Arton Capital, a global company that specialises in working with people to attain second citizenships, says it is seeing more South Africans looking at Grenada as a quick, simple and relatively inexpensive citizenship destination.
Having a Grenadian citizenship also carries many other benefits, including ease of setting up and doing business in the country, a valid passport in the UK, China and Schengen countries, visa-free travel to 120 countries and, by way of its E2 visa treaty with the USA, business-linked residency opportunities in the USA.
Jacques Scherman, MD for Africa at Arton Capital, said that citizenship in Grenada has another major benefit for families with children who’re interested in pursuing a career in medicine or veterinary sciences: St George’s University – which is recognised as one of the top 10 medical universities by Americans.
Young South Africans with medical aspirations are increasingly looking to overseas institutions to further their studies. With a limited number of medical schools in SA, and an even more limited number of spaces available in these schools for certain student demographics, local students are looking to universities in countries like Mauritius, China and Cuba.
But, the cost of graduating in these countries can be prohibitive. Five years of medical studies in Mauritius, for example, plus additional expenses like hostel fees and transport, can cost around R1 million.
Scherman advised families that foresee putting their children through medical school to consider the realities of gaining admission into a local university, coupled with the cost of alternatives.
“The reality is that starting with a government donation of US$200,000, or a property investment of US$350,000, the family could gain citizenship in Grenada while the children study there, and can then choose to stay, gain residency in the USA, or come back to SA.”
An important point to bear in mind is that Grenadian citizenship, linked with an international qualification from St George’s, would avail South African graduates to so many more global work opportunities.
Moreover, many students at St George’s qualify for government subsidies, and the university has a scholarship fund in the region of US$10 million. A South African/Grenadian student with the necessary accomplishments could even qualify for a 100% bursary.
St George’s University has provided the world with highly-trained graduates for 40 years, and has produced more than 18,000 graduates in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health and other aligned fields, as well as arts and sciences. Graduates are licensed in all 50 states in the USA, and Canada, and practice in more than 50 countries the world over.
Scherman said: “Grenada is an ideal destination for investors looking for a second citizenship. The country is stable and conducive to doing business globally, and its modern economy is burgeoning. Being part of the Eastern Caribbean bank and currency system, Grenada’s currency, the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, is secure and tied directly to the US$. There is no exchange control or restrictions on the inward and outward transfer of US Dollars.”
Grenada’s citizenship by investment programme is efficient and uncomplicated, and can be facilitated within four months provided that the applicant’s papers and affairs are all in order. The programme is also, compared to other destinations, inexpensive.
“A non-refundable government of donation of US$200,000 is the starting point for citizenship for a family of four, while an investment of around US$350,000 into Mount Cinnamon, an exclusive hotel complex, would facilitate citizenship for the same family – and this investment would bear fruit after four years when the share can be sold on,” Scherman said.
Furthermore, under the terms of Grenada’s citizenship by investment programme, no income, capital gains or inheritance taxes are applicable, and South Africans do not have to renounce their home country citizenship.
It’s also not necessary to visit Grenada during the application process but St George’s encourages potential students to visit the campus, see the facilities, meet the faculty and mingle with other students and, in certain circumstances, will carry the cost for such trips.