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Citizenship - FAQs

+ General

1. What is Citizenship-by-investment (CBI)?

Citizenship-by-investment refers to acquiring citizenship and passport in a third country by investing significant sum of money legally with permission from the Government.

  • Direct citizenship by investment => Direct citizenship and passport without any residency requirements.
  • Indirect citizenship by investment => Acquire citizenship and passport through residency and later naturalisation
2. What is a second passport?
A second passport is your alternate passport issued by a third country. It works like a backup insurance that guarantees you safety and flee to another country in times of desperate situations like wars, natural disasters, political crisis. It gives you extensive travel freedom taking advantage of visa waiver agreements between countries. For example, if you have St.Kitts and Nevis passport, you can travel to Canada, UK, Europe without applying for visa.
3. What is naturalisation?
Naturalisation means you live a certain number of years (residency) in a third country to become a citizen.
4. What are the qualifying requirements for CBI?
  • No criminal record
  • Pass due diligence tests
  • Sound financial record and surplus funds to support living
  • Clean medical record
5. What is dual nationality (or) double citizenship?

A person holding citizenship and passport issued by more than 1 country. For example, USA, UK, Switzerland place no restrictions on holding nationalities. While some countries such as Singapore, Saudi Arabia forbid more than one nationality.

6. How do I apply for a second citizenship?

The process of applying for a second citizenship or passport is normally done through an Authorized Government Agency such as GIS. An assigned Citizenship Consultant shall explain to you the application process in detail which could vary from program to program.

7. How much does citizenship by investment cost?

The application costs of a citizenship by investment program depends on the program you choose and the number of family members that are applying with you. The cost will also depend on whether you choose to obtain citizenship through the Government Fund option or the Real Estate Investment option or any other option. Currently the most cost-effective citizenship for single applicants starts at USD 100,000 and USD 150,000 for a family of four members (financial contribution towards a Government Fund).

8. Does citizenship extend to my spouse and children?

Yes, citizenship is extended to your spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents. Fees for family members vary from country to country. You will be able to include your children as dependents up to the age of 30 and parents over the age of 55, nevertheless, this might vary slightly as every country has different age requirements in accordance with their legislation. Please contact us for a free consultation.

9. What are the benefits?

There are many benefits of obtaining an alternative nationality and passport and finally becoming a citizen of the world. Below are some of the major advantages:

  • Protect yourself and family from your country’s economic and political instability
  • Travel the world freely without worrying about visas 
  • Preserve your wealth and expand your business and investment horizons 
  • Overcome government restrictions and limitations 
  • Leverage tax benefits and protect yourself from unforeseen misfortunes 
  • Avoid being a target of discrimination
10. Is the Caribbean region stable and will my passport hold value?

With its stunning scenery and vibrant cultures drawing visitors from across the globe, the Caribbean is one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

The Caribbean has an educated, multilingual workforce and sophisticated financial systems, and is a short hop to the United States, Mexico and other large markets. The region has big potential to further develop its services, logistics, agriculture, creative and digital sectors.

Rich ocean resources drive the “blue economy” in these markets. While the small size of these countries can prove challenging, it also means they can respond quickly to opportunities for innovation and to improve their competitiveness.

The key to maintaining the value of their passports in terms of visa-free travel privileges is to ensure that they are very selective about who is granted citizenship so as not to give other countries a reason to impose a visa. The governments are acutely aware of this and contract third party U.S. firms to vet their clients.

11. Which is the best Caribbean program?

Each client’s individual situation is different. If you are obtaining a new passport for easier travel, each Caribbean passport is broadly similar however if you’d like visa-free travel to Russia and China, Grenada is the only one that offers it.

Antigua currently offers the best value for money for a family application. And underpinning their sustainability is the fact that the country has a large number of international residents and visitors, and is relatively affluent in the Caribbean region from its high-end tourism industry and as a transportation hub.

Antigua has the strictest due diligence and restricts 7 countries from applying altogether (Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, North Korea, Somalia and Sudan). There is no fast track option and their due diligence is contracted out to two US-based companies. Both Antigua and Grenada in our experience take their diligence requirements extremely seriously.

+ Antigua & Barbuda

1. Do I need to give up my existing Citizenship?

The Antigua & Barbuda government allows dual citizenship and will not publish any information about persons acquiring citizenship nor will they inform your present country of citizenship.You may be required by law in your home country to declare a second citizenship and we recommend you take professional legal advice on this matter

2. Does my family qualify for citizenship as well?

Yes. Your family can also obtain citizenship under your application. Qualified dependents can include parents above the age of 65 and children up to 25 years of age with additional government fees payable.

3. How do I qualify for this program?

To qualify for the property investment program, you need to make a minimum investment of USD $400,000 in a government-approved real estate project, such as GISGL Hotel & Spa. In addition, you need to pay other fees and taxes as applicable and fulfill the formal requirements as specified by the government.

4. When do I get my passport?

Government approvals and processing may take about 3-6months from the submission of your application, though currently the processing time is very efficient and 3 months is the average length of the process.

5. Can I speed up this approval and processing process?

It is important to choose a reputable and approved legal representative for the processing of your citizenship application. GIS can recommend approved legal representatives who work very closely with the Government Citizenship-by-Investment Unit to ensure smooth processing of each application and to maximize the efficiency of the process.

6. What are the benefits of Citizenship?

The various benefits of having a Antigua & Barbuda passport include visa-free travel to approximately 140 countries, tax free status, tax-free trade with Canada, duty-free trade within the Caribbean and more.

+ Cyprus

1. Does a Permanent Residency Permit (PRP) help towards obtaining Citizenship?

A holder of a PRP who eventually wishes to be granted Citizenship has an advantage in that he may legally reside in the Republic for five consecutive years prior to filing an application for Citizenship by naturalisation in the traditional way (as opposed to the Citizenship by Investment route). This is the only advantage afforded even though many persons opt to obtain the PRP first, and subsequently proceed with an application for Citizenship by Investment, especially when they intend to reside in the Republic with their families.

2. How long is the examination period for the Citizenship application?

Upon filing of a completed Citizenship application, it usually takes between two to three months before a decision is made by the Ministry of Interior.

3. Is it a requirement that an applicant must live in Cyprus prior to or after Citizenship being granted?

There are no residency prerequisites either prior to filing the Citizenship application or following the granting of Citizenship. This is one of the many benefits of the Cypriot Citizenship by Investment program, when compared to other EU Citizenships programs.

4. When does the successful applicant receive their Cyprus passport?

Once citizenship is granted, the applicant can receive a Cyprus passport on the same day simultaneously with the issuance of the naturalization certificate, if done in person in Cyprus. On that day, the applicant issued a sworn statement that he accepts citizenship and can then obtain the Cypriot passport issued by the Ministry of Interior, on payment of acceleration fees of €120. Alternatively, the applicant may obtain the Cyprus passport any time after the naturalisation certificate is issued, from the Citizens Service Centers at a lower cost of €70, but it could take up to two weeks to have the passport issued in this case. A Cypriot passport will also be issued to the Investor's spouse and dependent children up to the age of 27, provided they are in full-time education.

5. What does "acquisition of businesses or companies based in Cyprus" mean precisely?

This criterion pertains to a €5m/€2.5m (depending on whether the application is submitted as a group or individual) investment in the participation rights or shares of a Cyprus company(ies) that maintains offices and operates in Cyprus, employing a minimum of five Cypriot citizens, for a period of three years.

An eligible company/business can also be one that was acquired by the Investor, up to three years prior to filing his citizenship application.

In all cases, the Investor must demonstrate the correlation with the companies or businesses purchased. This requires the investor to continue to be an owner or be directly involved in the operations of the businesses acquired.

6. In regards to satisfying the financial criterion of investment into real estate, are real estate properties purchased by the applicant in the past eligible?

Any property purchased three years prior to filing the Citizenship application is eligible. Additional properties may be purchased in order to meet the total sum required for this investment criterion, namely €5 million (or €2.5 million in the case of a group application).

+ Dominica

1. What is the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program?

The Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program is a program whereby individuals make an investment in Dominica either through a Government approved real estate project or a donation to the country’s Economic Diversification Fund and in so doing qualify to apply to become naturalized as citizens of Dominica. The Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program was established by an Act of Parliament, the provisions of which are set in regulations published pursuant to Sections 8 and 20(1) of the Dominica Citizenship Act, including Section 101 of the Constitution.

2. Who is eligible to apply for citizenship?

As an applicant for citizenship, you must be at least 18 years of age, of good character, without a criminal record, and able and willing to make the required contribution. You must engage an Authorised Agent who will assist you in preparing the required forms and supporting documents.

3. Does citizenship extend to my spouse and children?

Yes, citizenship is extended to your spouse, dependent children and dependent parents or grandparents. Fees vary according to the number of family members you include in your application for citizenship.

4. Will I be liable to any taxes in Dominica?

There is no wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income, or capital gains tax in Dominica. As a citizen, you would be liable to pay personal tax if you resided in Dominica.

5. Can I submit the application to the citizenship by investment unit myself?

No. You must submit your application through an Authorised Agent.

6. How long does the application take?

From submission of the application to an approval in principle, we normally take less than three months.

+ Grenada

1. Why does Grenada have a citizenship by investment program?

The program was introduced to promote economic growth, attract real estate development, increase foreign direct investment to the country, support the development of infrastructure and provide for a sustainable future.

2. How many visa-free countries can I travel to as a citizen of Grenada?

You can travel to more than 150 countries without requiring a visa, including the EU and Schengen countries, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

3. What is the processing time?

Processing your application should take from 3 to 6 months.

4. Who can apply for citizenship?

To apply for the citizenship program in Grenada, you must be at least 18 years of age, be of a good character with no criminal record, and have good health.

5. Do I need to submit a separate Grenada Citizenship by Investment application for each family member?

No, this is not necessary. Spouses and dependent children up to 25 years can be included within the same application.

6. Do I need to speak English to apply for citizenship?

You don’t need to speak English to be an applicant.

+ Malta

1. Can EU citizens apply for the Malta Individual Investor Program?

Citizens of EU countries can apply for Maltese citizenship under the Individual Investor Programme.

2. Which nationalities are not eligible to participate in the MIIP?

Currently, the policy of the Maltese Government excludes from applying individuals who are nationals of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), or are non-nationals but reside, do business, have significant ties with, or connections to these countries. Citizens from countries included in the US Travel Ban also cannot apply. The full list is presented below:

  • Afghanistan
  • Chad
  • Iran
  • Libya
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Syria
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

MIIPA reserves the right to update the list of banned countries from time to time. Such list will be communicated with all Agents accordingly.

3. Do I need to know Maltese and do I need to take a citizenship test during the process?

The Maltese language is not a requirement for naturalization and no citizenship tests will be carried out at this time.

4. Can a person apply directly to Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency?

MIIP applications can only be filed through the services of the Concessionaire or Accredited Agents duly appointed by Malta Individual Investor Program Agency. These are listed on the Malta Individual Investor Program Agency website.

5. Can I hold dual citizenship if I have been Naturalised as a Maltese citizen?

Yes, you can hold more than one citizenship after having been naturalized as a Maltese citizen. Malta recognizes dual citizenship, however, your current country of citizenship may have restrictions.

6. Will children born to naturalized parents automatically become Maltese citizens?

The acquisition of citizenship occurs on the date of the issue of the naturalization certificate. Children born before this date will not automatically become Maltese citizens. Children born after this date can become Maltese citizens.

+ Saint Kitts & Nevis

1. Who do I contact to become an economic citizen?

When applying to be a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis by way of investment, the main applicant must contact an authorised person

2. Can two or more applicants apply for citizenship by investment together?

Yes. Two or more applicants may apply for citizenship together by purchasing one piece of real estate, provided each main applicant contributes the minimum investment of US$400,000.00.

3. How long does the application process take?

The application process may take as little as 90days but may be delayed for cause. Applicants will be kept apprised of the status of their applications through their authorised person.

4. What is a Police Certificate?

A police certificate refers to a statement from a national law enforcement authority on the status of a person’s criminal record. It is also referred to as certificate of no criminal record or “police clearance record

5. Is the application form available online?

No. The application form for citizenship by investment can only be obtained through and submitted to the Citizen by Investment Unit by an authorised person.

6. Who is required to produce a police certificate?

Each main applicant and all permitted dependents 16 years and older are required to produce a police certificate.

+ Saint Lucia

1. How much time does it take for Saint Lucia Passport?
It takes from 3 to 4 months to get the citizenship certificate and passport in case your registration is approved.
2. What is the reputation of Saint Lucia Passport?
Saint Lucia passport is ranked 31st of Passport Index with visa-free travel to 145 countries in the world according to IATA in 2019. The visa-free travel access includes the United Kingdom, European Schengen states, Hong Kong, Singapore and many more such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Ireland, etc. However, Economic Citizens of Saint Lucia (passport holders) still need a visa to travel to Canada and the United States.
3. What if Citizenship is refused?

You are only required to pay the full amount, only after receiving “Letter of Approval” from Government. You will have 60 days time to commit to the investment. If you are refused, it could be of the following reasons:

  • You have not passed background and due diligence checks done by the Government.

  • You have prior criminal convictions or visa denials.

  • You have lied or provided false information in your application.

  • Have been convicted of a criminal offense except for a minor traffic offense.

  • Have been denied any category of visa to a country to which Saint Lucia has visa-free access and been unsuccessful in subsequently obtaining visa.

  • Have been declared bankrupt by a court; and

  • Have been declared, by a court or qualified health practitioner to be mentally incapacitated.

4. Can I apply directly to the Citizenship Unit of Saint Lucia without approaching authorised agents?
Every applicant MUST use a licensed Authorised Agent to submit their application to the Citizenship by Investment Unit. The Unit will not process any application which has been submitted by anyone other than a licensed Authorised Agent.
5. What if application for Citizenship by Investment is denied?
You can appeal the denial of your application if you feel that there are good grounds to do so. Your Authorised Agent can advise you on how to make an appeal.
6. Is it possible to get citizenship under fast track option under the investment program?
There is no accelerated processing of an application. The maximum time frame is 4 months.

+ Vanuatu

1. What is GIS ?

Global Immigration Service Limited, a designated agent appointed by the Vanuatu Government under the Development Support Program (DSP) to provide professional advice to applicants and process passport applications . It is a licensed consultancy business legally registered

2. What is VDSP ?

Vanuatu Development Support Program which began 13 March 2017.

3. What is the first thing I do ?

Contact us if you're interested in obtaining a Vanuatu Passport

4. What is a FIU Check ?

It is the first important government check that determines whether your application can proceed or not. The check is done by the Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit which is linked to Interpol on any financial adversities such as legal cases, court orders or criminal activity.

5. How much is a FIU Check?

USD 2,000 non-refundable. If your result is non-adverse, it means you are clear and can go ahead to sign a Service Engagement Agreement with PSCVL.

6. What do I need for a FIU ?

Your valid passport, police clearance and USD 2000 which you need to send to us.

About Us

Global Immigration Services Group (GIS) is an Immigration Services Provider focusing on Second Citizenship by investment programs & Residency Programs.

We offer a variety of Second Passport options including but not limited to; Caribbean Citizenships such as Saint Kitts & Nevis, Grenada and Dominica. European Second Citizenship by investment programs inclusive of Cyprus and Malta. As well as other Residency Programs such as Portugal and Greece...

Our selection of established and well-respected Developers, excellent Government Relations and Caribbean Contacts makes us the obvious choice for all your Citizen & Residency needs.