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Vanuatu to update its citizenship by Investment program

By Zebvo Newswire: Vanuatu is the country located in Oceania; basically, a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that extends 1,300 kilometres. The island offers numerous activities such as scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns.

On January 12, 2022, European Union (EU) has criticized and proposed the suspension of visa-free travel agreement due to its inter-jurisdictional due diligence of applications, which will eventually restrict people who received Vanuatu’s passport after the year 2015 for visa-free travel to European countries.

According to the EU executive, the nation vetting system was deemed risky and lacked adequate screening during applications processing.

The Republic of Vanuatu’s economy has shrunk as the country’s growth rate has slowed, putting pressure on government revenues and expenditures.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognized the significance of the citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, noting that income from the Programme accounts for nearly half of the country’s revenue.

To understand the value of this Programme and its effects on the country, the present authorities took the responsibility to analyze and re-consider the architecture of the Programme just to confirm a vigorous offering that not only provides economic growth to the people of Vanuatu but also offers security and safety to the international based community.

With this at the vanguard of the government intention, the Citizenship Commission has made significant efforts to identify the Programme’s risks. This has been directed to authorities to take a pivotal action by adapting a more vital due tenacity and smooth-running citizenship programme.

Following the nation’s goals, the authorities formally finalized the engagement with its first international due diligence service provider, UK agency, “FACT UK.”

This is the first company in the lead globally due to its diligence of work and appointment, which will provide robust due diligence services.

The CEO of FACT UK, “Kieron Sharp”, has vast experience internationally. He got trained from the FBI Academy, headed the economic crime wing at Interpol, and led a highly qualified team.

The authorities welcome the appointment as the first endeavour to vet CBI applicants thoroughly. FACT UK will conduct extensive checks, including sanctions lists, open-source reviews, and on-the-ground assessments. It also performs IP protection, intelligence, computer forensics, forensic investigation and security verification.

Only reputable investors can get a chance to obtain citizenship. That’s why each investor application will undergo a comprehensive and careful audit to alleviate any security, financial crime, and reputational risks.

No resources will be limited in the due diligence exercise to ensure Vanuatu’s protection and security and the international community.

The authorities have to conduct complete due diligence checks retrospective on all CBI applications granted six years back to ensure that the only reputable applicants have been approved. If any citizen fails in that procedure, will likely revoke their citizenship.

During the check, the country will use a multi-layered approach with the involvement of numerous entities, including authorized agents, CBI units, an independent due diligence firm, law enforcement and several intelligence agencies, and authorized partners.

A comprehensive review of the Programme will be conducted to re-establish its protocols and bring them in line with internationally accepted standards. To recommend the authority to redesign the entire CBI offering, the newly appointed Marketing Service Provider, CS Global Partners, will help and direct the nation.

Furthermore, they said, “We are proud that we took progressive steps as a nation to maintain the country application and verification process programme of citizenship. After a long process of onboarding strategic partners, we always look forward to shaping the Programme to be highly reputed and globally acknowledged.”

“We take the protection and security of all nations very seriously and will not be going to compromise on the security checks. Our measures in improving abilities in the area are a testament to respect all international relations.”

The country “Vanuatu’s” are doing comprehensive work with overseas partners to ensure that it can compete successfully as a global market.

However, Vanuatu’s Parliament successfully passed its first Cybercrime Act, following technical assistance received in 2018 from the council in Europe via its Global Action on Cybercrime project, which seeks to correspond with the country’s federal ruling with international standards in the field.

Vanuatu has a long history with a council of Europe, having participated in over fifteen regional, international and national capacity-building activities since 2011.

Amelia Jones

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