How to choose your immigration agent

Unsure on how to choose your immigration agent to handle your citizenship by investment application? Learn about the factors you should take into consideration when choosing an agent.

Why do I need to use an Immigration Agent?
Most citizenship programmes do not allow applicants to submit directly to the processing unit. You must apply through a local authorised agent that acts as a go-between for the investor and the host country’s processing unit. This process benefits both the investor and the government as the licensed immigration agent can help provide a smoother and more efficient process.
Factors you need to consider when choosing an Immigration Agent
Whether you are contacting an agent directly, or if you are using a third-party intermediary such as an immigration lawyer, the factors you need to consider when choosing an agent are the same. Whichever way you are approaching the citizenship by investment application process, these factors should be considered:
  • Ensure that you choose an agent that is registered with the relevant processing body. The Government has vetted registered agents and the licence will confirm that the agent is an official representative of the CBI programme.
  • Obtaining a second citizenship is a long-term decision and is an administratively intensive process and you do not want a person or company that will take shortcuts. It is vital that the agent you choose can deal with the intricacies of your application. When looking for an agent, it is critical to meet the agent in person, if possible, or by video call.
  • Take note, where possible, of whether the agent has a successful history of application approvals, and if the agent has its own dedicated department capable of conducting due diligence, scrutinising applications, and following the correct procedures for your investment.
  • Confirm that the investment amounts quoted by your agent are in line with the investment amounts mandated by the relevant government. Any ‘limited time offers’ will be announced by the government;  agents are not permitted to announce their own discounts on the mandated investment amount. If you have not made the correct investment amount stated by law, then your  application’s validity  will be compromised.
Licensed immigration agents are trained and kept up-to-date by the respective processing units on how to approach applications. These specialised skills enable the agents to advise applicants proactively in all areas of the process.
Your Immigration Agent Check List:
Here are five pertinent questions you should keep in your back pocket and refer to when looking for a CBI agent:
  • Is your agent authorised to submit the application on your behalf?
  • Is your agent prominent in the industry?
  • Can you verify your agent through offices, consultants, and reviews?
  • Does your agent have the necessary expertise for the programme?
  • Do the investment amounts advertised by your agent reflect the amounts mandated by the relevant government?
Why is it important to use the right agent?
Using government-vetted and licensed immigration agents is of the utmost importance, because if you don’t, you may be dealing with someone who is not licensed or does not fully comprehend the CBI process and cannot submit an application for you. Inexperienced agents can waste time and money by not understanding the forms and required documents, which may cause you to have to re-submit information and compromise your application. As the industry grows, many new CBI-related companies have come into existence, which is positive, however it also means that they may not have the requisite experience in the industry, nor the credentials to support their record, or prove their trustworthiness. Some agents are more than just inexperienced – they are fraudulent too.
Citizenship by Investment Units
Some countries that offer citizenship by investment programmes have government entities (called ‘Units’ in the Caribbean) dedicated entirely to the citizenship process. They oversee and process all citizenship by investment applications. CBI Units take a serious look at how agents are promoting their programmes to make sure that it is done correctly. Some programmes have a list of agents that are banned from promoting their investment scheme and you can find this information on their website. They may also alert current agents as to entities that lost their agent licence or that never had one in the first place despite claiming otherwise.
CS Global Partners
At CS Global Partners we have more than 10 years’ experience in the CBI industry, and we seek to offer the best advice to investors seeking second citizenship or permanent residency, tailored specifically to their needs and those of their families. Our policy is that your first consultation is free of charge, so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to speak to a member of the team. Contact us for a free consultation