Which is the Best Path to a US E-2 Visa – Turkey or Grenada?
In 2019, more than 43,000 E-2 visas were issued in the United States.
The E-2 visa is available from a treaty between the US and various other countries. This path to residency is available only to citizens of these countries.
Although it is a non-immigrant visa, it is one of the most sought-after routes to living in the United States. The requirements are simple, and the processing time is relatively quick compared to other US residency paths.
But if your home nation does not participate in an E-2 trade treaty, this option is thus removed from its citizens. Seeking second citizenship in countries like Turkey or Grenada can bridge this gap, as these countries do fall under an E-2 trade treaty.
Obtaining second citizenship in these countries comes with a whole host of other benefits. However, both countries come with their own set of considerations to examine carefully.
To learn more about dual citizenship in Turkey or Grenada—and to find out which is the most feasible path for you—keep reading.
Why Dual Citizenship?
There are many economic, political, and social benefits to obtaining a second citizenship.
Especially during the COVID pandemic, there has been a greater sense of urgency to connect with close friends and family. This extends out to those abroad, who otherwise may struggle to connect.
A second passport has become a sort of status symbol. The easiest methods of gaining dual citizenship are through descent or immigration by investment.
In a way, acquiring a second passport hints at either a cultured family or one with many funds available for investment. Either way, obtaining dual citizenship under the E-2 plan is certainly attractive.
Plus, holding a second passport has become more relevant for travel purposes. There are travel limitations in place due to COVID, and it’s unclear how long those restrictions will endure. This is besides differences in travel limitations based on the home passport.
Depending on one’s home country, second citizenship in Turkey or Grenada can open many doors just based on ease of travel alone.
Some other common benefits to dual citizenship include:
- An additional level of personal and financial freedom
- Visa-free travel to many destinations
- A secure destination, in the event of unrest at home
- Additional protection from added travel and immigration services
- The option to renounce home citizenship, if desired
There is also a difference in the minds of some, between dual citizens and the traditional “immigrant.” Some people with a second passport report they do not experience the negative connotations that an “immigrant” might normally experience.
The E-2 Visa
Currently, there are many questions swirling about with what might happen to the US immigration system. President-elect Joe Biden will take office in January. This leaves many unsure of how the immigration system will adjust.
Under President Trump, the highly-demanded H-1B visa was suspended and ultimately overhauled this past year. This action left many residents and applicants in limbo. An overwhelming majority of these affected individuals are Indian nationals.
Biden’s team promises to reinstate this program, but it is hard to know how this will actually play out. This is especially true if the US Congress remains divided ideologically.
With so much uncertainty, besides the demand for H-1B visas, turning to an E-2 visa is a workable solution. Residents of the treaty nations can live in the US with their families under the E-2 visa, as long as they establish a business there.
If one’s home country does not participate in this treaty, they will not qualify for this program. However, this path to US residency can still be achieved with an investment in the economy of member countries. This allows for entry through the citizenship by investment program.
Investors would then be eligible for E-2 status with this new citizenship under their belt.
There is no minimum investment amount for the E-2 program, although typical capital investments range from $100,000-$250,000 USD.
It’s also important to note this visa is temporary. It does not necessarily provide a path to permanent citizenship in the US. If your E-2 qualifying business is no longer in operation, you will lose your residency status.
Becoming a Turkish citizen provides one path to obtaining an E-2 visa.
Turkey is an extremely unique country located partially in Europe and partially in Asia. As such, it is known for its geography and role in world history. Picturesque topography and rock formations are commonly associated with the Turkish landscape.
The country is also known for its amazing architecture, cuisine, and rich cultural heritage.
Turkey is already a treaty country with the United States. Individuals who are granted Turkish residence can get on the fast track for E-2 visa status in the US.
The most common method under this path is to obtain Turkish citizenship by investment.
Turkish Citizenship by Investment
The most favored investment to gain citizenship is to purchase real estate. The minimum investment is $250,000 USD.
This option is quite popular, as there is a large selection of property at this investment level. In 2019, more than 6,000 applicants from nearly 100 countries opted for this choice.
Turnaround time is typically three to four months. This span is from the time the application is submitted to the receipt of a second passport.
Benefits of Using Turkey to Gain an E-2 Visa
There are many financial benefits to obtaining Turkish citizenship. Owning property in another country allows investors to diversify their portfolio in a unique way.
Plus, there is the option to open up yet another stream of income by renting out the property when possible. Turkey is the sixth-most visited country in the world. Tourism in many regions is booming, so renting the new property out is an option as well, to earn a return on investment.
Families can also benefit from choosing Turkey for dual citizenship. Family dependents also qualify under this program. This includes spouses and children under 18 years of age, and dependent parents.**
Another benefit of choosing Turkey for dual citizenship is the travel benefit. Due to its unique location between Europe and Asia, the country could provide a very advantageous home base for some travelers.
Plus, Turkey has slightly more passport recognition in terms of ease of travel. Turkey is one of the European Union’s main partners in the Middle East.
After obtaining Turkish citizenship, residents can travel visa-free (or visa on arrival, in some cases) to various countries. These include Japan, Thailand, the Schengen Area, the US, the UK, and many others. Investors can also enjoy visa-free access to 95% of south and central American countries.
Important Consideration if Using Turkey to Gain an E-2 Visa
The language component. While there is no legal requirement to learn the Turkish language, only about 1/5 of Turkish people speak English fluently.
This can pose social or cultural barriers that could impede the experience and business opportunities in Turkey if that is your intended desire.
Obtaining Grenada citizenship provides access to a picturesque island nation, with lush tropical forests juxtaposed with beautiful beaches.
Although, investors do not have to live in (or even visit) the country to apply for citizenship by investment.
Grenada Citizenship by Investment
To take advantage of the immigration by investment program in Grenada, applicants have two options.
Applicants can choose to make a non-refundable donation of $150,000 USD to Grenada’s National Transformation Fund (NTF). This is the fee for a single applicant. For a family of four, the fee raises to $200,000 USD, plus fees ranging from $10,070 to $23,545.
Investors could also purchase a business or property from a government-approved real estate project. The minimum purchase price for this option is $220,000 USD.
This property must be held for at least three years. There is also an additional flat government fee of $50,000 USD for the main applicant, with increasing fees for additional family members.
Important Considerations if Using Grenada to Gain an E-2 Visa
Grenada is a lush island nation located in the Caribbean. As such, it provides a beautiful vacation destination for investors, if desired. On the other hand, purchasing a home in this nation allows for the potential of renting out the property.
Just owning a property in another nation alone diversifies any investment portfolio. But renting out the home when not in use opens up an additional stream of income.
Another major benefit to obtaining a second citizenship in Grenada is the tax benefits. Citizens of Grenada do not pay tax on foreign income. They also are not mandated a wealth or inheritance tax on global monies.
The country’s official language is English, removing cultural barriers that may otherwise hinder social or business opportunities.
Finally, the path provides a family-friendly citizenship program. If granted, full citizenship status with a passport is granted not only to the main applicant. Spouses, children up to age 30, parents, and grandparents ages 55 and older also qualify**.
Other Considerations if Using Grenada to Gain an E-2 Visa
One other important consideration of dual citizenship in Grenada is the location. Though it serves as a beautiful backdrop for any offshore home, it can potentially be problematic for access to other countries.
For investors who frequently travel to Europe or Asia, this country is out of the way. It does not provide the “home base” that other investors may be looking for when purchasing a property in another country.
Plus, the country has fewer resources than more developed nations. This could play a part in business and development costs.
Taking Advantage of the E-2 Visa
Turkey and Grenada pose two solid options for moving towards the ultimate goal of E-2 visa status in the United States. Each has its own pros and cons but is worth considering as a dual citizenship option.
Once second citizenship has been attained in one of these countries (usually within six months), investors can submit an E-2 visa application to the United States. Historically, most successful E-2 visa applicants invest a minimum of $100,000 into a company in which they own at least a 50 percent share.
The US government typically takes around three months to process an E-2 application. If successful, investors are granted up to a five-year residency permit. There is no limit on the number of renewals granted, so long as the program qualifications are continuing to be met.
Overall, obtaining an E-2 visa could be completed in a year or less. As such, it is a much cheaper and quicker opinion than some other paths to US residency.
The E-2 visa program is increasing in popularity, especially with the uncertainty of the fate of the H-1B visas. It is also growing due to the changes in another popular option for gaining US residency: the EB-5 green card where the minimum investment has been increased to $900,000. Plus, the popularity of the green card has overloaded the system. For example, Indian citizens may have to wait six or more years to gain US residency.
The E-2 visa provides a quicker and lower cost option for those looking to gain US residency.
Consider the E-2 Visa to Gain Entry to the US
For most individuals, gaining citizenship by investment, and ultimately an E-2 visa is certainly an attainable goal. Turkey and Grenada are two great options for this path.
When considering second citizenship, there are many pros and cons to consider. The process can be difficult to navigate—this is where an experienced specialist comes into play.
Contact Second Citizenship today for a free, private consultation to help point you in the right direction and get your E-2 journey on the right track.
** You should be aware that your US E-2 Visa application will not include parents and children over 18