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  • Writer's pictureAkram Cheik - Lawyer

Economic citizenship scams in Dubai by passport brokerage companies

The United Arab Emirates has become a hotbed for companies offering intermediation services for the acquisition of passports in countries such as the Grenada Islands, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Vanuatu, Saint Kitts- and Nevis, Portugal. These tempting offers often attract individuals keen to broaden their travel horizons without the hassle of visas.

However, many of these companies are scams that exploit people seeking new citizenship. In this article, we will examine the deceptive practices of these companies and the risks they pose to individuals seeking to obtain a passport legally and legitimately.

I - The attractive promises of passport intermediation/brokerage companies in Dubai

A. Attractive offers for citizens of countries with difficulty obtaining visas

Passport brokerage companies in the United Arab Emirates often target individuals from countries such as Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, Morocco, Algeria or even the Russia, who have difficulty obtaining visas to travel to many countries. By promoting citizenship by investment programs, these companies promise a quick and easy solution to obtaining new citizenship, providing the freedom of travel without the constraints of visas.

However, instead of the advertised speed, the procedures turned out to be anything but quick. In reality, these companies used fraudulent contracts to prolong the process, demanding considerable administrative fees collected before even initiating official procedures. Furthermore, these companies had no license to act as intermediaries in the process of obtaining citizenship. Scammers may present fake documents to prove their legitimacy. This may include copies of passports, approval letters or falsified certificates. It is important to be skeptical of such documents and always ask for verifiable proof.


B. Fraudulent practices of passport brokerage companies in the Emirates

Thus, many of these companies are not approved by the countries concerned to act as intermediaries in the process of obtaining citizenship. They use fraudulent contracts to appropriate application fees, often by specifying that these fees are non-refundable, even if no official request has been filed with the competent authorities in the country concerned.

Additionally, these companies often fail to mention the strict conditions of acceptance, which can lead to refusals without customers being informed in advance.

Instead, they simply refer to an "investigation" without clarifying that some countries are not automatically accepted under these citizenship by investment programs. Scammers often do not provide official documents or are unable to prove their legitimacy. They may claim to have special connections or agreements with authorities, but cannot provide concrete proof. It is essential to always request official documents and verify their authenticity.

II - Possibilities for appeal in the event of rejection of a passport/citizenship application

A. The appeal process in certain countries

In many countries, it is possible to appeal a decision to reject a passport application. Procedures and options for appeal vary from country to country, but generally it involves submitting a formal request for appeal accompanied by additional supporting documentation or a letter of explanation. It is more important to adhere to strict deadlines and consult a specialist lawyer for advice and appropriate legal representation. When it comes to international regulations, each country is responsible for its own regulations, particularly regarding citizenship issues. However, when it comes to citizenship by investment programs, legislation can vary significantly between countries and even within the same jurisdiction.

This variation can create loopholes in the system, allowing unlicensed companies to take advantage of regulatory loopholes to defraud individuals seeking new citizenship. It is therefore crucial that national and international authorities cooperate to strengthen regulations and close the loopholes that allow such fraudulent practices to flourish.


B. Advice for individuals facing passport application rejection

It is important for those faced with a passport application rejection to remain vigilant and seek appropriate avenues of appeal. This may include gathering additional evidence to support their appeal request and consulting legal experts for advice on the next steps to take. Furthermore, it is crucial to exercise caution when dealing with intermediation companies and ensure that they are properly licensed and transparent in their practices.

In addition, you should identify the reasons for the rejection of your request and correct the errors in your file. Get help from an experienced citizenship and immigration attorney to guide you through the appeals process. Be sure to gather all necessary documents to support your appeal request. Strictly respect the deadlines for submitting your appeal and avoid any delays. Maintain regular communication with your attorney and carefully monitor the progress of your case.


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