First Quarter of 2023 Saw a Record-High Number of Applicants for Grenadian Citizenship

The Grenadian economic citizenship program continues to break the records as far as the number of foreign applicants for citizenship of the country is concerned. The popularity of the option to acquire Grenadian citizenship by investing into real property is growing.

Demand for Grenadian citizenship

Recent statistics

The Government of Grenada has published a new report with the statistics for the first quarter of 2023. Of the three months, March saw the largest number of applications for citizenship.  

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In total, 980 foreigners including main applicants and their dependent family members were granted citizenship of Grenada by investment in the first three months of 2023. The number of rejected applications remains very low.

Applications by donations to NTFApplications by investment in propertyNew citizens (main applicants and their family members)*

Number of passports issued to foreign investors in the first quarter of 2023. Source: Grenada Ministry of Finance.

* the application approval date comes significantly later than the application submission date does.

The statistics show high demand for Grenadian real estate among foreign investor immigrants. When purchasing property in the country, the new citizen is entitled to let it on a lease immediately, which is what many investors do to obtain a passive income. After five years, the investor immigrant is free to sell the property back without losing his/ her Grenadian passport. If the prices grow by that time, the investor can make a profit while keeping his/ her second citizenship. 

Foreign investors more often preferred purchasing property in Grenada to making donations to the National Transformation Fund (NTF). Grenada offers a wide choice of five-star hotels and resort complexes that have been approved by the local Government for citizenship-by-investment purposes.

Applications submitted (total)Applications by donations to NTFApplications by investment in propertyApplications approved *Applications rejected *
2023 (1st QTR.)5762563202997

Number of submitted, approved, and rejected applications for citizenship between 2019 and 2023. Source: Grenada Ministry of Finance.

* the application approval date comes significantly later than the application submission date does.

A record-breaking quarter

The quarterly report shows that several records were broken in the first quarter of 2023. These include the following ones:

  • Record-high number of applications for citizenship in one quarter of the year (576);
  • Record-high number of applications in a month (266 in March 2023);
  • Record-high number of applications processed in one quarter of the year (306);
  • Record-high number of applications processed in one month (181 in March 2023);
  • Record-high number of passports issued to foreign applicants for citizenship including main applicants and dependent family members in one quarter of the year (980);
  • Record-high number of passports issued in one month (578 in March 2023);
  • Record-high quarterly income generated by the citizenship-by-investment program (243 million East Caribbean dollars);
  • Record-high monthly income generated by the program (142 million East Caribbean dollars in March 2023.
Grenada passport

What are the reasons for the growth of popularity of the Grenadian ‘golden passport’?

The increase in the demand for Grenadian passports is mostly attributable to the following two main factors:

  • First, Grenada was the only Caribbean country that continued accepting applications for citizenship from Russians in 2022 and in the first quarter of 2023. After March 2023, the country stopped accepting applications from Russian and Belarussian citizens and joined the agreement with the USA on ‘6 principles of granting citizenship by investment’. Consequently, we should expect a decrease in the total number of applications for Grenadian citizenship in the near future.  
  • Second, a larger number of attractive development projects can be found in Grenada in comparison to other Caribbean countries running citizenship-by-investment programs. In December 2022, the authorities of St Kitts and Nevis, for example, decided to re-inspect the development projects in the country approved for citizenship-by-investment purposes. They sought to get rid of ‘ghost projects’ and combat unsanctioned discounts. Since the beginning of 2023, all the property complexes in St Kitts and Nevis have been going through reassessment procedures. Prior to that date, there were 95 Government-approved development projects in the country. Thus far, only 9 of them have been reapproved. This fact has certainly played into the hands of Grenadians. As far as St Lucia is concerned, there are only two approved development projects there and both are still under construction. If you take Antigua and Barbuda, the investment-into-property route to citizenship of the country looks much less attractive than the donation-to-the-state-fund route does. Over the last two years, very few foreigners acquired citizenship of Antigua by investment into property.

The Grenadian citizenship-by-investment program remains attractive to well-to-do foreign nationals wishing to acquire second passports of a politically neutral country. The passport of Grenada gives visa-free access to a large number of destinations. The Grenadian scheme is especially appealing for large families because it allows including an extended list of relatives to family applications for citizenship. You can add not only your spouse and children to the application but also your parents, brothers, and sisters. The important restriction is that your brother/ sister has to be single and childless.

If you choose to make a donation to the National Transformation Fund, you have to bring US$ 150,000. If you choose to make a returnable investment into real estate in Grenada, you have to bring US$ 200,000. These are the amounts that a single applicant for Grenadian citizenship has to pay. If a family application is filed, both the donation and the investment amounts are going to be greater.

Please bear in mind that you will also have to cover the administrative costs involved in applying for Grenadian citizenship. In particular, you will have to pay the due diligence fee and cover the costs of the licensed immigration agent’s services. Normally, applications for Grenadian citizenship are processed within 90 days. At least, such a timeframe is set in the relevant legislation.  

The backlog in the Grenadian CIU

Since April 3, 2023, the Grenadian Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) has been headed by Thomas Antony. Before that date, Mr. Antony had been holding top positions in CIUs of other Caribbean states. The most challenging task that the Government official faced when he took office was the need to sort out the backlog that the CIU had.

Thomas Antony

His predecessor made serious progress in the matter. However, as of the third quarter of 2022, at least 1,451 applications remained unprocessed. The average income derived from one application for Grenadian citizenship by investment is US$ 302,000. Thus, the overall cost of the applications awaiting processing was nearly half a billion dollars.

Even though the number of applications has been growing, the Grenadian CIU is starting to catch up. In March this year alone, the officers processed 181 applications, which is by 269% more than the year before. At the same time, the number of applications is now by four times greater than before. In the first quarter of 2023, more applications for citizenship were filed than during the entire 2021.

The profits that the Grenadian citizenship-by-investment program generates

The increase in the number of applications approved naturally brought about an increase of the income that the Grenadian economic citizenship program generates. In the first quarter of 2023, the program made 243.5 million East Caribbean dollars compared to 89.8 million dollars made in the first quarter of the previous year.

March proved the most profitable month: foreign investors brought 141.6 million East Caribbean dollars to the country’s economy. By the end of the quarter, the program had already earned two thirds of the overall profit in 2022.

Because the proportion of foreign investors buying property in Grenada is growing, the average income that one application generates is also growing. (A larger amount is required to obtain citizenship of Grenada by investment proper rather than by donation.) In 2023, the average income generated by one application for citizenship exceeded US$ 302,000 for the first time in the history of Grenada.  

The Grenadian economic citizenship program was relaunched in 2014 after a ten-year pause. The authorities had to suspend the program under pressure from the USA. Since the citizenship-by-investment program was restarted, more than 7 thousand people from different parts of the world have become economic citizens of Grenada.

Transition to paperless application processing

The procedures of acquiring a ‘golden passport’ of Grenada are constantly improving. In accordance with Decree № 4 from June 1, 2023 issued by Thomas Antony, the Grenadian CIU has transitioned to paperless application processing.

The process of obtaining a Grenadian Golden Passport

The transition will facilitate application processing and accelerate the process of Grenadian citizenship acquisition. In addition to that, it will help cut the expenses associated with processing applications for citizenship. Now the Unit is going to use electronic means of data storage and processing.

Beginning June 1, 2023, the Grenadian CIU does not accept any paper-based application documents with the exception of the applicants’ photographs.

Professional assistance in acquiring citizenship in the Caribbean or other parts of the world

Are you considering an opportunity to apply for Caribbean citizenship by investment? Great choice! However, there are other countries in different regions of the world that also administer citizenship-by-investment programs.

Our experts will be delighted to help you choose the best option that will meet all your expectations and help you achieve your most important goals. If you wish, we can also assist you with opening a personal or a corporate bank account abroad, registering a foreign company or a trust, and using other efficient tax planning instruments.

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