Grenada’s citizenship by investment program logged a fourth consecutive year of growth in 2020, breaking a number of records in the process:
- Overall program revenue (including investments, donations, and fees) reached an all-time-high of EC$ 253 million in 2020, a 52.4% improvement on the EC$166 million raised in 2020.
- Applications received numbered 394, another all-time-high, up from 373 in 2019.
- Applications approved reached 375, the highest such number on record and a sharp expansion from 2019’s 265 approvals.
- The number of passports issued, correspondingly, reached 1,111, surpassing one thousand for the first time.
- Investment in real estate displayed particularly strong growth, raising EC$151 million, more than double the 2019 figure, which was already a record.
Application rejection rates were trimmed to 8.9% from 2019’s 11.8%, while the average family size remained more or less unchanged at precisely three members.
Thanks to a sharp upswing in investors choosing the property investment in Q3 and Q4, the program’s real estate investment option accounted for a majority (58.4% of the total) of all approved applications in 2020, the first time this has happened since 2016, when absolute numbers were far lower.
The NTF option’s popularity receded slightly, raising EC$84.2 million in 2020 compared to EC$88m during the preceding year. Government fee receipts, thanks to the growing interest in the real estate option, more than doubled, from EC$8m to EC$17m.
Questioned as to what might explain the program’s record performance in 2020, Mohammed Asaria – head of Range Developments, the largest CBI developer in the Caribbean, currently constructing a Six Senses resort in Grenada – pointed to the US ambassador’s singling out the country for its stringent adherence to the JRCC due diligence protocol as part of the explanation. The country’s status as an E2 signatory, which grants Grenadian citizens the opportunity to live and work in the US, as well as its visa-free access to China, had also been “magnets for prospective investors”.
He lauded the program’s administration for not engaging in “Corona-driven price discounting, as was commonplace in the global CBI industry,” and being able to drive record receipts despite “some of the most challenging macroeconomic conditions on record.”
“The statistics firmly illustrate that since 2019 applications under the real estate limb of Grenada’s CBI have been steadily climbing,” Asaria commented, justifiably claiming his share of the credit for that by pointing out that the growing interest in real estate has coincided with the launch of his own company’s development.
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