Client Alexander V., the citizen of Ukraine, turned to us in February 2018 requesting for help in getting second citizenship. The client had concerns about the protracted crisis in Ukraine and pressure on his business and him personally from public authorities. Visa-free travels were of less importance for the client as Ukraine’s passport allows one to travel without visa to the Schengen countries. However, the Caribbean passport also provides one with the opportunity to travel visa-free to the United Kingdom.
The main goal for the client was to ensure safe haven and redistribute foreign assets in the future. He heard about the Caribbean programs and was interested in the least expensive option of obtaining citizenship.
Residence is linked to the foreign passport. In case of its expiration, one should first renew the passport and then obtain residence. The term of card validity depends on the term of Ukraine’s passport validity. Moreover, in case of aggressive behaviour by the authorities, like initiation of criminal proceedings and others, it will be impossible to renew the card in the future, since one will have to provide the certificate of criminal record. There are enough situations of entrepreneurs prosecution in Ukraine, especially it concerns the past 5-7 years associated with repeated change of power. Having considered all the risks, the client decided to obtain citizenship and not residence.
Note: Emigration levels from Ukraine in the past 3 years beat all the records. According to the OECD, starting from 2015 more than 300,000 people leave the country every year, which number is 25% higher than the one recorded in the nineties. Eurostat reports that only in 2015 over 500,000 Ukrainians obtained EU residence. The most popular country for emigration is Poland, followed by Spain, Italy and Germany. Read more about the countries selected by immigrants in the analytical material.
Alexander was looking for the most affordable option of getting second citizenship. As long as he applied alone, we offered him the program of Dominica and provided cost comparison in terms of all the programs.
The client was also worried about the issue of dual citizenship. Politicians often claim in media that dual citizenship is forbidden in Ukraine, however, it is not true.
The constitutional myth about the impossibility of having dual citizenship is quite widespread. The situation of exposing second citizenship among top country officials has become a classic method of scandals escalation on the Ukrainian political scene. The passport of foreign countries is something that is often found during searches, which only enhances social discontent.
Get familiar with the expert opinion of the law professor on the issue of dual citizenship in Ukraine.
The process of documents preparation, translation and notarization took about 20 days, after which the case was directed to Dominica’s citizenship agency that sent the according confirmation of the case receipt.
In Dominica, one must submit biometric data (fingerprints). We recommended several certified agencies to the client, and this process also did not take much time. Two months later the second citizenship application was approved and the instructions in terms of making a donation in the Government fund were provided.
Then Alexander made a donation, paid state charges for the passport, after which we received the citizenship certificate and passport.
The Government did not request for any additional documents at the checking stage.
The client selected Dominica’s program for the following reasons:
The term from the moment of agreement signing to the moment of passport receipt corresponded 3 months, which is the exception rather than the rule. Normally, only the documents consideration on the island lasts from 3 to 5 months.
Khrystyna Kurkuliak: “As long as the main criterion for Alexander was the second passport price and since he applied alone, the citizenship of Dominica turned out to be the best solution for the client at the moment of his turning to the company. The citizenship of Saint Lucia goes at approximately the same price, but the program operates less effectively, which information we communicated to the client. He did not want to risk, so he selected the safe option.”
Important note! Apart from the points mentioned above, one should know how effective the program is at this particular moment. For example, the cases filed to Saint Kitts and Nevis from October to March 2018 (end of special offer term) were considered for more than 8 months because over 1,200 applications were filed during that period, so the citizenship agency did not manage to process all the applications in time. Grenada’s program had high rejections rate in 2016: out of 175 applications, 19 were rejected, which is 11% of the total number. In Saint Lucia the procedures were not perfected enough within the first year and a half of the program operation.
You can find more details about programs real facts and pitfalls, so as about the way of choosing the most effective program in this article.
Only cooperation with the experts having extensive experience in dealing with various programs allows one to find the best option.