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The Commonwealth of Dominica is a Caribbean republic with a parliamentary democracy. The capital city is Roseau and the population is approximately 73,500. Dominica’s official language is English, although French Patois is also spoken. The local currency is the East Caribbean dollar, which is pegged to the United States dollar.
The economically secure country with a parliamentary democracy enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean, has no taxes for non-residents, boasts the lowest crime rate in the entire region, and is arguably one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth with lush green mountains, countless pristine rivers and waterfalls, and stunning white and black sandy beaches.
Citizenship by Investment Programme was introduced in 1993 by the Government of Dominica.
The government recognizes that private investment has a major role to play in mobilising and realising Dominica’s potential, and that the Citizenship by Investment Programme is an opportunity to encourage foreign direct investment and to facilitate growth in the private sector. Over time, this will result in a framework of modern, diversified, sustainable, and resilient economic structures to respond to the realities of a highly competitive global environment.
Legal Basis and Relevant Legislation
The Citizenship by Investment Programme is set out in the regulations published pursuant to Section 101 of the Constitution and Sections 8 and 20 (1) of the Citizenship Act.
The Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship by Investment Regulations, 2014 (S.R.& O. 37 of 2014), were recently updated by the Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship by Investment (Amendment) Regulations, 2016 (S.R.&O. 38 of 2016)
The Dominica citizenship through investment program is legally entrenched in law, and since local law does not contain any restrictions on holding dual nationality, obtaining second citizenship by investment in the country is a confidential process that does not require a person to renounce their existing citizenship.
Benefits of Dominica Citizenship
As a citizen of Dominica, you can partake in a wealth of opportunities and experiences, including:
Dominica is named time and time again as one of the world’s happiest places in which to live. Boasting a high number of centurions (people who have lived to be older than 100 years), it offers a tranquil lifestyle within a safe, peaceful, and pristine environment and a culturally vibrant and friendly community.
The ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean’ is a tropical paradise and one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is a land of natural beauty, with hundreds of rivers and waterfalls, rugged mountains covered in green, and dramatic cliffs overlooking the turquoise sea.
Dominica hosts the world’s second-largest hot spring, Boiling Lake, and is home to many rare plant and animal species, including our national bird and symbol, the Sisserou Parrot. Our clear and calm sea offers spectacular dive and snorkelling sites, including shipwrecks and even underwater hot springs.
In 1998, Dominica’s Morne Trois Pitons National Park was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Since 1997, Dominica has actively participated in the work of Green Globe to develop a model for ecotourism within our island.
Business Advantages of Dominican Citizenship
The Government of Dominica provides a number of fiscal and other concessions that aim to make doing business on our island even more attractive. These include generous tax holidays, import duty and tax waivers, and streamlined processes. A list of business advantages is available below:
Holders of Dominican passports can use them to travel internationally and benefit from the many visa-free travel regimes the Dominican Government has established with its allies across the globe. Some of the major hubs available to those travelling on a Dominican passport include the United Kingdom, with whom Dominica shares a long history, Singapore, Hong Kong and the European nations of the Schengen Area.
Successful applicants for citizenship by investment who then apply for a Dominican passport can benefit from visa-free travel or visas-on-arrival (*) to the countries below. It must be noted that this list is fluid and subject to change. We strongly advise you to contact the relevant government authorities and agencies prior to making travel arrangements.
The main applicant must be at least 18 years of age
Clean Background Check
The Dominica Economic Citizenship Program will only accept individuals of outstanding character and repute. To ensure only credible persons of impeccable standing are given citizenship, the Government of Dominica has a preeminent private investigative agency perform a comprehensive due diligence procedure on all applicants older than 18 years of age. Dominica is committed to an exemplary standard of due diligence to protect the integrity of its citizenship investment program, and only individuals with no criminal record and whose funds have been legally derived will be permitted to acquire citizenship in the country.
In order to be approved for Dominica nationality, applicants should have excellent health and must show that they do not suffer from any contagious diseases.
To be eligible for Dominican citizenship by investment, a candidate must either make a significant economic contribution to a Government Fund or purchase approved real estate on the island. In both cases, the applicant must officially commit to making the investment before applying to the investor program, but does not actually have to pay in full until after approval in principle.
To be eligible for citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica under its Citizenship by Investment Programme, you must make:
A contribution into the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) amounting to a minimum of USD 100,000 for a single applicant, and increasing depending on the number of dependants included in the application;
An investment in designated real estate with a value of at least USD 200,000.
The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica invites investments that will generate sustained economic growth and prosperity, and create jobs and business opportunities for the people of Dominica. The Government is committed to continuing to provide the legislative and administrative framework, and fiscal and technical support, necessary to encourage your investments and attain these goals. Dominica is creating modern, diversified, sustainable, and resilient economic structures to meet the demands of a highly competitive global environment.
The Dominica Government Fund finances public and private sector projects in the country in an effort to increase national development and support the islands social progress and financial security. Public sector projects identified for financing by the fund include renovating the local hospital, building new schools, constructing a national sports stadium, and promoting the Island of Dominica offshore industry. Private sector projects financed by the fund primarily focus on advancing the nation’s information technology, tourism, and agricultural sectors.
The cost to become a Dominica citizen is likely increase substantially by end of 2018, bringing the country’s prices more in line with other Caribbean citizenship programs.
Economic Diversification Fund
The Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) was established through the Citizenship by Investment Programme as one component of a national capital mobilization portfolio, with the goal of national development for Dominica.
Generated funds are utilised for public and private sector projects where a need is identified. Public sector projects identified for financing under the Programme include, but are not limited to, (1) the building of schools, (2) hospital renovations, (3) the building of a national sports stadium, and (4) the promotion of the offshore sector. With respect to private sector projects, the Government’s focus is on tourism, information technology, and agriculture.
Minimum Contribution Requirements
To qualify for citizenship under the EDF option, the following contribution amounts are required, depending on the number of dependants included in the application:
In addition to the contribution made into the EDF, certain fees are also payable including, but not limited to, due diligence fees.
Candidates applying under the Government donation option must agree to pay the total amount specified by the program within 30 days of receiving an Approval in Principle letter from the CBIU. Until the applicant has passed the due diligence phase and is officially approved in principle, however, they are not required to actually make the contribution. Upon formally receiving conditional CBIU approval, donations are deposited by wire transfer into a designated governmental escrow account at the National Commercial Bank of Dominica. If an application is rejected or withdrawn, the candidate will be refunded the entire deposit amount minus a small application fee within one month of the rejection or withdrawal. Immigration Consultant’s processing and consultation fees will be in accordance with refund policy of the company. If the application is successful, the money will be removed from the escrow account by the Government only after an Oath of Allegiance has been signed before a Notary Public and naturalization certificates as well as passports have been issued to the principal applicant and their family.
To qualify for citizenship of Dominica under the real estate option of the Citizenship by Investment Programme, an applicant must purchase authorised real estate to the minimum value of USD 200,000.
On approval in principle of an application through a real estate investment or other approved project, the following Government Fees also apply:
In order to qualify for citizenship, you must hold authorised real estate for 3 years from the grant of citizenship. Furthermore, you may only re-sell that real estate under the Citizenship by Investment Programme after 5 years of receiving citizenship.
To officially secure an interest in a Dominican resort project in accordance with CBIU regulations, economic citizenship candidates simply make a 10% deposit towards the property and execute a sale & purchase agreement. Once approved in principle for Dominica citizenship, the investor then has seven days to pay the remaining balance of the investment, at which time he or she will be issued an Ownership Certificate. This certificate is then presented to Dominica authorities to formally demonstrate that the approved real estate investment criteria has been met in full. Purchasing fractional ownership in a Dominica resort project accredited by the citizenship program is fast and easy, requires no maintenance or upkeep on behalf of the investor, and based on the developer’s income and capital gain projections will typically be expected to return enough money after five years to cover both the capital invested as well as all fees originally paid.
Upon prudently fulfilling all of the above requirements, a foreign national is eligible to gain full, legal citizenship in the Commonwealth of Dominica for themselves and their family. Once approved by the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Unit, applicants are issued a Certificate of Naturalization and will receive their new passport within a week via courier. Once an investor has become a Dominica citizen, they can pass their nationality on to future generations by descent.
Guidance on Payments for Fees
The applicant is responsible for paying the full fees required under the laws and regulations that govern the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Therefore, when paying for fees via bank transfer, the applicant must also pay any applicable bank charges, so that the fees are received by the Government in full.
Full fee amounts are expressed in United States dollars (USD). However, the Government will accept payments in euros (EUR) and pounds sterling (GBP) for any of the following:
IMPORTANT: Any payment in EUR or GBP must, on the day it is processed by the recipient bank, be equivalent to or greater than the full fee amount in USD. Any payment that falls below the full fee amount in USD will be rejected as insufficient.
The first step for applying for citizenship is to choose a Licensed Immigration Consultant who can guide you to come in contact with an Authorised agent from the list of Authorised Agents. Applications for citizenship cannot be submitted directly to the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) and must only be handled by an Authorised Agent.
An “Authorised Agent” means a person licensed by the Citizenship by Investment Unit who has paid the Authorised Agent’s fee pursuant to paragraph 1(1) of the Schedule of the Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship by Investment Regulations, 2014, and is authorised to act on behalf of the main applicant in relation to a citizenship by investment application.
The second step is to contact your chosen Licensed Immigration Consultant who in conjunction with Authorised Agent, will provide you with assistance in preparing your forms and documentation for submission to the CBIU. You will need to complete the official forms, attend a medical examination, and obtain certain supporting documents, all of which need to be submitted in English and with the appropriate notarisation and legalisation. If you are purchasing property, this will need to be reserved through a sales and purchase agreement.
Your application will be vetted through a thorough due diligence background check which will verify the information that you have provided. The CBIU will consider the file in the light of the due diligence report, and will make a recommendation on your application to the Government.
You will receive a letter through your Licensed Immigration Consultant as well as Authorised Agent that will inform you as to whether your application was successful (‘Approval in Principle’), delayed for further processing, or rejected.
When all of your forms are complete, and documents collected, your Licensed Immigration Consultant through Authorised Agent will submit your application to the CBIU and will liaise with the CBIU on your behalf.The Authorised Agent will attend to all correspondence, queries, or questions on your file that may arise in due course and respond to your Immigration Consultant.
There is currently no mandatory interview requirement under the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Programme. However, an interview may be required at the discretion of the Government.
If your application was approved in principle, the letter issued by the CBIU will also instruct you to make the contribution payment (for the Economic Diversification Fund option) or to complete the payment of the real estate property.Upon receiving proof of payment, the CBIU will issue your certificate of registration, which stands as evidence of your citizenship and which can be used by yourself or your Authorised Agent to apply for a Dominican passport.
All colour copies must be notarised and legalised prior to submission. All documents not in English must be translated, notarised, and legalised.
Please note that the following documents have been waived for all applicants effective 1 May 2017:
Agents must, however, inform applicants that the bank reference and audited financial reports for the two most recent years are required by the bank for the processing of funds.
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Disclaimer: VisaAffix Services L.L.C. provides consultancy services to clients for temporary as well as permanent residency visa-related matters and deals with documentations and filing applications. It is neither a legal firm nor does it provide any kind of legal advice/assistance or suggestions to its clients/users/visitors. The information presented on our website should be used for reference purposes only and not as a substitute for any professional advice.