While attaining US citizenship is increasingly becoming a difficult and expensive prospect, many rich Indians have found out a way around it - through Grenada. Rich Indians are increasingly looking at Grenada as a route to attain US citizenship through the Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme.
Interest in the CBI programme has increased in the last three months, sources in the know told the Economic Times. Under the Grenada CBI programme, a visa applicant has to make $220,000 investment in a government-approved real estate project to acquire citizenship. Now, the Caribbean island has an E2 visa treaty with the US. A Grenadian can apply for the US citizenship and acquire it within three months. The E2 visa treaty allows an individual to invest a minimum of $150,000 and live and do business in the country. The investment must be in an enterprise that is able to "develop and direct" as mentioned in the report, and which is 50 per cent owned by the investor.
While the route might seem long, it has come after the US changed the investment guideline of the EB-5 programme. The minimum investment for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was raised to $900,000 from $500,000 in the Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and from $1 million to $1.8 million in the non-TEA in November last year. This has led to a dip in interest towards the US' EB-5 programme.
However, the route to US through Grenada is not only cheaper but the processing time is also quicker - 90 days for Grenadian citizenship and another 90 for E2 visa. To add to it, the route also allows the spouse of a visa holder to freely work in the US and covers dependent children under 21.
Another country that has similar provisions is Cyprus that has also become another preferred option.