Mohammed Asaria, Managing Director and Board Member of Range Developments, an international luxury hospitality company that develops luxury resorts in the Eastern Caribbean under Citizenship-by-Investment programs. In this interview with Olusegun Raphael, he speaks on the opportunity for citizenship-by-investment. Excerpts:
What is the concept of citizenship-by-investment?
The concept is very simple: in return for a real estate investment or a contribution to the government, an investor is afforded the opportunity to apply for citizenship of a country. If successful, they become eligible for many of the benefits that follow, including visa free travel to many worldwide destinations, access to a tax efficient jurisdiction, and much more. In the case of economic citizenship of Grenada, an individual can invest and reside in the United States.
Under this citizenship program, it is said that a person or investor can legally acquire a new nationality in return for an investment in the economy of the host country. Can you explain more on this?
Absolutely right and even better than that, if an investor becomes a citizen of Grenada they can then apply for an E2 visa for the United States. This allows citizens of Grenada to live in the US. Grenada is the only citizenship by investment jurisdiction in the Caribbean that extends this benefit to its economic citizens.
What is the major difference between the Citizenship-by-Investment program and Golden Visa program?
Citizenship-by-Investment offers the chance to become a full citizen of a country, with all the benefits that implies, including mobility and security. The Golden Visa programmes offer just residency, although in some cases they can lead to full citizenship after many years, typically seven. In the case of the Portuguese Golden Visa, the process takes seven years, with the requirement to spend a week or two in Portugal each year, and learn the language.
On the issues of security, financial crimes, money laundering, etc what is your take on these?
There is a strict due diligence process that every applicant needs to undergo. These are in-depth and independent. To the best of our knowledge no known criminal has ever succeeded in applying for citizenship In Grenada.
It is interesting to note that your company has grown to become the leading Citizenship-by-Investment developer. What would you say is responsible for this growth?
Hard work, some smart thinking, a good team and a desire to deliver on our promises! In addition, we take our responsibilities very seriously. For our staff and shareholders, we want to continue to have a thriving business. For our investors, we want to be sure that they receive what they are due. And for the inhabitants of the island where we are building, we want to provide jobs, sustainable projects and honor our promises.
How can Nigeria benefit considering the fact that the country is considered the fastest growing economy in Africa?
Any successful investor should have a policy of diversification. Not only is a real estate investment a good idea, but in many cases it is the only way for Nigerians to live and work in the United States. due to the recent suspension of L1, H1B visas for all foreigners and a temporary ban of EB5 visas to Nigerians by the US government, one of the only ways to move to the US is through applying for an E2 visa. This is where Grenada is unique.
What is the application process looks like for interested Nigerians?
Grenada has emerged as the leading CBI option due to its multiple benefits and access to the E2 visa, as well as, visa free travel to China. Citizenship of Grenada may be obtained in a cost-effective manner expeditiously within a 90-day period following a detailed due diligence process on the applicant. This is also a very cost effective-jurisdiction in comparison with the range of other existing citizenship programs. Potential investors can either email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +971 4 325 3447.
What is the cost implication of second citizenship in Grenada and the eligibility criteria?
To secure Grenadian citizenship, investors must first invest US$220,000 (plus government fees based on the composition of the family) in a government-approved real-estate project, such as Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada and apply for citizenship of Grenada. The level of government fees depends on the number of family members the main applicant is planning to include into a citizenship application. So, for a family of four, there will be an additional US$80,000 of government fees.
The investor must hold the investment for 5 years. Thereafter they can resell the investment to another investor who can also apply for citizenship of Grenada. The original investor keeps their citizenship in perpetuity.
In addition, an investor will also receive a profit from the operations of the hotel. The projected yield is from 2% to 4% once the hotel opens.