CaribbeanPolicy Updates

Grenada CIP Open to Russians Again, Says Grenada Govt. Minister: Not True Says CIU

Update: 19:50 GMT: CIU-head Thomas Anthony reached out to IMI to dispel Minister Adrian Thomas’ claims: “No, we are not accepting Russian applications. The Minister is mistaken.”

Speaking to members of Grenada’s Upper House yesterday, Grenada’s Minister of State With Responsibility for Agriculture and Lands, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Adrian Thomas, said the country’s citizenship by investment program (CIP) was “open for everybody, whether you are Chinese, whether you are Russian, whether you are African; the first thing this administration sees is a human being.”

According to Now Grenada, Minister Thomas stated, “We don’t cut you to see what blood runs through your veins whether it is African blood, Chinese blood, or Russian blood.”

The government, he added, was “here to bring benefits to our people, and the CBI program is a program we are going to utilize. The program is such a successful program, being run under strict leadership and strict management,” he posited, also pointing out that five or six international bureaus were involved in program due diligence.

“When we approve any CBI project or any CBI developer, or anybody who wants to be part of the CBI programme,” continued Thomas, “rest assured, Grenadians, that we are doing due diligence.”

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The Minister’s indication that the program is now once more open to all nationalities will come as a surprise to many industry observers, as it marks a fourth change in policy in under two years:

It is against this backdrop that Grenada now appears to be welcoming Russians and Belarusians once more. Unless the minister is speaking entirely out of turn (always a distinct possibility), this policy u-turn will mark the fourth Grenadian change in policy on the matter in 20 months.

The policy reversal raises several poignant questions: One is whether Grenada's decision does not constitute a breach of the Caribbean-American agreement on uniform bans on Russian and Belarusian applicants throughout the region. If so, it is likely to affect Grenada's relationship with its Caribbean CBI peers, not to mention Washington.

Another is what may have motivated the decision. Being alone in receiving Russian applications for more than a year, Grenada's CIP has seen record levels of applications and corresponding revenues, amounting to hundreds of millions of additional dollars in 2023 alone.

Program stakeholders with whom IMI has been in touch today say they have not received any formal circular informing them of the reversal. Will the program now also open to North Koreans and Iranians, who have also been barred from applying?

Earlier today, IMI contacted Thomas Anthony, head of Grenada's CIU, to confirm the Minister's claims. Several hours later, we have been unable to obtain confirmation.

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