Recognizing the significance and impact of the Citizenship by Investment Programme, the current government of the Republic of Vanuatu has taken some proactive measures to review and re-evaluate the Programme’s structure. The change will be made not only to provide economic growth to residents of Vanuatu but also to provide security and protection to the international community.
The government has finally decided to take a decisive action towards the strengthening of due diligence procedure. This significant step has been to secure the citizenship programme, which was the government’s top most priority.
Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognised the importance of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, and stated that its revenue grants about half of the country’s total revenue. The statement was released amid the world has been dealing with the biological pandemic – Covid-19 and natural disasters.
The government has legally finalised the agreement with its first overseas due diligence service provider, UK agency, FACT UK. The firm would provide comprehensive due diligence services to the government of the country.
The administration applauds the appointment of Kieron Sharp, the CEO of FACT UK, who will head the highly skilled staff with extensive international expertise, and he has also served as the Head of Economic Crime at Interpol, as the first step toward thorough vetting CBI applications.
Reportedly, FACT UK would conduct a number of checks, including sanctions lists, open-source checks, on-ground assessments, and IP protection, intelligence and forensic investigation as well as security verification, are all areas where it is believed to be excel.
The main aim behind the Vanuatu’s due diligence procedures is to ensure that only trustworthy investors have citizenship and the one who fails to made up to expectations will be rejected. Each investor application will be thoroughly scrutinised in order to mitigate any security, financial crime, or reputational concerns. During this, no resource shall be spared to maintain the protection and security of both country and the international community.
The procedure would be conducted to check the credibility of the applicants, which have been authorised by the government, in the last six years.
A multi-layered approached would be utilized by the authorities. These will include CBI Units, authorised agents, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and an independent due diligence firm. The service firm will review the programme to re-establish the protocols, bringing it in line with internationally accepted standards.
The entire CBI offering will be advised by the newly appointed Marketing Service Provider, CS Global. This new alliance will definitely assist and guide the country.
“We are proud of the incremental steps we have taken as a country to strengthen the application and verification process for our Citizenship programme. We aim to shape the programme into a highly respected and globally recognized one,” mentioned the government.
It added, “We take the safety and security of all countries very seriously and will not compromise on security checks in Vanuatu. Our efforts to strengthen our capabilities demonstrate our duty for the people who apply for citizenship in Vanuatu”.
This decision was taken after the European Commission, or EU Commission, announced that the citizenship by investment granted after May 2015, by the Vanuatu government, would be invalid and the citizens would not be allowed to travel visa-free travel in other European countries.