The Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program received 165 applications in the third quarter of this year, the latest figures from the country’s Finance Ministry show. That represents an all-time quarterly high, eclipsing the previous record (121 applications received in Q4 2019) by 36%. Already in the year’s first three quarters, the program has received an aggregate of 391 applications, virtually the same number as during all of 2020, which was itself a record-breaking year.
In terms of application approvals, by contrast, 2021 lags last year; Grenada approved 268 applications in the first three quarters, which, if extrapolated to the end of 2021, would bring the full-year approval figure to 335, i.e., 40 fewer approvals than in 2020. That extrapolation, however, is likely of limited use as a significant proportion of applications received in Q3 will only be processed in Q4. Because Q3 saw record-levels of applications, Q4 is likely to approach records for approvals, which is likely to end with Grenada posting a fifth consecutive record year.
The program brought in investments and revenues amounting to EC$186 million in the first three quarters of 2021. Some EC$62 million of that pertains to National Transformation Fund (NTF) contributions, EC$ 104 million to real estate investments, and EC$21 million to government fees.
Note that while the lion's share of revenue this year has come in the form of real estate investment (as was the case last year), the preponderance of applications have been filed under the NTF option. This is a reflection of the price differential between the two options (minimum NTF contributions are US$150,000, while minimum the property investment amount is US$220,000).
While the NTF option has historically accounted for the majority of applications (though not necessarily the majority of funds injected), the real estate option surpassed the NTF's popularity during the preceding four quarters. In Q3 this year, however, the relative popularity of the two options have once more converged as the NTF option takes a slim lead over real estate.
Grenada's isn't the only CIP that's smashed records during the pandemic, and it's still some distance behind both the CIPs of Saint Kitts & Nevis and Dominica in terms of application volume. But it is the only program in the region that's grown consistently for five consecutive years.
“The figures are self-explanatory," says Mohammed Asaria, whose company Range Developments is constructing the Six Senses resort at La Sagesse in Grenada, funded in large part by CBI investor funds. "Grenada has risen the ranks in terms of popularity and, as a jurisdiction, is one of the leaders, not just in the Caribbean but globally."
He highlights the Grenadian passport's visa-waiver agreements with six out of eight G8 countries, as well as with China, and the access it provides to US residency via the E2 treaty as factors driving demand for the program.
"The popularity of the real estate route to citizenship is clear," adds Asaria, whose foray into Grenada's resort development market coincided with (and arguably caused) the relative rise in the real estate option's popularity. His luxury resort development, he says, is on track for timely completion late next year.
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Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine - online or offline - for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.