Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Unit has warned its Citizenship by Investment agents not to promise applicants visa-free travel to the European Union and the United Kingdom.
According to the Investment Migration Insider report, the warning comes after the Commission of the EU proposed to partially suspend the visa-waiver agreement of Vanuatu with the EU and Schengen Zone countries, after the latter used visa-free travel to EU and in the United Kingdom in their marketing program, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“Additionally, investor citizenship schemes operated by Vanuatu since 2015 are commercially promoted with the expressed purpose of granting visa-free access to the EU, while the visa waiver agreement is not aimed at allowing visa-required travellers to circumvent the visa requirement by acquiring Vanuatu citizenship,” the Commission of the European Union pointed out on the letter.
In order to prevent a potential “risk” to its Citizenship by Investment program, authorities in Dominica have urged the CIU agents not to include harmful marketing in its program.
In addition, there are specific requirements that agents must follow, including the following ones:
- Agents must not reference visa-free travel to specific countries and regions, including the European Union and the United Kingdom, or claim that applicants can receive citizenship through this program by investing with costs that are lower than the minimum required.
- Besides, it is also banned to display images of Dominica’s passport or use “sale of passports” or similar terminology.
- Agents must not promote or advertise the scheme by using text blasts, push messages, mass tests, and other alerts through telephone and social media. At the same time, it is also prohibited to falsely claim that persons interested in such a program will obtain a Dominican passport as part of the process of the scheme.
“It is prohibited to state the number of applicants who were granted citizenship through the programme and the country of origin of those applicants unless this information is formally published by the Government. It is prohibited to promote the programme by falsely associating ‘Special Offers’ or ‘Special Discounts’ to the programme,” the letter addressed to the agents by CIU reads, as reported by the Investment Migration Insider.
The letter also emphasizes that it is banned to compare the scheme with other similar programs through the information that extends beyond “precise fact and deliberately misrepresents details of the Programme that are not in line with those mandated by law, Government guidance, or the information on the information on the website of the CBIU.”
The Commission of the European Union has often urged European countries to terminate their Golden Visa Schemes as, according to the Commission, such schemes are an open door to money laundering, corruption and other illicit affairs.