No country on earth will admit to selling passports. It just wouldn’t be politically correct! But there are two sovereign countries that have ‘economic citizenship’ programs, meaning that you can obtain citizenship fast by contributing to their economies.
Those two countries are The Commonwealth of Dominica, and the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, both English speaking nations in the Caribbean who have found a niche and filled it. They offer internationally mobile, high net worth individuals who pass stringent background checks the chance to obtain citizenship within a few months. The St Kitts and Nevis program has the better reputation, having been run continuously since 1984 and currently attracting wealthy Chinese… and increasingly Americans seeking the only legal escape route from worldwide taxation. St Kitts and Nevis citizens also have the benefit of visa-free travel to all of Western Europe and Canada.
These two countries may soon be joined by a third: Grenada.
Grenada is not a new player in this market. Up until 2001 this Caribbean nation ran an economic citizenship program, but shortly after the events of 9/11, the then Finance Minister, Anthony Boatswain announced the suspension of this program, claiming that it became “too risky”. Belize suspended its citizenship program at the same time, although rumor has it that it is still quite easy to obtain a Belizean passport.
However, in Grenada things have changed. Perhaps they are looking jealously at the success of the St Kitts and Nevis program and believe they are now in a better position to tackle the due diligence and political challenges that a citizenship-by-investment program carries with it. A recent report by news service Caribbean 360 states that, “the harsh economic realities now facing Grenada has led government to consider offering overseas investors citizenship in exchange for large financial injections into the island.” So perhaps, as the report would seem to say, they are just desperate!
Anyhow, the outline plan was officially announced by Tourism Minister Peter David last month. “We have listened with interest to the proposal for an Investment Incentive Package for qualified applicants,’’ says the Minister.
The Grenadian government have yet to announce details of the plan, but you’ll be pleased to know that your Q Wealth team are hard at work on a new ‘economic citizenship’ report exclusively for our paid up members that will look in depth at the advantages and disadvantages of the Caribbean citizenship programs. Stay tuned.
We will also be giving a presentation on second citizenships at the BFI Inner Circle Briefing in the Bahamas in just over a week. There is still time to register for the Briefing, and we still have a few slots free for in-depth (paid) consultations on citizenship and offshore issues with Peter Macfarlane and Richard Cawte. Contact the Q Wealth Offices if you are interested. If you can’t make it to the Bahamas, consultations by telephone can also be arranged. And finally, remember that all paid-up members of Q Wealth are entitled to a free consultation by e-mail with one of our recommended experts.