Living in Grenada sounds a lot like paradise. Home to lush green forests, steep hills that plunge to white sandy coves, a turquoise sea, and a notably friendly population. It measures around 134 square miles and has a population of a little over 100,000. And don’t forget the national pastime of liming. Never heard of it? Then read on for why Expats choose to move to Grenada, the Spice Island.
Grenada Fast Facts
Once a British colony, English remains the official language of Grenada. Which makes living here nice and easy. There are a variety of dialects including a combination of French Patois with English. But as long as you speak English you will have no problems being understood here.
Grenada has a tropical climate. It is hot and humid all year round. But there is a relatively cool season from December to March and a hot but rainy season from June to November. Average daytime temperatures range from 25 °C in January and February to 31 °C in July and August. The trade winds blow consistently, which makes the sultry heat a lot more bearable.
Worried about Hurricanes? Grenada is outside the Southern edge of the hurricane belt, so it is safe for travel and immigration. But all countries in the Caribbean can have large storms, so do take care. The only major storm in the last 60 years to hit Grenada was Hurricane Ivan, in 2004.
There is much more to explore than just the beaches. Grenada’s beautiful climate makes for a vibrant natural world.
The official currency of Grenada is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD), which is divided into 100 cents. The Eastern Caribbean dollar is tied to the US dollar at USD 1 = XCD 2.70. Also, the US dollar is also widely accepted as are all the usual credit and debit cards.
Cost of Living in Grenada
Grenada is an affordable choice and cheaper than most Caribbean islands. Groceries, particularly the abundant local supplies, are cheap. Eating out is also very reasonable.
In an inexpensive restaurant, you can dine for just $7. A mid-range restaurant costs around $70 for dinner for two.
Rents vary from $300 US for a one-bed apartment to between $1000 and $2000 US for a 3-bed house. Properties in the city are more expensive than those outside. And, if your rental is right on the beach expect to spend more. Check out this site for current property prices in Grenada.
Moving to Grenada
The Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program is one of the top investment visa programs worldwide. This program creates an easy fast-track route to gaining Grenadian nationality and a U.S. E-2 work visa. In exchange for an investment of at least $150,000 in Grenada’s economy, you can get Grenada citizenship. It is also possible to get Grenadian citizenship by investing in pre-approved real estate. With no limits on foreign ownership and control of property, it is a fantastic country to conduct overseas business.
Grenada’s territorial tax regime is a significant benefit to many investors and business owners in Grenada. It does not tax foreign income, capital gains, inheritance, wealth, or gifted capital. Moving to Grenada, you can enjoy earnings made abroad at no expense.
What Are the Best Places to Live in Grenada?
The capital, St George’s is popular with many Expats in Grenada. Other popular areas are Carriacou, Grand Anse, and Lance aux Epines.
St George’s University is in the wonderfully named True Blue – many international students gravitate here.
Overseas Property Ownership
Unlike many countries, anybody can purchase and sell land and property in Granada. Non-citizens (or ‘Aliens’) are required to obtain an ‘Alien Landholder Licence’. This license stipulates that buyers have to pay 10% of the agreed purchase price to the Government of Grenada as property transfer tax. To sell a property, the transfer tax is 15% of the agreed price. In an approved tourism development this tax is lower at 5% for purchases and 2.5% for sales.
Property tax is extremely favorable at just 0-0.5% annually. Applications generally take two months to process. The Alien Lands Holding act entitles owners to occupy and reside in the property legally. During this time, occupants will have to report to Grenada’s immigration authority every 3-6 months until permanent residence is granted.
Employment for Expats in Grenada
A one-year work permit is available for foreigners that can be extended. They will need to show proof of their job offer and the contract. The employer must justify their reason for hiring non-citizens, and the vacancy notice must be advertised for three weeks before hiring a foreign employee. Now Grenada is a quality source of employment information on the island. But most Expats will have other sources of income from abroad.
Healthcare in Grenada for Expats
According to the World Health Organisation, Grenada’s health system is one of the best in the Caribbean. The Ministry of Health oversees all care, and there are both public and private facilities. The system infrastructure has been planned that any household is never more than three miles from a healthcare provider.
There are around thirty medical stations, six healthcare units, and eight hospitals. St George’s General Hospital is the primary state medical institution in the country. There are also numerous private health insurance schemes that are options when moving here.
Schools and Education for Expats Living in Grenada
For people moving to Grenada with their families, education is important. Kids must attend school from five to fifteen years old. There is free public education alongside a fee-paying private system.
Grenada’s public system is modeled on the British education system. Therefore, moving to Grenada does not mean having to compromise on the quality of education for yourself or your children. With English being the official language, Expat families find the transition smooth and simple. Several international schools are popular with the Expat community.
St. George’s University is one of the most highly regarded and popular universities in the Caribbean and specializes in Medicine and Veterinary.
Retiring in Grenada
With its low cost of living, tropical climate, and access to excellent healthcare it could be the Nirvana you’ve been searching for. Add to that the easy access to sailing, hiking, and diving, and you have the perfect lifestyle for a freewheeling, young-at-heart retiree.
Is Living in Grenada Safe?
Grenada is categorized by the US as a level-one country in terms of safety. This means one should simply follow the same precautions you would at home. There are some instances of opportunistic robberies, especially in busy tourist areas. But by and large, Grenada is a safe option, if you take the usual measures.
Pros and Cons of Expat Life in Grenada
As close to paradise as you can get on Earth. Grenada has so many pros. The weather, the natural beauty, the historic towns, and the warm and friendly populace provide one of the highest happiness ratings in the world. Low costs, excellent healthcare, a stable government, and a generally safe atmosphere make sure it is a practical destination to live too. Delicious food at reasonable prices is a key selling point too.
The only real negative would apply to most Caribbean islands and can be categorized as “island time”. Don’t expect to get things done as quickly as you might ins the USA or Western Europe. Patience is a virtue, and you will need it while living in Grenada. If you are hoping to find the Caribbean equivalent of Ibiza, you will be disappointed. Nightlife in Grenada is low-key. There are a few clubs open all night, but don’t expect anything on a big scale.
There are also some infrastructure issues, like poorly maintained roads and minimal recycling.
Living in Grenada as an American
The cost of living is relatively lower, particularly when it comes to renting. Private healthcare is also more affordable. The taxation system, and the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program, make it a no-brainer as a new place to call home. The southern part of the island has a great Expat community. You will find it easy to make friends with Expats and locals alike due in part to the ease of a shared language.
Check out the many Facebook groups for Expats in Granada to connect.
Can Americans Retire in Grenada?
Americans looking to retire to Grenada will need immigration permission. There are effective investment visa options that lead to permanent residency. You can also explore citizenship by naturalization, or Grenada citizenship by investment.
And Finally > What is Liming?
If you travel to Grenada, then you need to get acquainted with the national pastime of liming. What is it I hear you cry? There’s no direct translation for it.
But it refers loosely to the art of doing nothing while sharing food, drink, conversation, and laughter with at least one other person. And expect more to join as the day or evening develops. It beautifully encapsulated the inherently sociable and relaxed nature of Grenadians.
If you are invited to lime, make sure to take along a bottle of rum. So if that doesn’t make you want to jump on the plane to Grenada I don’t know what will! Expats living in Grenada will be happy to help you learn this essential skill!