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  • Writer's pictureImran Mirani

The Importance Of Due Diligence

Due diligence is the process of identifying, collecting, verifying essential information of an individual, a business, or an investment, this helps vetting while deciding to move forward with a mutual agreement or a contract.

Vazir Investment is one of the very few trusted global entities within the RCBI and Business Migration industry with a fully functional in house compliance department, that conducts detailed KYC “know your customer”, AML “anti-money laundering” exercise, and preliminary Due diligence before accepting any application to practically eliminate the risk of rejection. This article will discuss the process and importance of Due diligence while applying for Citizenship and or the Residence Permit.

The purpose of Due diligence is to ensure the investor’s identity, to make sure they are not involved in any sort of criminal activities, source of fund is legal and traceable, not involved in money laundering (or other financial crimes), travel history is clear and traceable (that including visa refusals/rejects), political exposure, and public reputation amongst other checks. The process may vary among countries, the applicant’s nationality, country of current residence or where the source of funds is generated from et cetera, one thing is for sure is that all the countries offering Business Migration, Citizenship by Investments, Permanent Residency or Golden Visa programs mandates rigorous due diligence processes of potential investors before approving their applications.

Due diligence process usually takes 90 days or so (may vary based on individual applications) and is confidential at all stages, the process (online and or on-ground) is usually conducted in stages, and during the process reputed local and international firms are engaged by concerned Governments, partner governments are involved for external checks, verification of the information provided in the application forms and provided supporting documents, verifying familial ties, criminal background, employment history, source of funds, press and media profile and political exposure. While obtaining Citizenship by Investment in the Caribbean’s their National Bank’s performs additional checks and may requests additional supporting documents when and if required, JRCC “Joint Regional Communications Centre - an arm of the CARICOM agency for crime & security” also cross-references all applicants (principal applicant, spouse, and all included dependents aged 16 and above) against regional watchlist and Interpol databases as part of the external due diligence process to ensure right candidates is successfully processed.

Who Are High Risk Individual?

Some of the examples that are classified as high-risk individuals are, arms smugglers, convicted criminals, human traffickers, intellectual property violators, individuals from sanctioned countries list, individuals that are involved in organized crime, PEPs, paedophiles, senior government officials, subject of interest, terrorist financing, war lords, war criminals et cetera.

How To Avoid The Risk Of Due Diligence Failure?

  • Always choose the firm that is government approved and is a licensed agent within the jurisdiction of your RCBI “Residency / Citizenship by Investment” program.

  • Verify if the advisor has a track record of being the industry expert.

  • Always be transparent about your background and provide all the required information asked by advisor (such as providing details of any previous visa refusal/rejection, explain the source of funds etc.).

  • Always inform the advisor if you are a PEP “Politically exposed person”, current government office holders, or individuals who are or were formerly entrusted with high-level public functions (i.e, senior officers, heads of state of government, senior judicial or military officials, officials of political parties and senior executives of state-owned enterprises), or a close associate of a primary PEP.

  • Always inform the advisor if you you ever been the subject of any criminal investigation, or been arrested, detained, charged, indicted, convicted, found guilty or been expunged of any offence(s) against the law in any country.

  • Always inform the advisor if you, your spouse, or any other adult applicant who as an owner, partner, director or officer of any partnership, corporation or entity, ever been a party to a lawsuit as either a plaintiff or defendant.

  • Always inform the advisor if you have any other RCBI and or Business Migration application under process or pending.

Based on the discussion above and more, the advisor will qualify if you are eligible for the RCBI and or Business Migration program you are interested in. in case, if the advisors think you may fail the Due diligence, he/she will propose you an alternate program that you qualify for and is aligned with your goal.

The Bottom Line

RCBI “Residency / Citizenship by Investment” programs bring a significant investment inflow (cash and capital) to the host country that is offering the program, if the government fail to take the required measures that inflow may raise a high risk of financial and or criminal activities. Therefore, all applications submitted must undergo the Due diligence to prevent risk involved. And that is why the Due diligence is critical, to maintain the integrity and transparency of these programs, and to make sure Residency / Citizenship are granted to individuals that have been successfully vetted.

About The Author Imran Mirani Head of RCBI / Business Migration


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