Obtain Citizenship in Grenada for E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Eligibility in the U.S.03 May 2021
The E-2 treaty investor visa program allows a qualifying foreign national to develop and direct a U.S. enterprise based on a substantial investment in that business. Many countries, including India and China, do not have a qualifying treaty with the U.S. to allow its nationals to obtain E-2 status. However, citizens of these countries who are intent on starting businesses in the U.S. can naturalize in a third country, such as Grenada, that will then allow these individuals to enjoy the benefits of the E-2 program. This visa category can provide a classic win-win scenario, allowing a foreign national investor to live and work in the United States, while the U.S. receives foreign investment dollars and new job opportunities for U.S. workers.
As outlined above, many foreign nationals who may be interested in starting a business in the U.S. are not eligible to use the E-2 visa program. One of the key requirements to qualify for an E-2 visa is that the applicant be a citizen of a country that has a qualifying treaty with the United States. Unfortunately, many countries, including the two with the largest populations on earth – China and India – do not have any such treaty with the U.S. This has resulted in countless lost opportunities for foreign national investors and to the U.S. economy.
Citizenship in Certain Third Countries Like Grenada
There is an unconventional solution that can be used by investors from India, China, or other countries that lack a qualifying treaty. These aspiring entrepreneurs can obtain citizenship in a country that has an E-2 treaty with the United States, and then use that newly acquired citizenship as a springboard toward utilizing the E-2 program. Many such investors have turned to the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) offered by the island country of Grenada, which offers citizenship to qualifying investors within a matter of a few months.
Overview of Investment Requirements for Grenada’s CBI Program
The CBI program provides three options to obtain Grenada citizenship through investment: (1) an investment of $220,000 or more in an approved project; (2) a contribution by a single applicant of $150,000 or more to the National Transformation Fund; or (3) a “Significant Investment” of $2,000,000 or more as determined by the Minister, such as the purchase of real estate, a registered business, or company shares.
Investor’s Spouse, Children, Parents, Grandparents, and Certain Siblings Can Benefit
Not only can the investment be used to obtain citizenship for the applicant, but also for the investor’s dependents. Further, Grenada defines “dependents” extremely liberally, allowing one’s spouse, children under the age of 30, parents, grandparents, and even siblings who are over 18 (unmarried with no children) to potentially qualify based on the single investment.
Speedy Processing Times
One of the big draws of the CBI program is that the applications tend to be processed extremely quickly. Applications typically are processed in less than six months, with most being completed within 90 days of filing.
Must Satisfy E-2 Requirements
Of course, there is more to qualifying for an E-2 visa than merely becoming a citizen of a qualifying country. For a person to qualify as an E-2 investor, the individual must make a substantial investment in a U.S. business, and the business must be at least 50 percent owned by persons with nationality from the treaty country. Further, the person must be coming to the U.S. for purposes of developing and directing the operations of the U.S. enterprise. A more detailed explanation of the requirements for the E-2 category is provided in the MurthyDotCom InfoArticle, Overview: E Visas for Traders and Investors (20.Feb.2012).
The E-2 treaty investor category helps the U.S. economy and allows foreign nationals to pursue their American dream. It is unfortunate that this visa category is not open to all foreign nationals. The CBI program opens the possibility for entrepreneurs to potentially qualify for an E-2 visa, albeit in a slightly roundabout way.
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