CaribbeanIntel & Data

Having Shattered All Records in 2022, Grenada CIP Breaks Them Again in Q1 2023

Since mid-2022, Grenada’s CIP has been on an upward trajectory that has no precedent in among citizenship by investment programs, in the Caribbean or elsewhere.

The quarterly report show Grenada’s CIP continued to break records in Q1:

  • Record quarterly application volume: 576 applications received in Q1 2023.
  • Record monthly application volume: 266 applications received in March 2023
  • Record quarterly processing volume: 306 applications processed in Q1 2023
  • Record monthly processing volume: 181 applications processed in March 2023
  • Record new citizenships issued in a quarter: 980 in Q1 2023
  • Record new citizenships issued in a month: 578 in March 2023
  • Record quarterly program revenue: EC$243 million in Q1 2023
  • Record monthly program revenue: EC$142 million in March 2023

While application volume has continued to rise, processing capacity is starting to catch up. In March alone, the CIU processed 181 files, up 269% from the same month in 2022. Application volume, meanwhile, has quadrupled in the same period. In the first quarter of 2023, Grenada received more applications than in all of 2021.

Greater approval volumes have driven a remarkable rise in program revenue. In Q1, the program raised EC$243.5 million, up from EC$89.8m in Q1 2022.

The preponderance of Q1 revenue was concentrated in March, which saw EC$141.6m injected into the Grenadian economy, almost as much as in the preceding four months combined.

By the end of Q1 2023, the program had already raised two-thirds of the amount it garnered in the full year of 2022.

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Thanks to the growing share of investors who choose to invest in real estate, the per-applicant revenue has risen steadily. In 2023, for the first time in the program's history, average revenue per approved application has exceeded 302,000 American dollars.

At least two factors have played crucial roles in bolstering interest in the program:

First, for much of 2022 and Q1 2023, the program was the only among its regional peers to continue to accept Russians, which concentrated CBI applicants of that nationality in Grenada. As of Q2 this year, Grenada has committed to stop accepting applications from Russians as part of its acceding to the US-orchestrated agreement on the "6 CBI Principles". We should, therefore, expect to see some slowdown of in application volume once the second quarterly report is issued.

Second, a dearth of CBI real estate options among other Caribbean CIPs have given a boost to Grenada's developments:

Shortly after taking office late last year, the new administration of the Saint Kitts & Nevis CIP moved to amend the rules for approved CBI real estate developments in a bid to prevent ghost projects and unauthorized discounting. As part of that process, it revoked the designations of all previously approved developments, requiring them to re-qualify under the new terms, a process that began only in January this year. For the first five months of 2023, Saint Kitts & Nevis, which had previously sported 95 approved developments, had no designated real estate projects.

The Saint Lucia, CIP, meanwhile, has only two approved projects (from the same developer), neither of which have progressed beyond the initial stages. The Antigua & Barbuda CIP's real estate option, moreover, has been nearly dormant for the last two years.

On April 3rd, Thomas Anthony, who has held leading positions in Caribbean CIUs for a decade, took over the reins as CEO of the Grenada CIU. His first order of business, he said then, was to tackle the program's seemingly intractable backlog. While his predecessor made significant inroads in that respect in March, at least 1,451 files remained unprocessed at the end of Q3. Based on the average per-application revenue of US$302,000, that backlog is now worth nearly half a billion USD.

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