George and his son Elias are citizens of Lebanon and currently living in Austria. In 2018, the investor got Austria residence permits for financially independent persons for himself and his son.
In Austria, George's insurance head company is located, and Elias has already graduated from Vienna University with a bachelor's degree in law.
As Austrian residents, George and Elias use their residence permit cards to travel to the Schengen countries without visas and spend up to 90 days out of 180 in the region. The time spent in Austria doesn’t count.
Why does the investor with Lebanon citizenship and residence permit in Austria need a second passport
After six years of living in Austria and travelling to Schengen, the investor and his son have settled in Austria and are ready to explore more countries: the UK and the US. George needs access to these countries both for working and travelling purposes. Elias has not still chosen a country to settle in and build a family of his own. He wants to travel more and try living and studying in the UK or the US.
Since George got Austria residence permits with the help of Immigrant Invest, he turned to the company for advice on getting visa-free access to the USA and the UK.
Contacting Immigrant Invest
George left a request for a meeting with Immigrant Invest lawyers and discussed his issue with them. After, the lawyers asked the investor to provide his passport to conduct a preliminary check.
Before starting cooperation and signing a contract with the client, Immigrant Invest lawyers from the internal compliance department conduct a comprehensive preliminary Due Diligence.
Due Diligence is the key stage in a program. If an investor passes it, they obtain citizenship or a residence permit. If an investor is refused, the way to other investment programs can be closed.
That is why Immigrant Invest conducts its Due Diligence. The preliminary check helps eliminate possible risks and identify a list of suitable programs for an investor.
Suppose the lawyers find points in the investor’s background that could result in their application rejection. In that case, Immigrant Invest experts offer a suitable alternative solution or decline to proceed with the application after explaining the situation to the client concerned.
The preliminary Due Diligence is carried out before signing a contract with an investor and takes one workday.
Even though we conducted a preliminary Due Diligence on our first cooperation with the investor a few years ago, we did a preliminary check a second time. Due Diligence of citizenship and residence permit programs is getting more challenging every year. We cannot take risks. We want to be sure that the investor can participate in citizenship and residency programs.
Head of the Legal Department, lawyer, PhD in Law
In George’s case, the lawyers found no issues preventing him from participating in a program: no criminal record, visa denials, or tax debts. He has a legal source of income for the investment contribution under a program.
After making sure that the investor could participate in any citizenship and residence permit programs, the lawyers began to analyse the investor’s son’s situation.
How to add an adult working child to an investor's application for citizenship and residence permit programs
The investor’s son Elias, a 24-year-old graduate with a bachelor’s degree in law, has worked in the father’s company in the law department as a part-time worker. He did not plan to work full-time as he searched for courses to continue his education. But Elias’s work was a red flag for participation in citizenship and residence permit programs.
According to all citizenship and residence permit programs’ rules, investors’ children over 18 added to their application are to be fully financially dependent on the investor.
Also, some programs have their age limits for children added to the application. For example, to the Caribbean citizenship programs, investors can add only their children under 30.
Head of the Legal Department, lawyer, PhD in Law
To make George’s son’s participation in a citizenship and residence permit program real, Immigrant Invest lawyers suggested possible ways out:
- Prove that Elias’ job is his professional internship.
- Prove that Elias is fully dependent on the investor.
- Prove that Elias is continuing his studying.
Immigrant Invest lawyers have analysed Elias' situation in detail and collected all the evidence that he is eligible to be added to the application.
First of all, the lawyers proved that Elias’ experience in his father’s company can be considered his professional internship and that he is financially dependent on the investor:
- Elias works a part-time job in the law department by his law degree;
- Elias’ salary in his father’s company is €500, which is six times less than the minimum living standard in Austria — €2,835;
- Elias lives with his father, and bank statements show that Elias is living on his father’s money.
Secondly, Immigrant Invest lawyers suggested that Elias enrol in a three-year or longer course of study and pay for a study year in advance. Elias chose a public law school in Austria where he had planned to enrol.
When all proofs were collected, the lawyers were 99,9% sure that George could add his son to his application. However, the final decision always remains with the program unit.
Choosing a CBI program
The predominant goal of the investor and his son was visa-free travelling to the USA and the UK. George outlined his budget limit up to $300,000.
Unfortunately, within the investor’s budget, there was no program giving visa-free access to both the USA and the UK. Immigrant Invest lawyers suggested that George consider Caribbean CBI programs as a good alternative.
Caribbean passports enable its holders to visit more than 140 countries visa-free, including the UK. Furthermore, Caribbean citizens can apply for a 10-year USA tourist or business visa. Applications can be made at any USA consulate, and the visa takes two weeks to process
A 5-year E-2 business visa to the USA is offered to Grenadian citizens, allowing an investor freely enter, leave and stay in the country for an unlimited time. The investor’s spouse can work in the USA, and the children can study in the country until they reach the age of 21.
Programs the investor chose from
|Country and statuses||Access to the USA||Visa-free entry to the UK||Minimal investment amount|
|Antigua and Barbuda||10-year B-1/B-2 visa in two weeks||✅||$100,000|
|Dominica||10-year B-1/B-2 visa in two weeks||✅||$100,000|
|St Lucia||10-year B-1/B-2 visa in two weeks||✅||$100,000|
|St Kitts and Nevis||10-year B-1/B-2 visa in two weeks||✅||$150,000|
|Grenada||10-year B-1/B-2 visa in two weeks|
5-years E-2 business visa
All programs have two options:
- $100,000 non-refundable contribution to a state fund.
- $200,000 or more investment into real estate. The option is refundable: investors can sell the property in 5 years and return the money.
Saint Lucia also offers investors to buy government bonds for $250,000 or more. Investors can return money in five years. Antigua — make a non-refundable contribution of $150,000 to the University of the West Indies Foundation for a family of 6 or more. Also, the investors can obtain citizenship of St Lucia of Antigua if they invest in a local business for $1,500,000.
Saint Lucia CBI program offers 50% discount on the purchase of government bonds
A special offer from the Government of St Lucia is only valid until December 31st, 2022. The applicant can invest $250,000 instead of $500,000 in government bonds and get Caribbean passports for the whole family.
St Lucia’ Citizenship by Investment Unit announced changes for investors since Jan. 1, 2023: new bond purchase offer — $300,000 instead of regular government bonds for $500,00.
George wanted to refund his investment, but he did not want to deal the buying the property. More precisely, with subsequent responsibility that real estate imposes: its maintenance and further exploitation.
The investor chose a Saint Lucia CBI program’s option — purchasing government bonds. Moreover, George could take advantage of a 50% discount.
Saint Lucia CBI program terms
The St Lucia CBI program applicants are to pass Due Diligence and fulfil the investment conditions. Investors get St Lucia passports in 3—6 months.
Investors can add their family members to the application: a spouse, children, parents and siblings. In that case, investors’ costs increase. Also, investors pay Due Diligence and other fees.
$263,850 were George’s expenses in the Saint Lucia CBI program for himself and his son. In addition to investments of $250,000, George paid an administrative fee of $30,000, a Due Diligence fee of $12,500, a passport fee of $1,000, and a bank fee of $100. Also, the investor paid $250 for passport forwarding.
How to get St Lucia citizenship: step‑by‑step procedure
1. Collection of the first package of documents. Immigrant Invest lawyers prepared all the documents in three weeks. In addition to the standard list, the lawyers wrote an affidavit so that the Saint Lucia CBI unit would not doubt that the investor's son Elias was financially dependent on the father.
Package of documents for participation in the St Lucia citizenship by investment program
Copies of passports
No criminal record certificates
In the affidavit, the lawyers clarified the following two important points:
- Elias’ part-time job in the law department by his law degree is his professional internship.
- Elias’ salary in the company is six times less than Austria’s minimum living standard.
- Bank statements show that Elias lives on his father’s money.
- Elias is still studying and is enrolled in a three-year study course in Austria.
2. Payment of Due Diligence fees. George paid the Due Diligence fee of $12,500, and the Immigrant Invest team submitted the required package of documents to the citizenship program unit.
3. Approval of the application. The citizenship program unit makes additional inquiries or rejects the application under challenging cases. George’s application was considered within the standard three-month period. There were no follow-up requests due to the Immigrant Invest lawyer’s detailed and clearly structured affidavit.
As the licensed agent representing George, we received an e-mail from the government unit approving George’s participation in the citizenship program.
4. Submitting the second document package and transferring the agreed investment amount. When George’s application was approved, the investor transferred the investments of $250,000 to the government unit. Also, after George’s application for St Lucian citizenship was approved, we were required to submit a second set of documents to the government department:
- Oath of allegiance.
- R3 Form.
- Power of attorney.
- A copy of the passport’s data page.
- Original birth certificate.
- Certified copies of the birth certificate.
- Passport forms.
When the St Lucia unit received the agreed investment amount, they started producing passports and naturalisation certificates.
A month after paying the investment fee, George and Eliad received their second passports and naturalisation certificates. The Saint Lucia CBI unit sent the documents to George’s home address, as indicated in their application.
5 months and $263,850 to get St Lucia passports for a family of two
Life with Saint Lucia citizenship
With St Lucia passports, George and Elias can travel visa-free to the UK and get a 10-year B-1/B-2 tourist visa to the US.
With a 10-year B-1/B-2 USA visa, the investor and his son can stay in the country for up to six months a year to travel around the country and more. George can attend business meetings, while Elias can participate in study conferences and courses. They also can get medical treatment in American clinics.
|Before getting Saint Lucia citizenship||After getting Saint Lucia citizenship|
|❌ Visa required in most of the countries||✅ Visa-free travel to 146 countries|
|❌ Visa required to travel to the UK||✅ Visa-free travel to the UK|
|❌ Bureaucratic and lengthy procedure to get USA visas||✅ 10-year B-1/B-2 visa to the USA in two weeks|
They plan to go to the USA on Christmas, while to the UK, the father and son have already planned a trip and bought tickets for November.
Elias is eager to study more. He has found out that in Saint Lucia, there is the University of West Indies. The University of the West Indies was founded as a division of the University of London in 1948. The university uses British educational standards and cooperates with Harvard. The university diploma is quoted in Europe and the US. Among the graduates and professors of the university are Nobel laureates and politicians.
Elias decided to take the Employee and Labour Law Course on the Open Campus of West Indies University, a university’s online platform.