Citizenship by investment is a category of citizenship law offered by a selection of countries. These citizenship programs allow foreign investors and their families to obtain citizenship after investing in a specific country. The advantage of this citizenship category is that it can be acquired in a shorter period than regular immigration processes, with less paperwork, and little or no residency time.
Citizenship can be acquired either by investing in a government-approved real estate project, or in other financial assets such as government bonds, or in a local business.
In some countries, applicants can contribute financially to investment funds in exchange for citizenship. These funds generate no returns, and the capital is non-refundable, as such, they are referred to as donations.
After a stringent due diligence and vetting process, the non-refundable financial contribution is executed in the form of a one-time payment.
Applicants seeking citizenship or residency by investing in a country must satisfy specific requirements before being eligible to apply. Some of the basic requirements include being over 18 years of age, having a clean criminal record and a legal source of funds, as well as investing in a government-approved option.
To start the process, our representatives will ask you questions regarding your age and nationality of birth to assess your eligibility. They will also look into your current country of residence and determine if you have any residency permit from other countries. It is also important to note where you have lived in the last 10 years and for how long, whether you have been rejected any tourist or business visa or any citizenship/residency before and whether you have re-applied. The two other important factors are submitting a clean criminal record and confirming your legal source of funds to pay for the investment.
Third-party agencies contracted by governments use intelligence tools to perform due diligence on candidates. Checks include verification of all documents issued by official institutions in the applicant’s country of origin and residence, media reports, and verification of the applicant’s businesses and companies. In addition, the government conducts criminal background checks of applicants through law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL. After all checks are completed, the government makes a decision.
Prior to onboarding you as our client, we conduct a pre-screening check using sophisticated systems that enable us to determine if your application could be at risk. This process is completely free of charge to you.
When applicants go through Due Diligence, there can be some challenges, and in that case, we provide our best support and expertise.
Each country has its own rules regarding eligibility of dependents, however spouses and underage children, either biological or adopted, are usually eligible. Based on the criteria, dependent children over the age of 18 can be included. In addition, the main applicant and their spouse can add their parents and sometimes grandparents provided that they meet the requirements. Depending on the program, siblings of the main applicant and spouse may also be accepted if they meet certain criteria.
Citizenship is often passed down from generation to generation; however, it is vital to understand the criteria and costs involved in adding family members such as spouses, children, and siblings in the future. You might consider it as a determining factor in choosing between one program or the other.
The countries that provide second citizenship by investment do not require investors to renounce their nationality of birth.
Some countries might restrict certain nationalities from applying for citizenship, yet there is still an option for every nationality. Noting that residency by investment programs are usually more flexible, since the country is not granting you citizenship- but just the right to reside in their country.
Expedited citizenship programs need between 3 to 6 months for the approval, while residency programs take between 4 to 8 months.
When choosing the right program for you and your family, several factors should be considered such as the processing time to acquire a second passport, your willingness to move to another country, and the number of dependent children and their ages. This is due to the fact that certain programs accept older children while others don’t and, in that case, older children will need to apply as single applicants making the process more expensive. You should also consider whether you want to include your siblings under your application since some programs accept siblings while others do not. Lastly, it is important to look into your traveling habits and goals when it comes to accessing specific countries without a visa.