A Guide To Picking The Right Citizenship By Investment Company

Investing in a citizenship by investment (CBI) program can be a daunting and initially overwhelming prospect. Though on the surface of things, it seems straightforward – invest X amount into a country’s economy and gain a second passport – there are lots of moving parts that complicate matters.

A whole array of fees need to be calculated and paid (legal, administrative, application, due diligence, etc. etc.), the method of investment needs to be decided upon, and other logistical factors have to be considered before you finally arrive at that investment citizenship.

There are plenty of citizenship-by-investment companies to help you along with this process. However, finding the right CBI company represents a challenge in of itself.

During the course of this article, we’ll examine what you should look for in a citizenship-by-investment company, what to avoid in one, and what to expect when engaging the services of one.

What Is A Citizenship By Investment Company?

A CBI company is a firm that specializes in facilitating obtaining citizenship (and/or residency) by investment for their clients. They must typically have the authorization of the host government, and they generally act as their clients’ agent in all matters legal and fiduciary when it comes to obtaining a second passport.

What Should I Look For In A CBI Company?

When choosing the right citizenship-by-investment company for you and your family, there are several factors that you’ll wish to consider. Let’s take a look at the most important.

Do They Have Governmental Authorization?

It’s essential that the CBI company you’re working with has obtained the authorization of the government whose country you’re applying to. This means that they are certified to work within that country, and that they are bound by any relevant laws and regulations therein.
Governments usually have a list of authorized agents on their official websites (see here for the official list of international marketing agents for Saint Kitts & Nevis). When applying to a country, always ensure that any agent you use appears on that list. If they do not, then not only are they not authorized to act as your agent in any applications to that country’s CBI program, but they may also be trying to scam you.

Do They Offer Investment Advice?

Although not as crucial as actually being able to operate in the country to which you’re applying, it’s nevertheless still important that your agent of choice be available to offer investment advice.

After all, you’re applying for citizenship by investment. And those investment choices can sometimes be quite diverse (e.g. real estate, residential property, donation to a government fund, government bonds, etc.). In order to choose the best one for your finances, timeframe and family, it’s necessary that your agent of choice be on hand at all times to offer the best advice possible.

Intensive Knowledge Of The CBI Country – Both Domestically And Geopolitically

Citizenship by investment is, in essence, the same as any other kind of citizenship. You will become a legal citizen of your chosen country, with all that implies. That means that it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re aware of all of the implications of becoming a citizen of the country you’ve chosen – it may be the case that, at first blush, you’re not aware of all of the minutiae that goes along with citizenship to any country.

Furthermore, it’s important to have an idea of where your chosen nation stands geopolitically. What are their relations like with neighbors or economic partners? What are the implications of traveling on their passport? One of the most important considerations is what your chosen country’s visa situation is like, particularly with high-value destinations like Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and the USA.

A good CBI company will be able to give you a detailed and comprehensive breakdown of all of these points, and be available to answer any questions you might have about citizenship or geopolitical considerations.

They should also have first-hand experience of life in the country, and be able to assist with more mundane day-to-day concerns such as opening a bank account, dealing with home and car insurance, drafting legal documents, filing for permits, and other such matters that might not be immediately obvious to a newcomer to the country.

Do They Offer Continuing Tax Assistance And Advice?

Obtaining citizenship by investment is all well and good, but if one of your reasons for applying to a CBI program is tax alleviation, it may be that you require ongoing assistance in order to transfer funds so that they fall under the taxation laws of your new country of residence. There may also be further fiduciary minutiae that, if you’re not an accountant or tax lawyer, may be difficult to understand.

Most of the best CBI companies will, therefore, continue to offer financial advice after you’ve obtained citizenship by investment. By choosing one with a strong understanding of both local and international tax law, you ensure that your assets will be best placed to take advantage of the tax breaks offered by your new home – without flouting or circumventing international tax law.
This is crucial in protecting your assets not only for your own sake, but for the sake of future generations.

Are They Completely Transparent In Their Procedures?

It’s a sad truth that the CBI agent business – like many services that cater to high-net-worth individuals – is rife with bogus companies and agents that are simply looking to take advantage of their clients’ relative lack of expertise in esoteric areas.

It’s therefore vital that your chosen agent is completely transparent, both with production of their credentials and also with keeping you in the loop about how your application’s going.

The first matter is relatively easily satisfied. All agents are granted certification by any country that they operate in, and they should be able to easily produce such certification upon request. They should, for instance, have an ‘International Marketing Agent’ certificate for the country for which they offer services, and they should be visible on that country’s official CBI website.

In addition, reputable citizenship-by-investment countries are members of the Investment Migration Council (IMC), and they will appear in its members’ directory. All members of the Council are bound to a strict set of guidelines and code of conduct, and can be trusted to treat their clients with dignity and respect.

Above all, then, it’s imperative that you establish the bona fides of your agent – and that they are completely open and transparent about how they conduct themselves.

What Is Their Pre-Screening Procedure Like?

Entering into an agreement with a CBI company isn’t just about your screening them – it’s about their screening you.

This might not be an immediate concern for you – you know you’re on the level, after all – but this is all about what it reveals about your chosen company. If they don’t bother with any sort of pre-screening – or limit it to something simple, like a cursory Google search – then they are clearly not a very discerning company, which is a huge red flag for a high-value individual looking for something exclusive and trustworthy.

However, if they exercise due diligence and carefully look into your background to ascertain that you’re indeed the sort of high-net-worth client that can afford to enter into a CBI program, then you can rest assured that they don’t acquire clients indiscriminately, and that they are assiduous and thorough in their business dealings.

What Sort Of Prices Do They Charge?

An important aspect of selecting a citizenship-by-investment company is checking what sort of fees they charge for their services. However – and this may initially seem counterintuitive – don’t be tempted to simply select the cheapest service you can find.

The reason for this is simple. You’re operating in an exclusive industry that deals exclusively with high-value clients. These services are not cheap – and nor should they be.

When dealing with something so important and sensitive, you don’t want to go with a cheaper option for the sake of saving a few thousand dollars. It’s vital that you go with the best choice possible for you and your family – and, as with anything, the best isn’t cheap.

Do They Have A Good Application Success Rate?

Any honest and forthright CBI company should be completely open about what their application success rate is, and so it should be one of the first inquiries you make.

Similarly, that application success rate ought to be a good one. It’s a quick and reliable indicator of how competent a company is – if 50% of their applications don’t make it through (though this is clearly an exaggerated example) then you obviously would not choose them to handle your costly and lengthy application.

Vancis Capital is your trusted partner


There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for the right CBI company for you and your family, and it’s important to examine them all before making a commitment.

But most important is ensuring that the company you’re working with is honest, competent, reliable, transparent, and fully certified to be operating in the country of your choice. If you can hit upon a company that has all of these qualities, then you’ve likely found a winner.

Choosing the right partner can be challenging


There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for the right CBI company for you and your family, and it’s important to examine them all before making a commitment.

But most important is ensuring that the company you’re working with is honest, competent, reliable, transparent, and fully certified to be operating in the country of your choice. If you can hit upon a company that has all of these qualities, then you’ve likely found a winner.

Take charge of your future with our expert advisors

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you with your citizenship or residency by investment goals. One of our investment migration experts will contact you to discuss your case. With over 16 years of combined experience our team has helped hundreds of families achieve freedom.