The process of obtaining citizenship or residency by investment is a simple one. It requires very few steps and very little time compared to other routes of immigration.
As an applicant, a person only needs to collect their documents, submit an application, and make their qualifying investment.
When it comes to the processing side of citizenship and residency by investment applications, the granting government has a lot of work to do for each submission they receive.
Governments must make sure that the applications are complete, that the applicants meet the requirements, and that there are no security or criminal issues associated with each application to ensure the safety and well-being of the country and its inhabitants.
So, while everything seems calm on the applicant’s end, it is a flurry of activity on the government’s side.
Checking The Application
Once an investor submits their application, government officials will check to see if all the required documentation is present and translated into the required language.
This process takes a couple of weeks, and during that period, the applicant can assume that routine checks are being conducted by the government.
If a government official finds something missing or incorrect, applicants can expect a request for additional or amended documents. This will delay the overall application process time, but not by much. However, it is always better to make sure everything is in order when applying, which is why investors choose to work with firms that have vast experience in Citizenship and residency by Investment Programs such as Savory & Partners.
Meet Some Investors Who Obtained Their Second Passport Through Savory & Partners
Each citizenship or residency by investment program has a different timeline for the investment process. Many, like the Portuguese Golden Visa and the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program, require applicants to invest prior to applying.
Others, such as the Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Program and Italy’s La Dolce Visa, allow applicants to invest after they are approved.
If the investment is required prior to applying, the government will have to check that the investment matches its requirements. This means evaluating the investment, ensuring it falls within an approved investment corridor and is made within an eligible locality.
The government’s process of evaluating an investment can take anywhere between a few days and a few weeks, depending on the program of choice, and in some rare cases, such as that of the US EB5 visa, it can take longer.
So, investors who do not want to freeze their money for extended periods of time while waiting for approval should consider this aspect of the program they are looking into to ensure it matches their scope.
Due Diligence Process
The longest, and arguably most important, process of any citizenship or residency by investment application is the due diligence process.
Governments take their time to conduct proper background checks on investors, and each government has its own procedure. One constant though, is that this procedure takes time, usually taking a few months per application.
During this process it is normal for applicants not to hear anything from the government’s or their agent’s side, for as long as the government doesn’t find anything, investors can assume their application is moving along smoothly.
Some governments, such as the Canadian government, may take their due diligence further than others, contacting people and companies close to the applicant to ensure that the information they received is true. However, this is a very rare case, but if it does happen, that doesn’t mean there is anything to worry about.
Once the due diligence process is over, the government will inform the agent and applicant that they are clear to continue with their investment and application.
Before applying to any given program, it is important to understand whether there is an application backlog. Sometimes world events or regulation changes may incur a rush of applications, or a change in government may slow down processing times and create a backlog.
This will increase the usual processing time, but it is normal not to hear anything from the government during processing as an applicant’s turn may not have come yet, but it is important that an applicant’s agent maintain a clear line of communication with the government to get periodical updates.
Another important thing to note is that if the government announces changes to the program after an applicant has submitted their application, those changes will not affect them, as immigration regulation changes are not typically retroactive. If an applicant has submitted their full application, no changes will affect their chances of approval or investment requirements, even if there is a backlog or delay.
Silence May Be A Good Thing
The most important thing for applicants to understand is that when they apply, silence usually follows.
It is important for governments to confirm the receipt of an application, but during the processing of it and the due diligence procedure, radio-silence is the norm.
An applicant can request that their agent follow up on the application, but it is important to note that governments will respond in a general manner, such as telling them that the application is being processed or it is at its initial or final stages.
The governments of Caribbean nations have accredited agent lists. Any company on those lists can directly communicate with the corresponding government to get updates and information.
If a company is not registered on that list, it will not be able to contact the government, meaning that even if a government requests additional information or clarification, it may not reach an investor in time to save their application.
Good applications receive less communication, but an open channel between an agent and the government is a must, even if everything is going smoothly.
To know more about Citizenship & Residency by Investment Programs, contact Savory & Partners today to book a consultation with one of our experts.
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