Why Citizenship by investment application denied?

Citizenship by investment (CBI) programs have been become so popular in the China, Middle East and Asian countries where families can buy a second passport by investing in real estate or one time contribution to the Government fund. The investments start from $100,000 for a passport.

Many think that just by paying money it is possible to get  a passport approved, however this is not the case. The most important requirement is not money, its the paperwork involved and you should have clean criminal record. No matter how much money you invest, Governments are not gonna approve your citizenship or passport to shady characters or frauds involved in financial crimes (money laundering, embezzlement).

CBI programs currently run in Caribbean (Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis) and Europe (Malta and Cyprus). Malta, Dominica and St Kitts has very strict due diligence requirements. Malta IIP has high refusal rates. Citizenship by investment programs have more strict background checks compared to residency programs (golden visas).

Initially authorised agents do a preliminary due diligence check on before launching the application with the Government. You will be asked for Police certificate (no criminal record no more than 6 months old) from your home country and from all countries or places where you have lived more than 6 months. This should have apostille.

If your application has received a refusal under the citizenship by investment programme, it could be because of one of the following reasons (see below). A refusal is basically game over and the data is recorded and shared by many countries make it very difficult to apply for CBI programs in other countries. The reputation of citizenship consultant takes a damage when receiving a denial for a submitted client. But the good news is you will be able to reapply through your authorised consultant if you think its a mistake by authorities and have a valid reason.

The Citizenship by Investment Unit will provide you a reason in writing through your  authorised agent. It is important to note that citizenship approved only at the sole discretion of the Government and Council of Ministers.

The following are the most common reasons for denials.

  • Failing due diligence check done by CIU unit of Government
  • Failing background check by the due diligence agencies (Thomson/IPSA/BDO)
  • Blacklisted by Interpol or other law enforcement agencies.
  • You providing false information or lying in your application
  • Threat to national security of the country.
  • Previous criminal record.
  • Previous entry visa or residence permit denials from Schengen countries, United Kingdom etc or with the country you have been denied a visa,  have signed visa waiver with the country where you are applying for citizenship under CBI.
  • If  you are national of blacklisted country hit by sanctions  or trade embargo (Sudan, North Korea).
  • Failed to provide evidence for source of funds or source of funds originated from country with sanctions.
  • Reputation risk by Politically exposed persons (PEP).
  • Applicant has ties to terrorism.
  • Deported from a country.
  • Failing health or medical checkups.
  • Conflict of Identical names with criminals or blacklisted person.
  • Insufficient income or unable to financially support family members.
  • Involved in money laundering, financial crimes in other countries.
  • Alert issued in Schengen information system (SIS)
  • Providing false information about visas issued by United States and Canada.
  • Found to be Involved with SEC fraud in the United States
  • Found to have extradition case filed by a country.
  • Found to have involved in personal or corporate bankruptcy.
  • Found to have involved with civil actions pending against you in a court or threatened by creditors.
  • Found to have applied for citizenship in another country and denied.
  • Previous convictions of family members.

If you have already been issued a passport under citizenship by investment programme and later found to be on ‘wanted’ list, chances are your CBI passport will be revoked. Governments of several countries which run CBI programs have instructed citizenship consultants to lookout for applicants with baggages. (ie. those looking to flee committing crimes at home).



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