How to choose the right investment migration advisor
01 March 2019
Choosing the right investment migration advisor can be the difference between a lifetime of global mobility and security, and years of growing uncertainty.
At Latitude Consultancy we understand that investing in a citizenship or residency programme can be a significant undertaking, often requiring a substantial monetary investment.
One way to reduce the stress this may cause is to make your application with the assistance of an experienced investment migration service provider. In this article Jon Green, our Director of Intermediary and B2B Sales, will help you find the right provider by revealing eight of most important questions to ask a prospective service provider.
Question 1: Is your company associated with the Investment Migration Council (IMC)?
The IMC is the worldwide association for the investor immigration and citizenship-by-investment industry. The IMC sets the global standards and ethics and interacts with other professional associations, governments and international organisations in relation to investment migration.
It is important that all employees of the service provider are members of the IMC as they have a duty to adhere to the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct of the organization.
Question 2: Is investment migration advisory your primary line of business?
Until recently there were only a handful of service providers whose business was solely to provide alternative residency and citizenship solutions. Many of the businesses advertising investment migration services only did so because it complimented other financial or investment services they offered their clients.
These providers still exist and can offer assistance, but it's important to remember that your citizenship or residency application isn't necessarily their main priority. In addition, they might not always have the expertise when it comes to the intricacies of the application process.
Providers like Latitude and our partners RIF Trust are dedicated investment migration consultancies. All our efforts and resources go into ensuring your application is compiled in the most complete and efficient manner, prior to submission for government approval.
Question 3: Are you an approved International Marketing Agent for the programme?
Each government offering Citizenship and Residency-by-Investment programmes appoints a number of service providers to market its offering to clients across the world. The approved providers are known as 'International Marketing Agents (IMA)'.
Determining whether a provider is an approved IMA is easy. Just ask to see their International Marketing Agent certification. Every approved agent is given an official certificate, and they should be able to produce a copy of it upon request. If there's any hesitation or delay from the provider, it's probably best to reassess your options.
Question 4: Do you provide Government Advisory services?
Government Advisory is an important service that all of the most influential investment migration consultancies provide. Consultancies who offer Government Advisory services often have a much better understanding of the intricacies of the application process, as they help to design the programmes in the first place.
Governments tend to put the design of their own citizenship and residency programmes in the hands of the most experienced and trustworthy companies. As such, it is always worth asking what level of Government Advisory services a consultancy has provided before you make a final decision.
Question 5: What type of client pre-screening do you use?
Before accepting you as a client it is important that your service provider runs a background check to ensure you have a high probability to be accepted for the programme you are interested in. Unfortunately some hardly use anything more than a simple Google search while others will take on clients even though they have a low probability to be accepted for the programme of their choice.
At Latitude Consultancy if any red flags come up during our initial due diligence checks we will address them ahead of time, before a client spends any time or money on an actual application. We will not take on a client who has a low probability to be accepted onto a programme, or if they pose a reputational risk to our firm.
Question 6: Do you understand the programme's appeal process?
Although rare, occasionally it is necessary to appeal a denial from the government. The appeal process differs between programmes and it is essential that your service provider has an in-depth understanding of the necessary requirements to address properly the governments concerns and maximise your chances to overcome the initial decision.
Before you sign a retainer, ask the service provider if they have ever dealt with an appeal. What documentation is required? Will an interview be necessary? Will they need to carry out further due diligence checks? The more information they are able to provide, the better.
Question 7: What is your application success rate for the programme?
Whilst it may seem obvious, I've seldom been asked to provide a clear application success rate for a programme. The application success rate helps to determine a service provider's ability to actually guide you and your family to that powerful second passport.
Some providers' success rates will vary drastically depending on the programme because of their lack of understanding of the requirements. You always want to ensure your application is well put together and complete before submission to the government in order to ensure an efficient review and higher probability of approval.
Question 8: What is your pace of business?
The investment migration industry is a truly global one, with service providers operating in over 150 countries worldwide. The pace of business varies greatly and is dependent on a number of factors. This makes it essential to do your research if your goal is to obtain a second citizenship or residence in an effective and timely manner.
We recommend asking whether a provider does business at 'international pace'. In the industry, 'international pace' is an understanding that all emails and calls are responded to in a timely manner, even after a retainer has been received. Getting a true sense of a provider's pace of business can be tricky: this is where personal recommendations and establishing a reliable contact within the provider's team can be essential.
At Latitude Consultancy, we encourage prospective clients to take their time and consider all their options before committing to a particular programme or provider.
About Latitude Group
Latitude Group is a leading British-based investment migration consultancy with offices in 10+ countries around the world. All our advisors are dedicated investment migration professionals, who together with our highly experienced Executive team with over 75 years combined experience, are helping to make our clients' citizenship and residency dreams a reality.
Services we offer:
- European Citizenship Programmes - Cyprus & Malta
- Caribbean Citizenship Programmes - Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica & more
- UK CTA Residency Programmes - UK, Jersey & Guernsey
- North American Residency - USA & Canada
- European Residency Programmes - Greece, Portugal, Malta & Germany
- Rest of the World Residency Programmes - Ireland & Monaco
- Government Advisory Services
We're happy to answer all of the above questions, along with anything else you'd like to know about our solutions and the investment migration industry. To speak to one of our friendly advisors today, please complete our contact form and we'll connect within 24 hours (we work at 'international pace').