Solid Due Diligence Procedures Critical to Success of Second Citizenship Applications in the Middle East
May 29, 2017 - News Antigua and Barbuda Commentary
PassPro COO Giselle Bru discussed challenges and solutions aimed at streamlining the application process at the Invest Caribbean 2017 Conference in Antigua
PassPro Immigration Services, a Dubai-headquartered second citizenship consultancy firm, highlighted the role of solid KYC (Know Your Client) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) procedures in streamlining the second citizenship application process.
Speaking at the Invest Caribbean Conference 2017 held in Antigua from May 23-25, 2017, Giselle Bru – COO of PassPro addressed common challenges faced by clients, approved agents and the governments and ways in which they can work together to screen out disreputable applicants while ensuring legitimate clients with complicated cases get a fair chance at presenting their files.
“Most individuals who apply for second citizenship in the Middle East are nationals of war-torn countries, displaced citizens or stateless individuals with complex documentation requirements. Understanding their backgrounds, how and where they have spent their lives and why they wish to acquire a second citizenship is a necessary requirement to ensure their cases are properly presented to the Governments,” says Bru.
“Due diligence procedures have become stricter than ever before which is good for the industry as it weeds out nefarious candidates and strengthens the long-term sustainability of the programs. But there is a need for education on both sides. Clients need proper guidance in gathering and legalizing the correct documents while Governments benefit from on-ground advice on the realities clients face in their home countries – for instance something as simple as a Record of Birth or Marital Status can take many different forms in different countries,” said Bru. “Presenting the right documents can significantly speed up the process, which benefits both the client and the Citizenship by Investment Units.
“Many CIP programs have evolved their requirements to be more considerate to clients while at the same time strengthening the fact-checking process to make it more water-tight and thorough. As the link between the Client and the Government, the agent plays a key role in profiling clients, understanding their source of wealth and motivations for gaining a second citizenship and ensuring only clean candidates get through the system,” Bru continued. “Solid KYC and AML training is crucial to ensure the success of honest second citizenship applications while keeping out dishonest candidates.”
Bru was part of a high-powered line-up of decision-makers representing the global second citizenship industry at the second Invest Caribbean Conference – the only major international industry conference of its kind to take place in the Caribbean region.
The theme of this year’s conference: “Transparency and Sustainability: CIPs in the New World” is highly relevant in the wake of the new geopolitical reality of tighter US border controls, cross-border banking restrictions, BREXIT and cyber security.
The Caribbean region pioneered the industry in 1984 with the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program and is today home to other popular programs such as Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and the newest entrant St Lucia. Speakers and attendees at the Conference included Government representatives, Government Approved Agents, bankers, real estate developers, due diligence providers and risk assessment companies.
Have any questions on the documentation requirements to process second citizenship? At PassPro we offer end-to-end guidance and support throughout the process, with all documentation, translation, attestation and legalization. Call us today on +97145541449 or email [email protected] and we will be happy to assist in any way we can.
Reproduced from an interview with PassPro COO in Al Arabiya English. In February, CNN’s Spanish-language channelRead More