Dominica’s due diligence process, a component of its number one ranked Citizenship by Investment Programme, received top praises in Professional Wealth Management’s (PWM) 2018 CBI Index report. Given the programme’s quick turnaround of citizenship applications, and its highly rated due diligence process, many often wonder what really happens behind the scenes once applications are submitted. Allow us to share with you the step by step process involved in Dominica’s esteemed due diligence process.
Step One: Document Verification & Regional Vetting
Applications are made to the program via local agents, who receive and scrutinise the applications for validity before submitting it to the Citizenship by Investment Unit’s (CBIU) online portal. Once the CBIU is satisfied that all of the documents meet the required standards, the application is then sent to the Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC) for further screening. The JRCC is a sub-agency of the Caribbean Community’s Implementing Agency for Crime and Security. In this capacity the JRCC assists in the detection of fraudulent documents and persons, who may prove to be a security threat to the safety and security of the region.
Step Two: Enhanced Due Diligence & Final Decision
The JRCC reports back to the CBIU, which then forwards the documents of potential applicants to the due diligence firms used by Dominica. Dominica currently uses four companies to conduct due diligence on its applicants – S-RM, IPSA International, Bishops Services, and Thomson Reuters. Ambassador Emanuel Nanthan, the Director of the CBIU, emphasises that the CBIU works with top due diligence firms that ‘are ranked among the best due diligence firms in the world [and] work with some of the largest financial institutions in the world’. These firms have a physical presence in key market locations and perform enhanced due diligence with on the ground primary verification of the documents submitted for citizenship. Specific attention is given to evaluating the applicant’s risk for corruption, terrorism, money laundering, political sanctions, and reputation. Once the due diligence report is created, it is returned to the CBIU, which reviews the report and scores it against a matrix. Applicants, who score high on the matrix are automatically approved for citizenship.
Efficiency & Quality
Dominica maintains both quality and efficiency as the average processing time – 3 months – is one of the shortest in the world. PWMs 2018 CBI Index gave Dominica a perfect score of 10 for its Citizenship Timeline and ranked the country as the top CBI programme in the world for the second consecutive year. Ambassador Nanthan celebrates the recognition of Dominica’s CBI programme stating that ‘We are quite pleased to be ranked number one in the world by a credible entity like the Financial Times of London – one of the oldest financial magazines in the world. Their credibility is impeccable. For them to rank us twice in succession as number one in the world is very good for us.’
The due diligence process is considered a vital aspect in CBI programmes worldwide as it provides security for the country offering economic citizenship, applicants and other governments. Comprehensive background screening in the due diligence process filters out individuals, who could pose a threat to current citizens of the countries offering citizenship programmes.