PM Gaston Browne welcomes inquiry into mandatory vetting of Caribbean CIPS

Ranked first in the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) for citizenship programmes, the islands of Antigua and Barbuda have a lot to offer potential investors seeking a second citizenship. With a limited time offer of a $100,000 contribution up until 31st October 2018, the CIP of Antigua and Barbuda is becoming immensely popular.

As a result of its popularity, Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua-Barbuda has stated:

“… that every application for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment, under his administration has been subjected to the rigorous vetting process.”

Chief is it that all citizenship by investment programmes go through proper due diligence checks. This is and will continue to be an upmost priority as the question of proper due diligence has been a thorny issue, primarily for Caribbean CIPs. Bearing in mind that the due diligence worldwide will not uncover all negative information, efforts of the government are in action with high alerts on those who have committed acts against law via these thorough checks that are put in place.

PM Browne goes on to declare:

“In this regard, my government welcomes the initiative announced by Prime Minister Mitchell [of Grenada] as chairman of the Monetary Council. The position of Antigua and Barbuda has always been, and remains, that strict and intensive vetting is central to the credibility and integrity of the CIPs,”

The leader of the sovereign state of the Commonwealth, Antigua and Barbuda, continues:

“What occurs in one jurisdiction has an impact on all; it is, therefore, imperative that full vetting
of applicants, be carried out and that it be strong and intensive. In this regard, my government
and its authorities will cooperate fully with an inquiry into whether all countries are subjecting
to their applicants to vetting by the regional and international crime agencies, and the sooner
the inquiry starts the better.”

Not only is this a prime factor of safeguarding applicants and new citizens, it is essential that
consultancy agencies are in the scope of these meticulous vetting procedures. Coates Global
assures that all their authorised agents and qualified lawyers who assist with the programmes
have been certified by each country’s government, ensuring that they correlate to the citizenship
and visa legislations set in place, including vetting protocols.

The latest Portuguese citizenship legislation updates

Launched in 2012, the Portuguese programme has been a popular programme amongst investors because of its low stay requirement, affordable investment options and the opportunity to acquire citizenship status after year six (if investors comply to the regulations set up for the Golden Visa programme).

As of recent, the Portuguese Immigration department (SEF) are planning to update its citizenship legislation by amending the length of years an applicant can obtain a Portuguese passport. Previously, as stated above, an applicant could opt to apply for settlement in Portugal after the sixth year of their Golden Visa. However, with the new citizenship legislation, the Portuguese programme has dropped this period down by one year. Applicants can now apply for a Portuguese passport after just five years as opposed to the previous six years.

Moldova Programmes

Alongside Malta and Cyprus, Moldova is set to be the third country in Europe to offer a citizenship by investment programme in the coming months. Compared to its older counterparts, the Moldova programme is offering the most affordable route to citizenship in European region.

The financial requirements of the programme are for approved applicants to make one of the following contributions:

-€100,000 contribution in to the Moldovan Public Investment Fund

-€250,000 contribution in to an area of strategic development such as real estate or government bonds

The primary reason for the Moldovan government offering such reasonable and affordable contribution options is heavily dependent on the fact that Moldova is still not a member of the European Union. In contrast to the other two citizenship by investment programmes who are in the European Union significantly alters the pricing difference. However, the programme is not without its benefits as though applicants who are approved can relish in visa-free travel to over 120 countries including the Schengen Area. Additionally, investors contributions will drastically help the citizens of Moldova (including themselves) as the Moldovan government’s fundamental objective is to create long-lasting societal value for the Moldovan people. The government recently announced that the investment programme will help provide “valuable foreign direct investment that will enhance the daily lives of all Moldovans”.

Montenegro Programme

The government of Montenegro have officially approved the launch of the nation’s citizenship by investment programme as of 1st October 2018. The programme is capped at 2000 applicants, granting those approved with a full Montenegrin citizenship in exchange for a secure investment in to the country. The programme is set to offer non-EU countries the opportunity to invest in a citizenship over the course of the next three years.

Perks of the programme are yet to be finalised with some benefits already confirmed, such as, visa-free travel to over 125 countries (including the Schengen area) and an accelerated application processing time that is confirmed to process citizenships at a given period of six months.

There are two routes of investment, which are the following:

– €250,000 investment in a government approved project in an under developed region of Montenegro

-€450,000 investment in a government approved project in a developed region of Montenegro

As the programme is still preparing for its launch, there may be slight amendments and/or adjustments. If so, we will keep you up to date with the latest news about the Montenegrin citizenship by investment programme.

Michele Martin

Michele has been working as a British Solicitor in the UK since 1994. She has extensive experience of all aspects of second citizenship and golden visa programmes.

Tamer Ulay

Tamer is an European Immigration Law Specialist and has extensive knowledge of European Golden Visa and Second Citizenship Programmes. He is mainly responsible for Golden Visa and citizenship programmes for Cyprus, Malta and Portugal. He regularly travels to these countries to oversee and guide our clients’ applications first hand.

Celemet Yener

Celemet has developed good working relationships with Identity Malta (the official citizenship department in Malta) and SEF (the immigration department in Portugal). He has extensive knowledge of all types of Golden Visa applications.

Christine Phillips

Christine is our senior consultant and has been with the company since its establishment. Christine is responsible for citizenship applications, having extensive knowledge of both naturalisation and second citizenship programmes. As a fluent Turkish speaker, she assists all our teams with queries from Turkish nationals who are looking to obtain a Golden Visa or a second citizenship.

Prof. Dr. Marina Andrade

Marina is a qualified Portuguese lawyer who specialises in Immigration Law and Portugal’s Golden Visa. She has been working as a lawyer since 2006, including having experience at the leading Portuguese law firm, Abreu & Associados Sociedade de Advogados R.L. Marina has developed good working relationships with Portuguese immigration authorities and has extensive knowledge of all types of visa applications within Portuguese Immigration Law, which includes Golden Visa, Financial Independent Person Visas, Immigration Appeals, Nationality Requests and more. With her extensive experience within Immigration Law, Marina regularly appears on many of Portugal’s TV networks and provides legal advice to Portuguese Law Makers as well as the Portuguese Government.