One of the main advantages of obtaining a second citizenship is the opportunity of visa-free travel to a wider range of countries. This becomes especially important for wealthy persons who lead an active public life. In this Case you can find out how we’ve helped our Client to achieve the desired global mobility, as well as solve a legal problem impeding his work.
- Georgy, 49, acclaimed Professor at a prestigious Russian university, head of an international public organisation working in the sphere of ecology
- Tatiana, 40, his wife, developing an international chain of health-food restaurants
- Artem, 17, their son, about to graduate a specialised high-school in Moscow
- Antonina, 69, Georgy’s mother, retired
Each of the family members had their own specific circumstances that needed to be addressed, in a short period of time and at relatively low costs.
Georgy is an active scientific member of an international ecology association. The urgent nature of some ecological events, as well as the traditions of the Association, mean that many events and meetings are organised at a relatively short notice and in most varied parts of the world. Whereas for most members this creates no issues, Georgy often had troubles preparing visas in time for participation. Moreover, recently a new problem was added to the cost and hassle of visas: one of the countries of the Association’s most active operation has declared Georgy a ‘politically exposed person’. Such persons are closely monitored, and Georgy’s freedom as an ecological activist became severely limited.
Tatiana is developing and promoting a chain of health-food restaurants. This requires frequent travel, to many remote parts of the world where the non-GMO producers are often located. Consequently, Tatiana requires visa-free access to a series of countries in some exotic locations.
Artem is in the process of picking a profession and a perfect university to study at. He is currently undecided between Oxford and the Design Academy in Italy. He is both a talented designer and a brilliant young scientist, winning physics and mathematics competitions. In both cases, he would need a solution to reside visa-free in either Italy or the UK.
Goals and Objectives
The overall goal of our Clients was to achieve visa-free travel to most countries around the world. At that, Georgy was interested in accessing the developed states that are most active in ecology and environmental protection, such as UK, Portugal and Austria; whereas Tatiana had to travel to remote places typically used as the healthy lifestyle cradles, such as various remote islands.
Looking at the Options
Having met Georgy and Tatiana, we conducted a thorough analysis of their goals and wishes, conditions and limitations. As a result, we were able to propose two reliable options.
Citizenship of Malta
The citizenship-by-investment programme of Malta covers all family members of the applicant. So in just 12 to 14 months, Georgy and his family will all be able to travel freely to more than 160 countries around the world, including the UK and many exotic island-nations. Moreover, Georgy would be able to join the Maltese Order, which would further expand his network and the reach of his ecology NGO.
The following expenses were required to obtain Malta passports:
- non-refundable donation to the Malta Development Fund: 650+25+25+50=750 thousand Euros (applicant + spouse + minor child + dependant parent)
- purchase of Government bonds: 150,000 Euros (saleable after a period of time)
- rent residential real estate on Malta: 16,000 Euros per year; or purchase residential real estate for 350,000 Euros, both for a period of five years: minimum investment of 80,000 Euros
- State Due Diligence – 7.5+5+5+5=22.5 thousand Euros for Georgy’s family of four
- administrative fees: 50+10+5+5=70 thousand Euros for the family
- issue of biometric passports: 500 Euros each = 2,000 Euros
The total cost of the Programme would come to 1,750,000 Euros for the family.
Citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis
The naturalization process of this country takes as little as five months. This second nationality opens visa-free travel and stays in more than 120 countries worldwide, including the UK, Brazil and Singapore.
Obtaining a second citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis for the entire family of four requires the following spending:
- non-refundable donation to the State foundation: 150,000 USD
- State Due Diligence: 11.5+4+4=19.5 thousand USD (two adults, one minor child, and one dependant parent)
The programme does not entail any further additional costs. The applicants must travel to the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis to receive their passports. Therefore, obtaining a second citizenship for the entire family of Georgy would cost the Clients just 170,000 USD.
An Additional Problem
In reviewing the various possible options and offering them to our Clients, we were keenly aware of Georgy’s active public work for governmental and non-governmental organisations. As mentioned earlier, he has been recently declared a ‘politically exposed person’ and had a written refusal to issue a travel visa to one of the countries. However, Georgy is not actually a politically active or politically exposed person, and our lawyers were also tasked with removing Georgy’s name from this list, as this could impede his process of obtaining a second citizenship.
The lists of politically exposed persons (PEP) belong to the realm of international financial monitoring and include persons that hold public offices in their home country. These include country leaders, senior members of all three branches of the government (executive, legislative and judiciary), senior civil servants and politicians, members of parliament, senior management of the state financial authorities, and leaders of international organisations.
Georgy was alleged to belong to this latter criteria, and as a result was included in the PEP list. After careful legal analysis of the situation, we discovered that, as often happens, Georgy was included in this list by mistake, due to an erroneous interpretation of his public position. Despite his active, international public work he is neither a politician nor a senior civil servant. And even though his association does work on the global scope, it is not a registered International Organisation.
As for Georgy’s mother, Antonina, she used to be a civil servant but has retired more than ten years ago. Therefore, this was not likely to cause any issues during the application.
The Final Decision
Now, knowing the precise extent of the investments required and the opportunities offered, Georgy and his family made an informed choice in favour of the citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis. For our Clients, this was more attractive thanks to the lower amount of investment required, and a faster naturalisation process.
- Georgy can now travel freely and never has to worry about making it to the next conference or event.
- Thanks to the work of our lawyers, Georgy was removed from the troublesome list of politically exposed persons
- Tatiana got the opportunity to visit the island communities and gather all the necessary information and contacts to add some exotic dishes to her restaurant’s menu. This, in turn, has considerably boosted the chain’s competitive position on the health-food market
- Artem was able to enroll in a summer school in Italy, followed by a visit to the UK. After this, he felt he was making an informed choice when he decided to pursue a degree in Architecture – a profession that would take advantage of both his scientific and creative talents
- Antonina finally visited the Caribbean islands – a life-long dream of hers! She spent several months there, in a marvellous sea-view villa.
The citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis was able to remove the most trying obstacles from the professional and personal lives of our Clients. By the way, currently the Caribbean States are offering additional discounts on their investment immigration programs, due to reduced attractiveness of investment caused by a recent series of destructive hurricanes. The offer lasts only until March 2018, so the interested applicants must hurry!
So far, only one country (Antigua and Barbuda) has extended the duration of its investment discounts – until 31 October 2018.