We give some important tips for all those interested in acquiring a passport through citizenship by investment (Cbi) programs. These are so important and we recommend every passport buyer interested to carefully read and digest the below information before contacting us.
Having a basic knowledge in the passport subject will help you make the right decision. This will also save lot of time for our sales team in answering your questions.
1. Agent fees
Agent application fees vary from agent to agent. All the other Government fee remains the same. Many agents will charge between $15,000 to $25,000 depending on how many family members apply. Check our prices
Discounts possible only with agent fees, offered by agents during certain promotions.. There are no Governments discounts in their contribution or in the fees.
3. Family members
The costs for passport programs exponentially rise the more you add the family members. Sometimes for big families, what looks like the cheapest program also get expensive for family members, or real estate option may be cheaper than the donation option. It really depends on the pricing structure built within the the CBI program. To find out, you have to play around with our price calculator.
Children can also be added anytime after the main applicant is approved. You have to know only certain programs (Antigua, St Lucia) allow this. Check with your agent.
5. Dont hide facts
Your citizenship case may be denied if you fail background checks. Be sure to to disclose your previous convictions, travel history, visa denials or any other issues you know, so that agents will know you will be eligible or not. This will save a lot of time for everybody.
6. Pay only after approval
Do not pay your investment BEFORE receiving your Government approval letter. You only supposed to pay a small initial retainer fee and file the application first with Citizenship offices. (Agents will do that)
Have all paper work in order, delays caused by improper or missing paperwork. All documents have to be in order. It is impossible to apply for passport programs without police clearance, health certificate etc and these documents must be less than 3 months old. Some of the important documents such as birth certificate, marriage certificate require aposille. Ask your agent
8. Real estate
Invest carefully in real estate. There is also risk! Dont pay for real estate developers BEFORE your application is approved by Government. Chances are developers promise everything run away with your money. Dont step foot in uncharted waters and dont do business with someone you dont know! We know what is happening, who to trust in the industry from our years of experience.
After all there is no point in buying real estate if you dont qualify for citizenship. Ask for returns, project completion, returns and government approval from developers. No matter what, trust no one and dont pay until you are approved period.
Be sure you check for ANY residence requirements before applying. eg. Antigua has 5 day residence requirement when you renew your passport.
10. Processing times
Background checks take 2-3 months to complete before passport is issued. You have to patiently wait until that.
11. Dont Overpay
Do not overpay. Know which programs are cheapest for one person or families. Use our calculator
12. Visa free countries
Knowing which passport has visa free access to which country is equally important. You have to know the differences and requires little research. For example Antigua passport has visa free access to South Africa, while Dominica passport has for Israel. Use our Visa waiver tool
You can make use of visa waivers for business, tourism, visiting family and friends for a short stays. For long stays, you have to apply for residence permits. Do not violate visa rules
13. Validity of Passports
Finally check the validity of passports. If the passport has 10 year validity, it is great saves you lot of time, money and running around consulates to renew your passports. As far as we know Antigua, Grenada, St Lucia passports have only 5 year validity, while St Kitts and Dominica passports issued for 10 years. You can easily renew your passport at any nearby consulate in London, Washington, UAE.
14. E-2 Visas
Understand which passport programs has access to E-2 investor visa to United States. In the future you may want to make use of this opportunity. There is a huge price difference between E-2 and EB-5 visas
15. Dont fall for scams
Always apply for legal and official CBI programs. Keep an eye out on passport scams and red flags. Even a small money you earn is more valuable than you think.
16. Refusal rate
EU programs have high refusal rates than the caribbean or pacific programs. Apply only if you have clean background. They check everything.
17. Commonwealth citizen
All CBI programs except Bulgaria will give you commonwealth citizenship, a supplemental status. There are also some benefits of becoming a commonwealth citizen. One benefit include your country does not have an embassy, you can contact any embassy of commonwealth country (eg. UK, Canada) to seek emergency travel certificate.
Only three countries in Europe are commonwealth countries. These are Malta, Cyprus and United Kingdom.
18. Dual citizenship
Dual citizenship has become an important status in the 21st century, it simply allows you to carry two or more passports legally. Many asian countries do restrict dual citizenship. In that case we ask you to consult a lawyer fo citizenship planning.
19. EU citizenship
Only three countries Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria offer full EU citizenship status. Montenegro is not a EU country, still remains candidate country likely to join EU on or after 2025
EU citizenship does not exist on its own, is only a supplemental citizenship, given in addition to the citizenship of the member state.
20. Permanent residence card
Dont miss out on the permanent residence card when you take your passports. Sometimes instead of showing your passport, you can show your permanent residence card to exit the country. This way you dont reveal your passport or second citizenship. You automatically get PR card when you buy a real estate, for other investment options ask for permanent residence card.
21. Use the right passport to travel
Buying a passport is just the first step. You also should know how to use your passport effectively, when entering or exiting the country. It really depends on whether dual citizenship is allowed or not.
22. Passport renewals
Renewing your passport is too easy. Just approach the nearest consulate to renew your passport. You should watch out for Antigua passport, you have to visit Antigua in person for 5 days else your passport would be cancelled or cannot be renewed.
You can also make an appeal, if your citizenship application is denied by CIU. The reason appeals are important because once you are denied you cant apply for any other CBI program, as applicants refused are shared between countries.
Your citizenship can be revoked for so many reasons, such as lying, visa denials, criminal record., becoming wanted person etc. If your citizenship is revoked, so do for family members. In this case both citizenship and passports are stripped.
25. No Taxes
Do your research whether you will be taxed if you are living within the country as resident and citizen or just a citizen living outside the country. Most CBI jurisdictions have no wealth, inheritance taxes. HNW families must consult with a tax advisor and engage in tax planning with your new citizenship.
26. A Little Knowledge
Learn a thing or two about a country where you are becoming a new citizen. You should also know how to spot a country in a map. Head down to wikipedia spend a few minutes, learning about the history, climate, population, economy etc. It really helps with everything. You could be questioned at the border asking you carry a passport but you dont know anything about the country.
27. Genuine link
Your relationship with the country does not end when you buy a passport. Infact it only starts! You also must maintain close relationship and perform citizens duties after becoming an economic citizen. You can maintain genuine link by making visits, investing in real estate, creating jobs, running businesses, making donations to charities. The reason keeping a genuine link is very important because it could be difficult to strip your citizenship as a responsible citizen.
28. Voting rights
Be aware St Kitts and Antigua does not afford automatic voting rights with a passport. All other countries that offer passports for investments offer full voting rights.
Make sure you familiar with the short forms such as CBI, RBI, CIP, SKN, CIU etc. This will clear all confusions and you will communicate better. Read the full list
30. CBI Acts and Laws
If you want to understand more, on the legal background of CBI programs, here is full list of citizenship by investment acts and legislations. This will built trust and confidence
31. Government Citizenship Units
Citizenship by Investment Units (CIU) are responsible for administering CBI schemes. You can check all information from the official websites. to verify legitimacy of CBI schemes for new investors.
Come to us. We will help you.