Murat is a well-known neurosurgeon in Turkey and abroad. He has his own business in medical equipment supply. Murat often travels to the United States for work — he participates in operations and scientific programs, speaks at conferences, and meets with his business partners. Before the pandemic, he visited the States on a B-1/B-2 visa which expired at the end of 2019.
In 2020, Murat could not get a US visa due to the pandemic and closed borders. But Murat has found the solution. He has learnt that it is possible to obtain second citizenship in a state that has signed an agreement on visa-free travel with the US. With the second passport, Murat will have free access to the States.
On September 21, 2020, Murat turned to Immigrant Invest for advice.
What citizenship program did Murat choose for visa-free entry to the USA
1. Preliminary Due diligence. Immigrant Invest lawyers conducted the preliminary check of the investor. The screening reveals all the pitfalls and risks of refusal to grant citizenship. This approach reduces the risk of failure to 1%.
Murat has a high level of security: he receives income only from his company, and as an operating surgeon, he has no criminal record, he pays taxes, and he has no visa denials. There is a 99.9% chance that Murat will get a second passport under any Citizenship by Investment Program.
the head of the Legal Department
2. Investor’s priorities. Immigrant Invest's experts told Murat that he could get a second passport and the members of his family as well.
The investor's son, Chinar, had been choosing a business school in the UK. He wanted to come to the country as a tourist first, visit schools personally, and only then apply. Chinar already understood how difficult it is to get a student visa to the UK for Turkish citizens.
Chinar is already involved with his father's business and is helping him. Murat wants his son to take over the company in the future. So it is essential for Murat that Chinar can visit the States with him.
Finally, Murat planned to speak at an international symposium in Atlanta in six months. He intended to go to the States on a second passport without a visa.
As a result, Murat adjusted the list of tasks he wanted to solve with the help of a second passport:
- visa-free entry to the United States for myself and preferably for my son.
- visa-free entry to the UK for a son.
- obtaining a passport in six months or earlier.
3. Choosing a citizenship program. Unfortunately, no Citizenship by Investment Program meets all three conditions. But Immigrant Invest's experts told Murat about the options to help him achieve his targets.
Citizenship of Malta gives visa-free access to the USA and UK. The minimum amount of investment is €690,000. And it takes at least one year to obtain a passport.
A Portuguese residence permit makes it possible to obtain a country's passport after five years of maintaining status. An investor can travel without visas to the USA and UK with a Portuguese passport. The minimum amount of investment is €250,000.
Citizenship of one of the Caribbean countries allows visa-free entry into the UK. To the United States with a Caribbean passport, an investor receives a B-1/B-2 visa for ten years. With this visa, an investor can stay in the States for up to 180 consecutive days during the year — travel and attend conferences. The minimum investment amount is $100,000.
Citizenship programs Murat chose between
|Maltese citizenship||Portuguese citizenship||Citizenship of a Caribbean country|
|Visa-free entry to the USA||Visa to the USA for 10 years|
|Visa-free entry to the UK|
|Minimum investment amount||From €690,000||From €250,000||From $100,000|
|Date of receipt||From 1 year||From 5 years||2—6 months|
Caribbean programs require a smaller amount of investment than European ones, and the period for obtaining a passport is from two to six months. The investor can get a US visa in two or three weeks. For these reasons, Murat began to consider the Caribbean programs.
Five Caribbean countries offer a passport by investment: Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Dominica.
The fastest way is to get a Dominica or St. Kitts and Nevis passport. The investor chose St. Kitts and Nevis because his friends received the passports of the state two years ago.
In exchange for a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport, the investor makes a non-refundable contribution of $150,000 to the state fund or buys real estate worth $200,000. Murat chose the first option.
The purchase of real estate requires a contract of sale. Then there will be maintenance costs. Murat wanted to obtain a second passport in as little time and money as possible.
How much did Murat spend on participating in St Kitts and Nevis program
Under the terms of the program, Murat was to invest $160,000: $150,000 was for himself, and $10,000 was for his son. The investor also pays Due Diligence: $7,500 for himself and $4,000 for Chinara.
$173,122 — Murat's expenses for participation in Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship program
Steps Murat went through to get Saint Kitts and Nevis passports
1. Collecting and transmission of documents. Immigrant Invest lawyers have prepared and submitted a package of investor documents to the Citizenship Department of Saint Kitts and Nevis. It took three weeks to prepare the documents.
When the lawyers submitted the documents, Murat paid the Due Diligence fee for himself and his son — $11,500.
2. Approval of the application. The program department reviewed Murat's application within the set time limit of three months. The investor has a transparent financial history, and the documents met the program's requirements, so there were no clarifying requests from the department.
Immigrant Invest received Murat's application approval by email.
3. Fulfillment of investment conditions. When Murat received approval to participate in the program, he transferred $160,000 to the bank account of the St Kitts and Nevis state fund.
4. Obtaining a passport. The department received a notification of the transfer of the investment and, within two weeks, has printed certificates of naturalization and passports for Murat and Chinar.
The investor received the documents from Immigrant Invest two weeks later.
Stages of Murat's participation in St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program
How Murat got a US visa with a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport
Immigrant Invest’s lawyers have found out in advance at which US consulates and embassies a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis can obtain a visa to the States.
The investor chose Grenada — he can fly into the country from Istanbul with a transfer in New York. No visa is required for transit in New York. Air travel to Barbados is more challenging to organize: there are more connections than from Grenada.
What stages Murat passed to get a visa to the USA
Atlanta symposium lasts a week. During this time, Murat will make a presentation, meet with new colleagues and learn about the latest developments in the field of neurosurgery.
After the conference, Murat has a meeting with business partners in Washington. Also, Murat plans to walk around New York and visit the MoMA — Museum of Modern Art.
I’m in Atlanta, and the conference is the day after tomorrow. I’m a little worried: I’ve lost the habit of speaking in public during the pandemic. I hope everything works out!
52 years old, neurosurgeon
Frequently Asked Questions
Investors can obtain Maltese citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services through direct investment. The Maltese passport gives visa-free access to the USA. The minimum amount of investment — €690,000.
A Portuguese residence permit allows an investor to get a country’s passport in five years. With a Portuguese passport, an investor can travel without a visa to the US. The minimum investment amount is — €250,000.
Caribbean citizenship is obtained by investments in the country’s economy in the amount of $100,000. The term of obtaining a passport is from two to six months. With a Caribbean passport an investor can get a visa to the US for 10 years. The issuing visa term is two weeks.
Visa-free entry to the USA is available to 40 countries — participants of the Visa Waiver Program, including citizens of the European Union.
It is possible to obtain citizenship of Malta, Portugal or a Caribbean country by investment. Passports of Malta and Portugal give visa-free entry to the United States. With a Caribbean passport an investor can get a B-1/B-2 visa to the United States for 10 years in two or three weeks.
Caribbean citizens receive a B-1/B-2 visa to the United States for 10 years. The procedure takes two or three weeks. The purpose of the visit to the country should be tourism, business meeting or treatment.
Grenada’s passport, in addition to the B-1/B-2 visa, allows investors to obtain an E-2 business visa in the United States. On such a visa an investor can live, work, study and conduct business in the States. There are no restrictions on entry and exit.