Roseau, Dominica: The Commonwealth of Dominica has been providing remarkable facilities to the international stakeholders and investors of the Citizenship by Investment Programme. Following this, interviews for applicants aged 16 and over has made mandatory to apply for the CBI Programme of Dominica.
The essential step was introduced by Dominica while becoming the first nation to take up the measure in order to increase safety and restrict fraud applications for the CBI Programme. On 25th February 2023, a number of Caribbean countries offering CBI programmes, including Dominica, indulged in a brief meeting with the US officials led by the Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Treasury.
During the meeting, several topics related to the CBI programmes were discussed, including the challenges and issues faced by it in delivering the best services to the investors. The wide range of scope of the opportunities offered by the programmes was also highlighted during the sitting, along with innovative measures to enhance its demand.
One of the major highlights of the meeting was to conduct in-person or virtual interviews with all the applicants of the investment programme, which was agreed upon by all nations. Along with the necessary step of appearing for an interview, the applicants aged 16 or above must also present financial statements, employment proofs and identification documents.
The robust due diligence process carried out by the Commonwealth of Dominica has been highly praised, which is an unavoidable step in obtaining its alternative citizenship. This step facilitates the safety and security of Dominica’s international investors and residents from illicit players.
To perform the due diligence process, renowned risk agencies based in the United States and the United Kingdom have been working hard in cooperation with international and local policing authorities. The agencies are using a multi-layers safety process vetting all documents received through online and on-the-ground checks.
The Commonwealth of Dominica has been following the due diligence process with complete transparency and proactiveness, which has boosted its reputation and trustworthiness among international investors and communities. Stakeholders from across the globe have the trust to make their foreign investments due to robust due diligence.
The Citizenship by Investment Programme of the Caribbean nations also facilitates foreign direct investments and has provided a legitimate source of making it easier and more trustworthy. It has also served as the survival measure for the Caribbean nation in difficult times and posed threats to Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The funds generated by the CBI Programme of Dominica have been a major factor in building high climate resilience infrastructure which also gives new directions to the nation’s economy while enhancing public facilities.
On his part, Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, has claimed that the government is taking all the necessary actions to uplift the programme’s benefits. He also assured collective efforts to protect the country’s financial systems while emphasizing the due diligence process as another layer to enhance the security of the CBI programme.
On the other hand, the United States and European Union have threatened to dissolve the programmes on many occasions, and such actions could also put the programmes at high risk. The prosperity and prospects would be compromised as well due to such threats.
More on the US-Caribbean Roundtable
Caribbean leaders who attended the US-Caribbean Roundtable included: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne; Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit; Prime Minister of Grenada, Dickon Mitchell; Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Philip Pierre.
The six principles that were agreed during the discussion were:
1. Collective agreement on the treatment of denials: Not to process applications from persons whose applications have been denied in another CBI jurisdiction by proactively sharing information on denials.
2. Interviews: Conduct interviews with applicants, whether virtual or in person.
3. Additional checks: Each jurisdiction will run checks on each application with the Financial Intelligence Unit of its respective country.
4. Audits: Audit the Programme annually or every two years in accordance with internationally accepted standards.
5. Retrieval of passports: Request law enforcement assistance to retrieve revoked/recalled passports.
6. Treatment of Russians and Belarusians: Suspend processing applications from Russians and Belarusians. All jurisdictions have already implemented this change.