The Payment topic is one of the most important subjects touched and questioned many clients. We want to inform clients the whole process is trusted, transparent, easy widely practiced across the CBI industry. We will try to explain here in detail.
First, we tell our clients they should not pay the full amount. The process starts with paying a minimum retainer deposit (usually 5-10%) to start the application process. This covers due diligence fee, government fee and small agent fee so that agent will file your application with the citizenship unit. You then have to wait for 3 months to get Government citizenship approval letter. Only after this letter you pay 90% of the investment amount.
If you are refused you dont pay the rest, this way you protect yourself from scams.
This is how it works
- Pay initial retainer fee to start the application process (usually 5-10%). This is made of due diligence fee plus lawyer/agent fee.
- Agent will file application on your behalf
- Wait 3 months for approval letter from CIU
- Pay the rest of amount to Government and agent
- Take oath
- Collect citizenship certificate and passport.
You have to remember that you follow these steps to protect yourself from CBI scams. After all you are dealing with large sum of money excess of $100,000
Follow these simple golden rules
- Do not pay the entire sum of money to anyone before receiving government approval letter.
- Do not pay entire sum of money to real estate developers or service providers. You have wait for approval letter for donation and real estate option too. Sale contract with a deposit is enough for initial filing of application.
- You have to remit Due diligence and 50% of lawyer fee during initially to file your application. This is standard procedure.
- You MUST only invest in approved property developments. This list is published and updated regularly by CIU (Citizenship investment units)
- You must pay the state donation or contribution directly to the Government’s bank account. Do not pay it to anyone else.
- You must also do the payment from your personal bank account in the name of main applicant. It should match the applicants name else this may cause delays.
- Collect your passports from consulates. Do not trust or authorize anyone as passports can be misused in some else hands could lead to security risk.
- Do not hide any details of your application to your agent. (eg. criminal record, convictions, visa refusals etc) .This will only lead to application being denied.
- Watch out for passport scams. At the moment there are only 5 caribbean countries, 5 countries in Europe, plus Vanuatu in the pacific have legal citizenship investment schemes. All other cheap offers could probably a fake scheme or scam. Dont fall for ‘catfishing’.
Sometimes approaching a new agent or company, instead of established companies, creates a trust issue, makes you nervous. We have been assisting HNW clients working with trusted partners since 2011 and we have vast a decade of experience and knowledge in this field advising clients.
Here are some of the common questions we answer from clients.
Can i pay in foreign currencies?
Yes, you can pay in any currency GBP, CHF, EUR but when it hits bank account, it must meet the USD equivalent or above in the destination bank account. Not meeting this threshold causes delays.
Do Governments offer any discounts?
Governments will NOT offer any discounts to citizenship programs. Agents may offer some discount in their agent fee from time to time. If anybody tells you there is a discount for CBI for less than $100K, it is most likely a scam. There is no way you could buy a passport for less than $100k.
What if my application refused, will i qualify for refund?
Yes you will lose the initial retainer deposit paid to the agent, which includes due diligence fee and any processing processing fee to the government.
What are the reasons for application refusals under CBI programs?
There are common reason for applications refused by governments.
Your agent will be able to tell you first whether you qualify or not. This saves a lot of time and money for everybody. Here are some of the reasons
- You have Visa denial from UK, Schengen, Russia etc or any other country, please notify your agent
- You apply from a ineligible country subjected to sanctions.
- You have been jailed abroad or previous criminal record
- You failed background checks done by agent and governments.
Malta has the highest refusal rates and Grenada automatically refuses applications already refused by other CBI programs
Can i appeal my refusal?
It depends on the country you apply. Your agent will advise you how to do it.
Can the citizenship granted revoked?
Your citizenship/passport acquired through investment schemes can be revoked anytime for fraud, concealment or if jailed in another country for more than 12 months. This means unless you are a dual citizen, could leave you stateless.
Can i pay in Bitcoin?
At the moment no government officially accept bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. See here how to pay via bitcoin. The problem with cryptocurrencies is doing background checks and verifying proof of source of funds. Even if you pay with bitcoin, some countries have net asset requirement which you have to satisfy.