With a recent change in the due diligence processes, the Commonwealth of Dominica has become first nation to introduce compulsory interviews with all the applicants who are 16-years-old or above applying for its Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI). The details about the following came into light on July 17, 2023.
It is to be noted that, the following step introduced by Dominica is showing its commitment in cooperating with international stakeholders and increasing due diligence processes, which directly aims at reducing threats posed by illegal actors.
Notably, Dominica was among one of the 5 Caribbean nations who are running their Citizenship by Investment Programme to hold meeting with US officials led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Treasury on February 25, 2023. During the meeting, the representatives from both the nations held talks on several subjects of concern, including discussing ways to boost the CBI programmes.
The outcome of the meeting resulted in agreement between Caribbean nations to start conducting virtual or in-person interviews with each applicant. Alongside submitting financial statements, and other required documents during the application process, all applicants above the age of 16-years old will be required to be available for interview.
Considerably, Dominica has been regarded as among the topmost nations for running successful CBI Programmes along with ensuring strict and robust due diligence processes, which ensures that only genuine applicants are getting entry into the nation.
It is to be specifically mentioned that, from the time since its launch, Dominica has always been a front player in ensuring that thorough due diligence process remains into effect and they have also made sure that the due diligence is conducted by renowned due diligence and risk agencies from the US and UK, which is supported by local and international policing authorities.
Moreover, Dominica has been considered for using the funds generated from CBI Programme for building the climate resilient infrastructure, enhancing public facilities and diversifying the economy.
Noting to which, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit said that, “We are seriously and committed to the collective fight for safeguarding our respective financial systems. We understand that this measure will add another layer to our due diligence process and is a risk management framework for empowering and safeguarding the integrity of our CBI programmes.”
During the meeting between the Caribbean nations and US officials. The representatives from both the nations have agreed on six principles:
- The foremost principle was to not to process applications from an applicants who applications have been denied in another CBI jurisdiction, by proactively sharing details on denials.
- The second one was to conduct interviews with the applicants, whether could be virtual or in person.
- The third one is to ensure that each of the jurisdictions will run checks on each application with the Financial Intelligence Unit of their respective nations.
- The another principle is to audit the programme annually or every two years in accordance with internationally accepted standards.
- The 5th principle is to requesting law enforcement assistance to retrieve revoked/recalled passports.
- One of the major and topmost thing discussed and finalized during the meeting was to suspend processing applications from Russians and Belarusians. All jurisdictions have already implemented the change.