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Grenada CBI program - Contender to become most attractive in the Caribbean

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Posted by Edward Keifer on 16 December 2019
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Grenada CBI Program - the Overseas Investor

Grenada CBI Program

Citizenship by investment provides a direct route to legally acquiring citizenship via an investment or contribution to the economy of a nation. The Overseas Investor’s Grenada CBI Program affords high-net-worth investors the chance to acquire dual citizenship via investing in real estate.

The Overseas Investor is promoting Kimpton Kawana Bay as the qualified property investment for the Grenada CBI program.

Kawana Bay, a Kimpton© Hotel, is an award-winning new 5-star hotel development located at world-famous Grand Anse Beach and is the country’s latest CBI project. Construction commenced in January 2017 and the first 2 phases are to be delivered for the hotel to be opened for the 2020-2021 season.

Kimpton Kawana Bay Key Strengths

  • Freehold ownership of a condominium unit. All units are sold with a title deed.
  • Secondary purchasers are eligible to apply for CBI.
  • Internationally branded hotel – Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which is the world’s largest operator of boutique hotels and is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group of companies.
  • The hotel will be operated by Kimpton with a performance benchmark set against some of the premier resorts in the Caribbean.
  • Good opportunity for rental income through the transparent hotel rental management programme.
  • No annual fees – all fees are deducted from the rental program revenue prior to distribution
  • Hassle-free ownership.

Dual Citizenship – important benefits

Dual citizenship has a number of important benefits, from tax planning to investment privacy. Dual passports are generally issued in just six months offering Visa-free travel in many countries around the World.

On 1st April 2019 Grenada raised the bar by reducing the investment threshold for its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) real estate option to $220,000 USD, the same as St. Kitts, Antigua and Dominica.

Together with the unique advantage of having the E-2 Investor visa treaty in the USA, not to mention the visa waiver agreements with China (unique in the CBI field), Russia and Brazil, this puts Grenada as a serious contender to become the most attractive CBI program in the Caribbean and certainly one of the most attractive globally in terms of the pricing and convenience.

The recently introduced legislation that requires developers to invest the equivalent of a minimum of 20% of the total cost of construction will go a long way to boost confidence in the markets and thereby further strengthen Grenada’s new leading position.

The Grenada CBI program launched in 2013 and investors can apply by way of a contribution to the National Transformation Fund (NTF) or an investment in an approved real estate development.

In addition to the key unique advantages noted above (China visa waiver and the USA E-2 Visa). The program also features unique terms to attract families, e.g. siblings can be included as well as parents of any age and children up to 29 years of age.

The government itself on its due diligence program that is known for its scrutiny in carefully screening applicants to ensure to preserve the program’s integrity.

There is no need for an interview or visit to Grenada, no residency requirement, albeit residency is optional, and dual citizenship is allowed. Income tax is source-based (you are not taxed only on your local income in Grenada) and there is no inheritance tax and no capital gains tax. Future born children of new citizens can apply for citizenship by naturalisation.

Grenada citizens who take up residency can benefit from heavily reduced rates for undergraduate courses at St. Georges University. With 7,000 students from all over the world, the institution is America’s largest accredited offshore university and supplies one in every 100 doctors in the USA annually.

Who qualifies?

Investors of any nationality can apply for the Grenada CBI Program . The principal applicant can include qualifying dependants including, their spouse, children under 30, parents and parents-in-law of any age and unmarried siblings without children.

To apply under the Real Estate option, investor applicants must invest the minimum investment amount in an approved project and in addition must also pay government fees, professional fees and closing costs. These fees and costs amount to approx. $100,000 for a typical family of 4.

The Process

The Grenada CBI Program application process is straightforward. An investor applicant must appoint a government authorised Local Agent (Lawyer) and enter a purchase agreement with Kawana Bay for their selected unit, pay the Government application/processing fees, the Local Agent fee and a deposit of 3.5% -to 5% of the real estate purchase price.

Once approved (usually in 3 to 4 months), the bulk balance of govt fees and the purchase price must be paid to the Local Agent’s escrow account, and then citizenship is granted and the passport/s issued.

The owner must then hold the property for 5 years, after which time they can elect to sell it on and it would qualify again for Grenada CBI Program purposes.

Grenada – The Isle of Spice

Comprising three main islands, Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, and just 344km2 in size, Grenada is the southernmost of the Eastern Caribbean States.

The ‘Isle of Spice’ is widely considered one of the region’s most beautiful countries and boasts an exotic interior and coastline with wildly jagged mountain peaks, spice plantations, lush verdant rainforests, hidden coves and idyllic white and golden beaches.

The island’s people are known for their friendly nature and a lifestyle that reflects a contented nation. The proximity to the Equator ensures a year-round tropical climate, with average temperatures ranging between 23 and 28 °C. The cooling trade winds make for very comfortable conditions.

Grenada was first inhabited by the Carib people, Amerindians who migrated from the South American mainland, and the island was originally known as Camerhougue.

After being named ‘Concepción Island’ by Christopher Columbus in 1498, successive Spanish sailors named it after Granada. Subsequently, Grenada was colonised by the French and British, gaining independence in 1974.

Economy

Grenada benefits from a very high literacy rate, a high safety index and a growing economy with a strong tourism destination profile.  Agriculture is still an important part of the economy.

Grenada is still one of the world’s largest exporters of nutmeg and produces Coffee and Cocoa, as well as Ground Provision crops for export to its Caribbean neighbours.

There is now a strong focus on the tourism economy, which has seen a steady upward trend in recent years.

Grenada recorded a total of 528,077 visitors in 2018, reflecting a 12.9% increase from 2017. Since 2010, Grenada’s stay over visitors by air has increased by 64%.

Visitors from Canada recorded the highest growth rate in 2018 with a 19% increase, followed by visitors from the USA at 12%. The 2018 Christmas season showed an increase of 17% year on year.

Real Estate sales saw strong growth in sales from 2015 onwards. According to the 2018 report from one of the leading realtors on the Island – C21, Grenada recorded the highest real estate Sale in 10 years.

Total sales amounted to $63,703,562 USD, an increase of 26% over 2017, and the total recorded real estate in 2018 was 758, a 23% increase compared to 2017.  71% of the sales volume occurred in St. Georges.

The country is poised for further growth, fuelled by investment under the Grenada CBI Program Real Estate option. 

Airlift

Airlift is very good with regular services to North America and Europe, and more expected in tandem with the development of several major resorts already underway:

Current Airlift:

  • USA 15 flights per week
  • UK 4 flights weekly
  • Regional several daily flights (with international connections
  • Germany 1 flight weekly (seasonal)
  • Canada twice-weekly (increasing to 3 flights weekly in the high season)

In addition, there is a Fixed Based Operator for private jets.

Tax and Fiscal

The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) is pegged to the US Dollar (USD) at a rate of 2.7 XCD per 1 USD.

Grenada has a source-based income tax system where income tax is only levied on earnings from within Grenada (see “Income Tax” below).

There is no capital gains tax, wealth tax or inheritance tax. Dividends paid to residents are not subject to tax. Grenadian citizens do not pay tax on worldwide income.

Income Tax for Individuals

Individuals resident in Grenada are only subject to tax on their income earned in Grenada. The following table depicts the chargeable income of an individual resident in Grenada:

Earnings Per Annum Tax Rate:

  • XCD 36,000.00 and under – Exempted
  • XCD 36,001 to XCD 60,000 – 10%
  • Exceeding XCD 60,000.00 – 28%

Income Tax for Companies

Grenadian resident companies engaged in business in Grenada are subject to tax on the profits made. A company is considered as resident in Grenada if it is incorporated in Grenada or its main control location is situated in Grenada.

Non-resident companies are required to pay tax on its income generated, once there is a branch of that company operating in Grenada. The taxes are based on the income generated by the company arising from its business/trade being conducted in Grenada. The corporate tax rate in Grenada is 28%. The taxes are required to be paid annually and there are penalties for late filing.

Annual Stamp Tax

A company is required to pay annual stamp tax on its gross receipts. Gross receipts include its rental income, interest income, dividends, royalties, cost of material from stocks, sale or the disposal of goods and services and investment income.

The rate of annual stamp tax is as follows. Notably, the first XCD 36,000.00 is exempt when calculating the percentage rate of the tax. 

For business with gross receipts under XCD 300,000.00 per annum – 0.5%.  For businesses with gross receipts of XCD 300,000.00 and above per annum – 0.7%

Property Transfer Tax

Persons who obtain property whether, by sale, gift or other dispositions are required to pay a property transfer tax. Property transferred by way of Deed of Gift is taxed on the value of such property if it exceeds XCD 150,000.00.

Similarly, property transferred by way of other dispositions apart from a Deed of Gift is taxed only on the value exceeding XCD 20,000.00. The tax paid is on the market value of the property and the rates are as follows:

Vendor (Grenadian citizen) pays 5% (Kimpton Kawana Bay has a special dispensation which is 2.5%)

Vendor (non-citizen) pays 15%. Purchaser (Grenadian citizen) pays 0%. Purchaser (non-citizen) pays 10%. Stamp duty in Grenada as it relates to purchasing property is 1%. As it relates to the property transfer tax on the sale of shares, a non-citizen vendor pays 10% of the market value of the shares.

There is no stamp duty on the transfer of shares unless you decide to register the share transfer by Deed. If the transfer is being registered, then there is a 1% stamp duty charged on the market value of the shares.

Non-citizens are required to apply for an alien landholding licence from the Government of Grenada in order to purchase property in Grenada. Note, CBI purchasers should only have a purchased property conveyed once they obtain citizenship in order to pay the lower property transfer tax rate applicable to citizens.

Property Tax

Persons who own real property in Grenada are required to pay property tax. The tax is based on the value of the land and the purpose for which the land is classified/used.

The Inland Revenue Department of Grenada is responsible for issuing Demand Notices with the amount that the relevant property owners are required to pay. Note, property tax is included as part of the rental programme deduction for Kimpton Kawana Bay purchasers.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT is charged on goods and services purchased in Grenada and goods/supplies imported in Grenada. The rate of VAT is 15%.

Healthcare

There are 30 medical stations, six health centres, and four hospitals (three public and one private) in Grenada, with emphasis on primary health care and preventative measures.

The hospitals provide support to all of the health centres and medical stations in the country and offer a wide range of services, including ambulance, laboratory, maternal, radiology, gynaecology, eye care and testing, dental and surgery.

The General Hospital in St. George’s is the primary facility with approximately 198 beds. It offers a variety of in-patient and out-patient medical services. The private ward rooms are air-conditioned, furnished with bathrooms, cable-television sets and telephones.

Primary healthcare is free for Grenadians at the general hospital. There is also a small private hospital, St. Augustine Medical. However, for major medical care (such as complex surgeries) most would seek care in the US (3hr 30min flight from Grenada), Canada (5hr 40min flight from Grenada), Barbados (50-minute flight from Grenada), or Trinidad and Tobago (30-minute flight from Grenada).

Education

The public education system in Grenada is based on the British education system and of a high standard. The public schools are free of charge (no tuition fees and nominal admin fees of $25-$50 USD per term). There is 1 international private Primary School – Grenada Montessori (for children ages 2-12).

Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Schools

On the island of Grenada, there are one hundred and thirteen pre-primary schools, seventy-eight primary schools (twenty are private and fifty-eight are public) and twenty-four secondary schools (twenty-one are public and 3 are private).

Additionally, there are 6 schools for special education, 3 organizations (special skills) and 3 tertiary schools. Of the total of 227 schools, ninety-three of them are located in the parish of St. George.

St. George’s University

St. George’s University is a private international university in Grenada, West Indies, offering degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, the health sciences, nursing, arts and sciences, and business. Founded as an independent School of Medicine in 1976, St. George’s University has evolved into a top centre of international education, drawing students and faculty from 140 countries.

The university has over 20,000 graduates including physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals across the world. The University programmes are accredited and approved by many governing authorities.

St. George’s University is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland.

All Grenadian citizens receive a 90% Grenada Partnership Award, meaning they only pay 10% of tuition for undergraduate programmes which include pre-medical and pre-veterinary programmes. With 959 U.S. residencies during the period from January to July 2019, no other medical school in the world provides more new doctors to the U.S. health care system.

The T.A. Marryshow Community College offers technical skills certification, Associate Degrees and CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) Certificates.

Amenities

There are a number of good restaurants, bars & entertainments spots around St. Georges, Grand Anse and SGU. Belmont Golf Club and (9 hole course) is situated just 10 minutes away from St. Georges and overlooks Grand Anse.

Sailing, Scuba Diving, Fishing, Adventure

The Grenadines, a group of 35 islands spanning from St. Vincent to Grenada is considered to be one of the best sailing grounds in the world. The waters off the white sand beaches of this reef filled archipelago offer Snorkeling that is second to none, as well as excellent conditions for Windsurfing and Kiting.

Grenada itself offers wonderful Scuba diving. Grenada’s volcanic interior is lush with any number of mountain trails that lead to springs and waterfalls for those who like to adventure inland. There are interesting places to visit such as one of the Chocolate.

About Kimpton Kawana Bay

Kawana Bay, a Kimpton© Hotel, is an award-winning new 5-star hotel development located at world-famous Grand Anse Beach and is the country’s latest CBI project. Construction commenced in January 2017 and the first 2 phases are to be delivered for the hotel to be opened for the 2020-2021 season.

The development is situated just 10 minutes away from the Maurice Bishop International Airport, 10 minutes from St. George’s University and 15 minutes from the capital St. Georges. There is a full range of amenities within close proximity including several bars and restaurants.

The developer is offering 3 investment products for sale: A single-title (full ownership) Studio priced at approx. $430,000, a Dual Title (one-half ownership) Studio priced at $350,000 that comes with incentives and a Multi-Title (one-third ownership) Studio priced at the new reduced investment threshold of $220,000. All Kawana Bay Investment properties come with a Title deed and after 5 years can be sold to a secondary buyer for second citizenship.

Based on the purchase of a $220,000 priced unit, the overall investment cost for a family of 4, including all government fees and closing costs, starts at approx. $301,000.  There are also professional legal fees and bank charges to be paid.

All the properties at Kawana Bay are part of the hotel rental pool. Purchasers of the single-title studios are entitled to 2 weeks of personal use each, and to earn rental income with full interest in the rental program under a transparent formula with costs identified upfront.

The Multi Title units yield a one-third interest in the rental program and owners will get one-time personal use of up to two weeks; whereas purchasers of the Dual Title units are paid an upfront security deposit in return for the first 5 years of rental income and personal usage, and thereafter a one-half interest in the rental program and one week of usage per year.

Owners are not asked to make annual fee payments; instead, the costs are simply deducted from the rental income. In the event of a shortfall, the costs are simply applied against the following year’s income.

For Purchasers who want to pursue the E-2 Investor Visa after acquiring Citizenship in Grenada, The developer has teamed up with a specialist firm in Florida, Visa Franchise, that offers a range of practical turnkey business solutions with low-risk options in the event of an unsuccessful E-2 visa application.

Visa Franchise has come to an arrangement with a number of the franchisors that they will be prepared to enter into a management contract to operate the business on a day to day basis if the owner so chooses. In this scenario, they would effectively have a viable alternative to an EB-5, for purposes of residing in the US.

The following points sum up the main advantages of Kawana Bay and the Grenada CBI Program

  • High-value real estate in a freehold structure with a transparent revenue-sharing model and no onus to pay annual charges.
  • An international award-winning development in a world-class location with a proven high-level brand.
  • After 5 years the property can be sold on to a third party for citizenship or purely for investment purposes.
  • As a Grenada citizen, entitlement to apply for the USA E-2 investor visa.
  • Visa-free travel to 120 countries including PRC China (unique), SAR China, the Schengen States, UK (6-month stay), Russia, Singapore and Brazil.
  • Unmarried dependent siblings of the Principal Applicant and his/her spouse can be included, as well as unmarried children under the age of 30 and parents & grandparents under the age of 55.
  • Grenada is the CBI country of choice for many; in addition, the above features, it is one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful and safest countries. The people are warm and friendly, and the economy is poised for continued growth. New citizens who take up residence, after one year can benefit from up to 90% discount for undergrad courses at St. George’s University.

Find out more

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information relating to; the different CBI program options available, USA E-2 investor visa, personal quotation sheet for individual or family CBI applications and the latest build stage updates.

The Overseas Investor has all the relevant and qualified people in place to assist each client throughout the whole buying and legal process.

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