The Grenada CIU is simplifying its documentation requirements, re-structuring the procedural steps, and implementing automated solutions to catalyze their processing.
Citizenship by investment applications are comprehensive bundles of documents that often take an applicant many months to compile, let alone submit. To expedite the processing timeline, the Grenada CIU is adopting the tactic of receiving initial documentation required for effective due diligence and, subsequently, submitting these to law enforcement for background verification purposes before the final applications have been lodged.
Agents will be able to “pre-submit”, on behalf of their clients, documents necessary for due diligence, including
- Current passport
- Birth certificate
- Second form picture ID
- Forms 1,2,5, and 6
- Police clearance certificate
- Education certificate
- Proof of Address
- Marriage/divorce certificate
- Bank reference
- Proof of source of funds
While the formal processing does not commence until after the application is completed in its entirety, the two-step process ensures that, once the remaining documents are at hand, the remaining procedure can be completed in a relatively much shorter period.
Speaking exclusively to IMI, Mr. Percival Clouden, head of the Grenada CIU, said the new two-step procedure would drastically reduce processing times.
“We will be accepting the files with a complete set of the due diligence requirements so that we can request the DD report from law enforcement while the local agent completes the remainder of the file. This way, when the due diligence report comes back, in about 20-25 days, the file should be more or less ready to go.”
The change, Clouden explains, will enable his Unit to complete the entire process well within the statutory 60-day processing period, and likely much quicker than that.
“The final application should reach the Citizenship Committee about 15 days following the final submission,” predicts the CEO, who also emphasizes that, while the new system will accelerate processing, it will in no way compromise the rigors of the due diligence process.
Accommodating documentary challenges in core markets
Beyond introducing a two-step processing method, the CIU also announced clarifications to its document requirements. Clouden explained that the CIU had invested significant time and resources into understanding local culture and requirements in its key source markets and had, on the basis of what it learned, rationalized its documentary requirements to accommodate such local idiosyncrasies.
“We are streamlining document requirements out of consideration for the particular culture and customs of our core markets,” notes Clouden. “In certain jurisdictions, you simply can’t get certain documents, so we have have provided for the use of substitutes in those cases.”
A practical example of such a substitute is the CIU’s now accepting Family Books (common in Arab countries) as a valid replacement for birth and marriage certificates.
Grenada saw an uncharacteristic but disconcerting slow-down in application processing around the time of the handover of the management of the CIU, in August and September. Since then, the rate of processing has rapidly accelerated, but Mr. Clouden indicates new measures introduced this week and in the weeks to follow will see even greater gains in processing capacity.
“Right now, I am processing files submitted in the latter part of September. My objective is to, by December, be processing applications received in November. I’d like to never be more than 30 days out,” comments Clouden, who, thanks to his “24/7 approach to processing” has done a remarkable job of nearly eliminating the pre-existing backlog.
Taking a page from Dominica’s playbook, the Grenada CIU is also preparing to automate most of its work through the use of application processing software.
“We are in the process of finalizing software enhancements to deal with the whole process electronically. Within the next month, we should be well on our way to near-total digitalization, and we expect the system to be online and fully functional by January.”
Thanks to the same digital solution – developed by a Canadian software company – Dominica was famously able to continue processing uninterrupted throughout its devastating 2017 hurricanes. In 2018, Dominica approved some 2,100 applications, more than any other CIP that year.
Want to know more about the Grenada CIP? To see statistics, recent articles, official links, and more, visit its Program Page. To see which firms can assist with applications to the Grenada CIP, visit the Residence & Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.