Vanuatu flunked to meet international standards of Citizenship by Investment Programme

The Republic of Vanuatu an archipelago of over 80 islands in the south Pacific faces new difficulties after an international advisory firm suspended their contract to work with the country’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (Citizenship Commission).

Cronulla News once again reached out to a source in the Citizenship by Investment Unit of Vanuatu. On condition of anonymity, the source confirmed that CS Global Partners officially terminated their contract with the Government of Vanuatu. He said “the company stepped back due to the turmoil within the government.”

The source said the government also signed a contract with an international due-diligence firm but is yet to take all applications through a detailed vetting process. The source stated that no person in the Citizenship by Investment Unit is given instructions whether to give applications to the international due diligence firm or not. All applications which were flagged by the EU Commission (since May 2016) are divagating at Citizenship Commission’s office.

The source confirmed that the establishment of the Special Task Force is not new, and the STF earlier failed to safeguard the programme from illicit individuals. The source said the task force lacks the expertise to handle the due-diligence process and said some experienced international firm is required to deal with the situation.

While speaking in a detailed telephonic interview with our correspondent, the source also stated, “People in Vanuatu are under so much stressed for what is coming out every day because they understand that citizenship by investment programme is keeping them afloat from an economic fall down.”

The source stated that the international community must come forward to take the country out of the crisis it is facing due to a lack of stable government.

“We need international communities and agencies to help us run the CBI Programme professionally,” the source said while out crying for help.

The source confirmed that after the European Union, the United Kingdom is also considering to show the door out to Vanuatu’s visa-free agreement.

“We have talks going on within the unit that Vanuatu will face challenges from the UK as well because people are saying it will happen due to the lack of professional management of Citizenship by Investment Programme,” the source confirmed.

Cronulla News also talked to several Citizenship Investment agents to take their viewpoint on Vanuatu.

Astons, an investment immigration firm offering citizenship and residency solutions in Europe and in the Caribbean, also talked to Cronulla News on the matter.

“We must recognize that the economic citizenship program is an important part of the GDP of Vanuatu. The improvement of Due Diligence procedures is a positive trend that ensures the safety of all participants of the process: applicants and the state offering CBI program, as well as the regulatory bodies, since the right to visa-free entry to different countries in the world is only one of the benefits that the investor receives along with a passport,” said Astons.

An agent running Residence Investments in Russia stated that many persons are stepping back from obtaining Vanuatu citizenship because they are scared that the EU will soon cancel their visa-waiver agreement.

“They are not professional; people are saying they don’t want Vanuatu citizenship by investment programme because it is on the verge to lose visa-waiver agreements; you don’t know what will happen,” said the agent of Residence Investments.

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