Despite the UAE’s success in confronting recent challenges, it is clear that expats and their families remain susceptible to geopolitical fluctuations. The previous 18 months have shown that the world can be unpredictable and can change rapidly. One security option for high net worth NRIs, Arabs and African expats is citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes.
By making an investment of $220,000 (excluding government fees) in a country, high net worth individuals and their families – subject to meeting certain criteria – can obtain citizenship. This can provide a number of benefits ranging from tax efficient structuring solutions to visa-free travel to access to advanced healthcare and education for their families.
CBI programmes can vary significantly in terms of cost and the benefits however and there are numerous options to consider, so it (literally) pays to make an informed decision.
One of the most compelling CBI programmes for UAE residents is the Caribbean island of Grenada, which is the only CBI jurisdiction with access to the E-2 investor’s visa – a visa that can allow access to invest and reside in the United States.
Mohammed Asaria, Founder and Managing Director of Range Developments, a leading Caribbean Developer that offers CBI programmes, says that Granada offers additional advantages to investors beyond the E-2 visa. “Grenada is in the highest tier amongst all global citizenship by investment programmes beecause of the scrupulous due diligence process and benefits. Its citizens get access to 140 countries and Grenadians can travel without a visa to destinations such as the UK, Schengen countries, Russia and many more,” he says. “Grenadians can also travel visa free to China, which is quite unique.”
Although Range Developments is not exclusive in offering CBI programmes, Asaria says that, in contrast to all other CBI developers, his company is the only one with a proven track record in the Caribbean. “Range Developments is the only CBI developer in the Caribbean with a portfolio of completed projects; we are unique in our peer group,” he says.
Asaria refers to Range’s successful development of world-renowned luxury hotels such as the Park Hyatt St. Kitts and the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica. He also says that Range offers a unique proposition for investors in the case of Granada’s CBI. “Range Developments has partnered with Six Senses, which will be the first Six Senses hotel in the Caribbean,” he says.
Asaria says that following the events of the previous 18 months, CBI investors have become more diligent with their choices, affecting less established providers. “CBI investors have become more discerning and are undertaking more due diligence on countries, developers and providers prior to taking their investment decisions,” he says. “Covid has eliminated the inexperienced and undercapitalised.”
He says that, in distinction to alternative CBI developers, Range Developments are unique in offering a proven track record of completing projects. His company’s clients can sell their investment after five years to anybody who is interested in citizenship of Grenada, retaining their own citizenship for life.
Environmental and ethical credentials
Range Developments’ approach to CBI in the Caribbean is that the local population must benefit from foreign investment and that projects should be environmentally sustainable. “We’ve set up various initiatives on the islands where we are operating with the aim to develop sustainable practices that can improve the quality of lives of the island communities, protect the ecosystems of those beautiful islands and preserve natural resources,” says Asaria.
“One of our initiatives was our partnership with Free Up Farm in Dominica to implement sustainable principles of regenerative farming showcasing different soil and water-saving techniques that boost and retain the soil’s natural fertility while increasing its efficiency. We work on supporting the communities where we see our assistance is needed the most, be that a healthcare sector or backing education centres for children with special needs by providing equipment.”
• Provides the investor the opportunity to invest and reside in the United States.
• E-2 visa can be issued within 2 months.
• Spouses have the ability to work anywhere in the United States.
• Free education in US public schools and more affordable, in-state tuition costs at US universities.
• The E-2 visa can be renewed indefinitely (each for five year multipes) for an unlimited number of times, as long as the E-2 business maintains operations.
• Global taxation is not applicable if E-2 visa holders spend less than 120 days in the US.
• E-2 visa holders can sponsor specialised employees from their nation (non-family members) to work in their E-2 business.