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Grenada Citizenship by Investment -FAQ

Grenada Citizenship by Investment: Things you need to know for your second passport

Introduction:

Grenada launched its citizenship by investment program in 2013 for the purpose of booming its economy. In return, it offered outside investors obtain citizenship and second passport within 4 to 6 months. Grenada being one of the safest and beautiful Island in Caribbean always intrigue tourists and permeant resident seekers. So, they always queries credible information regarding Grenada citizenship by investment. The followings are some replies on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).  

How long does Due Diligence take when I apply for Grenada citizenship by investment?

Due diligence check is going to be performed against the main applicant and their dependents mentioned in the application. It may take 3 to 6 months. The time variation depends on how full and detailed the information you provide about yourself, your family and sources of income. So, you must receive professional help while you apply for Grenada citizenship by investment to avoid any potential error.

Do I need to visit Grenada for the application process?

There is no requirement to visit Grenada for an interview for the Grenada citizenship program. In fact no need to travel at all to apply for the Grenada Citizenship By Investment (CBI).

How long should I own a real estate property under the CBI rules?

According to the Grenadian legislation, the participant of the program must own a real estate property for at least 4 years.

In what cases my application could be rejected?

If you deliver false data;

When you are convicted or under proceedings of any serious criminal offense in any country around the world;

Whether Grenada Citizenship by Investment authority thinks that you or your family pose a potential threat to public order, national security or the reputation of Grenada or any other country;

Provided that your visa application denied in a country with which Grenadian citizen has a visa-free access.

Do Grenadians need US visa? Or Do Grenada passport holders need a visa to the USA?

Well Yes, Grenadian citizens as well as passport holders need a visa to enter the US. Though they do have a benefit of eligibility of applying for a US B-1 & US B-2 tourist visa . These visas have a validity period of ten-year multiple-entry visas.

They also can apply for the E2 visa as Grenada being the signatory of E2 treaty with the USA, on the condition that they invest a certain amount of dollar in US for certain period.

Can Grenada citizen work in USA? Or Can Grenada citizens work in the US?

Yes, they can. They can work in US by obtaining various US visas, for example, E-2, EB-3 etc.

Theses visas allow investors to work or run a business in the United States. It also allows Grenadian citizens access to live and work in the US. A spouse of the E2 investor can also work in the US.

Which Caribbean country has visa free travel to USA?

Citizens of Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Dominica, and St Kitts and Nevis have access to visa free travel to USA.

What is the Grenada E-2 Visa?

The Grenadian citizens qualify for E-2 Visa in the US. You can’t apply for an E-2 visa as a citizen of any country unless your country is listed as E-2 treaty countries. Only around 78 countries are listed as E-2 treaty countries. So, this visa is restricted to a lot of countries/ nationalities. Grenada and the US have is joint signatory E-2 visa treaty on mutual investments. That’s why you have the benefit of getting the E-2 visa with a Grenada passport in your hand. Once the E-2 Visa is approved, you can move along with your family and invest in a business in the United States.

How can I get E2 visa from Grenada?

First you have to attain Grenada citizenship by investment or donation, and then apply for an E-2 US visa.

Grenada being the signatory of E2 treaty with the USA, Grenadians became eligible to apply for the E-2 visa subject to fulfilling the requirement of qualifying amount of dollar investment in US for certain period. Since Foreign investors (i.e. Grenadian) need to invest a minimum amount of $100,000 to apply for an E-2 Visa.

How long does it take to get an E2 Visa Grenada?

For Grenadian citizens it takes to get an E2 Visa for approximately 3 months.

What is the amount needed for an E-2 Visa?

To obtain an E-2 Visa, an applicant must be ready and able to invest a minimum amount of 100,000 dollar in the US.

Is the E2 Visa open?

Although there might be a delay in the visa interview schedule due to Covid19 restrictions, the E-2 Visa is still available for interested candidates.

How long can US citizens stay in Grenada?

US citizens can stay in Grenada for a period of 90 days without a Grenadian visa.

How long can you stay in Grenada without a visa?

Grenada and 108 countries signed an agreement on a visa-free regime. Bangladesh is one of them. So, citizens of these countries, including Bangladeshis, can spend minimum 30 days visa free in Grenada within consecutive 6 months in a year. That means, in one year you can travel to Grenada for 2 times, minimum 30 days each time. So in total minimum 60 days in a year without a visa.  If you want to stay more than 60 days in a year or more than 30 days in single entry, you have to apply for visa. 

How much does it cost to build a house in Grenada?

If someone is to build a residential house in Grenada, in general, the approximate cost will be between $100.00 to $ 150.00 US dollars per square foot. It may varies depending on the location or area where the house situated.

Is Grenada a good country to retire?

Grenada is a fantastic Caribbean island filled with peace and tranquility, a place where you can experience both coastal living and small city living at the same time. Though the island is not that popular like other conventional Caribbean islands but they provide retirees an inexpensive and superior quality of life. The welcoming local people and the growing emigrant and tourist community will make your living homely.

If you looking for Hiking, sailing, diving, swimming, kayaking, and paddling in your routine life including other excitement in white sandy beaches, rainforests, rivers, mountain lakes and scenic waterfalls then Grenada is truly the perfect place to retire.

How much money do you need to retire in Grenada?

People often ask How much do I need to retire in Grenada? Well, you can achieve Grenada citizenship via investment by Firstly, donating USD 150,000 to National Transformation Fund. Secondly, by purchasing a government-approved real estate project whose minimum worth is USD 220,000.

To live in Grenada, the projected monthly costs for a couple of retirees is approximately $1500 a month based on your lifestyle, without housing costs.

Is Grenada a good place to live?

Yes, off course.

Grenada is a great place to live if you consider great communities, very sociable people, reasonable cost of living, safety, low crime rate, tropical climate almost all year around, lots of festivals, and job opportunities.

If you love exciting activities like Hiking, sailing, diving, kayaking, and paddling in your daily life and admire scenic beauty like white sandy beaches, rainforests, rivers, mountain lakes and scenic waterfalls then Grenada is your destination.

Which Caribbean island is best for citizenship?

There are top favorite five countries among others offer citizenship by investment programs in the Caribbean. They are Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis.

It is not simple to say which Caribbean island is best for your citizenship. It depends on your budget, safety and any other considerable features of that country that may attract you. For example, if you looking for comparatively cheaper citizenship via donation you can go for countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia.

But if you looking for safety of your real estate property/ project then you must choose Grenada. Because, if you compare among other Caribbean islands mentioned above, you will figure out that Grenada’s geographical location is much safer. There are no Atlantic hurricanes that have caused mentionable harm to this island. Such geographical feature makes it simple to decide in Grenada’s real estate.

Conclusion:

Grenada is a great place to live when you consider climate and tranquility. If you are looking for a great place to retire with your loved ones then citizenship in Grenada by investment can be a wise choice.

The content of this blog is for knowledge or information sharing purpose only and may not be relied on as legal advice. In terms of getting any legal help we always strongly advise to contact a professional immigration lawyer. For professional legal help you can call or contact here.

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib

Advocate

The author is experienced and authorized immigration lawyer for Grenada citizenship by investment in real estate program and can be reached by +8801753178887(WhatsApp).

Grenada Citizenship by Investment

Grenada Citizenship by Investment: The Definitive Guide [2023]

How Popular Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program?

Question may raise, is the Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program is so popular? Well, the gradual Statics of the Program reveals the answer. The program had its best year on record in 2021 so far. For the 5thconsecutive year, the program earned an income increase with a total income of EC$282,000,000 in 2021, which was an increase of 11.5% from the last year. And it is growing every year. Furthermore, there were a total of 566 applications received by the Citizenship by Investment Unit last year. In which 59% of applicants went for the real estate route and 41% chose government donation route (which require a lot less dollar by the way).

Country Information

Grenada became independent in 1974 and is part of the Commonwealth.

Grenada is widely recognized as the Spice Island for its numerous locally grown spices, organic chocolate. In addition, it offers one of the most picturesque waterfronts, unspoiled natural greenery and breathtaking beaches in all the Caribbean. The beautiful scenery, diverse topography, and a year-round pleasant climate is just one of the many reasons to visit the three beautiful main islands. Besides, Diving, sailing, excellent restaurants and year-round memorable festivities have stimulated Grenada’s status as the ideal destination of many high net worth investors. Grenada is one of the safest places in Caribbean and it also geographically exists outside of the main hurricane belt giving environmental safety. Moreover, the country also has one of the best medical universities in the world.

Population: 113,000

Languages: English

Economy: Tourism-based

Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar

How the program started?

The Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program was launched in August 2013 when the Grenadian parliament passed the Citizenship by Investment Act, 2013. Moreover, the program offers qualified investors and their family members to apply for citizenship, benefit from visa-free travel and allows them a low-cost entry for a second passport. Recently, in Grenada tourism has become the important sector for foreign direct investments. Another rising sector is the offshore financial industry, which in combine with construction and manufacturing sector, have also contributed to growth in national revenue.

So, as part of its policy to attract foreign direct investment, the Grenadian government is working closely with a certain number of ventures related to tourism, agriculture and manufacturing.

Qualifications of the applicant:

In fact, applicants from all over the world are welcome but are subject to strict due diligence checks.

Applicants must be of-

18 years old,

Outstanding character,

No criminal or immigration offenses on your record,

And Have excellent health,

And also have a high personal net worth (You must show obtainable, legally sourced money that are sufficient to make the necessary investment, pay all fees and maintain your family after getting citizenship).

Government, Professional and Due Diligence fees is applicable.

Grenada Citizenship by Investment

Grenada Citizenship Benefits

Why chooses Grenada? Why invest in Grenada passport? What are the benefits of Grenada citizenship? Well in answering the above, you have to go through the following Grenada citizenship by investment benefits:

  • Grenada passport visa-free countries: Once investors will be granted citizenship of Grenada, they will eventually be issued with a passport. Grenada passport holders benefit from visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 145 destinations including China, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and Europe’s Schengen Area among others. 
  • A short route to USA: The only Caribbean citizenship by investment program that holds an E-2 Investor Visa Treaty with the USA, allowing citizens of Grenada to operate a substantial business in the U.S. and reside there. Many countries in the world including China and India do not have such E-2 treaty with the USA.
  • This Citizenship Valid for life.
  • Transferable to descendants: There is no difference between Grenada citizenship by investment and citizenship by birth. Citizenship can be passed down to new spouses and future generations.
  • Entire family are eligible:

Applicant’s spouse.

Minor children under 16 and financially dependent children up to 30 years of age, including children from previous marriage(s).

Financially dependent parents and grandparents of main applicant and spouse, who are older than 65.

Mentally and physically disabled children who rely on the main applicant for support.

And, unmarried siblings aged up to 30 years of main applicant and spouse.

  • Fast-track citizenship: The application process for Grenadian citizenship is very smooth and straightforward. It naturally takes Three–four months.
  • Affordable second passport in no time: Your alternative citizenship from just $220,000 investment. More affordable than European citizenship by investment programs.
  • Investment money safety: Complete investments only required after receiving citizenship application approval.
  • No restrictions on dual or multiple citizenship in Grenada: You can have as many passports as you want – Grenada authorities will not ask you to withdraw your other nationalities.
  • No minimum stay required (obtain your second passport remotely/ from home): There is no requirement to visit Grenada for an interview for the Grenada citizenship program and in fact no need to travel to the country to complete the application process at all.
  • No disclosure: The application process is strictly confidential.
  • Investment period in Real estate: After 5 years the applicant can sell the investment asset in market price or you can sell it before 5 years in certain reduced price. It will not be affecting you and your family’s citizenship.
  • No interview, education or management experience required.
  • Benefits for businesses: As business person in Grenada you can consider these factors such as– skilled and hardworking workforce, modern infrastructure, growing tourism sector, tax incentives for local companies and duty-free trade in the Caribbean.
  • Flexible taxation: Grenada is one of the most business-friendly tax heavens to register international companies. Foreign profits are not taxed while capital can be exported. So, no tax on worldwide income. There is no tax on imported capital or capital gains tax, inheritance, wealth and foreign income. Real estate transactions are free of stamp duty.
  • No language requirement: You neither have to learn the language to apply for a Caribbean passport, nor will you need to test your knowledge of local customs and traditions. No English language test is required either.
  • High standards of education: Grenada has good standard of education system. It has modern schools, universities and medical facilities. Moreover, Grenada still has attachments with the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of this Commonwealth country and so Grenadian children can enroll in the UK colleges and universities on special conditions.

Great educational incentives:

Grenada is a country of a very high literacy rate and is a country with one of the best medical universities in the region. The education system and institutions are international standard. It is home to highly praiseworthy universities and offer tuition fee reductions for those who have invested through their citizenship by investment program.

St George’s University (SGU) is situated in Grenada, a world class private university renowned for world class medical, nursing, veterinary and liberal arts education.

Besides, approximately 22000 people graduated from St George’s University since 1976 and here students come from around 150 countries to study.

In addition, the university is affiliated with many other educational institutions all over the world, including the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, attracting students and faculty members from around the world.

In fact, the university has branches in the United States, the United Kingdom, and India, and students will have the opportunity to undergo a 16-week internship in hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Consequently, 47 countries greatly accepts the university’s awarded diploma . The 47 countries includes the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates.

Applicants and students studying at St. George’s University are eligible for the Grenada Partnership Award, which provides a 90% discount on university tuition fee, that means students only need to pay 10% of the university’s undergraduate tuition expenses. This is a huge discount. To qualify, Grenada citizens must have resided in Grenada for at least one year prior to university registration. So, a simple gap year in Grenada before starting university study could easily make the student eligible for the grant/ award.

If you are somehow unable or fail to meet these requirements, you are also eligible, as a Grenadian citizen and thus a citizen of a CARICOM country, for another Caribbean undergraduate scholarship. It allows you to have a 65 % reduction of tuition fee for the first year, after which the above mentioned 90% award will apply automatically.

Thus, Non-Grenada natives can still gain this substantially reduced costs in tuition by obtaining citizenship in Grenada.

  • Economic and political stability: Grenada is an island of tranquility with peace loving and hardworking people, picturesque organized towns and cities and secure streets packed with tourists all year round. It’s stable economy and well-practiced democratic governments kept the country politically stable.

Route to Grenadian citizenship by Investment program

Here, there are two routes. The applicants either make a certain amount of economic contribution to the country or acquire a government-approved qualifying asset.

The applicant and his/ her dependents over 16 go through due diligence checks after which, including thorough background checks, if successful, Grenada’s government will approve the application.

To qualify for citizenship, the primary applicant must be over 18 years of age, satisfy the program application requirements, and choose one of the two routes:

First, National Transformation Fund donation option: A minimum non-refundable contribution to the NTF of USD 150,000 for single applicants.

Second, Grenada citizenship by investment real estate

A purchase of at least USD 220,000 from a government-approved real estate project. An additional minimum non-refundable contribution of USD 50,000 applies for this option.

The minimum amount covers the main applicant, main applicant’s spouse and two qualifying dependents. Moreover, for each additional dependent you will need an extra US$25,000 .

Please be aware that where an application includes an eligible parent not exceeding the age of fifty-five years, an additional contribution of USD 50,000 will be required to be made with the post-approval contribution.

Where an application includes an eligible sibling, an additional contribution of USD 75,000 will be required to be made with the post-approval contribution.

Once you apply for Grenada citizenship by investment real estate, the government generally delivers an answer within 3 months. The successful applicants will be issued passports generally within 10 working days. Applicants are not required to pick up their passports in person from Grenada. It can be delivered by post.

Again, in real estate option, the time frame may vary depending upon the project. Therefore, it is important to select a real estate project that is actually approved by the government and will be able to provide the necessary paperwork smoothly and swiftly for the applicant.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: What are the requirements for visa-free stay in the Schengen countries, the UK and China while you will have passport of Grenada?

Answer: Visa-free regime with the countries of the Schengen zone (you can stay for 90 days out of 180);

Visa-free travel to the UK (you can stay for 6 months a year);

Visa-free travel to China (you can stay up to 30 days)

No additional documents and prior registration required for crossing these borders.

Question: Why is Grenada citizenship by investment program so popular?

Answer: Due to lots of benefits and reasons, as mentioned above, the program grown more popular every day.

Question: Does a passport have an expiration date in Grenada?

Answer: In Grenada a passport is issued for a period of 5 years with its succeeding renewal for the equal time.

Question: Can you buy citizenship in Grenada?

Answer: You cannot straight away buy citizenship but you can invest for it. You need to apply Grenada’s investment program which is twofold (as explained above): Firstly, A minimum non-refundable contribution to the NTF of USD 150,000 for single applicants. Secondly, Grenada citizenship by investment real estate where you purchase a government-approved real estate project at least worth of USD 220,000.  An additional minimum non-refundable contribution of USD 50,000 applies for this option.

Question: How can I invest in Grenada citizenship?

Answer: You can invest in Grenada citizenship through funding in one of the Grenadian government approved real estate projects.

Question: How much does Grenada citizenship cost?

Answer: It is difficult to measure Grenada passport price accurately. But an approximate USD 300, 00 (more or less) is required for an applicant, his/her and two dependents. So, if the applicant has more than 2 (two) qualifying dependent then he/she must pay an extra US$25,000 for each additional dependent.

Question: How fast can I get Grenada citizenship?

Answer: In general, Grenada citizenship by investment processing time is between 3-6 months from the date of application.

Question: How strong is Grenada passport? Or How good is Grenada passport?

Answer: In various ranking index Grenada passport ranked in various positions. So, it is very difficult to precisely say about Grenada passport ranking position. But the fact is if you have a Grenada passport you can travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival into 145 countries including China, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and Europe’s Schengen Area among others. So, Is Grenada passport powerful? Well yes, if you consider above.

Question: How can I get permanent residency in Grenada? or How do I get Grenadian citizenship?

Answer: As a foreigner, one of the ways to get Grenadian permanent residency or citizenship is “citizenship by investment real estate program”.  You can learn more about it from above. See: “Route to Grenadian citizenship by Investment program”.

Question: Does Grenada allow dual citizenship? Or, Does Grenada offer dual citizenship?

Answer: Well, yes. So, you may ask do I need to give up my current citizenship. The answer is no. Grenada recognizes dual citizenship, which means investors can still use their current passports.

Question: Can foreigners buy property in Grenada?

Answer: Yes, they can buy property in Grenada via Grenada citizenship by investment real estate program.

Question: How many citizenship can you have in Grenada?

Answer: As many citizenship as you want. Grenada does allow dual or multiple citizenship.

Question: Who can get a national passport for Grenada?

Answer: Please read in details above: “Grenada Citizenship by Investment” and “Route to Grenadian citizenship by Investment program” paragraphs.

Question: Do Grenadians need visa for Canada?

Answer: There is a list of countries whose citizens are exempted from visa requirements to be allowed access to Canada. Those excused country Citizens only needed to apply for an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). Grenada is not among the visa exempted countries, so any Grenadian will require a visa to go in Canada.

Question: Can I travel to Canada with Grenada passport?

Answer: Yes, you can travel but you will require Canadian visa to enter the country.

Question: Do Grenadians need visa for Switzerland? Or Do Grenadians need a visa for Portugal?

Answer: Not required for first 90 days.

Both Switzerland and Portugal are member of EU and people require Schengen visa to enter these countries. But, Grenada citizens can travel visa free to the Schengen Area for up to 90 days at a time. In 2015 a treaty was signed for short stay waiver. That has given Grenadian citizens the right to in and out to Schengen countries without the need of applying for a visa before they travel.

Question: Is Grenada visa-free to UK?

Answer: Yes, Grenadians can travel visa-free to the UK and stay there for up to 180 days in a row.

Question: Can Grenadians work in the UK?

Answer: Not automatically. They have to get work permit or any other visas that allows them to work in UK legally.

Question: Can Grenada citizens work in UK?

Answer: Yes, with proper permission from the UK government authority, they can.

Question: Can Grenadians live in the UK?

Answer: Yes, they can. For first 180 days they can stay without visa but later on more than 180 days stay they will require visa.

Question: How long can I stay in the UK with a Grenada passport?

Answer: With a Grenada passport you can travel visa-free to the UK and stay there for up to 180 days in a row. Then you have to either renew the visa or for long term stay you need to get different type of visa.

Question: Are Grenadians British citizens?

Answer: No

Question: Can I buy land in Grenada?

Answer: Yes, under Grenada citizenship by investment real estate program you can.

Question: How much does it cost to live in Grenada?

Answer: It depends on your lifestyle. But an average cost for average living style should cost per person approximately 1500 USD per month.

Question: Is it easy to get Grenada citizenship?

Answer: It is neither easy nor difficult. The authority is flexible and welcoming to new investors. If you submit all the required documents properly and follow the application guidelines you may have a very high chance to achieve Grenada citizenship.

Question: Is Grenada visa free to Japan?

Answer: No

Conclusion:

Finally, let me ask you, are you looking for life where you can travel the world freely? Are you looking for a better future for your family and next generations? Is that a second passport/ multiple citizenship you look for to improve your lifestyle and ensure free movement? If the answer is yes, then you must approach for Grenadian passport via government approved real estate investment.

The content of this blog is for knowledge or information sharing purpose only and may not be relied on as legal advice. In terms of getting any legal help we always strongly advise to contact a professional immigration lawyer. For professional legal help you can call or contact here.

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib

Advocate

The author is experienced and authorized immigration lawyer for Grenada citizenship by investment in real estate program and you can reach him by +8801753178887(WhatsApp).

Women's Property Rights in Bangladesh

Women’s Property Rights in Bangladesh – Rights all should be aware of

In Bangladesh a substantial percentage of women, after their husband’s demise, been denied, deprived or evicted from her husband’s property and in the end she lost her possession and rights upon such property. Most of the times this heinous eviction or denial comes from her in laws, relatives or sometimes, surprisingly, by her own children. But the right(s) of a Muslim widow is clearly decided in Bangladeshi law. If such widow is deprived from her rights, she must consult a lawyer in Bangladesh and get legal help. Here the Women’s Property Rights in Bangladesh will be addressed and discussed briefly to enlighten us.

Rights of Property and Residence

A widow, under no circumstances, can be removed forcefully and illegally from her residence after her husband’s departure. She has the rights to reside over the house where she used to live while her husband was alive and her inherited property should be given to her. But she cannot be stopped if she wants to inhabit some other place voluntarily. She will legally have guardianship of her children unless she gets married again. No woman loses her rights of inheritance just because her husband is deceased. In Muslim law wife’s inheritance rights is a kind of rights which under no instances or law will be null and void. A widow is entitled to inherit 1/8 portion/fraction of her husband’s property if she has child/children but she will inherit ¼ portion if she doesn’t have any child. So a widow can go to Court if someone evicts or deprives her from her inherited property or try to illegally possess her property.

A Widow Woman Can Remarry

A Muslim widow, after expiration of Iddat Period i.e. 3 months, can live her life like any other independent women. Whether she will remarry is completely her own choice.

Right to Dower and Maintenance

A widow has the right to claim dower if such dower has been denied in her husband’s lifetime. Death of the husband of a widow does not automatically cancel her rights to claim such dower. She is still eligible to recover such dower from her husband’s next of kin.  If a husband didn’t pay the dower, then the widow can claim that dower successfully by filing a civil suit in the Family Court within 3 years of her husband’s demise.  Furthermore, a widow can inherit her husband’s property and enjoy it independently.

Moreover, a widow mother is also legally eligible to get maintenance from her children. If her children deny such maintenance then the widow can go to court and ask for her legitimate claim under Muslim Law.

Women's Property Rights in Bangladesh

Women Property Rights – By Inheritance

In secular legal system like Bangladesh, cases of marriage, divorce, alimony and property inheritance are determined under personal law. So, Women’s Property Rights in Bangladesh depends on personal law. According to Muslim Family Law in Bangladesh, a Muslim woman is entitled to inheritance of buying properties as well as the gifted properties. There are several Acts of Parliament for example, Muslim Family Ordinance 1961, Muslim Family Rules 1961 and Sharia laws in regard to this procedure. Unfortunately in other religion there is no such provision as a Hindu or Buddhist women inherit nothing.

Inheritance in Bangladesh is prejudiced for females as it is based on religion and it requires instantaneous consideration in enacting uniform laws or rules for the laws of inheritance as well as for the laws of marriage, divorce, and guardianship.

A Study on Inheritance Rights of Women in Bangladesh

According to Sharia Law in Bangladesh, a Muslim widow gets only one eighth of her husband’s inheritance if he wasn’t childless although the husband is entitled to one fourth of the deceased wife’s property. Otherwise, the wife inherits a quarter of the husband’s estate. The single daughter is entitled to half of the estate of the deceased parent irrespective of gender. Besides, the daughters jointly inherit two-thirds of the estate. Though, the daughter is allowed only half of the estate of than that of her brother(s).

Furthermore, Hindu women are not eligible to inherit property directly. Lone daughter as well as those with sons may inherit property whereas childless widowed daughters or daughters having no son are excluded. Limited rights are being bestowed to Hindu daughters as far as right to enjoy property is concern (i.e. on her death, the property reverts back to the next heir of the person she had inherited the property from). Similar situation occurs for the widows, too. Somewhat amazingly, the Buddhists are also governed by the Hindu Law in Bangladesh.

Historically when the family laws of Bangladesh enacted it was inspired /motivated by the laws of Indian subcontinent created by that time of British ruler. All the family laws created by that time was based on personal law since that time religion was so important in terms of family issues. But that was then, time has changed now.

Conclusion

Bangladesh must introduce most modern, practical, effective and human rights supportive family law. Family laws of Bangladesh badly need a change along with the change in inheritance rights for women in Bangladesh.

The content of this blog is for knowledge or information sharing purpose only and may not be relied on as legal advice. In terms of getting any legal help we always strongly advise to contact a professional lawyer. For professional legal help you can call or contact here.

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib
Advocate

Trademark Registration Bangladesh

Trademark Registration Bangladesh: Things You Should Know About Trademark Registration Process in Bangladesh

Introduction:

In general “trademark” is any name, symbol, figure, letter, word, or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant in order to designate his or her goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. A trademark is a proprietary term that is usually registered with the Patent and Trademark Office to assure its exclusive use by its owner. (Source: dictionary.com).

Why trademark a name or brand?

Here, I mean why you should trademark your business name or brand. Well, if you do trademark registration in Bangladesh in the name of your business, then you can protect your brand or name as an exclusive owner in future from intellectual property theft or exploitation whiles your business will grow big.

So trademark your business name will create brand recognition.

It notifies legal issues. It denotes that, a business without trademark registration vulnerable to lawsuits from trademark registered companies with same or similar name, sign logo etc. so trademark registration holds power in favour of your company as well as force against other companies in any misuse against your business brand. Thus by registration you can save a potential legal costs of the company by not getting sued from others and you can easily win a legal battle if your brand infringed by others. You will always be a win-win situation.

Moreover, Trademark registration of your business make your business as a valuable asset while it grows and until the company lives.

When do I need to register a trademark or when to register trademark?

Well, when you or any person owns a business or brand which is already doing business or providing services or soon to/ proposed to do business or services can formally apply for trademark registration. The Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT) can only does Trademark Registration in Bangladesh. The application of “Trademark registration Bangladesh” should be done offline using various forms starting with TM-1. Though recently DPDT started to receive online application but I will not recommend using that way, yet since there are still some ambiguities in the process.

What can be registered as a trademark?

When you have a business, to recognise your business you must name your business. It can be done by Words, creating a Logo or Slogans. All of this words, symbols, logos and slogans can be trademarked. Though it is uncommon in Bangladesh but you will be surprised to know that even colour schemes, Smells and Sounds can also be trademarked. So in short, if something that differentiates the products or services of your company or business from others, which can be registered. Remember, trademark protection can only be obtained if you are in trade or business.

Trademark Registration Process in Bangladesh

So, How to register trademark in Bangladesh or What is the procedure to register trademark?
Any individual or any company (local or international) is affirming or claiming to be the proprietor of a trademark or business can apply for trademark registration. If the applicants are foreign nationals or companies then they must hire a local lawyer or representative agent who can complete the registration process and achieve the certificate of registration for them.

Trademark Search in Bangladesh

To figure out the attainability of particular trademark in compare to previous identical or similar trademark, a search may run in DPDT office
So, is a trademark search necessary? Well it is not mandatory to do trademark registration check before trademark application but it is recommended. A trademark search can help you to block coming objection or claim against your future application.

Trademark application in Bangladesh can be filed in two ways:

  • General/ typical Applications
  • Priority claim applications by members (individuals or companies) of Paris Convention countries or World Trade Organization.

How to Do Trademark Registration

The following trademark registration details will surely help you understand and guide you about trademark registration:

  • Fill out TM-1 Form (Trademark Application Form) accurately by mentioning applicant’s details (like name, address, designation etc.), describing mark/ brand/ label etc. perfectly
  • Specifically describe applicant’s goods/service and concern NICE class(s),
  • If you are planning for priority claim, you must provide supporting documentation regarding your previous application filed in convention country.
  • Fill out TM-10 if you filing through a lawyer or representative.
  • Payment of Up to date Government prescribed Application Fees.
  • The concerned trademark registrar or concern DPDT officials will inspect and evaluate applied Trademarks .
  • If there is no objection from the registrar or DPDT, then they will issue TMR-5 for Journal publication.
  • After journal publication, if there is no objection or no claim of trademark violation from anyone, then the trademark will be registered and certificate will be issued subject to payment of registration fees.

Trademark Class in Bangladesh

In accordance with International Classification of Goods and Services (also known as the Nice Classification) , in Bangladesh, there are 45 classes. So a trade mark application can be lodged in Classes 1 to 34 for goods category marks and Classes 35 to 45 for service category marks.

Trademark relevant laws in Bangladesh:
The Trade Marks Act, 2009
Trade Mark Rules, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Question: How can I get trademark license in Bangladesh?

Answer: Please read above the “Trademark registration process in Bangladesh” paragraph. It explains the process in detail.

Question: How can I register my product in Bangladesh?

Answer: You can register your product name or logo by trademark registration. You can file for trademark registration in Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT)

Question: Who can apply the trademark?

Answer: Any individual person or business company can apply for trademark to protect their product or service. The application has to be filed stating the trademark name, type of business , business address of the applicant including other various information along with trademark lawyer’s details (if applicant prefers). An individual or business organisation not performing any business yet can also file a trademark application and get trademark registration for a logo or slogan . So, can anyone register a trademark? Well, apparently they can.

Question: Can I register a trademark myself?

Answer: Yes, you can register a trademark by yourself as an individual .But you must know the application steps or procedures before you apply, or to be safe you may get professional legal help.

Question: Can I use TM without registering?

Answer: YES, even if you didn’t apply for trademark registration, you can use TM sign over your mark. There is no law forbids you from mentioning small TM over your mark, in Bangladesh. The use of the term TM doesn’t provide any legal protection rather give an impression or awareness to people that he/she using this trademark for his/her business. So it is no way related to whether a trademark is registered or not.

Question: Are trademarks valid worldwide?

Answer: No, a trademark can be valid for many countries at a time but it cannot be valid worldwide. Because all the countries in the world did not became the members of Madrid Protocol. For example, Bangladesh is not a signatory member of Madrid Protocol (An international system of getting trademark protection for many countries by filing one application). So if someone in U.S. registered his trademark nationally, after that, he can apply for trademark application as many countries as he likes as long as that countries are the signatory member of Madrid Protocol. But if he wants to register his trademark in Bangladesh, he must file it in Bangladesh DPDT since Bangladesh is not a member.

Question: Can I register a trademark in a different country?

Answer: Yes, you can register a trademark in any or every country where you would like to do your business. The reason behind this is trademark registration of a company or business is territorial in nature. So for example if you register a mark (i.e. generally your business or company name) in Bangladesh then your mark is protected only in Bangladesh but it is not protected in other countries like U.K., Germany etc. To get protection of your trademark you have to apply every single country where you would like to protect your business or mark.

In many countries you can apply for trademark registration into multiple countries by single application through Madrid Protocol/ System. But in Bangladesh you cannot apply through Madrid Protocol because Bangladesh is not a signatory member of that protocol.

Question: What is the government fee for trademark registration?

Answer: We sometimes face this question: Is registering trademark is free? Well, no, it is not.
The prescribed Government trademark registration fee in Bangladesh (last updated 28.12.2021) can be found here
Note: Trademark registration government fees can be revised at any time when the DPDT authority thinks fit.

Question: Trademark registration cost in Bangladesh?

Answer: In order to register your trademark you have to pay the government fees and lawyer fees (if you consult one). If you do not get a lawyer (though I highly recommend), then you may have some miscellaneous cost to spare. Generally if you hire a lawyer, he/she take care of the miscellaneous fees.

Question: How do I register my brand name?

Answer: First you have to introduce your brand name to the world and you can do that by “trade marking. So you can register your brand name by trade marking. Trademark registration procedure in Bangladesh mentioned above.

Question: How long does it take to register a trademark in Bangladesh?

Answer: It is very difficult to answer this question since it depends on various circumstances, for example, availability of DPDT concern officials, pending large volume of trademark application in DPDT, time to time application follow ups, postal service, trademark application opposed by others and so on.

Question: How long is a trademark valid for?

Answer: According to section 22 of Trademark Act 2009, a registered trademark in Bangladesh is valid for 7 years from the date of registration. Later on that trademark registration can also be renewed for another 10 years from the date of expiry of the registration or the last renewal of the registration.

Question: Can a registered trademark be challenged?

Answer: Yes, it can be challenged in various stages in trademark application. Firstly, after revering the trademark application, the registrar can deny or ask for written statement or a hearing by lawyer regarding the similarity of a trademark application in compare to already registered trademark(s). Secondly, when the registrar allows journal publication of the applied trademark, after the journal publication, anyone can oppose by claiming that the applied trademark infringed his trademark protections.

Conclusion:

The above features show the list of possibilities (not an exhaustive list) can be achieved only by accepting the opportunity available under the laws of Bangladesh. Implementation of Patent, Design, copyright and Trademark registration in Bangladesh became important aspect in the business community from last decade. But still we have a long journey ahead.
Important link – Various forms regarding trademark application:

The content of this blog is for knowledge or information sharing purpose only and may not be relied on as legal advice. In terms of getting any legal help we always strongly advise to contact a professional lawyer. For professional legal help you can call or contact here.

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib
Advocate

Hindu Muslim Marriage in Bangladesh

Things You Should Know About Hindu-Muslim Marriage, Other Interreligious Marriage, Court Marriage In Bangladesh

Introduction:

Being a secular country with regard to religious beliefs the marriage system in Bangladesh is far from encumbrances. When it comes from a Muslim perspective it poses different problems and misconceptions about the process as well as the existing law being not well defined. So people suffer from broken marriages to different lawsuits ranging from child custody to inheritance. With regard to Hindu marriage system, one thing can be said is that the system is naive since only in 2012 the Government of Bangladesh has formulated the Hindu marriage Registration Act even where the criterion for registration is kept optional.

The law related to Cross religion marriages in Bangladesh or some say mixed marriages in Bangladesh are nothing but far reaching and the issues are far more complicated. Thus a simplified approach in understanding the law of Marriage in Bangladesh is attempted in this article so that any layperson can divulge what’s in it or not. To know more let’s dive in.

Procedure for Hindu Muslim Marriage & other Interreligious Marriage in Bangladesh

We are familiar with questions like can a Hindu boy marry a Muslim girl legally in Bangladesh or Is Hindu Muslim marriage legal in Bangladesh? The answer is yes they can. Let me explain it to you.

In Bangladesh, family laws are personal, meaning that such matters are governed by the religious laws of the individual concerned. If someone is Muslim then Muslim law will regulate his/her marriage related issues.

There is neither specific Hindu Muslim marriage law in Bangladesh nor Hindu Muslim marriage act in Bangladesh. But that doesn’t stop people from a Hindu Muslim marriage or a Hindu Muslim wedding in Bangladesh. According to the Special Marriage Act of 1872, mixed religion marriage in Bangladesh is possible among persons professing certain specified different religions namely Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain as well as among persons declaring themselves as non-believers (atheists).

There will be a different scenario if any of the parties to the marriage is a Muslim. That is, under the Muslim law, a Muslim girl cannot get married to a boy possessing any other religion. Though, a Muslim male can marry any girl, who is a follower of any Kitaab, e.g. a Christian or a Jews only. Hence, a girl cannot get married under the Special Marriage Act 1872 if she declare herself as a Muslim and the boy declares himself as a Christian.

However, the option of marriages among non – believers (atheists) under the Special Marriage Act 1872 still remains open for a Muslim girl. When a marriage is solemnized under the Special Marriage Act 1872, the bride and the bridegroom have to sign a Declaration which states as: “I do not profess the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Parsi, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina religion” or (as the case may be) “I profess the Hindu, or the Buddhist, or the Sikh or the Jaina religion”.


Interpreting the words of the aforesaid Declaration, it seems that a Muslim girl may either declare herself a non-believer i.e. professing none of the religions or she may declare to profess any one of the religions listed there in i.e. she professes the Hindu, or the Buddhist, or the Sikh or the Jaina religion. Marriage is only allowed between persons declaring to profess any one of the religions specifically mentioned in the second part of the Declaration.

Hindu Muslim Marriage in Bangladesh

The Problem in Special Marriage Act of 1872

The above scenario reveals some lacuna or problem in The Special Marriage Act of 1872. According to  the analysis of the above scenario under the Act  it is safe to opine that a Hindu and a Muslim – or a Buddhist and a Muslim, etc. – cannot marry under any law in Bangladesh, and hence are denied their constitutional right to equal treatment. The Special Marriage Act further contradicts Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “[m]en and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family”.

Moreover, The Special Marriage Act of 1872 does not provide sufficient protection to those married under it. For example, the Act doesn’t contain the clear provisions on maintenance of wife and children, the legitimacy of children, custody of children, guardianship of children, and also the Act reflects certain disadvantages in the rights of inheritance.

Marriage Registration under Special Marriage Act of 1872 in Bangladesh

If the parties of marriage are from different religion then the “Special Marriage Act-III of 1872” is applicable to them. In that case, they have to contact different marriage registrar like Kazi in Muslim Marriage. Here, Marriage Certificate is the principal document like other marriages.

Since there is no specific governmental instruction in Bangladesh regarding Hindu/Buddhist/Christian marriage registrations, the applicant should contact the City Corporation relevant department for Marriage registration, the priest who solemnized the marriage or the administration of the Church/Temple where the marriage was solemnized.

Court Marriage in Bangladesh- Some Clarification:

Court Marriage in Bangladesh is a well-known and accepted concept or idea that someone can be married through Judicial Court and such marriage in that court is legally valid. But an idea like Court Marriage in Bangladesh greatly accepted among lay people is incorrect. Jurisdiction of such courts or locally, in popular name, known as Court Marriage in Bangladesh is not a marriage at all, rather a declaration or permission from such judicial court.

Even after acquiring such permission marriage will only be completed and legally valid when someone pays certain marriage registration fee to Kazi and fills out and sign the marriage registration form and completes the marriage registration under Muslim Marriage & Divorce Registration Act 1974 and Muslim Marriage & Divorce Registration Rules 1975.

According to Bangladeshi Civil Law, all marriages in Bangladesh entail proper Marriage Registration and later that leads to acquiring marriage certificate which is the principal document of marriage. It should be noted that the document and relevant procedures are known as “Court Marriage” is the supplementary document which has no significance without a marriage certificate.

Note: Authorization of a marriage in the name of Court Marriage in Bangladesh is not a marriage at all. Hence, the concerned parties/ couple must participate in their religion formalities and legal formalities (i.e.  registration procedure) to solemnize a valid marriage. Notary public authenticated documents have little worth to prove a legal claim regarding the validity of a marriage. It basically ensures originality of a document or certifies a formal declaration.

Interfaith Marriage in Islam

So people are wondering, how does Islam feel about interfaith marriage? Interfaith marriage in Islam is allowed that means a Muslim man wed a non Muslim women as long as she is follower of any Kitaab or people of the book ( as per Quranic rulings, a chaste woman received scripture before you). It means, as greatly accepted in Muslim community, a Muslim man can marry a Jews or Christian woman but no other non-Muslim. So for example, is it allowed to marry a Hindu in Islam? The answer is “no”. On the other hand a Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man.

The laws on interfaith marriage in Bangladesh is in well fitted with Islamic law and customs since Bangladesh is country of Muslim majority.  But a Muslim woman is allowed to marry a non-Muslim man in here under Special Marriage Act. In such case, the marriage will be legal but won’t be ethically and socially accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Question: What is Special Marriage Act in Bangladesh?

Answer: Special Marriage Act is a law enacted in Bangladesh Parliament. Generally speaking, the reason behind creating this law was to legalise marriages among the brides and grooms whose religion is different from one another.  If a marriage is not legal then there will be social and legal complication will arise in couple’s life. For example, if a wedding is invalid due to different religion of the couple then the couple’s consummated children will face trouble in inheritance of their parent’s property as successor.   

Question: Can a Hindu marry a Muslim in Bangladesh? Or, Can a Muslim marry a non-Muslim in Bangladesh? Or, Can different religions get married in Bangladesh?

Answer: Well, all the three questions beg the similar answer.  In Bangladeshi social and religious custom, they are not allowed to. Though in some case a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman but not Hindu woman since in Islamic law of Bangladesh and Islamic Shariah law (based on Quran and Hadith) only allowed Muslim man to marry the follower of Kitaab i.e. Christian or Jews. However, a Hindu can marry a Muslim legally under Special Marriage Act. Thus a Hindu marry a non Hindu in Bangladesh.

Question: Can a Bangladeshi man marry a Foreigner?

Answer: Yes a Bangladeshi man and even a woman can marry a Foreigner. So it doesn’t matter about your spouse’s citizenship rather his/her religion in regard to marriage and it’s procedure.  For example, if your would be wife is Muslim or Christan or Jews and she is from USA then you can marry her in Bangladesh in Islamic law.

Final Words:

Do you know what the marriage age is in Bangladesh?  The legal age for marriage is 21 for boys and 18 for girls. So in Bangladesh any boy of 21 and girl of 18 can marry legally irrespective of their religion.

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The above blog is for knowledge or information sharing purpose only. In terms of getting any legal help we always strongly advise to contact a professional lawyer. For professional legal help you can call or contact here.

Written By: Sheikh Saiful Islam Rajib

Advocate

+8801753178887 (Whatsapp)