12 questions you need to ask before you choose your immigration programme

12 Questions you need to ask before you choose your immigration programme

1. How many countries can you enter on visa-free basis?

Different countries allow visa free travel to different regions and countries. If you migrate with hopes to have better access to education you may want to choose the country which allows visa free access to the country you want to study in. Likewise, if you plan to migrate in order to manage your business in another country without having to apply for visa all the time, you may want to find out countries which give visa free access to the country of your choice.

2. Which countries offer Citizenship by Investment programmes?

Many countries offer citizenship in return for donations, contributions made to the host country. Some of the popular programmes include the Caribbean’s, such as St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica and St Lucia. Other programmes include Malta, Cyprus, Netherlands, Portugal, Vanuatu, Greece and also USA and the UK.

3. What are the advantages of having a permanent residency or citizenship?

Different advantages will be available for persons who apply for permanent residency or citizenship, some of them may include access to health care, privileges for work, education and visa free travel access.

4. Do these programmes offer paths for tax optimisation or add more tax obligations?

You need to confirm what kind of tax obligations that you need to meet and what tax will be excluded. In certain programmes you will not be taxed for your worldwide income.

5. What are the most common grounds for rejection?

Although it is your money that you invest in the Citizenship programmes the host country will have a stringent due diligence check. Therefore, governments will not approve citizenship or passport to individuals suspected to frauds or financial crimes (money laundering, embezzlement). Some of the other reasons include, failing due diligence check done by the Government, failing background check by other third party due diligence agencies, being blacklisted by Interpol or other law enforcement agencies, providing false information or lying in your application, if an individual is deemed a threat to national security of the country, Previous criminal record, Previous entry visa or residence permit denials from Schengen countries, United Kingdom etc or have signed a visa waiver with the country where you are applying for citizenship under CBI.

If you are national of blacklisted country hit by sanctions or trade embargo (Sudan, North Korea), Failed to provide evidence for source of funds or source of funds originated from country with sanctions, the individual is deemed a Reputational risk to the country because of their status as a Politically exposed person (PEP), Applicant has ties to terrorism, Deported from a country, Failing health or medical checkups, Conflict of Identical names with criminals or blacklisted person, Insufficient income or unable to financially support family members, Involved in money laundering, financial crimes in other countries, Alert issued in Schengen information system (SIS), Providing false information about visas issued by United States and Canada, Found to be involved with SEC fraud in the United States, Found to have extradition case filed by a country, Found to have involved in personal or corporate bankruptcy, Found to have involved with civil actions pending against you in a court or threatened by creditors, Found to have applied for citizenship in another country and denied and previous convictions of family members would be most common grounds for rejection.

6. What investment options are available?

Different countries may offer different paths for citizenship through investment. Most notably you can invest as donation to the government, purchase government bonds, invest in government approved real estate projects or invest in enterprise projects set by the governments. The contributions required in each of these investments will vary depending whether you apply as a single applicant or with the family.

7. Can my family obtain residency/ citizenship together with me?

Most Citizenship programmes offer residency/ citizenship to the immediate family, that you apply with. However, there are instances that the family may not be offered citizenship too. Further, some citizenship programmes offer citizenship for the future children, even the unborn ones. Some programmes may let you include dependent parents living with you.

8. Who can’t apply for residency? Can public officials, individuals with judicial record or civil partners of the main applicant obtain a second passport?

It is appropriate to confirm with your advisor regarding the application procedures set out by the host countries. However, in most instances there are restrictions for public officials, individuals with judicial record or civil partners of the main applicant in obtaining a second passport.

9. Is it necessary to confirm the source of income?

Host countries do have a due diligence process and you are required to mention your source of income. Also it is necessary to note that lying or withholding information will incur repercussions, even to the extent of revoking your residency/ citizenship.

10. Will my future children inherit citizenship?

Some Citizenship programmes do offer transferable Citizenship to future generations without restrictions and at no additional charge.

11. How many times should I visit the country during the process?

Some host countries require that you visit the country during the process of residency application process and a minimum stay in order to grant citizenship. However, certain host countries do not require any visits, and you need to check with your advisor about these requirements.

12. How many days should I stay in the country to meet the programme requirement?

Different programmes set out different conditions for applicants of citizenship/ residency. Some programmes set out minimum number of stay before and after applying for residency/ citizenship which could vary from 50-365 days. It is also worthwhile to note that certain host country programmes will not require you to stay/ live in the country at all.