When the world moved to a new dimension of remote working, various industries adopted their way of life to align with the technology-based, remote working environment. Governments too, redesigned their methods of operation to accommodate the new age of globalisation, and investment migration is no exception to this rule. This led to remote application process in the CBI industry.
The thought of obtaining a second citizenship through a remote application may have seemed outlandish a decade ago, but it is a very real and feasible process today. Various countries throughout the world offer remote routes to obtaining a status within the country without the need of physically being there, and this evolution has been expedited by the pandemic.
What Is A Remote Application Process (RAP)
The remote application process for Citizenship & Residency and other immigration-related matters is a new development to reduce the need for in-person interactions. The process involves the use of technology such as online forms or video conferencing to allow applicants to complete the necessary paperwork and communicate with government officials.
How Remote Application Works
The remote application process for citizenship and residency typically involves the following steps:
- Online Application: Applicants begin the process by completing an online application form and submitting it electronically.
- Document Submission: Applicants are then required to submit supporting documents, such as birth certificates, passports, and criminal records, electronically as well.
- Background Check: Governments conduct background checks on applicants to ensure that they meet the criteria for citizenship or residency.
- Interview: In some cases, governments may conduct an interview with the applicant via video or phone to gather additional information or verify their identity.
- Final Approval: Once the application process is complete, the government will either approve or deny the applicant’s request for citizenship or residency.
Before The Pandemic
An important thing to note is that various countries had remote Citizenship by Investment processes in place before the pandemic made it a necessity.
The Caribbean Five, a coalition of Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programs in the Caribbean Sea consisting of Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, and St. Lucia, already allowed applicants to submit their applications remotely.
An applicant could receive their new citizenship certificates and passports while never leaving their home country through a licensed international agent.
When St. Kitts & Nevis and Dominica first launched their CBI programs back in 1984 and 1993, respectively, the application process and delivery of the passports were conducted through the mail. Now software systems are set in place, while physical documents remain delivered by courier.
Programs, such as Malta’s Citizenship by Investment Program, or Greece’s Residency by Investment Program, required applicants to personally submit their applications within the country itself, meaning travel was required.
During The Pandemic
As COVID brought everything to a screeching halt, governments scrambled to reorganise their processes in order to adapt to the new landscape.
The Caribbean Five, already masters in remote processing, had little to do as they continued processing files remotely. Nevertheless, they did innovate to make things easier. St. Lucia, for example, launched an online payment portal to ensure applicants who could not reach banks during the pandemic had a secure way of transferring their funds.
Antigua & Barbuda, the only country that required successful candidates to visit the nation for five days within the five years after obtaining citizenship, suspended that requirement, making it much simpler for those wanting to maintain their citizenship but unable to travel.
After The Pandemic
As things cooled down and travel corridors reopened, most investment migration programs decided to maintain their remote application processes to make it easier for applicants who did not have the time, ability, or will to travel to submit their applications.
While there remains a large set of moving parts in the process of investment migration (consultancy firms, government agents, banks, due diligence agencies, etc.), the entire process has become more streamlined than ever, making it simple for anyone to obtain their second passport from the comfort of their own home.
Countries That Have Adopted Remote Application Process for Citizenship & Residency
- United States
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- United Arab Emirates
- Hong Kong
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Lucia
- St. Kitts and Nevis
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