How to apply for citizenship by investment

Dual citizenship – or dual nationality – means being a citizen of two countries simultaneously and sharing the rights and responsibilities of the citizens in each country. One of the ways to obtain second nationality is to apply for citizenship through one of the citizenship by investment programmes.

Also Read: Best Citizenship by Investment Countries of 2023


Pre-approval by authorised agent and preparation of the application

The first step for applying for citizenship is to choose an authorised agent who has been officially licensed by the Citizenship by Investment Unit to be given the authority to act on behalf of the main applicant in relation to a citizenship by investment application. Authorised agents are the only people who can handle CBI applications, the Unit will not accept direct submissions. Applicants in this stage will be required to complete official forms and obtain certain supporting documents. In the case of real estate investment, applicants will be required to reserve the property through a sale and purchase agreement, they will also be required to pay the due diligence fees for them and any additional family members.

Submission of the citizenship application

When all forms are complete, the authorised agent submits the application to the relevant Unit. The local authorised agent then becomes responsible for liaising with the Unit in relation to all correspondence, queries, or questions that may arise with respect to the applicant’s file. All this paperwork will need to be submitted in English and with the appropriate notarisation and legalisation. The Government acknowledges receipt of the file and confirming that all documents have been submitted in good form. At this point, the file is sent to the due diligence agency appointed by the Government for background checks.

Application processing by the Unit and internal and external due diligence checks

The application submitted to the country’s Unit undergoes there a thorough due diligence background check by an independent third party. A report from the independent review is then submitted to the Unit, and upon evaluation, the Unit will provide a recommendation concerning whether or not citizenship should be granted to the applicant and family members. Due diligence checks include checking for criminal records and assessing applicant’s ability to provide funds. The due diligence checks take an average processing time of 60 days. The Unit will evaluate submitted file considering the due diligence report and make a recommendation on processed application to the Government accordingly.

Approval in principle

If the application is successful, the Unit will issue an Approval in Principle letter with instructions on how to complete the programme’s required investment. Upon proof of investment, another official approval letter will be sent to the applicant with which he or she can apply for the country’s certificate of citizenship and passport. The Letter of Approval will be issued by the Government Unit after doing all the background checks.

Contribution to any available investment options

If the application is approved in principle, the Unit’s letter will also instruct the applicant to make his/her contribution payment e.g., for government funds, complete the payment on the real estate property, or use any other available investment option offered by CBI programmes. Upon receiving proof of payment, the Unit will then issue a certificate of registration, which stands as evidence of citizenship. At this stage, the applicant will need to complete the balance all the remaining investments, provide all the remaining application documents to the agent.

Citizenship Certificate issued

After the completion of the above steps, the applicant will receive a Citizenship Certificate, which makes him/her a citizen. Citizenship Certificates are issued approximately one month after the Government confirms receipt of the funds. The Citizenship Certificate must be sealed and signed by a government authority.

Passport application

Once the Citizenship Certificate is issued, the citizenship by investment process is complete. Applicants may instruct their authorised agent to apply for their passport on their behalf. Passports are issued by the Passport Office, which is a different authority to the one that processed the citizenship. The issuance of passports takes approximately one week, and the passport can be collected from the authorised agent or at the nearest consulate in applicant’s country. Please note that this is a generic step by step guide on the application process, however each country and each programme has its particularities e.g., the application process for residency programmes differs from citizenship programmes.
Accelerated CBI Application
The St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme is the only programme of its kind to offer a guaranteed fast-track route to citizenship, known as the Accelerated CBI Application. Under the Accelerated CBI Application, a successful applicant can receive citizenship in as little as 60 days from submission of an application. The Accelerated CBI Application is available for the following additional cost, inclusive of due diligence fees: • Main applicant – USD 42,500 • Spouse – USD 32,500 • Dependant child under 18 – USD 22,500 • Dependant child/other dependant over 18 – USD 32,500