by Linda Straker
- Projects funded through NTF funds listed in annual Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure
- Applications coming from Asian, East and Northern Africa, and Indian markets
- Between 2017 and 2021 over 3,000 people approved for citizenship under CBI programme
Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme earned approximately EC$150 million for 2021 which represents an increase of almost 40% when compared to the earnings from 2020. In 2020 the management of the programme had to switch to using technology to continue dealing with applications because of the difficulties created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“So, in 2021 where we are on trend to have an almost 40% increase in our revenue, we are looking at over 150 million. For 2022 we are looking ambitious, and we are going to be doing some things in that area, we looking to bring this up closer to 300 million,” Karline Purcell, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the CBI office said during an end of year interview with the Government Information Service.
Grenada offers 2 investment options under its CBI Programme. Under the CBI law, an investor can make a payment to the National Transformation Fund (NTF) or invest in a local real estate development project approved by the Grenada Government. Under either option, the CBI Applicant must pay additional application, processing, and due diligence fees.
The projects that are funded through the NTF funds is listed in the annual Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure while real estate projects investment funds come through the Ministry of Finance.
“Finance is the one that will dictate in terms of, you know they manage the funds like all the other government funds,” Purcell said in the interview. Admitting that there is a lack of accurate information about the CBI by some members of the public, Purcell said that the misinformation is due to a lack of understanding about the process for earning citizenship through the CBI.
“I think that persons are misinformed in terms of the due diligence process. Persons applying to become a citizen are encouraged to invest in the programme, one of the benefits of investment, that type of investor is obviously becoming a citizen,” Purcell explained. “That process is a tedious one, it’s a diligent one, our due diligence is second to none, we can boast of that because it’s a very vigorous one. We have due diligence happening at varying levels of the process from the time the application comes in, at the marketing agent level, at the local agent level, at the bank level.”
Sharing more details about the application process, she said it can be anywhere from 40 or 45 days all the way up to 90 to 120 days. “I am saying that with a caveat, simply because sometimes we have to enquire, we just have to go back for information so that you have to go back to get additional information on that particular information based on what was found in the process of due diligence and that sort of things.” Purcell was appointed to the post in the second half of 2021.
“It varies, each application is different but there are some standard things that must be submitted, and we tend not to lapse on those things,” she said before disclosing the locations around the world where applications are submitted. “Applications are coming from the Asian market, the African market, both East and Northern Africa, we are seeing some uptake in the Indian market.”
Open data on the Ministry of Finance website shows that between 2017 and 2021 over 3,000 people were approved for citizenship under the country’s CBI programme.