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Grenada Citizenship and Passport: A Short Route to U.S. Residence

6 April 2017

Grenada Citizenship and Passport: A Short Route to U.S. Residence
Foreign nationals often turn to the Caribbean to obtain a second citizenship and passport to their country of choice. Applicants can choose from a range of Citizenship by Investment Programs (CIP) offered in island nations such as Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia, and Grenada, among others.
Each program provides benefits to high net worth individuals seeking immigration solutions through investment for themselves and family. Whether it’s to have greater travel freedom, establishing a “home away from home” or even a business, the Caribbean offers applicants an affordable way to global mobility and financial freedom.

However, some citizenship programs have lesser-known benefits, and Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program is one of them. Out of all Caribbean countries that offer a second citizenship and passport to foreign investors, Grenada is the only island nation that provides applicants access to a United States E-2 Investor Visa. By now you may be asking yourself what an E-2 Investor Visa is, or more specifically, what it has to do with the tiny island of Grenada.

In this article, we will outline how obtaining Grenada citizenship and passport allows investors to apply for an E-2 Investor Visa and what it provides qualifying applicants.

Grenada’s E-2 Investor Treaty with the United States

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Grenada is the country’s E-2 Investor Treaty with the United States, which grants citizens of Grenada entry to the U.S. in exchange for a substantial capital investment into a U.S. business or enterprise. In short, individuals who acquire citizenship through Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program are thus eligible to apply for the E-2 Visa.

It bears to note that Grenada citizenship and passport must first be obtained in order to qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa. Grenada citizenship and passport can be obtained by qualifying applicants and their dependent in as little as 3 months for a minimum investment amount of USD $200,000 in the country’s economy.

Once Grenada citizenship and passport is acquired, investors can apply for an E-2 Investor Visa to enter the U.S. Applicants have the option of establishing a new business or purchasing a pre-existing business, but for either option, the investment must be a legitimate enterprise, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations. Furthermore, USCIS states the nature of the business must qualify as a “real, active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit.” Examples of an E-2 Investor Visa business are (but not limited to) as follows:
  • A joint venture or business partnership;
  • Companies that establish manufacturing plants for the production of goods;
  • Real estate investment;
  • A small businesses or franchise purchased by small businessmen or women.
E-2 Investor Visas have a number of advantages for business-minded individuals and their family. Some of these advantages include:
  • E-2 Investor Visa applications are processed in as little as 60 days;
  • Investment amounts can start as low as USD $50,000;
  • The E-2 Investor Visa does not require the holder to remain in the U.S. for a minimum amount of time;
  • Holders of an E-2 Investor Visa can remain in the U.S. as long as the business is operational;
  • Holders of an E-2 Investor Visa can avoid the worldwide taxation issue associated with most long-term U.S. visas;
  • The E-2 Investor Visa holder's children can attend U.S. high schools, colleges, and universities;
  • Retirees can use the E-2 Investor Visa to retire in the U.S.
It’s important to keep in mind the E-2 Investor Visa is a temporary “non-immigrant” visa and should not be confused with the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which grants applicants and dependents a U.S. Green Card (permanent residency) in exchange for a capital investment into the economy. Non-immigrant visa means you will not get a U.S. Green Card or citizenship in the U.S. under E-2 Investor Visa status. Having said that, as a non-immigrant visa, the E-2 Investor Visa is valid for a period of five years and can be renewed with 2 year extensions.

Holders of an E-2 Investor Visa can, however, leave the U.S. and re-enter as they wish with their valid visa. The E-2 Visa is valid for a period of five years (renewable for two-year periods thereafter) and remains valid as long as the holder is operating his or her business. If the business fails, the E-2 Visa holder is required to leave the U.S.

Final Thoughts

The list of countries whose citizens have the option of applying for an E-2 Investor Visa include Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Morocco,  Oman, Tunisia, Turkey, and so on. Citizens of these countries can apply for and arrange an E­-2 Treaty Investor Visa.

Unfortunately, countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Palestine are not U.S. Treaty countries, and thus ineligible to apply as natural-born citizens. Chinese citizens are also not eligible for this type of visa. However, citizens of these countries still have a lawful and legitimate chance to become a resident of the United States of America at a reduced investment through the E-­2 Investor Visa. To do this, they simply need to obtain a second citizenship and passport from Grenada.

For most, obtaining a second citizenship and passport in Granada provides more than enough benefits for successful applicants and their family: greater travel freedom, tax incentives, and citizenship can be maintained without ever residing in the country. But for some, access to the U.S. through the E-2 Investor Visa can be a deciding factor when applying to Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program since Grenada citizenship (passport) gives backdoor access to the U.S. under the E-2 Investor Treaty Visa.
 
For more information about Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program, please click here.

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