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The role of due diligence in the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) application process: CS Global Partners

·5-min read

London, July 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When applying for a CBI program, one submits quite a number of prescribed documents. These supporting documents are used to determine if an individual meets the requirements of a CBI programme through a process of due diligence. While different CBI programs require the fulfilment of different conditions, all reputable programs will practice due diligence. This article will provide an overview of the concept of due diligence for obtaining citizenship by investment, the advantage of strict due diligence for investors, as well as tips on how individuals can prepare for due diligence in their CBI applications.

What is due diligence in the context of CBI programmes?

Due diligence is an investigation, audit, or review performed to confirm facts or details of a matter under consideration. In the context of investment migration such as CBI, due diligence is an assessment of an applicant’s CBI application, which includes a number of basic required documents and forms. Different CBI programmes have different document requirements. The common documents required by CBI authorities in countries such as Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis as well as St Lucia are the following:

  • Identifying documents- birth certificates, identity documents and passports fall under this category. These documents are verified to see if they are not fraudulent and if an applicant is who they say they are.

  • Financial materials- bank account numbers, bank statements, information about income, sources of wealth and employment history are some of the documents used in establishing the financial profile of an applicant. Additionally, these documents enable authorities to determine if an applicant has enough money to afford the CBI investment together with all the future costs.

  • Personal references and criminal history- these two pieces of information are used to deduce an individual’s security profile. One’s criminal history can be used to determine if they threaten the security of the country that they are attempting to get citizenship from. Indicators of political connections are also scrutinised to determine if one is a politically exposed person (PEP).

Reputable international due diligence agencies are engaged by governments to ensure that only reputable individuals can successfully receive the economic citizenship of countries such as Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis as well as St Lucia. In addition to these agencies, governments also work in conjunction with crime protection and detection agencies, central banks and, partner governments such as Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). Comprehensive due diligence checks are performed on all applicants older than 16 years of age.

What are the advantages of due diligence in CBI programmes?

Small island countries with CBI programs are under a great deal of pressure from other stakeholder nations, notably the European Union and the US. Since obtaining a citizenship of these countries enables successful applicants to travel hassle-free to countries in Europe or elsewhere in the world, the due diligence process is essential in ensuring that high risk individuals do not gain access to other stakeholder countries.

All countries offering citizenship by investment programs place particular emphasis on the need for investors to be trustworthy and with high moral values. Unscrupulous individuals who may take advantage of CBI programmes are easily eliminated using due diligence.

Due diligence plays a central role in establishing and maintaining the integrity of CBI programmes. According to the CBI Index Report published in 2021, the Caribbean countries of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis attribute the integrity of their programmes to their stringent due diligent processes.

St Kitts and Nevis, which has the world’s longest-standing CBI programme in the world has been setting the standard in the CBI industry for decades. The dual-island was ranked top in terms of its meticulous commitment to due diligence according to the 2021 CBI report. Earlier this year, St Kitts and Nevis announced that it would be rolling out biometric shared background checks. This forms a compulsory part of the country’s due diligence process that every applicant must pass in order to be considered for economic citizenship, thereby ensuring thorough screening of applicants.

Dominica is also another Caribbean country that leads when it comes to CBI due diligence. The country is world-renowned for being one of the world’s most efficient, transparent and affordable CBI programmes, with robust due diligence measures.

How can you prepare for due diligence?

As an investor or CBI applicant, you can prepare for due diligence by submitting required documents that convey truthful information requested of you. Additionally, it may be beneficial to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Be thorough, consistent and organised;

  • Do not try to hide assets or any criminal history from CBI officials as this may jeopardise your application;

  • Be willing to cooperate with CBI authorities whenever information is requested from you;

  • Do your own research and ensure that you fully understand the purpose of due diligence and;

  • Perform your own form of due diligence toward the programs you are considering obtaining citizenship from. Due diligence is not only the responsibility of CBI officials, it is also your responsibility.

Once CBI authorities confirm your identity, financial standing and criminal history, they will make a ruling on your application. Based on the fundamentals of due diligence, a successful CBI applicant is someone whose application does not raise any “red flags”— citizenship by investment is granted to someone who can afford the cost of citizenship, has a clean criminal history and does not present a security risk to the country.

CONTACT: PR CS Global Partners CS Global Partners +44 (0) 207 318 4343 mildred.thabane@csglobalpartners.com


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