Second Citizenship and Passport Scams

For those who are looking to obtain a second citizenship and passport it might be a vital task, being done once upon a life and thus very important. It’s normally well-known that you have at least to spend several years in a foreign country before it allows you to apply for its citizenship. Some may have also heard that there are quicker programs called economic citizenship programs or fast-track naturalization programs supported by a number of countries. Here is where rumour and misinformation start giving the ground for numerous scammers looking for your money.

Facts to Know About Second Citizenship

There are only three official economic citizenship programs in the world today.* Those are being offered by the Commonwealth of Dominica (not the Dominican Republic), Saint Kitts and Nevis and Austria, and require contribution of at least US$ 100,000 in case of Dominica and millions of dollars in case of Austria. They also call it citizenship-by-investment programs.

Countries like Belize, Grenada and some others that offered the same a while ago have already stopped their programs. Panama second passport program was re-enabled in 2008 with new requirements.

There are still very few countries where you can opt for a so called fast-track naturalization program. And there are countries that indeed support a kind of instant citizenship programs granting a citizen’s status to foreigners on a case-to-case basis in exchange for a certain contribution to the country’s economy. However, they do not advertise nor legalize it as a governmental program. It’s not necessarily a stop-light for you, but you should be aware of the other side of it. Programs that are not put in the form of a law are vulnerable. After the government or particular high-ranking officials are gone, their policy and activities might be revised and admitted illegal. As a result, the entire series of issued passports might be cancelled. The history knows such cases.

The non-official nature of such policy is also another reason why so many fraudulent websites still exist and thrive. You never know whether you deal with the “right” person. We would like you to be aware of the signs that might mean the company offering you its services is a scam.

Bad Signs to Beware Of

  • Too cheap offers. More or less reasonable prices for legal citizenship and passport start from US$ 30,000 for one of the Central or South American countries. Even if you received your long-awaited passport purchased for 5,000-15,000 US$, sooner or later you will meet the trouble. Most probably, crossing the first boundary. An ordinary interview can find you out to have no relations with the country having issued the passport. A little check and the passport might appear to be “non-existent” or, even worse, blacklisted by Interpol. The official economic citizenship programs will secure you from having such kind of problems.
  • Too quick passport programs. No matter what, but a real citizenship cannot be obtained within 7-15 days. You should count for at least a month, and in very rare occasions for a shorter term. Again, we’re speaking about those “non-official” programs here.
  • No need to travel. Be especially careful here. The only official program that does not require a personal visit is the one of St.Kitts and Nevis, which is due to a really thorough due diligence check. In this case your documents will really be shipped to you by a courier mail. Another exception is within the program of Dominica with its option to arrange a meeting with the Dominica authorized official person in your country for an extra fee. But that’s it. Every other no-need-to-travel program is a fake.
  • Citizenship for anyone. Hardly possible to be true. There are always restrictions. Even with the official programs having no explicit limitations there is no guarantee of approved application from, for example, citizens of Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and some other countries.
  • Citizenship through marriage or adoption. This one will most probably fail, unless you’re amazingly lucky and prepared for big risk. If you want to obtain citizenship through marriage, there will be an interview. Simple but unexpected questions, for example about your family life. Your and your wife’s answers will be compared and you’ll fail. Citizenship through adoption is another risk and may occasionally work if you’re under 21.
  • Diplomatic passports. Be wary of companies offering diplomatic passports, especially in many countries. Diplomatic passports require visas involving both countries’ governments and specific information to be provided, like the official reason for the trip etc. Which government wants this kind of trouble ladling out its diplomatic passports for a rather insignificant compensation?
  • Non-existing citizenship programs. Some websites still offer their assistance in obtaining citizenship through official citizenship programs in Grenada, Belize, etc. The only problem is that, as we mentioned above, those economic citizenship programs have been officially terminated years ago.

Do Your Own Due Diligence

We would recommend you to always deal only with licensed agents and law firms in the country where you wish to get a citizenship. If you’ve got dealing with an intermediary, make it sure to get through to the source. If possible, have a lawyer to travel with you and check every step you do.

Do your own due diligence check to sift out obvious scam before proceeding. Talk to them by phone. Arrange a meeting if possible. Search for the company’s name or website in Google, add “scam” or “fraud” at the end of the query. Check the website’s history in archive.org: was it totally different in the past or is there any history at all? Try to get second opinion from authoritative sources engaged in this area, not ordinary people on forums who will tell you that it’s absolutely impossible to buy citizenship.

The good news is that most of the existing scam websites have already built their reputation. People don’t just sit quietly – sooner or later scammers get unmasked by fraud alerts on forums, blogs or individual websites. We use all available information, including our own experience and official public advisories of the ministries of different countries to maintain the list of non-recommended companies presented below.

Some of them are 100% fraudulent, some offer no longer existing citizenship programs along with the twice higher prices for the existing ones, some appear on the list of public advisories as not authorized to deal with citizenship, some try to sell documents that lead people to troubles once used or appear useless at best and received a good portion of negative feedback from their customers. Should you come for our advice, below are the companies that we do not recommend you to deal with.

Second Citizenship Providers Blacklist

  1. South American Citizenship Program (www.gosacp.com)
  2. Crown Associates, Crown Law Firm (www.crownpassport.com, inactive)
  3. Felice Consulting Group (www.felicegroup.com, inactive)
  4. Shustak Morris & Heller Inc. (www.new-citizenship.com)
  5. Gerald Associates (www.geraldassociates.com)
  6. Goldstein Associate (www.goldsteinassociate.com, inactive)
  7. Greenway (www.valeho.com)
  8. P&L Group Inc. (www.plgroup-eu.com)
  9. Ashbridge Consulting Limited (www.ashbridge-consulting.com, inactive)
  10. Goldstein Associates (www.goldstein-lawyers.com)
  11. Right Way (www.right-way.net)
  12. Coldwell Diplomatic Consultants (www.diplomaticsecondpassports.com)
  13. Viza.cc (www.viza.cc, inactive)
  14. D & T Group (www.second-passport-citizenship.com)
  15. First Business Group (www.firstbusinessgroup.com)
  16. EuroHome (www.euhome.info, inactive)
  17. Immigration Club (www.immigration-club.info)
  18. KLP Trade Company (www.europassport.org)
  19. General Council of Diplomacy (www.generalcouncil.info)
  20. International Privacy Consultants (www.diplomaticsecondpassport.com, www.diplomaticsecondpassport.ws)
  21. Baywest International Ltd., Baywest Group (www.secondpassportsolutions.com, inactive)
  22. Bayline Group, Bayline Consulting (Belize) Ltd. (www.your-second-passport.com)
  23. Privacy Solutions (second-passports.net)
  24. 2nd Citizenship Ltd. (www.2ndcitizenship.eu, inactive)
  25. Inc Seychelles & Alda Immigration (www.incseychelles.com)
  26. Seymore Associates (visafreetravel.com)
  27. ImmigrationCitizenship.net (immigrationcitizenship.net)

We keep this list updated. Your comments and new information are very welcome. If you have any evidence of fraud as to the second citizenship, please let us know and we will put it on the list.

Should you require assistance with official citizenship programs, contact us, we will be glad to help.

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  • Rachid

    Per our conversation, it was a pleasure speaking with you earlier today.

    Just to let you know, my client has just confirmed with the the Ministry of Home Affairs of Guyana that some of the above mentioned companies indeed have no authorization to issue Guyanese citizenship.

    Thank you again and best regards.

  • Thank you for the feedback! Should you require any further assistance, please contact us.

  • Kitty

    I have sent funds to one of the groups mentioned in your list. What can I do now?

    Can you advise me on what steps I should take?

    Thank you

    Kitty

  • Dear Kitty,

    We are sorry to hear that you have already sent your money. We don't think there's much you can do in order to get your funds back. You should not in any case send any more money or documents to them.

    It is appropriate to expose their bank account details here and on many other scam report websites and forums, in order to prevent many other people from sending their funds to the same bank account.

    Please feel free to add more information on this story and its outcome.

  • xxx

    hi i have been scammed by Felice Consulting Group (http://www.felicegroup.com ) so please be care full because they are big fraud,, i lost 12,000 US $ for a diplomatic passport.

  • acolmes

    What happens if I had sent copies of my documents? I have not made any payment and don't intend to. What harm can I expect from this?

  • Dear Andy,

    Sorry for the delay. Talking about one of these companies, we wouldn't expect any kind of direct harm. It seems, that using/reselling of personal documents is not their aim (90% of the companies in the list belong to one group of people). Though, they had sent threatening emails to make some of their victims stay silent using the fact that they have their personal information.

    Of course, there's no guarantee that your documents are safe with these guys, so standard precautions of identity theft like monitoring your credit report (if there are credit reference agencies in your country), contacting your current bank account and/or building society, credit card issuer, insurance company may be applied. But do not worry too much.

    We hope everything will be OK. Good luck!

  • mk

    hi there
    http://www.incseychelles.com they are big scam,they just taking ur money and wasting your time.go to police and report them.interpol will get involve and trace them by their bank account

  • Zed

    Hi,
    What can you tell me about Coldwell Diplomatic Consultants: why (hard details please) have this company been included in the above Blacklist?

  • Dear Zed,

    Thank you for your question.

    This company was added to our list of non-recommended providers after a thorough due diligence. Of course, it's unwise to show the fraudsters what NOT to do in the future, by describing how exactly they were spotted.

    Diplomatic passports for sale are themselves a big red flag! Moreover, there were a couple of letters sent to us by their almost-victims.

    In any case, there's more than enough information on them on the web. Just follow this link: http://www.google.dm/#hl=en&source=hp&q=“diplom…

    Hope, this will be of help!

  • aflab

    You are doing a great job and we appreciate your what you are doing. Please confirm if Guyana is still offering citizenship programme. The current list of country offering citizenship programme will be of great help and the companies you know are credible. Is First Business Group credible?

  • Jay

    Hi I would like to inquire about second passport program at Dominican Republic. Your article does not specifically mention a program based in Dominican Republic but it seems like there is indeed some sort of relatively quick route to acquire a citizenship in about 2-year timeframe.
    I checked out the escapeartist.com and it referred me to this firm ascot-advisory.com for pursuing the option.

    So what is the truth behind this?
    1. Is there indeed a way to acquire Dominican Republic citizenship?
    2. Do you have any info you can share regarding ascot-advisory.com?

  • Dear Jay,

    There is no specific second citizenship program for foreign nationals in the Dominican Republic. However, yes, its current laws allow for quick acquisition of foreign nationals to naturalize in the Dominican Republic after 2 years of residence.

    We can't say anything about ascot-advisory.com.

  • Dear aflab, there's no citizenship program in Guyana. First Business Group is #15 in our list and it's not credible at all, in fact, it is a scam.

    Currently, only 3 countries are offering naturalization programs publicly: Commonwealth of Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Austria.

  • aflab

    Thnak you very much I appreciate your valuable time spent to forward this information to me. I have advised my client accordingly. I shall be happy to contact you when my client is ready to process any of them. Thanks once again.

  • SEON

    Hello,

    What I need is to get a permanent residency but not a citizenship since the citizenship of my country does not allow dual citizenship. Do you know any country which I can easily get a permanent residency on behalf of investments?

  • Dear Seon,

    Quite a number of countries welcome wealthy foreign nationals. You can get residence in exchange for investments for example in Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and other tax havens in the Caribbean and Europe.

    Some countries do not even require investments, if you can show certain minimum stable income from offshore sources (Guatemala, Panama).

    Drop us a message if you want a detailed report on the above countries.

  • Dear Seon,

    Quite a number of countries welcome wealthy foreign nationals. You can get residence in exchange for investments for example in Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and other tax havens in the Caribbean and Europe.

    Some countries do not even require investments, if you can show certain minimum stable income from offshore sources (Guatemala, Panama).

    Drop us a message if you want a detailed report on the above countries.

  • ROYDOPHEN

    I HAVE READ ABOUT THIS WEBSITE IN THE INTERNET :

    http://WWW.OPMSECURITIES.COM

    THEY CAN ARRANGE FOR VENEZUELIAN PASSPORTS.

    ARE THEY SCAM ?

    THEY ARE REQUESTING THAT I SHOULD GO FIRST AND VISIT VENEZUELA AND THEN WHILE I AM THEIR THE PROCESS WILL START AND THE AQUISITION OF CITIZENSHIP WILL BE PUBLISHED IN THE COUNTRY GAZZETE.

    PLEASE ADVISE IF YOU HAVE ANY INFO ..

    RGDS

  • tank

    hi i had inquired for second passport from immigrationcitizenship.net for slovenia..they have confirmed it with name change option for $ 12000. i have not yet paid them money…so i need to confirm whether they r fraud or genuine..

  • Anonymous

    Bahamas government official info claims to offer permanent residence under “accelerated consideration” for those who invest in a home worth over $500,000, yet some applicants have been waiting and are still waiting 5, 10, 15 years for this without success. Cayman Islands offers a permanent residence program for $180,000 investment of a home. Turks and Caicos for $500,000. All are quite expensive for what you receive because most come WITHOUT the right to work or own a business; they are permanent residence for retired people only, in other words. Similar to Bahamas, several clients in Turks and Caicos have been unsuccessful even after making their investment as well; be careful of both these jurisdictions with respect to permanent residency.

  • Dear Tank,

    Sorry for the late reply, we needed more information on the mentioned website in order to be sure.

    Unfortunately, we got one more fraudster to add to the list. Please see the updated list above.

    If you need any assistance with official citizenship programs, please don’t hesitate to ask!

  • Chris

    Is the company http://www.ptshamrock.com legitimate. Do they really provide Nationality & Residency Programs? We are asked to pay their Euro (€) 1,500 referral fee before they put us through the source or authorities of approval .

    Kindly please help me and others falling for these ads.

    thanks in advance.

  • Naveed Akhtar

    i am not satisfied from my current citizenship here is no peace so i want to my my life and future

  • Jones

    Be careful Chris. There are only few countries which are offering citizenships. You yourself should enquire to the officials of that country for which Pt is offering you nationality or residence.
    Be careful.

  • Sreeramulu626

    what about KLP TRADE COMPANY, CZECH, they says citizenship& residence visa they will provide.of czech. any body can help me what is the guinness

  • Brave_hart_12

    Hello,
    First of all I like to thank you for the effort you put into this, you’re saving lives and houses from being destroyed by degenerate people.
    I was searching more information regarding “visafreetravel.com (Seymore Associates)”. They offered me the Slovakian passport for around 9000 Euros and sent me passport pictures of “successful attempts with other people” when I tried to inquire about there authenticity. My basic question is what made you put them on this list? I will be cancelling them for sure, but I want to spread the word on why this company is dangerous.

  • Hello,

    “Citizenship-by-investment” provisions, similar to those of Austria, exist in legislation of Slovakia, but there is no established practice. Herewith, to remind on the provisions of Austrian law, the expected minimum of investments is at least EUR 2,000,000 to have reasonable chances to qualify. Plus, it may not be investments in personal real estate or governmental bonds. It must be investments in business bringing working places and innovations to the country.

    Other than that, to acquire citizenship by means of naturalization 8 years of residence in the Slovak Republic are required. Exceptions to the residence requirements can be made in the case of persons married to a Slovak citizen (after 5 years of marriage) and where a person made a great benefit to the country. Ability to speak Slovak language is among other requirements. Dual citizenship is not permitted, which means that you either would be required to explicitly renounce your other citizenship, or would be risking to lose one of them (your new Slovakian or your current home citizenship) in certain circumstances.

    It is obviously impossible to acquire legal citizenship if you don’t meet one of the above mentioned requirements, same as if you don’t even visit the country in person. You also mention only a passport. A passport, to be a legal and valid document, should be accompanied by a certificate of your naturalization as a citizen of the Slovak Republic. We hope this information is of help.

    Of course, besides the implausibility of the services offered by visafreetravel.com, we have other indicators that made us put it on the non-recommended companies list (however, this information could be used for honing fraudulent skills).

  • Maria

    Hi, I ahve gone through the same process with visafreetravel. They sent me the scan copy of the passport. Please advise me what to do? They promised to send the original passport to one of the slovak embassies

  • Souzan

    I would like to WARN everybody of fraudulent Agency named “Seymore Associates Ltd”
    website- (visafreetravel.com). They have claimed that they can work out a Slovakian Passport for fees 9900 Euro. I have paid them 30% of the fees as per contract. They spent 3 months before they had e-mailed a scanned copy of a Fake passp…ort. I realized this when they have asked for additional 20% of the fees before sending the real passport. I refused, so they never e-mailed be back!!!! please be aware.

  • Annshaw_7

    Can anyone here confirm that Ecuador has a residency plan that leads to a citizenship in 24 months?

  • L.C.

     I was scammed by the D&T Group company in a similar way  (www.second-passport-citizenship.com.
    I received an e-mail from Ronald Bjornsson who represents that group of
    scammers D & T Group confirming that he can arrange for me the citizenship
    of an EU country for USD 25,000 and documents to be delivered to me through the
    embassy of the respected country or courier, which I did the transfer to a bank
    account in Wells Fargo Bank.

     After wards he
    demanded me to pay more money (extra $ 7500) as a result of exchange rate
    fluctuations, which I did also to the same bank account.

    Afterwards, he informed me that the documents are ready for
    pick up in the capital city of the chosen country and I travelled to that
    country to pick up the documents but nobody showed at the meeting.

    Then they told me that the man who supposes to deliver the
    documents has been killed in a plane crash and they will find another person to
    process the order. A big lie to start the end of the whole scam in a decent way
    so they don’t held responsible for the failure of the order processing.

    After many months of chasing the group demanding them to pay
    me back my money, they informed me that they failed to process the order and my
    money is gone forever.  In addition they
    started to threat me if I complained to the police they will fabricate a story
    against me and linking me a terrorist organization, claiming that the person
    behind the scam is a very influential government official.

  • INFO

    HAS ANYONE GOT ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THIS COMPANY Mike CraddockKey2Europe 28 Eccleston Square Victoria London SW1V 1NZ t. 020 7932 2465 f. 020 7932 2432 http://www.key2europe.com THEY CLAIM THEY CAN DO BULGARIAN PERMANENT RESIDENCE FOR 300,000 EUROS? ANYONE KNOW ?
    THANKS MAC

  • Rajendra Khan

    I met a company on the internet offering Portuguese citizenship and invested 120,000 Euros into a property in Brazil, I was so suckered in that I sent the money by Western Union to Brazil by Western Union, I could not believe it, that after all paper work I did not own anything, It was all a scam, they went with the following URL: http://www.lawrei.eu and claim to have office all over the world, now five months down the line they do not even answer my emails, they are very bad people and I hope that they rot in hell.

    They are advertising on the internet with Google as MRA Advogados, they are pure scam and anyone as unlucky as me or stupid as me, I have hopes they can avoid them at all costs.

    I spoke with one of the office members and did lay my concerns at rest, and I went a head with my investment, I asked to meet up and was persuaded otherwise.

    I am at present speaking to the police and hope to get my money back.

    Anyone that has any information on this company please forward it to ADMIN.

    With last change of hope,

    Victim

  • CK Lll

    D & T group international is a big scam. The guy who claims his name is Ronald Bjornsson is a ganster. Try to avoid any deals with them. Big scammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmer

  • Dale

    Does anyone have any information on a particularly good company in the Dominican Republic for assisting with acquiring residency and citizenship through their 2 year (+/-) process?

  • Cocomar

    Hi
    Do you have any details on them? Bjornsson it seems has been replaced by a guy named Christian Lehmen.  One of our clients wanted to work with them.

  • Iamcoming4u

    Crown Law are scam artist. We found out the hard way!! Gene Geiger and Frank from Shareagent are too!!!

  • J V

    Also beware of another fraudster/scamster who claims to be operating from Portugal. But may be actually not.

    I don’t know his real name but he goes by the name of Pedro Antonio Rodrigues, email is – pedrorodrigues2009@gmail:disqus .com. His real identity is in question. 

    He will take up your job/paperwork but stop answering any emails a little after. He will not provide any status of your case etc and dilly dally with your case.

    Public, beware of this fraudster. Next he could be operating under another different name.Another Victim 

  • ALAIN L.

    Yes,a guy named Christian Lehmen,he is a big scammer also,I pay more than USD 50000 for my family and my friends e u citizenship program. when I paid all the balance ,then they disappear and never reply or answer you. All my money is gone and get nothing. Please do not deal with D & T group, otherwise
    you will like me as a stupid guy. ….I really want to cry….. ALAIN L.

  • BS Dector

    There is a new scam artist selling passports, Jeff Berwick of the Dollar Vigilante. His site is http://www.tdvpassports.com He is not an authorized agent in Dominica or St Kitts. He is not an Attorney or Chartered accountant in either of those jurisdictions. Make sure you use a licensed and authorized agent of those governments for those programs before proceeding. Also, with the Dominican Republic, you should contact a local licensed attorney if you want to pursue residency which can lead to citizenship. Why pay him as being the middle man in the Dominican Republic? You don’t need to.

  • I dont know if TDVPassports.com or tdv passports is a scam but they are not returning my deposit with them for the passport program which i could not proceed for due to health problems. at the time of deposit i asked them clearly if it would be refunded if i could not proceed. now i need to go for surgery and will be off work unpaid and its been 2 weeks since i was promised for refund and 5 weeks since i started asking.

  • I wouldn’t call Jeff Berwick a scam artist at all. A middleman in some cases? Possibly. So what? In some of the countries at play here, it can be very worthwhile to have someone who speaks your language, shares your background, and has some experience on the ground… as opposed to finding your own attorney in that country. Jeff Berwick is quite prominent.

  • Even Austria doesn’t have a program in the same realm as the others (including Grenada and Anguilla coming on board the list). While Austria might be willing to play ball with people willing to dump a lot of money into the country, it’s not an off-the-shelf program. Any country is theoretically interested in making things easy for someone with $10 million to invest IF they like that person.

  • I’d avoid any name change passport. Who do you think that market is catering to?

  • Punktlich

    The irony is that many people who would look to scam artists for a second passport might, if they do some genealogical research, might find that they are eligible for the nationality that an ancestor had. Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria (the latter two especially if one has a Holocaust survivor or escapee as an ancestor). And one scarcely needs a lawyer and typically the cost is a few hundred dollars. And for investor status, what’s wrong with the UK?: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/working/tier1/investor/ But this Web site does a distinct service, warning people away from Internet offers “too good to be true”. If it is true, you don’t need an intermediary; the Consular Section of an Embassy and the country’s official Web site will have the details, somewhere. As here: https://www.bfm.admin.ch//bfm/en/home/themen/buergerrecht/einbuergerung/erleichterte_einbuergerung.html

  • M. Op de Woerd

    Dr Mr. Ahmed, for an article in a newspaper I’m trying to get in contact with persons trying to buy EU-citizenship, but who were scammed. Would it be possible to speak to you, by e-mail or phone? You can reach me at m.opdewoerd@trouw.nl . Kind regards, M. Op de Woerd

  • Leandro Filardi

    Dear Rajendra Khan,

    I from Brazil and I found some information for you about MRA Advogados:
    CNPJ is the number ID of the company in Brazil
    CNPJ: 07.885.144/0001-11
    Open Date: 02/12/2005
    Full Name: MIGUEL REIS ADVOGADOS ASSOCIADOS
    Location:
    Av. da Liberdade, 701 – conjunto 25
    ZIP Code: 01503-001
    City: Sao Paulo
    State: SP
    A partner name: Marlene Reis Oliveira

    Good Luck

  • Gig

    Has any one had experience with identificationconsulting.com? It is not on the list above, but maybe someone knows something about it?

  • TR

    http://www.residency-bond.eu/

    Hi

    is the above company legitimate?

    Thanks

  • Hobo

    What do you think of Berwick now Nomad? you were wrong all along, he was working with counterfeiters and now it has been exposed. WARNING, do NOT deal with these kinds of citizenship programs, with enough cash and connections certain shameless anarchists get hold of counterfeit passport/document printing machines and sell in secret to very naive people who think they are just making an expensive bribe to an actual government connection they think these people have. They have NO connection, they just have a lot of expensive printing equipment to make counterfeit passports and documents.

  • Alonzo

    No Nomad, he’s a scam artist, his “contact” in Paraguay was arrested for making fake citizenship docs. You never pay a middle man for citizenship, you always work directly with organisations or representatives that are registered with the target country.