Lots of misinformation there with citizenship by investment programs which are simply not true. We have compiled answers to all the myths which are frequently asked by our clients.
Myth 1: The donation option is a refundable investment?.
Not true: The donation may be the cheapest and fasted path for CBI, it is a non-refundable contribution paid to government fund in exchange for citizenship. You have upto 6 months time to remit this amount, after you receive your citizenship.
Myth2: Children of ANY age can also get citizenship.
Not true. Children to be included in the family application, must NOT be above 30 years . It also depends on the country you apply.
Myth 3: Financing or loans possible with the investment.
No financing or loans possible for the donation or real estate investment. The donation sum $100,000 must be paid in full, whereas for real estate you can buy limited share for $200,000 or freehold ownership for $300,000 or more. Some agents promote illegal financing schemes which is not legal way to apply for citizenship
Myth 4: Citizenship can be bought with Bitcoin or Cryptocurrencies
No government Officially accepts Bitcoin or Crypto with citizenship by investment. Be cautious and protect yourself when dealing with cryptocurrencies. Banks tend to freeze accounts dealing high volume transactions with crypto.
Myth 5: Investment Citizenship can never be revoked
You are wrong. All countries have proper CBI legislation Citizenship obtained through investment can be revoked for false information, national threat and for wanted persons. A passport and citizenship can be revoked any time.
Myth 6: I must visit the country in person to apply
Absolutely Not necessary to visit the country in person, saving travel costs for your family. You can apply through authorized agents who will handle all paper work in the Caribbean. All other procedures can be done through consulates.
Myth 7: EU passport can be bought quickly for money.
EU Citizenship is not for sale. Impossible to get EU citizenship without being resident for 5 years with genuine ties. It does not matter how much you invest. All EU countries offer only residency to citizenship path, that is no direct citizenship. Malta also made changes to CBI making it residency to citizenship program, where you can get citizenship after one year, if you donate 750,000 euro to government.
Myth 8: There are no taxes
US citizens are subjected to FATCA, while nationals of other countries are reported through OECD automatic exchange under CRS between member countries. While many countries apply residence based taxation (except US and Ethiopia), the tax part depends on the country where you from and each case is different. Talk to your accountant before you apply for citizenship.
Myth 9: I get Visa free to US and Canada with CBI
No country that operates CBI has visa free access to US and Canada. The only exception is Malta where a ETA is required to enter US and Canada under visa waiver program. You can apply for US and Canada visa at any nearest US embassy with your CBI passport.
Myth 10: Dual Citizenship is Automatic
It is not. Dual citizenship is illegal in many countries (middle east, india, china etc) and there is a possibility you lose your home citizenship automatically upon taking foreign citizenship. Seek advice from a legal expert before you acquire second citizenship.
Myth 11: CBI is for criminals
This is a myth. Thousands of families have benefited through CBI and have a good life acquiring alternative citizenship abroad through investment. All CBI programs do a thorough background check on applicants and family members through due diligence agencies. Applicants are required to produce police record from all the places they have lived in the past 10 years.
Myth 12: Diplomatic passports are for sale
Diplomatic passports cannot be obtained through CBI programs. There is a myth that diplomatic passports automatically confer immunity, which is not true and times have change. Besides diplomatic passports can only used for official work and not as good as ordinary passports.
Myth 13: CBI will be open forever
The life span for CBI is short-lived from 1 year to 10 years. Many programs have come and gone due to change in government, EU pressure against corruption and money laundering. Doors close fast in CBI landscape. Moldova, Montenegro, Cyprus, Bulgaria have already closed their doors.
Myth 14: 100% Application Acceptance
This is not true as authorities refuse high number of applications with red flags that come from sanctioned country, criminal record and also those having visa refusal from UK, US and schengen states. Malta has the highest refusal rate, one in three applications are refused.
Myth 15: I have received a much cheaper offer
Be aware of honey pot scams many agents promote, which are well below the government sanctioned minimum of $100,000. Always check the official government website before you jump into conclusions.
Myth 16: EU imposing electronic authorisation for CBI
This applies for all the visa waiver countries with EU, not just for CBI nations. Applies to US and Canadians visiting schengen states from 2024 will need to get ETIAS online authorisation before boarding. This is similar to ETA under visa waiver program which US imposes on EU countries.