Visa denials considered high risk for CBI programs

Have you ever been denied a visa? A previous visa denial raises a ‘red flag’ when you apply for second passport through CBI programs.   Many countries running CBI programs view previous visa denial cases as ‘high risk’ applicants and their applications could just be refused.

This is because of the visa waiver agreements countries have signed.. Caribbean countries offering CBI programs have signed visa waiver agreements with United Kingdom and EU schengen states. Malta has US visa waiver. Cyprus has visa waiver with Canada but not with United States.

For example, if you have been denied entry clearance from UK or schengen visa, and want to apply for second passport programs in Dominica, St Kitts, Antigua etc, chances are your application could just be refused.  Your CBI application could also be refused if  do not disclose correctly US visa refusals. Some countries such as Malta do check your visa status.

The only way out of this is to reapply for the visa and obtain a new one, before applying for CBI programs to obtain a second passport.

US customs and border protection website says this

Many people make the mistake of thinking that if they were denied a visa when they were a citizen of one country, then become a citizen of another country, they can travel to the U.S. under the visa waiver program using their new passport. That is wrong. The eligibility question about having been denied a visa does not ask whether or not the denial was made after you became a citizen of another country. It asks, “Have you ever been denied a visa?” – period. If you answer “No” then we determine that you have been denied a visa in the past, we consider that to be fraud, and you will be barred from entry for a number of years. It is better to admit the truth, and then apply for a visa, than go through the experience of being deported for fraud.

St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis, have signed visa waiver agreements with over 100 countries.

According to St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by investment act, failing due diligence checks or been denied an entry visa, could lead to application refusal.

DUE DILIGENCE CHECKS.

  • (1) An applicant for Citizenship by Investment who is sixteen years and above shall undergo a due diligence background check.
  • (2) An applicant who (a) has provided false information on his or her application form;
  • (b) has a criminal record;
  • (c) is the subject of a criminal investigation;
  • (d) is a potential national security risk to St. Kitts and Nevis or to any other country; (e) is involved in any activity likely to cause disrepute to the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis; or (f) has been denied an entry visa by a country with whom citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis have visa free entry shall not be approved for Citizenship by Investment.

Antigua and Barbuda

According to Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by investment Act 2016

10. Ineligible Applicants

An applicant has provided false information on his or her application form;

  • not having received a free pardon, has at any time previously been convicted in any country of an offence for which
  • the maximum custodial penalty is in excess of six months imprisonment;
  • is the subject of a criminal investigation;
  • is a potential national security risk to Antigua and Barbuda or any other country;
  • is involved in any activity likely to cause disrepute to Antigua and Barbuda; or
  • has been denied a visa to a country with which Antigua and Barbuda has visa-free travel and who has not
  • subsequently obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial,  shall not be approved for citizenship under this Act.

Grenada

Grenada  2013 Grenada Citizenship by Investment Act 15 147 states

Approval or Denial of Citizenship

(3) An applicant who–

(a)  has provided false information on his or her application form;

(b)  not having received a free pardon, has at any time previously been convicted in any country of an offence for which the maximum custodial penalty for the same or similar offence in Grenada is in excess of six months imprisonment;

(c)  is the subject of a criminal investigation;

(d)  is considered to be a potential national security risk to Grenada or to any other country;

(e)  is involved in any activity likely to cause disrepute to Grenada; or

(f)  has been denied a visa to a country with which Grenada has visa-free travel and who has not subsequently obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial,

shall not be approved for permanent residence or citizenship under this Act.

Malta

According to Malta IIP Legal notice of 2014

Ineligible applicants – An applicant who

(a) provides false information on his application

(b)  has a criminal record;

(c)  is the subject of a criminal investigation;

(d)  is a potential national security threat to Malta;

(e)  is, or is likely to be, involved in any activity likely to cause disrepute to Malta; or (f) has been denied a visa to a country with which Malta has visa-free travel arrangements and has not subsequently obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial,

shall not be approved for citizenship under the programme, unless Identity Malta is satisfied that the applicant is still worthy of being considered for approval due to special circumstances to be demonstrated by the applicant.

Dominica

According to Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship by Investment Act

5. (1) Subject to subregulation (2), an applicant who –
(a) has provided information which is false in any material respect on his or her application form;

(b) hasa criminal record other than in respect to a minor offence;

(c) is subject of a criminal investigation of which he was aware or ought to have been aware;

(d) is a potential security risk to Dominica or to any other country; or

(e) is or has been involved in any activity likely to bring disrepute to Dominica,

shall not be approved for citizenship.

(2) An applicant who has a criminal record or is subject of a criminal investigation may be approved for citizenship where the offence which is the subject of the criminal record is a minor offence or the investigation is into a minor offence.

Common Reasons for Citizenship Refusals

The following are the most common reasons for applications may not be approved under Citizenship by investment programme.

  • 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.
  • Applicant is from blacklisted countries, hit by US, OFAC, UN, EU sanctions.


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