How to know if CBI is a good recommendation for my client?

The CS Global Partners Business Development team works closely with legal representatives and other collaborative partners across the world, helping them to assist with their clients applications for citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes 

CS Global Partners offers premium expert advice, not only to investors, but also to collaborative partners who may be unfamiliar with CBI solutions.  

Whether a client already knows what they want or if they are still unsure about their options, we have a list of great questions to help you recommend the ideal CBI solution to your client.  

We sat down with Kumar Pratik, Global Private Client Manager at CS Global Partners to find out how you can identify if CBI is a good recommendation for your client, and why you should partner with CS Global Partners.  

Q: What questions do you ask your clients to get a better idea of whether CBI would work for them?

A: It is important to get to know the client, so the first thing we ask him is what nationalities they hold, their family composition, and the ages of the family members they intend to include in the application.

Q: What characteristics do you look at before recommending CBI?

A: We get to know the client by talking about their pain points and problems they are experiencing in their home country. We discuss what they are looking for and the goals they would like to achieve with second citizenship. This information allows us to recommend a programme that would suit them and their own personal circumstances.   

Q: Once you have identified a client that wants to go ahead with CBI, what are the next steps?

A: Before we take any fees, we run internal due diligence processes to pre-screen the applicant. This is an obligation-free process we do before we onboard a client. These checks are done between our Business Development and Legal Processing departments. This process is important because if we find any information that indicates the potential client is not a suitable candidate for citizenship, we do not onboard the client.

Q: What kind of ‘Know Your Client’ (KYC) checks do you do to assess whether a client could apply for CBI?

A: We onboard our clients after we are certain that they pass our character checks, including checks using the World Check database. As part of this process, clients also complete a KYC form and provide a copy of their passport.   

Q: What are the red flags when assessing a client?

A: Red flags are raised if a client answers yes on any of the following questions, or if a client is subsequently found to have lied while answering any of these questions: 

  1. Have you ever been charged, arrested, convicted or found guilty of any offence against the law in any country?  
  2. Have you ever been involved in any bankruptcy or insolvency liquidation?  
  3. Have you ever been rejected an entry visa, refused citizenship in any country, been unlawfully present in or deported from any country?  
  4. Have you ever been investigated for suspected breach of tax law in any jurisdiction?  
  5. Have you or any of your close family members (i.e spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son- in-law, daughter-in-law, uncle, aunt etc.) ever been considered or have reasons to be considered a politically exposed person? 

Q: What questions do you ask your client to better understand which CBI nation will fit their needs?

A: It depends on the client. Some have been shopping around and know exactly what they want, while others need to be walked through their options.  

In the first instance, if a client has researched and has decided upon investing in St Lucia, we send them those details along with another CBI nation as a comparison. This way, they can go through the programmes, do a mental comparison and make a decision.  

In the second instance, we look at their personal circumstances before recommending a CBI programme.  

Q: Is price always the most important aspect when a client decides on a CBI programme?

A: No, the reputation of a programme is a major contributing factor when clients decide. Longevity, popularity, stability, reputation, and adaptability contribute to the certainty of CBI programmes.  

Q: How important is building trust with your client?

A: Trust in us and the CBI programme is important. Nurturing a relationship with our collaborative partners and clients is a lengthy process that we dedicate time to.  

Q: Do you have any real life examples of a client to whom you recommended CBI, who decided to apply?

A: Recently, we assisted a Nigerian family applying for St Kitts and Nevis citizenship. The couple’s children are studying in the UK and they needed visa-free access in order to travel to there to visit their children. Nigerian passport holders require visas to travel to the UK and having second citizenship meant that they could bypass those extra fees. They took advantage of the Limited Time Offer of US$150,000 for a family of up to four members (excludes siblings). 

Q: What are the main challenges that you face when advising a client?

A: Sometimes clients have been misinformed about a particular programme. Misinformation can hinder the conversation. In most cases, you are not the only business the client is talking to, and they may be getting a lot of advice from a variety of sources.

Q: What are the main misconceptions in the immigration investment industry?

A: There has been a rise in less reputable companies setting up shop and advertising CBI programmes at a cost below the government-mandated investment amount. Because of this, a lot of people think that CBI is a scam, and that they are being overcharged when they come to a reputable company that follows government guidelines. Misinformation can lead to confusion. 

For example, a Pakistani gentleman signed up with a Dubai-based company incorrectly advertising the cost of CBI programmes. He got in touch with me to confirm the information. I asked him pertinent questions and communicated the right information to him. Good sense prevailed and he withdrew his application from the initial company and ended up working with us.  

Being prudent is key, and we encourage potential investors to check government websites.  

Q: What are your top tips for ensuring that you are working with a reputable business?

A: Check if the service provider is on the official government website. Each CBI Programme has a list of Authorised Agents, Promoters and Sub-Agents on their websites. Check the prices on the website and compare the information you received from the agent with what is on the government website.

Q: Are clients keener on investing in the fund or real estate options? And do they change their mind?

A: At the moment, the majority of applications are for St Kitts and Nevis Limited Time Offer under the Sustainable Growth Fund and the Dominica Economic Diversification Fund. Dominica’s approved real estate is popular too, as branded hotels such as Hilton, Marriot and eco-resorts offer opportunities to invest in the island. 

Applicants can still change their minds before their application is submitted to the relevant citizenship by unit. However, once it is submitted to the unit, you cannot change your mind.  

For example, we are currently working with a Nigerian national who signed up with us initially planning to for St Kitts and Nevis Limited Time offer, but he might change his mind to the Real Estate option. 

Partner with CS Global Partners

Q: What is the process when partnering with CS Global Partners?  

A: When we talk to immigration agencies or other collaborative partners, we come to a beneficial consensus with them. An official agreement will be signed and the will receive a service fee.

Q: What are the key advantages of partnering with CS Global Partners? 

A: Absolute peace of mind that they are working with the best in the industry, evidenced by the fact we hold exclusive mandates to promote two of the world’s best citizenship by investment programmes. Once they hand over a client, they remain in the know. Our legal processing team take care of all their clients’ needs during and after the application.  

We have honed our skills over the years working in complex situations. Our in-house team makes the application process as smooth and seamless as possible.

CS Global Partners 

CS Global Partners is a leading international marketing and legal advisory firm specialising in residency & citizenship by investment solutions.   

If you would like to partner with us, please contact us on [email protected]