Roseau, Dominica: Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, has recently addressed the nation and outlined that the authorities have been working to strengthen the due diligence process under the citizenship by investment programme. He highlighted that the nation will conduct mandatory interviews of the applicants (aged 16 or over) applying for alternative citizenship.
While virtually addressing the general public of Dominica on July 20, PM Skerrit stated that the government of the nation has been working tirelessly to ensure that the due diligence procedure by the nation is so high that it becomes impossible for undesirables to be accepted without suspension. He further mentioned that the checks conducted on-ground or virtual and now the interviews will make the due diligence procedure more strict.
PM Roosevelt Skerrit also stated that the Dominican government will evolve the process to make sure that all the international standards are met.
Prime Minister was quoted saying, “Our nation implemented six CBI principles proposed by the United States, including implementation of mandatory interviews for applicants – 16 years and over. This step highlights the country’s commitment to cooperate with international stakeholders and to increase the due-diligence process with the aim of reducing threats posed by illicit actors.”
He also took the platform to ensure each and every Dominican that the government will work to meet international standards. PM Roosevelt Skerrit made this statement following Dominica’s suspension of the visa waiver agreement with the United Kingdom. Regarding this, he stated that the authorities will continue to engage the United Kingdom on the matter – as we will do with other nations, like those of the European Union and the United States.
The PM also assured that this suspension will not be permanent. “The decision of the British Government is unfortunate, and it hurts me, but it shall not permanently harm us. We shall rebound, we shall effect the necessary changes, and we shall continue to punch our way back from all that has beset and impacted us over the years,” he stated.
In addition to this, PM Skerrit mentioned the implementation of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) by the government of the United Kingdom. He further stated that this new implementation of visa requirements will surely create an inconvenience for many of our citizens who visit the UK for vacation, to visit family and who transit the UK frequently.
This, however, does not prevent Dominicans from travelling to or through the United Kingdom. Dominicans are still welcome in the United Kingdom.
Moreover, he also underscored that this new initiative by the UK government does not represent the deterioration of the relationship between both nations nor is it representative of any diplomatic fallout.
Additionally, while highlighting the efforts of the citizenship by the investment unit and the government of Dominica, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that all the necessary efforts are taken to make sure that the due diligence process is robust and stringent. He also stated that Dominica conducts proactive and robust due diligence, along with a multi-layered vetting process, which is carried out by well-reputed third-party international firms based in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Besides this, the Prime Minister of Dominica also emphasises the utilisation of money generated via the programme. “Being a small island developing state (SIDS), Dominica has used the funds generated through the CBI programme to address the impacts of climate change, transforming the economy, GDP and enhancing our climate resilience and empowering locals,” said the PM.
Further shedding light on the development agency of Dynamic Dominica, he said that “At home, we shall continue to invest in people whether it is through housing, bolstering the health sector or expanding more educational opportunities and the extension of the Douglas Charles Airport while we usher in the construction of a new international airport.”