The bottleneck created by EB-5 retrogression has prompted prospective Chinese investors to seek another path to US investment and citizenship. As the sole possessor of both a citizenship-by-investment program and a bilateral investment treaty with the US, the tiny island nation of Grenada provides another option for these investors in the form of the E-2 investment visa.
How Does It Work?
Grenada’s citizenship-by-investment (CBI) program designates two ways for investors to gain citizenship: The first option allows individual investors to donate $150K, or investors with families to donate $200K, directly to the National Transformation Fund (NTF). For the second option, they can choose to invest a total of $400K in a government-approved project that’s beneficial to Grenada’s economy.
The simplicity of this program makes it possible for investors to become Grenadian citizens, eligible to apply for E-2 visas as well as travel to 121 countries visa-free, without ever setting foot in Grenada.
The NTF option is the more popular of the two. It’s also the option recommended by EB5AN, whose examination of the available development projects reveals that many are high risk at best and traps at worst. Commonly, properties are priced above market value, lack a history of profitability to assure investors of success, or are planned but never built. Investors are also required to maintain ownership of the property for at least three years after citizenship is granted.
Besides the advantage of a shorter waiting period to get into the United States, the E-2 doesn’t carry minimums for the amount that must be invested or the number of jobs that must be created. It does, however, require the investor to play an active role in business operations. It also doesn’t lead to permanent citizenship, but can be renewed or extended endlessly as long as its qualifications are met.
How Long Does It Take?
Investors can secure Grenadian citizenship within two to three months, and an E-2 visa within two to three months more. This total of six months is a far cry from the six to ten years a Chinese investor can expect to wait for an EB-5 visa during retrogression.
Can an E-2 be converted to an EB-5?
There are multiple ways to get from point E-2 to point EB-5, such as investing more money, investing in an EB-5 regional center project, or being sponsored by an employer or family member.
Punctilious planning makes all the difference. As soon as the investor has established E-2 status in the US, he or she should aim to fulfill the requirements of the EB-5 program, understanding that careful documentation is crucial.
Still, have questions? We’re here to help. Contact EB5AN today to learn more about Grenadian citizenship, EB-5 investing, and the E-2 route through Grenada.