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  • Writer's pictureImran Mirani

How Not To Become Victim To Unethical Practices While Applying For Citizenship By Investment?

Being into the RCBI for over 13 years, I have seen and heard enough of ethical- unethical practices related to Residency or Citizenship by Investment programs, programs that attract thousands of the entrepreneurs, business owners, senior managers/ directors, or the HNI from all around the world every year. Everyone wanted to opt the options for various reasons, be it for the total control over their investment, global mobility, expending their business, taxation, family security, political instability in the country of their birth / current residence. One thing that is common among all is they wanted their life to be easy, and they wanted the consultants to be ethical who make their immigration process simplified.

Citizenship by Investment in the Caribbean are most sought after programs, couple a year back over 60% clientele were from China, but during last few years I have seen that 70% of the applications have been from GCC and MENA region. People have realized the importance of these programs and the demand for Residency or Citizenship by Investment programs has begun to pick up.

I believe, transparency and open communication are essential in building strong and trustworthy relationships with my clientele, and this has made me write this article, so they don’t become the victim of unethical practices.

Below are few of the most common questions I have been hearing now a days.

Can I Get Citizenship By Investment With A Special Price?

No, each country that offers Citizenship by Investment (i.e. Antigua & Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, or St. Lucia), have their approved set of investment options that are clearly mentioned on their official website, and should they offer some discount it is always published on their official websites and communicated with all the government authorized agents, they then pass this change of price or policy to promoters and or the sub agents listed with them. For example, one of the Caribbean country St. Kitts & Nevis has a limited time offer from 1st January 2023 until 30th of June 2023 that offers a discount of USD $25,000 and accelerated application process (60 days from the date of the CIU’s acknowledgement of the application) at NO ADDITIONAL COST, or another Caribbean country St. Lucia had a limited time offer of COVID-19 Relief Bond with a reduced investment option that ended 31st December 2022.

Were There Any Controversies Between 2018 And 2021 Regarding CBI Programs?

Yes, according to GULF NEWS and KHALEEJ TIMES the fate of hundreds of such applicants seeking Dual Citizenship or the Second Passport(s) of Caribbean nations was at stake. Media reports suggesting “allegedly” many immigration firms were avoiding legal requirements, selling innovative schemes that were never approved by the Caribbean governments or forging government documents to process citizenship applications, some of the agents were selling these Citizenship by Investment programs at a price way below government-sanctioned rates through innovation in real estate option (candidate are required to contribute/donate “a certain amount depending program of their choice or the family size” to the government, once his application gets approved the agent then requests the Citizenship by Investment unit “UNKNOWN TO THE APPLICANTS” to switch to the real estate option).

Allegations were so loud at an extent that one of the Caribbean countries parliament led to a no-confidence motion against their sitting prime minister, some of the high ranking government officials had to come into media saying the allegations of fraud were “unfounded and politically motivated” but the allegations were so strong that one of the former prime minister in one of the Caribbean nations stated “he will revoke the citizenship of any applicant who is found to have underpaid for the country’s CBI”.

Are There Any Unethical Firms In The CBI Industry That Got Blacklisted By The Caribbean Governments?

Yes, people can check on the official websites to see who are authorized local agents, international marketing agents, and or the promotors. One Caribbean country “Commonwealth of Dominica” has a list published on their official website

I strongly believe all five of the Caribbean countries must have this sort of a list published on their official website.

Is There A Way To Avoid Fraudulent Practices?

Yes, and it’s very simple. All you need is to ask the CBI firm if they are the authorized agents, promoter, and or sub agents?

Authorized agents are licensed by the Citizenship by Investment unit of the country you are looking to opt as your second citizenship / passport, they must reside in the country (i.e. Antigua & Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, or St. Lucia), and the promoters or the sub agents may be listed with the authorized agents, promoters can be located across the world and assist in the marketing of the CBI program in their region and assist prospective applicants under the CBI program.

Is There A Platform Where You Can Register Your Complaints Related To Unethical Practices?

Yes and No, the right way would be always having a second opinion if and when someone offers you a special price, you can verify the information from official website of the countries Citizenship by Investment unit, one may also call the official representation (i.e. Embassy and or the Consulate General in the country of your residence) of the CBI in question.

I would encourage you to reach out to me if you have further queries and or concerns about any particular firm or the offer within Citizenship by Investment industry and I will be happy to provide you detailed response to your queries.

If you would like to learn more about RCBI programs or have any questions, please reach out to us through this link Vazir Investments

About The Author

Head of RCBI / Business Migration


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