Our client, Suleiman S., a citizen of Uzbekistan, contacted us in March 2018 with an enquiry regarding obtaining the second citizenship for his family (a spouse and two children under 10 years old). The client spends a lot of time outside his native country, and it is very inconvenient for him to permanently apply for visas to Schengen and other countries. Apart from Europe and the UK, the client regularly makes business trips to the countries of South America, where visas are required.
His main objective was to get a reputable passport without being required to reside in the country and know the language, which will allow him to travel without visas to the developed countries of the world, while his budget was not more than $ 250,000.
Information note: the Uzbekistan passport is ranked 71 according to the global Passport Index sharing this position with the passports of Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
Map of visa free access for the citizens of Uzbekistan
Why it was decided to apply for a citizenship, and not for a residence permit in Schengen?
Since the list of countries visited by a client included not only Schengen countries, but also the United Kingdom, as well as Latin American countries, applying for a residence permit did not solve the client’s problems.
Which programs were considered
The client did not know what programs exist and what benefits they have. We introduced different options to Suleiman telling him what benefits the second citizenship gives and how to use the second passport for travels.
We also provided the overview of the dual citizenship status in Uzbekistan. For more details please check this article.
Comparison of Caribbean citizenship programs for a family of four
Go to program comparison page
Why did the client choose the Antigua and Barbuda program?
Since the client wanted to include children and a spouse in the application, the Antigua program was the most favorable option for him. Saint Kitts program was also attractive for the client, but as soon as he contacted us in mid-March, it was impossible to collect the entire package of documents and submit it before the special offer’s expiration date (March 31, 2018). To obtain citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, it was required to visit to the island for 5 days during the first 5 years. This requirement was not embarrassing for the client since he often visits London where his children study and from London there are regular direct flights to Antigua.
Information note: Of all the Caribbean countries offering citizenship for investment, Antigua and Barbuda is the largest hub that can be reached by direct flights from the UK, Germany, the USA and Canada. Furthermore, the island is well-developed in terms of tourism. Read more about the country in our blog.
We helped the client to collect the package of documents, not only for Uzbekistan, but also for Turkey, where the client had previously lived for a long time. Certificates of no criminal record must be provided from all countries where the applicant and his family members have lived for more than 6 months in total during the year over the past 10 years.
The entire case was prepared in 1.5 months and filed with the CIU (Citizenship by investment Unit).
During the consideration process, additional documents were requested to confirm the origin of the source of funds, though a package of documents on asset disposition was enclosed to the case. Within 2 weeks, the documents were provided, and in September 2018, the client received an approval.
Prior to visiting Antigua, we offered the client to get a driver’s license and open an account in a local bank in order to have everything arranged in advance. As a result, during a one-week visit, he managed to open an account and receive an international driver’s license.
Information note: In Antigua it is possible to get a driver’s license without passing the local exam and only by presenting valid licenses. The process takes one day, but it requires a personal visit to the island.
Why the choice was made in favor of the Antigua and Barbuda passport?
- The most cost-efficient option for a family of four (as of April 2018);
- Unlike a residence permit in Schengen, a passport allows visiting not only Schengen, but also the UK, as well as 150+ countries, including almost all states of South America, which was important for the client;
- Passport recognition.
How long did it take to pass the Antigua Citizenship application procedure?
It took eight months from the conclusion of the contract up to obtaining citizenship and passports.
Kristina Ruzhilo: “For a family of four, the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda is the most cost-efficient option, however the requirement to visit the island and the associated costs should also be considered. On October 12, 2018, the CIU extended the special offer by one year. ”
- When choosing a citizenship by investment program, it is important to consider the family composition and the age of the applicants, as well as the necessity to visit the country during application process – the full cost will depend on these factors;
- It is important to obtain reliable information on the timing and requirements PRIOR TO initiating the process. In particular, the requirements to the origin of income differ significantly among the programs;
- In most programs, certificates of no criminal record must be obtained from all the countries where the applicant and/or his family members have lived for more than 6 months during the last 10 years. Sometimes this fact can complicate the process. For example, a certificate of no criminal record from the FBI must be obtained personally in the United States, although in most other countries this can be done by proxy or through local lawyers;
- In addition to the cost, requirements and deadlines, the following factors should also be taken into account:
– how simple and costly is the procedure for renewing or replacing a passport;
– how difficult it is to apply for the status and whether there is a guarantee of obtaining (percentage of refusals among the programs, requirements regarding the documents on the origin of funds, etc.);
– whether it is possible to add children and other family members in the future and how much it costs;
– whether it is possible to obtain additional documents (driver’s license, registration address, local telephone number, etc.), what are the requirements to the applicant, what is the cost and whether it is necessary to visit the country;
– whether it is possible to get the status if there was a record of former criminal conviction, bankruptcy, visa refusals.
For more details about real facts and the pitfalls of programs, as well as recommendations on how to choose the most effective program, please read this article.
Only collaboration with specialists who have extensive experience working with different programs will allow you to choose the most suitable option and predict the final result.