May 28, 2022

Opposition legislator critical of amendment to Grenada Citizenship by Investment legislation

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images-Caribbean-immigration_stamp_400_462853580From Caribbean360

Raymond Roberts, who represents the labour movement in the Senate said that the amendments were “ill-advised”

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – An opposition legislator has accused the Grenada government of amending the Citizenship by Investment Act so as to legitimise its approach to doing business in the “dead of the night”.

Raymond Roberts, who represents the labour movement in the Senate said that the amendments were “ill-advised” and that labour was very much concerned at the decision of the Keith Mitchell government to delete from the original legislation the section which provides for the names of all applicants to be published in a Parliamentary bi-annual report.

“We are an open society and want to see transparency, we therefore cannot understand the reason for the removal of this section which will let us know who are our new citizens,” he told legislators as the Senate debated the removal of Section 15, sub section B of the Citizenship by Investment Act.

He reminded the Senate that during the first citizenship programme there were nationals from countries known to be involved in terrorist activities receiving Grenada’s citizenship and passports.

Roberts said that publishing the names of all who applied for citizenship would be allowing for the entire country to be aware of who is in possession of local travel documents.

Roberts is warning that under the new amendments, persons charged or involved in terrorists or other criminal activities could be granted citizenship, leading to countries imposing visa restrictions on Grenadians.

“Once again I see further visa restriction,” he said.

But Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has said that it was an error on the part of the government to initially include a section in the Citizen by Investment legislation which provides for the names, addresses and nationalities of persons who applied for Grenada citizenship to be made public.

“I think it was an error on our part. No other country has it in their legislation and that could be a hindrance to us. There is no need to expose every single name who applied,” Mitchell said.

According to the legislation, the Citizenship by Investment Committee shall be responsible for processing any application for any licence under the Act, and any application for Citizenship by Investment or Permanent Residence by Investment.

Section 7 of the legislation states that the Committee may engage the services of one or more persons or bodies which are independent, professional, and qualified, to conduct due diligence checks in respect of every applicant, and every dependent over eleven years of age.

The applicant may be required to attend an interview in Grenada or at an Embassy or High Commission of Grenada, before any decision is made in relation to his or her application. An application for Citizenship by Investment or for Permanent Residence by Investment shall only be submitted by an Agent who is the holder of a Local Agent’s licence.

Grenada has already appointed two marketing agents in pursuit of fulfilling its economic citizenship programme.

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