Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs have become increasingly popular over the years as more people look for ways to acquire a second passport. A second passport provides many benefits, including visa-free travel, tax optimization, access to better education and healthcare, and the ability to live and work in other countries.
If you are considering a CBI program, then this article is for you. We will be comparing two of the most popular CBI programs: Vanuatu and Grenada. We will discuss the benefits of each program, the investment options available, the processing times and requirements, and the costs associated with each program. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of which program is right for you.
What is Citizenship by Investment (CBI)?
Citizenship by Investment (CBI) is a program that allows individuals to acquire a second passport by making an investment in a country. The investment can be in the form of a donation to the country's government or an investment in government-approved real estate projects.
The primary motivation for participating in a CBI program is to gain access to the benefits of being a citizen or resident of the country. These benefits may include visa-free travel to other countries, better tax rates, improved quality of life, and access to better healthcare and education. These programs are also popular among high-net-worth individuals who are looking for ways to diversify their portfolio and protect their assets.
Many countries offer citizenship or residency through investment programs, including several Caribbean nations, European countries, and some Pacific Island nations. The requirements, investment thresholds, and benefits of these programs vary widely, and interested individuals should carefully research the different options before making a decision.
Benefits of CBI programs
There are many benefits to CBI programs, including:
One of the main benefits of a second passport is visa-free travel. With a second passport, you can travel to many countries without needing a visa. This can save you time and money and provide you with more opportunities to explore the world.
- Access to Better Education and Healthcare
A second passport can also provide you with access to better education and healthcare. Many countries offer free or subsidized education and healthcare to their citizens, which can be a significant benefit if you have children.
- Ability to live and work in other countries
A second passport can also provide you with the ability to live and work in other countries. This can be particularly valuable if you're looking to expand your business or career opportunities.
CBI programs can offer individuals opportunities to invest in local businesses and expand their international business network. This can be particularly attractive for entrepreneurs and investors looking for new markets and business partners.
Some CBI programs offer tax advantages to participants, such as lower personal or business tax rates. This can be particularly attractive for high-net-worth individuals and businesses looking to reduce their tax burden.
Some individuals may seek citizenship or residency in a new country to escape political instability, crime, or other safety concerns in their home country. CBI programs can offer a safe and stable environment for individuals and their families.
Citizenship obtained through a CBI program can be passed down to future generations, offering a long-term benefit to investors and their families.
It's important to note that the benefits of CBI programs vary widely depending on the country and program chosen, and interested individuals should carefully research and consider their options before making a decision.
Comparison between Vanuatu and Grenada's CBI Programs
There are thirteen citizenship by investment programs in the world.
Two of the most popular CBI programs are Vanuatu and Grenada.
- Grenada is a country located in the Caribbean Sea, consisting of the island of Grenada and several smaller islands. It is located in the southeastern part of the Caribbean Sea, north of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Grenada's citizenship by investment (CBI) program was launched in 2017 and is one of the most reputable CBI programs in the Caribbean region.
- Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia and northwest of New Zealand. Vanuatu's CBI program was launched in 2017 and has captured the attention of the entire world because it is currently changing the requirements for citizenship dramatically.
Both countries offer a number of benefits to investors, including visa-free travel to many countries, no residency requirements, and a relatively fast application process. Let's compare the two programs to see which one is right for you.
Investment Options for Vanuatu and Grenada CBI Programs
Vanuatu and Grenada offer several investment options for their citizenship by investment (CBI) programs. Here are some of the investment options available for each program:
- Donation to the Vanuatu Development Support Program (DSP): One-time donation for a single applicant of $130,000, for a married couple of $150,000, for a family of three of $165,00, and for a family of four of $180,000 The sum of $10,000 is applicable for each family member starting with the fifth.
- Government bonds: Investment in government bonds issued by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu
- maturing in 24 months: $120,000
- maturing in 30 months: $113,000
- maturing in 36 months: $100,000
- Donation to the National Transformation Fund (NTF): The NTF is a government fund that supports projects in areas such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure. To qualify for Grenadian citizenship, applicants must make a one-time donation of at least $150,000 for a single applicant and $200,000 for a family to the NTF. This option is popular among those who want a fast and straightforward path to citizenship.
- Real estate investment: Another option is to invest in pre-approved real estate projects in Grenada. The minimum investment amount is $350,000, and the property must be held for a minimum of five years. This option is attractive to those who want to invest in property in a tropical paradise and have the potential to earn rental income. Investors can also purchase a ‘qualifying’ share of ownership in 5-star luxury hotels and resorts (starting at $220,000) with a potential annual return of 2–4% from hotel operations.
It is worth noting that all applicants must also pay various fees, including due diligence fees and application fees.
Visa-Free Travel Regime
Both Vanuatu and Grenada provide visa-free travel to many countries.
- Grenada citizens enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 146 countries worldwide, including China, the United Kingdom, the Schengen Area, Hong Kong, Singapore, and many other popular travel destinations. With a Grenada passport, you will enjoy a simple procedure for obtaining long-term tourist visas to the United States and Canada. Grenada passport holders are eligible to apply for a business visa (E-2) to the US.
- In comparison, the Vanuatu passport offers visa-free access to more than 100 countries, including the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. Vanuatu citizenship does not provide visa-free access to China and the Schengen Area.
In 2022, the European Council decided to terminate Vanuatu's visa waiver agreement due to the risks posed by its investor citizenship schemes, rendering the Vanuatu passport powerless. The Council has agreed to give Vanuatu some time to reform its program before implementing a complete suspension of the nation from the visa waiver program.
On March 3, 2022, a partial suspension of the agreement was already in effect. Following the partial suspension, on May 12, the Commission initiated a dialogue with Vanuatu to address EU concerns. Since then, however, the country has not engaged in any meaningful way, and the conditions that led to the temporary suspension continue to exist.
On the basis of careful monitoring and evaluation of Vanuatu's investor citizenship programs, the EU has concluded that they contain serious flaws that could pose a risk to the EU, particularly as a result of:
- granting of citizenship to applicants who are in Interpol databases.
- extremely low rejection rate, which calls into question the accuracy of security and due diligence screening.
- nationalities of origin of successful applicants, which include a number of nations whose nationals require a visa to enter the EU.
- absence of residence requirements, quick processing times, and absence of information exchange with applicants' countries of origin or residence.
Vanuatu is working on new improvements to its CBI program. We anticipate the final version by the end of 2023.
Processing Time for Vanuatu and Grenada CBI Programs
The processing time for the Vanuatu and Grenada CBI programs can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of investment option chosen, the completeness of the application, and the workload of the authority. Here is an overview of the typical processing time for each program:
The processing time for Vanuatu's CBI program is generally faster than that of Grenada. The citizenship application can be completed in as little as one month, and the passport issuance can take up to an additional two weeks. In addition, the due diligence review period lasts seven days.
The processing time for Grenada's CBI program can take up to six months, and this includes the time required to process the application, conduct due diligence checks, and issue the passport. However, in practice, the processing time may be shorter than six months if the application is complete and there are no issues with the due diligence checks.
It should be recalled that the CBI program in Vanuatu is the fastest in the world.
Costs Associated with Vanuatu and Grenada CBI Programs
The costs associated with the Vanuatu and Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of investment option chosen, the number of dependents included in the application, and the fees charged by the processing agent. Here is an overview of the typical costs associated with each program:
Vanuatu's CBI program is relatively inexpensive, with the minimum investment starting at $130,000. However, there are additional fees associated with the program, including due diligence fees and passport fees. The $5,000 due diligence fee is applicable only to the main applicant. All family members must pay passport fees, which can cost up to $1,000 per applicant.
The minimum investment required for Grenada's CBI program is $150,000 for a single applicant. There is also a $1,500 application fee per person and a $250 passport fee per person. Additional fees may apply for dependents included in the application, such as a $25,000 donation fee per dependent or a $50,000 real estate investment for dependents. The $5,000 due diligence fee is applicable to all applicants 17 years of age and older.
There may also be additional fees for legal fees and processing fees, which can vary depending on the service provider.
It's important to note that the costs associated with each CBI program can change over time, and it's essential to conduct thorough research and seek professional advice before deciding to invest in any CBI program. Additionally, the costs associated with obtaining citizenship and a passport through a CBI program are only one aspect to consider, and applicants should also consider the program's benefits, risks, and overall suitability for their needs.
Choosing the Right CBI Program for You
Choosing the right Citizenship by Investment program between Vanuatu and Grenada can be a complex decision, and it depends on several factors such as your investment goals, budget, and desired benefits. Here are some key factors to consider when comparing the two programs:
Grenada offers investment opportunities in real estate, while Vanuatu offers investment opportunities in government bonds. Both nations have the option to contribute to the government fund.
The processing time for Vanuatu's CBI program is faster than that of Grenada. Vanuatu's citizenship application can be completed in one or two months. In comparison, Grenada's CBI program can take up to six months.
Grenada's passport is stronger than Vanuatu's and grants visa-free access to a number of countries.
The costs associated with each program can vary significantly, and it's essential to consider not only the minimum investment required but also the additional fees associated with each program, such as due diligence checks, legal fees, and processing fees.
- Reputation and Stability
It's important to consider the reputation and stability of each country when making an investment decision. Both Grenada and Vanuatu have stable political systems and a good reputation, but the European Council is exerting pressure on Vanuatu.
- Fully remote application process
All application processes for both programs are handled online by Golden Harbors.
There is no tax on global income,inheritance, capital gains, foreign income, dividends, interest, or royalties in both countries.
There is no need to renounce your previous citizenship when obtaining a passport in Grenada or Vanuatu.
Deciding on the right CBI program for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you're looking for a program with a relatively low investment requirement and a fast processing time, then Vanuatu may be the right choice for you. If you're looking for a program with a more extensive visa-free travel list and are willing to invest in real estate, then Grenada may be the right choice for you.
Due to geographical proximity, most American investors prefer to apply for a Grenada passport.
Ultimately, it is better for individuals to carefully research and compare their options before making a decision and to consider seeking professional advice from Golden Harbors.
If you are interested in obtaining a second passport through a Citizenship by Investment program, we advise you to work with us as a trustworthy service provider to ensure that the process is smooth and secure.
Each CBI program has specific requirements, and it's important to choose a service provider that can guide you through the whole process and help you meet all the requirements.
A reputable service provider should be transparent about their fees, costs, and the entire application process. They should provide clear and concise information about all aspects of the program and be responsive to any questions or concerns you may have.
Customer service is essential in any business, and it's no different when it comes to obtaining a second passport through a CBI program. A reputable service provider should have excellent customer service and be available to provide support throughout the entire application process.
A reputable service provider should conduct business in a professional manner and abide by all applicable laws and regulations. They should also respect client confidentiality and handle all personal information securely.
Golden Harbors is a reputable service provider that meets your needs and assists you in obtaining your second passport with ease and online.
Ready to apply for a CBI program? Contact Golden Harbors today to learn more.