Ivan and his wife Tetiana have been living in Cyprus for three years. Back in the day, Ivan owned a network of pharmacies in Ukraine. Nowadays, it is run by his son, while the investor lives on dividends from this business. Both spouses like travelling, but they had to get visas each time they travelled to Europe.
In this case, we will tell you how Immigrant Invest made the couple’s lives easier by helping them get visa-free access to European countries.
Why did the investor need a second passport
Ivan and Tetiana live in Cyprus on their permanent residence. They are happy living in Cyprus, as they find the local climate and tax rates comfortable. But the Cypriot permanent residence does not allow the couple to travel visa-free to Europe since Cyprus is not a part of the Schengen Area.
Each time the couple applied for visas, the procedure went through some troubles. For example, once Ivan has got a visa to Austria only for the duration of his trip — for 9 days. Meanwhile, he planned to come back to the country for medical treatment two weeks after the trip. Thus, he had to obtain the same visa twice within a month.
The investor set the goal of getting a second passport for travelling around the world without visas. At first, he was thinking about obtaining Cyprus citizenship. But the Cyprus citizenship by investment program has been closed since 1 November 2020.
To obtain citizenship through naturalisation, the couple would have to pass a language exam and live in Cyprus for seven years without leaving the country. And there was no guarantee that their application would be approved.
At this stage, the investor was at an impasse. On 15 January 2021, Ivan turned to Immigrant Invest for advice.
First meeting with Immigrant Invest: preliminary Due Diligence
Before signing a contract with a client, Immigrant Invest lawyers conduct the preliminary Due Diligence. The check allows to identify all the potential risks of the rejection of an investor's application for second citizenship.
Immigrant Invest has a Compliance Department. Its certified Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer studies the investor’s situation in detail. In this way, we reduce the risk of rejection to almost zero before applying on behalf of our client.
Head of the Legal Department
Preliminary Due Diligence showed that Ivan met all the requirements for the citizenship programs: he pays taxes on time, his only source of income was the dividends from his business, and he has no criminal records or visa denials.
The Immigrant Invest team was 99% confident that any citizenship program would approve Ivan's application. However, there is always a minimal risk of rejection, as the final decision remains with the citizenship program department.
What second passport did the investor choose
Ivan's goal was to travel visa-free to the Schengen Area and the UK. The investor set his budget up to $200,000.
Five Caribbean citizenship by investment programs matched the investor's criteria the most. As Caribbean passport holders travel visa-free to more than 140 countries, including the Schengen Area and the UK, and they get 10-year visas to the US under simplified procedure.
The investor gets a Caribbean passport in 2—6 months. The minimal investment into a country’s economy is $100,000.
Immigration Invest lawyers reviewed each Caribbean program with the client. Ivan chose Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship as it allows the investor to travel visa-free to most countries among the other Caribbean countries with citizenship programs — 157.
St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program terms
In exchange for a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport, applicants must pass a Due Diligence check and make a non-refundable contribution of $150,000 to the state fund or buy real estate worth $200,000. Also, the investor pays the Due Diligence, the application, notarial, bank and certificate fees.
Ivan chose contribution to the government fund over the real estate purchase. He did not want to deal with the responsibility that real estate imposes: its maintenance and further exploitation.
The expenses increase if the investor adds family members to the application.
Who can apply for a St Kitts and Nevis passport
- an investor with a proven legal source of income;
- spouse of an investor;
- children aged up to 30, financially dependent on the investor;
- parents over 50 years old of both the investor and the spouse;
- siblings under 30 years old, unmarried and with no children, of both the investor and the spouse.
Applicants for Saint Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment do not need to take exams on the country's language or history, live in Saint Kitts and Nevis or even visit the country.
After meeting the conditions, an investor and his family members are eligible to apply for Saint Kitts and Nevis passports.
Investor's costs in St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program
Under the terms of the program, Ivan was to invest $175,000: $150,000 was for himself, and $25,000 was for his wife. The investor also paid Due Diligence: $7,500 for himself and $4,000 for Tetiana.
Immigrant Invest’s team calculated the cost of participation in the program for Ivan and Tetiana.
$188,022 — Ivan's expenses for participation in St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program
Steps to obtain St Kitts and Nevis citizenship
1. Collecting and transmission of documents. The Immigrant Invest’s 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, Ivan paid the Due Diligence fee — $11,500.
2. Approval of the application. The program department reviewed Ivan'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 Ivan’s application approval by email.
3. Fulfilment of investment conditions. When Ivan received approval to participate in the program, he transferred $160,000 to the bank account of St Kitts and Nevis state fund.
4. Obtaining a passport. The department received a notification of the transfer of the investments and, within two weeks, has printed certificates of naturalisation and passports for Ivan and Tetiana.
The investor received the documents from Immigrant Invest two weeks later.
Visa-free travelling with St Kitts and Nevis passports
The whole summer of 2021, Ivan and Tetiana travelled to western Europe as Saint Kitts and Nevis citizens. They went without visas to Italy, stayed for a week and a half in Germany, spent two weeks in France, and were guests in Spain and Britain.
The couple does not want their enthusiasm for travelling to end, as there are still many countries they go to without visas with St Kitts and Nevis passports.