In a statement, the unit expressed gratitude for understanding as they aim to preserve the integrity and reputation of the Grenada CBI program.
This change comes after Caribbean nations met with US representatives to discuss guidelines for CBI programs in the region, which likely prompted Grenada’s interview process, according to Richard Hallam, CBI director at Ora Caribbean.
Similar measures are expected to be implemented by all Caribbean CBI programs as part of an agreement with the United States (US) earlier this year. These measures, including personal interviews, aim to strengthen due diligence and risk mitigation.
Rumors have circulated about the European Union (EU) making similar demands to address security concerns. Allegedly, the EU asked for the investment threshold to start at $200,000 and required all due diligence to be conducted by US, EU, or UK-based third-party firms.
Hallam reveals that the head of the CBI in Grenada has been obtaining quotes from companies capable of conducting due diligence to comply with the US requests. This aligns more with the original US demands than with the EU, but it also considers what the EU requested and how St. Kitts promptly responded.
St. Kitts and Nevis recently announced reforms to its program, such as raising the investment threshold to $250,000 per applicant, seemingly in compliance with the EU’s demands, although these demands have not been officially communicated.
Regarding Grenada, Hallam believes their program is already thorough and does not require significant changes, emphasizing the program’s high cost and exceptional due diligence due to the E-2 visa treaty and interaction with Homeland Security.
Furthermore, the EU reportedly requested that all CBI nations cease promotional materials advertising visa-free access to the Schengen Area to attract applicants.
All Caribbean nations are expected to comply with these alleged EU demands as CBI programs are vital sources of revenue that contribute to debt repayment, infrastructure development, road repairs, and the construction of schools, among other initiatives.