In a recent report released by Josic Media, interest in obtaining a United States immigration visa and U.S. Green Card (permanent residency) has steadily risen in interest for the first quarter of the year. Even with ever-growing controversy surrounding the Trump administration, foreign investors are increasingly seeking access to the coveted E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, or E-2 Visa,* which grants holders entry to the U.S. in exchange for a capital investment into an American business or enterprise.
Unlike the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which requires a minimum investment of USD $500,000, obtaining an E-2 Visa can be accomplished for only tens of thousands of dollars, which likely adds to its appeal for business-minded individuals and entrepreneurs seeking entry to the U.S.
As the U.S. EB-5 Program draws closer to reform—measures that would significantly increase investment amounts—some U.S. lawmakers have argued that acquiring a U.S. immigration visa through investment is already an expensive and time consuming process, and that increasing investment amounts by hundreds of thousands of dollars is not only unnecessary but excessive.
Even so, demand for U.S. visas remains steady as foreign companies continue to expand in the U.S., and wealthy foreign nationals are turning to lesser-known investment schemes that offer affordable access to the E-2 Visa, such as the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada.
*Individuals applying for an E-2 Visa must keep in mind that it is not equivalent to obtaining a U.S Green Card (permanent residency). On the contrary, the E-2 Visa grants successful applicants a temporary non-immigrant visa, which is valid for a maximum of 2 years upon issuance and per each extension.
Obtaining Caribbean Citizenship and Passport as a Path to the United States
In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) created the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa to attract and increase foreign investment to the United States. Today, the E-2 Visa maintains commerce and navigation treaties with more than 70 countries all over the world, including Grenada.
By now you might be asking yourself, “What does Grenada have to do with the U.S?” and that’s entirely expected. In short, citizens of Grenada are eligible to apply for an E-2 Visa due to the country’s treaty status with the United States. What this means is that citizenship in Grenada must first be acquired by making a minimum investment of USD $200,000 in the country’s economy.
Through Granada’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), applicants have the option of making a minimum economic contribution of USD $200,000 to the National Transformation Fund (NTF), which funds infrastructure and social projects across the island.
Once Grenada citizenship is granted to the successful applicant, the holder can then apply for an E-2 Visa, which requires establishing a new business or purchasing a pre-existing business in the United States. Required investment amounts for the E-2 Visa can start as low as USD $50,000, and can include joint commercial or entrepreneurial partnerships, manufacturing companies for producing goods, real estate investments, or purchasing small businesses or a franchise.
There are a number of benefits with the E-2 Visa, such as fast-track processing in as little as 60 days (or 2 months), valid E-2 Visa holders have the right to leave and enter the U.S. on the condition their business remains operational, and children are able to attend schools and universities, among other advantages.
By comparison to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa offers a more affordable route to the United States. Although obtaining one is entirely possible—and at a fraction of the cost—investors must first acquire second citizenship (and passport) from the Caribbean island of Grenada.
The most important thing to remember about obtaining citizenship in Grenada is that it can be considered a double bonus, with benefits that include visa-free travel to more than 120 countries worldwide (including the UK and Schengen Region), citizenship can be maintained without physically residing in the country, numerous tax breaks, and not to forget—access to the E-2 Visa!
For more information about Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program, please click here.
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