Alexander is currently actively developing his IT business. His company develops and maintains data processing software. Alexander's IT company receives 80% of its orders from clients in the United States.
In the next 2-3 years, Alexander wants to transfer his IT business to the United States. He plans to develop it so that his son can later inherit an operational company. He therefore decided to move to America with his whole family.
- Alexander, 42 years old, a Russian citizen, owner of construction companies and an IT business in Russia
- Olga, 40 years old, Russian citizen, housewife, Alexander’s wife
- Ilya, 9 years old, a Russian citizen, student in school, Alexander and Olga’s son
In order to move to the United States and achieve his goals, Alexander needs to obtain a residence permit with permission to conduct business there.
Alexander initially considered applying for an EB-5 business visa, which a Russian citizen can receive in return for investing in the US economy. However, after studying the terms and conditions of this visa, he realized that it did not suit him.
In what ways is an EB-5 business visa to the United States inconvenient for a foreign entrepreneur?
- You need to invest at least $900,000. In order to participate in the program, Alexander would have had to withdraw money from his construction business. Moreover, he did not plan to invest such a large amount in his IT business in the United States straightaway. He was counting on making an initial investment of up to $300,000.
- Under US law, an investor with an EB-5 visa also pays tax on income earned outside the country. For Alexander, this meant that he would have had to pay tax twice: in Russia and the United States.
In addition, Alexander wanted to find a way that would allow him to travel around the world without a visa. He often travels with his family, participates in conferences and exhibitions, and meets foreign partners. Therefore, he also needed to resolve the issue of traveling visa-free world-wide before moving to the United States.
Alexander heard about the Malta citizenship by investment program from his friends: with a Maltese passport, an investor can travel freely within the European Union and enter the United States without a visa.
In mid-June 2020, Alexander contacted Immigrant Invest to find out more about the possibility of getting a Maltese passport. We talked about the terms and conditions of the Maltese citizenship by investment program and the benefits that a Malta passport offers.
After studying the program in detail, Alexander realized that the Malta citizenship program was also not suitable for him. We then helped him select a citizenship by investment program that would help him achieve his goals. Below, we describe this process in detail.
Searching for a solution and choosing a program
Alexander and Olga met our lawyers at Immigrant Invest’s office in Moscow.
Together with the couple, we established three main tasks for them:
- Get a residence permit in the United States in order to live and do business there.
- Visa-free entry to the Schengen countries, Britain and Asia.
- School education in the United States for their son, with the choice later on of enrolling in university in the USA or Britain.
The Maltese citizenship program was not suitable for Alexander. Although Maltese citizens can enter the States with a special e-Visa, they cannot stay in the country for more than 90 consecutive days without permission to work or study there. In other words, a Maltese passport is suitable for short-term business trips and tourism, but would not help Alexander attain his goals of living in the US and conducting business there.
Another disadvantage is that participation in the Malta citizenship by investment program costs about 1 million euros, of which 760,000 euros are in non-refundable investments. Alexander did not want to lose such a large amount.
Our lawyers analyzed his situation and conducted a preliminary Due Diligence check on him. We then proposed that Alexander should apply for the Grenada citizenship by investment program in the Caribbean.
Grenada is among the countries with which the United States has an E-2 business visa agreement. This type of visa is ideally suited to Alexander’s needs.
Benefits of an E-2 business visa to the United States:
- You can live, work and do business in the United States.
- An E-2 visa can also be obtained for your spouse and children under 21 years of age.
- The investor's children can study in US schools.
- The validity of such a visa for Grenadian citizens is 5 years and it can be renewed an unlimited number of times, subject to the growth of the investor’s business in the United States.
- The visa is issued within 1-2 months, but you can pay for an expedited service, which reduces the processing time to 15 days.
Another advantage of a Grenada passport is that the holder can visit 134 countries throughout the world without a visa, including the UK, Schengen states, Singapore and China.
Alexander and Olga liked the opportunities offered by the Grenadian passport. We signed an agreement with them on the same day, and immediately started preparing documents required for their participation in the program.
Participants in the program
- Investor and their spouse
- Children under 30 years of age, as long as they are financially dependent on the applicant
- Parents, grandparents of the investor and their spouse, as long as they are financially dependent on the applicant
- Brothers and sisters of the investor and their spouse, on condition that they are not married and do not have any children
- Preliminary Due Diligence check on the investor by Immigrant Invest.
- Collecting documents, filling out questionnaires and signing government forms.
- Payment of state fees and payment of Due Diligence fee.
- Submission of documents for Due Diligence to the Grenadian department in charge of the citizenship by investment program.
- Government approval of investor’s application.
- Payment of agreed investment fee.
- Getting a certificate of naturalization and a Grenada passport.
- $150,000: a non-refundable contribution to Grenada’s National Transformation Fund
- $220,000: investment in government-approved real estate projects. The initial investment can be returned 5 years later
$5,000: Due Diligence fee
Presence in Grenada during registration process
Application processing time and delivery of new passport
Choosing an investment option
First, the investor needs to choose an investment option. The Grenada citizenship by investment program offers two options.
One-time non-refundable contribution to the National Transformation Fund. For a family of three, the required contribution is $200,000.
Investment of $220,000 in real estate. Although the minimum investment amount does not increase with the addition of family members, an additional fee of $50,000 must be paid. The investor chooses a property from the list of government-approved properties.
We have found that investors usually prefer the option of a non-refundable contribution as the investment requirement is lower.
However, Alexander chose the option of investing in real estate, despite its higher cost. He has extensive experience in the construction business and understands the real estate market. Most importantly, he knows that the initial investment will be returned to him in 5 years, when he sells his share in the property.
We showed Alexander three five-star hotel projects that had been approved by the Grenada government for investment under the citizenship by investment program.
In order to enable Alexander to make an informed decision, we provided him with information about the projects and development companies involved. We analyzed all the risks and submitted the results of our analysis to Alexander.
In the history of the first company, there were cases when projects were completed with a delay of 1-2 years, which Alexander did not find reassuring. He found the activities of the second developer to be insufficiently transparent. The company did not always publish regular project reports, and it was important for Alexander to keep abreast of the ongoing work.
Alexander liked the third project. Under the terms of this project, the investor buys a share in the construction of a hotel with a spa complex. The developer is a large company with a clean reputation and regular detailed reporting history. He therefore chose to invest in this project.
A modern hotel complex is being built in a picturesque corner of the island, which was 15 minutes’ drive from Grenada airport.
Each of the 100 rooms will have a private swimming pool and access to a sandy beach, which is considered among the best beaches in the Caribbean. The rooms offer stunning views of the garden or ocean.
There will be a spa complex on the territory of the hotel, where residents and guests will be able to undergo cosmetic, rejuvenating and wellness treatments. A gym and facilities for water sports are available for active guests.
Fulfillment of the program’s terms and conditions
All stages of participation in the Grenada citizenship program by investment can be completely remotely. The investor does not need to fly to the Caribbean to submit documents or obtain a passport. This is especially useful when borders are closed, as is the case these days, due to the pandemic.
Our lawyers immediately started collecting the required documents for Alexander and his wife. Since Alexander was in Moscow, he quickly provided us with all the necessary documents.
At this time, Alexander entered into a reservation agreement with the developer for 10% of the total amount of $220,000. The reservation agreement is included in the package of documents required for participation in the program.
We filled out the required questionnaires and government forms, after which we translated all documents into English, and notarized and apostilled them. We collected the complete package of documents for submission to the program department in 2 weeks.
Alexander paid the state and registration fees, 10% of the cost of the reservation agreement, and paid for the Due Diligence check. We then sent the package of documents to the program department to undergo Due Diligence.
Costs for obtaining Grenada citizenship for a family with a minor child
|Cost||Main applicant||Spouse||Child under 16|
|Real estate investment||$220,000|
The total cost of participation in the Grenada citizenship by investment program for Alexander and his family was about $300,000. Of this, $220,000 can be returned to him in 5 years.
Due Diligence check completed in record time
According to the terms of the program, the Due Diligence check and consideration of the investor's application take from 4 to 6 months to complete. However, Alexander'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 participants in the Grenada citizenship by investment program chose to invest in real estate.
As the Caribbean countries derive their main income from tourism, the Grenadian government is extremely interested in the development of the infrastructure for tourism. Attracting foreign investment through the citizenship program is one of the tools for economic development.
As a result, the department in charge of the citizenship by investment program accepted Alexander’s application, based on investment in real estate, in record time. Just 2 months later, we received notification that Alexander’s application had been approved. This is the fastest instance of getting Grenada citizenship by investment in our practice.
Alexander then paid the full agreed amount of the investment and waited for his and his family’s naturalization certificates and passports.
The result of our cooperation
1.5 weeks after the payment of the investment fee, we received the Grenadian naturalization certificates and passports for Alexander, Olga and Ilya. Although the documents could have been delivered by courier to any address chosen by them, they wanted to personally pick them up from Immigrant Invest’s office in Moscow.
At the end of August 2020, Alexander and Olga came to our office in Moscow and picked up their new passports and naturalization certificates. They were pleasantly surprised at how quickly they had got their second passports.
New opportunities with a Grenada passport
The Grenada citizenship by investment program is an affordable option for visa-free travel and relocation to the United States.
We have listed below some of the opportunities offered by a Grenada passport:
- Visa-free travel to 134 countries around the world, including the Schengen area, Britain, Singapore and China.
- Fast issuance of an American E-2 business visa valid for 5 years, which allows the holder and their family to live, work and conduct business in the United States.
- Tax optimization: the holder is not taxed on foreign income, capital gains, gifts or inheritance.
- The investor’s children are eligible for concessionary rates and other benefits at universities in the UK and the countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Immediately after receiving the Grenada passport, Alexander began to plan how to transfer his IT business to the United States. He was going to complete the whole process in such a way that the execution of orders was not interrupted. Alexander's dream is to transfer the management of a well-established business by inheritance to his son Ilya.
Alexander expects to get an E-2 visa in the second half of 2021. The couple want to move to the United States in the summer of 2022. Then on September 1, Ilya will start studying at the local junior high school in the US.
The couple had always dreamed of holidaying in the Caribbean, so they immediately decided to accept the opportunity of an annual vacation in the Caribbean offered by the hotel in which Alexander owns shares. They will be able to go on holiday there as soon as the complex starts receiving guests.