ST. GEORGE’S – Grenada Friday announced adjustment to its Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme that will result in foreign investors having to pay more interviews under the initiative.
The Dickon Mitchell government said all interviewing fees will now be US$1000 while the due diligence fee for dependent parents aged 65 and over has increased from US$250 to US$5000.
“These Regulations shall come into force on the first day of September,” said the notice in the official Gazette signed by Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, who is the minister responsible for citizenship.
There is also the introduction of a financial sponsor interviewing fee of US$1000.
One local agent explained that the financial sponsor is someone sponsoring an applicant cost. “Usually the sponsor pays the fee, so in that case not only the applicant is interviewed but also the financial sponsor,” the agent explained.
Grenada is one of several countries with CBI programmes through which foreign investors are granted citizenship in return for making a substantial investment in the socio-economic development of the country.
In the first six months of this year, Grenada earned EC$157 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) under the CBI, but issues related to due diligence and the management of these programmes have raised concerns with countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States (US).
In July, the US and EU authorities made specific recommendations to Caribbean nations that have CBI programmes, to further strengthen high levels of background checks, prevent money laundering and tax evasion.
Among the recommendations are in-person interviews and the minimum investment thresholds be increased, with a minimum of US$200 000, per single applicant for applications under the donation option and a minimum of US$400 000 for real estate investments. (CMC)