15 reasons why you should become a citizen of the Caribbean island of Grenada
December 1st 2020
If you’re planning to secure second citizenship, be it as an insurance policy for your family, a route to global mobility, or an escape to permanent residency, the Caribbean island of Grenada should be top of your consideration list.
Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment programme is considered to be in the top three CBI Programmes worldwide, according to the latest CBI Index, for 2020. The programme has upped its reputation stakes in recent years thanks to such bold and decisive government moves in tightening the due diligence processes, as well as in ironing out its application processes, meaning many applicants now receive citizenship within 90 days.
From its excellence in education, idyllic beauty, to its economic stability and family inclusiveness, here are 15 reasons why you should obtain Grenadian citizenship.
- Nature-rich healthy lifestyle
From its lush rainforests, hot springs, mountain lakes and natural waterfalls to its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, Grenada offers some of the most immaculate natural environments in the world. Made up of six islands, Grenada is the biggest, followed by habitable sister islands Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Relatively untouched, compared to some of the other mainstream Caribbean islands, it’s the ideal destination for those seeking nature, peace and privacy. Over half of the island is a lush forest teeming with incredible wildlife, while the spectacular white-sand beaches are unspoiled with fewer tourists than some of the other Caribbean islands like Barbados. Its world-famous Grand Anse beach, a two-mile stretch of white sand, is ranked in the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. Daily activities on the island make use of the nation’s natural beauty and include diving, snorkelling, sailing, watersports, fishing, kayaking, swimming and hiking. There’s both an annual sailing festival and an annual fishing contest. The country is focused on sustainability and is carving a niche as an eco-tourist destination.
- Wonderful weather year-round
Like all of its Caribbean counterparts, Grenada’s tropical climate is pleasant with average year-round temperatures ranging from 23C-28C and with a cool breeze due to trade winds. While it does have a hurricane season, like all the islands, thanks to its location just south of the hurricane belt, these are certainly less frequent than its neighbours with most tropical storms passing the island by.
- Political stability and economic growth
When you consider the current political instability of so many countries around the world, it’s good to know that Grenada has had a stable government for the last 35+ years. Since the 1980s, major improvements to the country’s infrastructure have taken place as it grew in leaps and bounds. Nothing notable has happened in the governance or the politics of the country ever since. And when it comes to state affairs, no news is good news; investors love stability. Following the disbursement of US$22.4 million to Grenada under the Rapid Credit Facility in May 2020, to help the country deal with the economic impact of Covid, the IMF is predicting economic growth of 6.25% for Grenada in 2021. Grenada had enjoyed a favourable multi-year macroeconomic performance prior to the pandemic with growth averaging almost 5% in 2014-2019, well above the 20-year historical average of 2.75%.
- Competitive cost of living
Living in the Caribbean is of course not inexpensive, but Grenada certainly falls below the average for the region and compared with countries like the UK and US, living is certainly affordable. Rental and real estate prices are some 50% lower than the equivalent in the UK. Like anywhere, life can be expensive if you buy imported produce, but there’s plenty of local food and drink to enjoy.
- Number one healthcare system in Caribbean
According to the World Health Organisation, Grenada’s health system is number one in the Caribbean. The Ministry of Health runs all healthcare on the island and there are both public and private facilities, including three privately-owned hospitals and four public hospitals. Healthcare infrastructure has been planned so that any household is never more than three miles from a healthcare facility. Private health insurance is always recommended however as anything specialist would require transportation elsewhere.
- Fast relocation route to the US
As the only Caribbean country to hold the coveted E-2 visa treatywith the US, Grenada citizens can apply for a non-immigrant visa to the US, meaning they can then both operate a substantial business in the US and reside there. As many countries worldwide including China, India and many of the Gulf countries do not have an E2 treaty with the US, citizenship of Grenada is an alternative route to this. It’s great if you are interested in establishing a business in the US as effortlessly as possible. This valuable E2 visa treaty with the US means that as a Grenadian citizen, you can apply to reside in the US and obtain permission to do so within 6-8 weeks. Additionally, as a non-immigrant resident, if the main resident stays in the US not more than 122 days per year, no tax on worldwide income is levied. If you decide to migrate to the US through the E2 visa, you will be allowed to establish, advance and operate a business within the United States. Also, your spouse will have work authorisation there and your children will be able to attend school of their choice, with many US states offering in-state tuition at State Universities up until age 21.
- Ease of global travel
Grenadian citizenship gives you and your family visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 144 destinations, including China (the only CBI Programme to offer this), Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and Europe’s Schengen Area. And this means visa-free access to 14 of 20 business hubs assessed in the 2020 CBI Index. In fact, Grenada has moved up two places in the global mobility rankings, making it the 33rd most powerful passport in the world, according to the just-released Passport Index Q4 2020. Grenada is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, headed by Queen Elizabeth II, which means there is a simplified process of relocating to other Commonwealth nations – for instance, Canada, Australia, and India. Furthermore, Grenada boasts an international airport (just 3 miles from Kimpton Kawana Bay and just 5 miles from the island’s capital, St. George’s) and is accessible from major international cities including Miami, New York, Atlanta, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, and the Caribbean.
- A safe haven for the entire family
Grenada, along with Dominica, is considered to offer the most family-friendly CBI programme, as it allows for the Inclusion of spouse, children, parents, grandparents and siblings. It is one of only two countries to allow the inclusion of children over 18 years, with few restrictions (dependent children up to 30 years). Similarly, while many CBI countries impose age restrictions on parents and grandparents, Grenada doesn’t, allowing all ages, although age-related cost distinctions do exist. Grenada is also just one of three CBI countries to allow unmarried siblings to form part of its application, and siblings must be aged at least 18 years. The country also allows the family of the spouse too.
- Offering a safe and relatively Covid-free environment
Already renowned for being an incredibly safe place to reside with the US Department of State ranking Grenada as Level 1 in terms of safety, Grenada has proven its safety consciousness even more during the pandemic. Having closed down early and managed the situation well, Grenada has managed to remain almost entirely Covid-free with just 41 import-related cases reported to date and no deaths.
- Excellence in education
As well as having a highly educated population, with its extremely high literacy rate (98.6%), Grenadian citizens spend an average of 16.6 years in education, which is the highest expected years of schooling of all CBI countries, according to CBI Index 2020. The government has prioritised education, spending 10.3% of its budget to the sector in 2016, the third highest rate in the world. Grenada’s public-school system is modelled on the British education system and English is the official language, with an array of international schools available. In fact, the country’s education system is garnering ever-greater recognition from the international community.
- Affordable university access
Grenada is home to the internationally accredited St George’s University, deemed one of the most highly regarded universities in the Caribbean, specialising in Medicine and Veterinary Science. New citizens to Grenada, who take up residence, after one year, can benefit from up to 90% discount for undergrad courses at St George’s University.
- A quick and easy way of obtaining citizenship
Grenada scores full points, according to the CBI Index 2020, for offering a straightforward, streamlined process to gaining citizenship. There are no mandatory interviews, language tests or culture or history tests, and applicants don’t need to demonstrate minimum business experience or a proven track record of achievement which is the case with some other programmes. Also, Grenada doesn’t impose travel or residence requirements on citizenship by investment applicants, before, during or after citizenship. Finally, granting of Grenadian citizenship is speedy with an average turnaround time of 60-90 days.
- Gain good income from investing in tourism property
The country offers good-quality investable property opportunities and via its CBI Programme, you can obtain citizenship by investing US$350,000 in a government-approved real estate project, mainly luxury hotels, resorts and villas. Or, applicants can invest in a government-approved tourism development to which the developer has already committed 20% of the total expected costs. A minimum investment of $220,000 is necessary and the investment must be held for five years. Take Kimpton Kawana Bay, a new five-star luxury resort that is ideally positioned on the world-famous Grand Anse Beach. It offers hassle-free ownership with no annual out-of-pocket fees. This offers good potential for rental income through the operator’s transparent hotel rental management programme and personal accommodation usage of up to two weeks. The hotel, once open (official opening is likely to be in 2022) will deliver 133 studios and 31 suites, as well as an infinity edge pool overlooking the beach, a state-of-the-art gym and spa facilities, a fine-dining restaurant, rooftop bar, beach bar, lounge with terrace, and water sports facilities.
Kimpton Kawana Bay
- Advantageous territorial tax system
Economic citizenship of Grenada can help HNWIs structure their tax situation advantageously while fully complying with international law. Grenada’s territorial tax regime is a massive benefit to many investors and business owners. Grenada does not tax foreign income, capital gains, inheritance, or wealth tax on worldwide income or assets. To attract businesses, the country offers corporate tax incentives, exempts all import taxes and has no limit on the flow of capital and profits back home.
- Oh, and great scuba diving
Grenada offers some of the best diving worldwide and is known as the “Wreck Capita of the Caribbean”, due to its many dive wrecks. It offers more than 35 dive sites, including reefs, wall and wreck dives and is home to the largest wreck in the Caribbean, an Italian passenger ship sunk in 1961, and an Underwater Sculpture Park. Sister islands Carriacou (a population of just 8,000) and Petite Martinique are known as the Isle of Reefs as they feature some of the best coral reefs of the region and are famed for its impressive diving spots