Grenada CIU reopens cautiously to Russians
It was reported by IMI Daily last week that the CEO of Grenada’s Citizenship Committee Karlene Purcell has confirmed that applications from Russians are again being accepted once they are not on any current lists of sanctioned individuals, and subject to an increased level of scrutiny.
In March this year the Caribbean CBI countries simultaneously implemented the suspension of Russians and Belarusians. It is expected that Grenada’s approach will be adopted by the four other CBI Caribbean nations.
Since then, Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Committee has not released any circulars to the contrary, but a number of accredited agents have indicated to IMI that Russians are being accepted once again. None, however, wanted to go on record, maybe because they didn’t want to talk out of turn so close to the country’s general election, which resulted in a change of administration.
Today, Ms. Karline Purcell, CEO of Grenada’s CIU, confirmed with IMI Daily that the initial blanket ban of Russians and Belarusians was abolished about a month later and replaced by a more cautious, extra-scrutiny approach to Russian applicants:
“Yes, we have accepted Russians and have increased our inspection of them.” What is critical to emphasize is that we exclusively accept non-sanctioned Russians and that we check each Russian applicant against the constantly updated sanctions lists,” Purcell explains.
She reveals that in mid-March, the five Caribbean CBI jurisdictions agreed at the regional diplomatic level to work together to temporarily suspend Russians and Belarusians throughout the region. Purcell notes that while there was a lack of clarity at the time as to which specific Russians and Belarusians were sanctioned because the lists changed significantly from day to day, CBI program officials were later able to take a more nuanced approach that did not discriminate against individuals purely based on their nationalities.
When asked why the CIU reopened to Russians without publicly reversing its March blanket ban, Purcell says the initial set of Caribbean CBI unit circulars was a coordinated collective move, whereas the careful reopening to Russians would happen on an individual nation level, and only gradually.
She says she expects additional Caribbean CBI jurisdictions to reopen to Russians and Belarusians, but she couldn’t confirm if they have.
Ms. Purcell, who heads one of the world’s most transparent CBI programs, added that, while she had received a number of concerned phone calls in the days following the election, she did not expect the country’s change in government to disrupt processing at the CIU or the program’s overall continuity.
“The new government is enthusiastic about the scheme,” she said.
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