved him around EUR 900,000 and, on top of that, about seven months of waiting time. According to the conditions of the Grenada citizenship program, successful applicants receive a visa for entering and residing in the US without any restrictions, having made just minimal investments in the existing business.
A Change of Plans for our ClientsAt the start, Alexey was planning to apply for the Grenada citizenship for himself, his wife and daughter Ksenia; his son Roman was planning to obtain a working visa for the United States. After all required documents have already been collected, reviewed and submitted for reliability assessment, Roman lost his grounds for obtaining a US working visa. Thus, he decided to apply for the citizenship of Grenada as well. In the near future he expected to get a share in his father’s business and to apply for an E2 visa for the US. Moreover, being a very creative person, Roman decided that his name in the Grenada passport should sound different. He asked for his passport to be issued with his artistic name, RomiKo. It was important for his professional image.
Solving the ProblemThis is not the first time we have encountered a question of amending an application that has already been submitted. Most often it happens when a, during the application process, applicant have a new baby. But this time it was about an adult applicant (and not a newborn) and the change of name in a document that has not yet been issued. We asked the representatives of the authorized body for clarification on this issue and received the following reply. Amendments to the documents on financially dependent family members is possible until a final decision has been made on the reliability of the principal applicant. The requirement of financial dependence of the family member on the investor (principal applicant) must be maintained. Our client’s situation fully matched these requirements, so the new name was quickly added to the earlier application.
How we managed to organise the Deed Poll name change procedureThe task of changing Roman’s name was proving tricky. In theory, English Law permits such a change through a Deed Poll procedure that confirms the change of name. The Deed Poll document is then submitted to the authorized body before the new passport is issued, so that the new document contains the desired new name. But when submitting the documents in Grenada, we were explained that in practice the state body changes the passport data only if they do not match the data in the birth certificate. Which was not the case for Roman. Failing that, the name can be changed only after the person has received their new passport, subject to appropriate applications and paperwork. Thanks to a long-standing partnership and established relation with the authorities, our lawyer was able to receive a comment on this issue by the head of the Migration Department of Grenada, and after all we were allowed to use Deed Poll procedure to insert Roman’s new name. Roman received his new Grenada passport already under the new name, Romiko. The procedure went smoothly and without unnecessary delays.
The ResultsAfter our clients received their second citizenships, we signed them up for an appointment with the US consulate in Singapore. They promptly received their E2 visas and started their business.
- Ksenia remained to live in the US and, for the time being, postponed her marriage
- Roman/Romiko got new creative opportunities in America
- Alexey and Natalia continued to develop their business in Russia and visit children without worrying about visas
- The couple began to travel to exotic countries, and Natalia’s travel blog is rapidly gaining popularity