There an important connection between schengen visas and citizenship by investment. Schengen Visas are a very important vetting tool for background checks done on applicants. All candidates who apply for citizenship by investment programs including any family members must undergo background checks done by law firms, internationally known third party due diligence firms and finally by governments. They should not have visa refusals with from any country that have visa waiver agreement with CBI countries.
It is the no.1 mistake made by many citizenship investors – they automatically assume they can apply for CBI programs concealing visa denials. The visa denied information are recorded electronically and this information wont go away just by changing or replacing passports.
Schengen visas constitute an additional security layer to efficiently do vetting on high risk applicants before allowing them to set foot into the country. All 26 schengen states share a SIS database of visa denied applicants.
Prospects who apply with schengen visa denials for citizenship by investment programs are automatically disqualified from applying for passports, because of the prevailing visa waiver agreements with EU, UK and US. They must have successfully received a visa before becoming eligible to apply. Caribbean countries also have visa waiver agreements with Schengen states and United Kingdom. Malta has visa waiver agreement with United States.
Any schengen visa refusal are considered ‘high risk’ category, will raise a red flag in the eyes of compliance officers. If you have a visa refusal from US, UK, Schengen states – be sure to disclose to agent, who will perform initial due diligence checks. This will save a lot of time and money for everyone. Your agent will be able to tell you whether you will be able to apply for CBI program or not, before starting application process.
The CBI legislation also prevents such high risk applicants to apply for passport. CBI countries also share a list of refused applicants with one another. For example with Grenada, if you are rejected by one CBI program, you are automatically refused for Grenada.
Third country nationals applying for EU citizenship and residence programs are also required to apply for schengen visas first before being granted citizenship or residency.
Malta and Cyprus have imposed schengen visa criteria under citizenship by investment program regulations. You have to remember that Bulgaria, Cyprus cannot issue schengen visas themselves as these EU countries are not part of schengen area.
Likewise all Golden visa programs require applicants to apply for short or long term schengen visa before being granted residency for investments. Schengen states must ensure funds paid by applicants are assessed according to the EU anti-money laundering rules.
With CBI programs only officially appointed agents can file application on behalf of clients. If you file an application without properly checking visa denials, then CIU will reject such applications. The reputation of a CBI agent also takes a damage.
The Vetting of applicants takes place referring to systematic consultation of relevant databases such as Schengen Information System (SIS) as well as verification of the Visa Information System (VIS) if the person is subject to the visa obligation. Long-stay visas, including all golden visas, and residence permits added to the VIS database
Member states must ensure funds paid by investor citizenship applicants are assessed according to the EU anti-money laundering rules.
If you come from a banned country, you wont be able to apply for CBI programs