November 16, 2013

Due Diligence

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As we mentioned in the previous blog, an integral component of the Dominica Economic Citizenship Programme and the Skitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme is the Due Diligence Investigation .   The Agencies that undertake this investigation are selected by the Governments of  both islands.  However, in the case of the Dominica Programme, the applicant may make direct contact with the Agency or he may opt to have his agent laise with the Due Diligence Agent on his behalf, while with that of St. Kitts, the Government initiates the contact.  This means that, whereas with the Dominica Economic Citizenship Programme,the applicant have flexibility to negotiate price with the Agencies (the more countries in which the applicant has resided the higher the price), with the St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), there is no flexiblility.  In fact, the due diligence fees are payable to the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis at the time the application is submitted.
Most applicants are not ruffled by the due diligence investigations.  Actually, they welcome it as it demonstrates the security of the programmes and the seriousness of the Governments about protecting their citizens and reputation of the programmes.  However, there are those who are fearful that the vagaries of their youthful days may catch up with them!  Although parking tickets obtained during one’s teenage years may not negatively impact one’s application some forty years after the fact, more serious offences do!
Neither the applicant nor the promoter is privy to the Due Diligence Report!  So what happens if an applicant is refused and in his opinion the refusal was based on an unfavourable Due Diligence Report?  What is the applicant’s recourse? Can he obtain a copy of the report?
Interestingly, we were faced with a similar situation a few months ago.  A client, who was denied citizenship, requested a copy of his Due Diligence Report claiming that an adverse report contributed to his refusal.  The Government responded as follows:
“The due diligence report which forms part of the application package for citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica under the Economic Citizenship Programme, is the property of the Government and we are not in the position to publish or make any section (s) of the said report available to any third party”.
Although to some this response may seem harsh, in Dominica, applicants are given opportunities during the application process to prove themselves worthy of the second passport.  The Disclosure Form and the Interview section afford the applicants opportunities to explain issues that may potentially yield an unfavourable due diligence report.
In St. Kitts, on the other hand, if the need arises, the Minister may appoint a panel to review an appli-
cation.  This means that an individual whose application has been denied may request a review of his application.  However, the individual must be prepared to present himself at the review as he may be requested to appear in person before the panel.
The Due Diligence Investigation is fundamental to the St.Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme and Dominica Economic Citizenship Programme  It is part of the Governments’ continuing efforts to maintain the integrity of their programmes and protect the security of their citizens. We are promoters of both the St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme and the Dominica Economic Citizenship Programme.
Contact us at: lawrencea@cwdom.dm
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