Decided to relocate to a new country for various reasons but want to make an informed decision on choosing the country that suits you best? Well, it is never easy and doing everything from a different country is complicated. It is not just finding the right country but also finding an advisor who can help!
The second bit is very important, considering the kind of investment involved and the legal complications. How, then, can you choose wisely? Below are a few points to keep in mind while looking for the right immigration consultant.
Find the right country
As we mentioned earlier, you would want to relocate for various reasons. This could be better education, a stable economy, booming business, or simply a better lifestyle! Identify your priorities, where you want to invest, and make sure your business grows. This is very important as you cannot go about the rest of the steps until you decide where you want to move. The processes are different in each country!
Look into the agents available there and their credentials.
It doesn't matter if you believe it or it is. The process of obtaining an immigration visa is likely to be complex. So, you'd best be sure that you work with certified immigration consultants. This way, you are assured you'll always get the correct options and data. Determine whether the best immigration consultant you're thinking of has met the required education and is a licensed immigration expert!
Visit their website and verify their expertise.
Verify the reputation of the immigration consultants, check their profile on Google or their website. The deciding factor is the content, as it will help you understand their level of knowledge about the subject. Also, read the written articles published on the website of the immigration agent to gain an understanding of their goals and beliefs. Additionally, you will see testimonials from customers on their website.
With years, you gather wisdom. Make sure the consultant has a lot experience and, of course, expertise! Before deciding whether or not to go ahead with the visa process, it is important to check the consultant's competence. More experience also means the agency is well aware of the unexpected scenarios and knows the process like the back of their hand.
Last but not the least, talk to your consultant.
This is very important! You need to make sure your wavelengths match. This way, you need not worry about them understanding your requirements. In the end, it's all concerning your life. If you are rejected for an immigration visa, it can cost you lots of money and time.
Choosing the right immigration consultant also means having a list of queries to understand precisely:
- What is the role of the immigration consultant, and what do you need from them?
- Who precisely within the immigration consultant firm will work on your file?
- Is your file going to be delegated to another third-party immigration consultant? E.g., one located physically in the country for the program of your choice.
- What will your involvement in the process be?
- What documentation will be required?
- How is the immigration consultant going to get paid, and when?
- How long will the process truly take?
- How many applications have the immigration consultants filed for the program of your choice?
- What is the success rate?
Having clear, straightforward answers to the above questions will help you narrow down the choice of immigration consultants substantially. Ensure that you have all the answers in writing so that if things do not go as discussed, you will have proof on which to argue. Clarify any conflicts of interest as early as possible.
Traps to Avoid
Immigration, relocation or identity management is a business. As a result, the main aim of advisors marketing these programmes is to naturally earn fees, and again, this is understandable. Unfortunately, some practitioners have repeatedly made attempts to mislead people into believing they can perform things that in reality are not possible. Below are some of the frequent stretches of the truth:
Fast Processing Time
Once you decide on which programme to pursue, you will invariably ask how long the whole process will take from start to finish.
Most countries exercise a significant amount of oversight to ensure that their programs cannot launder money or hide criminal records. It is, therefore, natural that the level of due diligence that countries undertake is rightfully high.
Each programme varies significantly in the level of depth of due diligence they undertake. The top-end programmes are particularly demanding in terms of understanding the applicant’s background and history.
The time it takes to process an application can vary from months to years. Normally, this is either due to the time to complete background checks or due to an administrative backlog at the governmental authorities. Take claims of fast processing time on specific adverts with a pinch of salt.
Specific consultants will lead you to believe that they enjoy a 100% success rate. It would do you well to remember that no programme in the world promises this, not even the most lenient ones. If this were true, this would mean that no matter the applicant's background, approval is guaranteed.
Such a programme would be very dodgy. Promoting such a programme would also be counterproductive, as one’s safety would be implied to be compromised. When countries fear people circumventing security matters, they may opt to cancel or suspend travel for such programmes.
An example of this happened in 2014 when Canada revoked visa-free-arrival status for citizens of the Caribbean Island nation St Kitts and Nevis. The reason given was that the island’s paid citizenship programme raised too many identity risks.
The ultimate decision to approve any person's application for Residency or Citizenship depends entirely on the hands of the respective government. No consultant, advisor, agent or even Concessionaire can influence the ultimate decision.
Each country and programme have its percentage of acceptance. A good rule of thumb is that the higher the due diligence, the lower the approval, making it more exclusive and more valuable to behold. Some countries publish the process and statistics of acceptance vs rejections as a matter of transparency.
The Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment has one of the strictest levels of due diligence. Consequently, it also has a higher rejection rate. While this statistic might not encourage would-be applicants, it demonstrates that the country takes their due diligence seriously, hence their higher status. Apart from putting the applicant’s mind at rest that their investment is worth the outlay, it assures the applicants that the accepted people afterwards are of the same calibre.
Our scope is to help high-net-worth clients design and put in place a unified, holistic and workable structure to hold their assets and manage them in conjunction with other professional advisors. Whether your goal is to improve tax efficiency, dedicate efforts to philanthropy, increase asset protection or achieve the orderly transfer of wealth for the next generation, we will guide you through the process of realising these goals.
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