BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Apr 14, – The United States Government has warned regional countries offering the citizenship by investment programme (CIP), to refrain from issuing “unless the issuing government is confident beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual is a bona fide applicant”.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the US Embassy here said while it does not approve or disapprove individual aspects of the CIP, the participating countries must ensure that the identity of individuals is fully validated and that the applicant lacks ties to transnational criminal or terrorist organisations.
The US also noted that it understands the potential economic benefits from utilizing the citizenship by investment programme and it is the sovereign right of all countries to choose whether or not to engage in such a programme.
“The United States strongly believes that all countries have an inherent responsibility to their citizens and the international community to review fully all applicants who seek a nation’s citizenship.”
“While the United States Government is willing to consult with governments on their citizenship investment programmes, the ultimate decisions to offer and how to operate such a programme, including the issuance of citizenship and related identifying documents, such as passports to applicants, lie with each individual government and not with the United States,” the statement added.
Countries that have implemented CIP are Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts Nevis and Dominica.
St. Lucia has indicated that it will be implementing the programme shortly.
Under the CIP, foreign investors are given citizenship once they make a significant investment in the socio-economic development of the country.