Semyon is a former judge and now works as a legal consultant for a private law firm. Together with his wife, he got St Lucia citizenship in order to travel visa-free throughout the world (as St Lucia passport holders, they can travel to 146 countries without a visa).
Using Semyon’s story as an example, we explain when and how it is possible to obtain a second citizenship for public servants who have held politically important positions in the past.
Preparation for participation in the citizenship program
Semyon turned to Immigrant Invest for advice at the end of May 2021. He warned the Immigrant Invest team in advance that he had served as a judge until he started working in a private company six years ago . For citizenship programs, this means that Semyon could be considered a PEP (Politically Exposed Person).
Senior government officials are considered to be PEPs. PEPs undergo a more thorough scrutiny than other applicants for citizenship by investment. The citizenship program departments have to follow the strict guidelines laid down in the anti-corruption laws: they have to check to make sure that the PEP has not used their position of authority to generate illegal income.
head of the legal department, lawyer, Ph.D. in law, third-class counselor of justice
Immigrant Invest’s lawyers started their preliminary Due Diligence check to identify all the potential risks of Semyon’s application for a second citizenship being rejected..
Their check showed that Semyon met all the requirements of the citizenship programs: he no longer held a public office, paid his taxes, his only source of income was from his work in a private legal company, and he had no previous convictions or visa refusals.
The Immigrant Invest team was 99% confident that Semyon’s application would be approved by any citizenship program. However, there is always a minimal risk of rejection, as the final decision remains with the citizenship program department.
Choosing a citizenship program
The couple’s budget for obtaining a second citizenship by investment was $200,000. The following six citizenship programs suited them.
The benefits offered by the Caribbean or Vanuatu passports suited Semyon and Arina’s aims of traveling around the world freely.
Citizenship of one of the Caribbean countries or Vanuatu allows you to travel visa-free to more than 130 countries, including the Schengen area, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. Grenada's passport allows the holder to also travel to China without a visa.
Citizens of the Caribbean countries can also obtain a long-term B-1/B-2 visa to the United States for 10 years. With a Vanuatu passport, this visa is issued for 5 years. Grenada citizens are also eligible to apply for an E-2 business visa to the United States for 5 years, which allows the holder to live, study, work and do business in the United States.
The couple decided to obtain St Lucia citizenship: the fastest low-cost program. The couple wanted to get their passports quickly, by the beginning of winter.
My wife and I want to leave Russia for warm countries in the pre-winter period. I love Russian winters, but bare trees and a gray, cloudy sky in November – not very much. In the future, we want to buy a house by the ocean and live there and work remotely in periods when the weather is depressing in our native country.
works as a lawyer in a private company
Immigrant Invest’s lawyers have calculated the cost of participation in the St Lucia investment program for Semyon and Arina.
The cost of participation in the St. Lucia citizenship program for the couple using the option of a non-refundable contribution was calculated to be $157,300
The procedure for obtaining
St Lucian passports
1. Collection of the first package of documents. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers prepared all the documents in three weeks. In addition to the standard list, we wrote an affidavit so that the citizenship program department would not have any additional questions regarding Semyon's career and his role as a former PEP.
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 indicated that Semyon was no longer a PEP, because he had been working in a private company for the past six years. Also, the affidavit clarified the following two important points:
- Semyon’s source of income did not depend on his former role as a PEP.
- Semyon was participating in the citizenship program with the money he earned after leaving government service.
Immigrant Invest’s lawyers also attached supporting documents to the affidavit.
Additional documents for participation in the citizenship program for a former civil servant
Form 3-NDFL: certificate of income and expenses
Form 2-NDFL: certificate of income and taxes paid
Bank statements for a period of 6 years
2. Payment of Due Diligence fees. Semyon paid for the Due Diligence check, and the Immigrant Invest team submitted the required package of documents on his behalf to the citizenship program department.
3. Approval of the application. In difficult cases, citizenship program departments make additional inquiries or reject the application. Semyon's application was considered within the standard three month period. There were no follow-up requests due to our detailed and clearly structured affidavit.
As the licensed agent representing Semyon, we received an e-mail from the government department approving Semyon’s participation in the citizenship program.
4. Submitting the second package of documents and transfer of agreed investment amount. When Semyon’s application was approved, he transferred the agreed investment amount to the relevant government department. Also, after Semyon’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 government department received the agreed investment amount, they started the process of producing the couple’s passports and naturalization certificates.
Getting the St Lucia passports
A month after paying the investment fee, Semyon and Arina received their second passports and naturalization certificates. The citizenship program department sent the documents to Semyon’s home address as indicated in their application.
Stages of Semyon's participation in the St Lucia citizenship program
Results of cooperation
The couple spent the end of November and the whole of December in St Lucia. During the day, Semyon and Arina work remotely, and in their free time, they explore the local rainforests, swim in the sea and sunbathe on the beaches.
We will start traveling to other countries next year. In the meantime, we need to work. My wife and I have already bought tickets to Castries: we will take our laptops, and we will work remotely from there. I have missed the sun and the sea. In such conditions, productivity is sky high!
works as a lawyer in a private company