Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Dual Citizenship
Obtaining a second citizenship provides individuals a host of benefits including having a second home and the ability to travel to more countries visa-free. For the business-savvy, a second passport opens more doors, giving them access to additional investment opportunities and markets.
While there is an increasing number of countries offering residency and dual citizenship programs, the application process can be a costly business. Applying for a second citizenship in the Caribbean nations through one of the several available citizenship by investment programs (CIPs) can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single applicant.
Make your application count by avoiding these four costly mistakes:
1. Applying without doing sufficient research
At a time when information is readily available online, not knowing everything you can about the available citizenship programs is unacceptable. Granted that the details you gather may not be as comprehensive as the information you receive from talking to a CIP professional, making time to browse through relevant sites can give you a clear idea of which countries have a solid second passport program, along with the requirements.
By educating yourself, you can list the pros and cons of each program. You’ll learn that you won’t have to waste 20 years waiting to become a citizen of Andorra, for example, when you can become a citizen in certain Caribbean islands within just four months. With Antigua & Barbuda citizenship, you can even travel to over 130 countries visa-free.
2. Unnecessarily seeking the cheapest option
Even some of the wealthiest and most successful individuals try to find ways to save money. However, extreme scrimping to save a few hundred or thousand dollars can cost you more in the long run. Keep in mind that by choosing to search only for the cheapest rates, you are exposing yourself to scammers or incompetent individuals.
You get what you pay for, as the saying goes. There are countries that do offer cheaper citizenship programs. With such low investment or donation requirements, you also need to check if the benefits are worth the price and are suitable for your needs and preferences.
For instance, Honduras offers foreigners an opportunity to become citizens for a comparatively affordable price of US$50,000. Compared to St. Kitts & Nevis’ US$150,000 government donation requirement, this may sound like a sweet deal.
However, if you take into account that a Honduras passport only lets you travel to 96 countries visa-free compared to St. Kitts & Nevis’ 130 countries, you may want to reconsider the concept of a good deal. Make sure that the benefits and provisions of the specific citizenship will be able to meet your reasons for wanting to invest in the first place.
3. Investing without due diligence
Most citizenship programs offer several routes for applicants. You can become a citizenship by making a donation to the government, investing in a local business, or buying property approved by the local government.
In the case of investment through real estate, some applicants take the quicker path and delegate the tasks to other individuals. They may randomly pick a house, apartment or similar property without personally visiting the site. This poses a host of issues.
For one, you won’t know the potential issues with the property or the area unless you see it yourself. The developer could be using substandard construction methods or there could be a lack of public transportation in the area. These issues can become more significant if you intend to live in the property or rent it out.
Learn as much about the property as you can before making any investment. By doing so, you can determine which property offers the best value for your investment.
4. Handling the application yourself
Finally, applying for a second passport by yourself can be a daunting challenge, even with the wealth of information available online. There are intricate distinctions between citizenship programs in different countries. Legal documents that are considered acceptable for one country may not work for the others.
Keep in mind that citizenship applications require a significant amount of investment in terms of time, money and collecting documents. In some cases, the government may only accept applications from certified agents.
Applying for a second passport can get tricky. Most governments will not let you know where you went wrong or if you lack any documents in the event that your application is denied.
By hiring a true specialist in citizenship programs, you are tapping into years of knowledge and expertise in the industry. Improve your chances of getting your application approved by working with a government-approved agent.