Wealthy Indians are turning to Grenada, the Caribbean island nation, as a route to get US citizenship. This comes as getting an EB-5 immigrant investor visa to the US has become more expensive.
The Economic Times, in a report, cites an immigration lawyer as suggesting that Indians’ interest in the Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme has increased in the last three months. The Caribbean country has an investment visa treaty with the US.
At the same time, there has been a drop in interest towards the EB-5 programme after the US altered investment guidelines under it.
In November 2019, the minimum investment required under EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was raised to $900,000 from $500,000 in Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and from $1 million to $1.8 million in non-TEAs.
Along with this, the annual country cap has been set at 700. This has led to a longer wait for Indians, the newspaper has quoted Mark Davies, the global chairman of immigration law firm Davies & Associates as saying.
Under Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment programme, an applicant has to invest $220,000 in a government-approved real estate project. Grenada has an E2 visa treaty with the US, under which a Grenadian can apply for US citizenship and get it within three months.
An E-2 visa allows investors to live and do business in the US in exchange for a minimum investment of $150,000.
The report suggests that an added advantage of this route is that it allows the visa holder’s spouse to freely work in the US and also covers dependent children under 21 years of age.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
The Republic of Cyprus, which also offers a similar programme, and Turkey are also emerging as other preferred options.