For discerning global citizens eager to gain a second citizenship, Citizenship by Investment (CBI) is an attractive option. Not only is CBI the best way to gain citizenship in safe and prosperous countries like; it is also backed up with robust due diligence processes. This article will elaborate the new changes while also advising on how to choose the right Authorised Agent for Dominica citizenship.
Dominica has recently consolidated its regulations, making the integrity of its programme watertight.
The integrity of the programme is paramount, which makes the regulation consolidation all the more important.
These new regulations are particularly important for strengthening the obligations of Authorised Agents, who are an integral part of the CBI process.
What is an Authorised Agent?
Authorised Agents act as a go-between for investor applicants to Dominica’s CBI Unit, and the CBI Unit itself. Agents assist the main CBI applicant with their application pack, including providing assistance on completing forms and collecting necessary documentation.
The Authorised Agent also performs Know Your Client checks along with collecting Know Your Client documents. These checks are the first steps in Dominica’s rigorous due diligence processes.
Authorised Agents are skilled and experienced in assisting applicants and are fundamentally important to the CBI process.
There is a key difference between Authorised Agents and Licenced Promoters.
Promoters are registered by Authorised Agents and provide advice to applicants on keeping contact with the Authorised Agent.
Authorised Agents are legally licenced by the CBI Unit and must obey rigorous requirements to earn this role.
The new regulations tighten the requirements to be an Authorised Agent, reiterating Dominica’s commitment to due diligence.
New changes to Authorised Agents
The new regulations shore up the requirements of Authorised Agents, making requirements stricter and stronger.
In a bid to keep unauthorised agents out of the CBI market, the measures require Authorised Agents to be Dominican citizens who operate registered offices within Dominica itself.
To minimise any loopholes, the regulations require that Authorised Agents must employ at least three staff members.
Additionally, the new regulations increase the fees for licencing. The increased cost to register and renew Authorised Agents’ licences reflects the enhanced requirements and responsibilities of Agents.
Authorised Agents must fully comply with independent due diligence checks, to ensure that each point of Dominica’s CBI Programme is as watertight as possible.
The new changes are a continuation of the country’s commitment to due diligence and integrity for every person involved in the CBI Programme.
As Dominica continues to work with international partners to innovate its programme in accordance with global standards, the new changes reinforce the country’s commitment to transparency, multilateralism and integrity.
How to choose an Authorised Agent
Because CBI applicants cannot directly submit their application to the CBI Unit, picking an appropriate Authorised Agent is crucial.
To pick your CBI Agent, you should add to preexisting due diligence in the CBI process by doing your own due diligence any potential Authorised Agent.
If applicants do their part to vet Authorised Agents before choosing them, this provides another layer to the already multilayer due diligence process.
One easy way to do this is by checking the Dominica website’s list of Authorised Agents. This website lists Authorised Agents that have been fully scrutinised by the Dominica CBI Unit.
This can grant peace of mind to prospective applicants concerned about which Authorised Agent to pick.
Additionally, aim to verify the Authorised Agent yourself, through reviews, consultants, offices and media.
Getting a second opinion through the media, consultants and reviews is a great way to make sure that the Agent is well suited to your CBI needs.
Look up the Agent’s second office locations. This is especially applicable to applicants from abroad. Also, consider the Agent’s experience. Do they have long-standing experience within the industry?
Industry experience indicates their suitability to your needs. Check if the Authorised Agent is new to CBI and check for how long the Agent has held their licence.
No vetting is better than putting a face to a name. Try to schedule a video call or in-person meeting with the Authorised Agent.
Depending on your preferences, consider how responsive the Agent is, and how well they communicate with you.
Consider, too, the Authorised Agent’s language skills. Can you both communicate in your native language? This will make the process clearer and more streamlined.
The role of the Dominica CBI Unit
In the CBI application process, Dominica’s CBI Unit is integral. As the Government department that administers the CBI Programme, the CBI Unit is the processor for CBI applications.
The CBI Unit not only processes applications: it also makes sure that documents meet the CBI Unit requirements while also administering open-source checks on applicants and their dependants.
Further emphasising the CBI Unit’s commitment to the highest standards of integrity, the CBI Unit also goes forward with internal checks and contracts independent due diligence firms to do further checks.
These checks by the due diligence firms are on-the-ground and aim to ensure that applicants’ supporting documents and applicants’ information is verified.
Due diligence firms also check sanctions lists and wanted lists. The firms also provide a report on an applicant’s identity, political affiliation and exposure, and applicants’ source of funds.
After these due diligence checks are completed, they are subsequently given to the CBI Unit to consider.
Dominica CBI: a watertight programme with top-tier Authorised Agents
Authorised Agents have been an integral part of the CBI process and will continue to be in the future.
The strength of Dominica’s CBI programme is its watertight due diligence process, applying to applicants and Authorised Agents alike.
The new regulations consolidate the important work that Dominica has done to strengthen the integrity of the CBI Programme.
Choosing an Authorised Agent, after utilising the directions elaborated in this article, should be a straightforward process.
Applicants should be prepared to conduct due diligence on the Agent, while also undergoing proper due diligence processes themselves.
If the Authorised Agent ticks all boxes after full vetting has been administered, then consider picking them to assist in your CBI application.