Having so many opportunities to advertise various services on the internet makes it really hard to distinguish the ones that are genuine and the scams. This is especially dangerous in the area of different government immigration programs such as citizenship by investment.
One would think that since it is government controlled, these would be highly regulated, and by no means could any scam service manage to sneak in. Unfortunately, this is not the case, because there are too many companies engaged in this fraud, taking advantage of people, and luring them to hire their services. What makes the story even sadder is the fact that people tend to fall for their “fast” and “inexpensive” way to the second passport.
What is their target group?
Some countries offer very good second citizenship programs, and people are very interested to invest in them. Being blinded by the desire to invest and obtain a second passport, most people do not even look for clues that this may be a fraud. These people are called easy targets. As such, they are prone to even consider taking part in shady avenues just to pay less money, or make the whole process faster than usual.
Since you are reading this article, you must have been thinking about such an investment, but want to protect yourself from possible fraud. That is why we have selected a couple of red alarms you should look out for when you decide to apply for a citizenship by investment program.
The agency skips assessing your case
Just before you decide to hire someone, naturally, you’ll first want to contact them so they can explain how the process goes. If a person you’re talking to promises they can get you a passport without even assessing your case, this is the first sign something fishy is behind their business. No one should or could promise you this unless you have provided them with enough information to assess your case, and see if you are eligible or not.
Assessments are the first thing each agent is supposed to do when getting in contact with a potential client, after which the application process follows.
What they usually do is help you fill out the whole thing, and submit it to the government, after which you’ll be granted approval for a second citizenship. This is a short walkthrough on the process by which you yourself can assess if the agency you wanted to hire as help is a scam or not.
Any agency dealing with this kind of work has to be authorized to do so. You’ll know if they are or not by going through their website. There, it should be written that they have been authorized by the government of the country you seek citizenship in. There should be a number too, based on which you can check if the information is genuine or not.
Someone is promising high investment returns
Since you have already decided to hire help in submitting a strong application, just to increase your chances of obtaining a second password, keep in mind that this is as far as they go. If they start talking about how they can guarantee the investment return in a certain percentage, look out. This is way outside the scope of their work, and most likely they are trying to keep you interested in order to get as much money as they can out of you. In the end, leaving you with a fake passport.
You have probably read about the possibilities you can take advantage of in that market, so you should also be able to assess if what they say is true.
Dual citizenships are serious deals, and if someone promises cheap, easy, fast solutions, this simply cannot be real. The same applies to everything in life. You want to do business only with authorized, verified services, to keep yourself safe from fraud.
Ending up with a fake passport is something you do not wish to be involved with. Imagine, you have invested, got a fake passport, thinking you will be able to pull yourself out of it, and then the auditing time comes. Since your case is fishy, you are soon found not only guilty, and without a passport, you wanted so much, but also without a penny from what you have invested.
When deciding to go for this program, one has to be aware of how important it is to get things right on the first try, because these programs do not allow second chances. It’s a lot of opportunities you’re gambling with, and you cannot afford to be a part of the scam. When your application is denied in one country, it will be difficult, if not impossible to go for the same opportunity in a different country.
Hence the importance to doing business only with agencies who have a lot of experience in the field, and who are authorized to deal with such cases.
Our final advice is to take your time. Before you want to hire someone, also check their reviews, find someone you may know who has already gone through the process successfully, and have a chat. Ask for advice. And never hurry with these things. Double-check every piece of information you gave out to be included in your application.
Read the investment framework multiple times, to see if you are aligned with it. Once again, you are only allowed to do this once, therefore, it has to be right. By constantly being aware of what we wrote you’ll be close to your citizenship. Having someone experienced in working on cases like yours brings you even closer to dual citizenship and an investment opportunity of a lifetime.