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Citizenship by investment in Dominica

Country’s Profile in Brief. Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea. The Commonwealth of Dominica has a population of 71,293 (Census of 2011). The capital of the country is the city of Roseau. Official language is English (Dominica got independence from the United Kingdom on the 3rd of November 1978). Dominica’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and agriculture. Dominica is a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth of Nations. Dominica is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Official currency is East Caribbean dollar (XCD).

Citizenship by investment in Dominica

Citizenship by investment program of the Commonwealth of Dominica is a direct second citizenship program that allows foreign nationals obtaining second passport by official donation of a prescribed amount of investment. The program was established in 1991 (only cash donation route of citizenship by investment was available). In 2014 Dominica has approved a real estate investment as another option of getting citizenship. The processing time for citizenship applications currently ranges from 3 to 4 months. Investment options are as follows.

Citizenship by Investment in Dominica: Cash Donation

Contribution of USD 100,000 entitles foreign investor to acquire second citizenship and passport in Dominica. Contribution USD 175,000 is applicable in case of husband and wife or in case of one applicant + two minor children. In case investor has a family up to four members (e.g., husband, wife, and two children under 18 years old) the required contribution is USD 200,000. For a child between 18 and 25 years old additional contribution USD 50,000 is required. The contribution is to be paid after pre-approval of the citizenship application (not in advance).

Citizenship by Investment in Dominica: Real Estate Investment

The main applicant (investor) must purchase real estate for a minimum of USD 200,000 in an approved development. There are three real estate projects in Dominica approved for citizenship-by-investment program: Range Developments (Kempinski Hotel), The Silver Beach Development, and Sunstone Incorporated – Tranquility Beach Dominica. Two or more main applicants may purchase one piece of real estate provided that each main applicant contributes the minimum investment of USD 200,000 towards the purchase. In addition to the minimum investment by the following fees are also payable to the Government: USD 50,000 for the main applicant; USD 25,000 for the spouse of the main applicant; USD 20,000 for each child of the main applicant under eighteen years of age; USD 50,000 for each dependent of the main applicant above the age of eighteen years, other than his or her spouse. Other fees are transfer fees are payable which are payable at the level 7,5 % of the property price and lawyer fee of 3 %. The property must not be resold for at least three years after granting citizenship.

Other Citizenship by Investment Fees (in USD) – for Both of the Two Options

1. Due diligence fee: 7,500 for the main applicant, 7,500 for the spouse, and 4,000 for each additional applicant over the age sixteen (16).
2. Application fee – 3,000
3. Fee for certificate of naturalization – 750
4. Expedite passport fee – 1,200

The legal procedure of acquiring citizenship of Dominica does not require a mandatory interview (except some cases where interview may be required).

Advantages of being citizen of Dominica

  1. As a citizen of Dominica you can relocate to Dominica or any other CARICOM-country at any time, and as a Commonwealth citizen you will enjoy special rights and privileges in the United Kingdom and some other countries of the Commonwealth of Nations.
  2. Visa-free travel to more than 90 countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland and all the other EU-countries. Citizens of Dominica do not require a Schengen visa for a short stay visit up to 90 days for business, family and touristic purposes in Europe.
  3. No global taxation. You are not liable to taxation in Dominica on any income earned outside of Dominica except if you decide to reside in Dominica.
  4. Multiple and dual citizenship is recognized in the Commonwealth of Dominica. There is no need to renounce your previous citizenship and passport after becoming citizen of Dominica. Certain exceptions concern the citizens of those countries that prohibit dual citizenship (e.g., China, Denmark, Germany, India, Singapore, Japan, and some others). Interestingly enough, some Chinese people obtain citizenship and passport of Dominica without renouncing their citizenship. This is possible because the Government of Dominica does not report any country about its new citizens.
  5. You can use your new passport for banking purposes

IMPORTANT NOTICE. In our view, in terms of price quality, the citizenship by investment program of Dominica is currently the best program in the Caribbean. Antigua and St. Kitts passport programs are more expensive than Dominica. Grenada program is risky (because in order to become eligible to apply the applicant should purchase shares of the managing company and not the concrete property in the approved hotel). Against this background, if we compare existing passport by donation options in the Caribbean, Dominica is the cheapest. The passport of Dominica is practically the same as St. Kitts or Antigua (if you compare ability of worldwide visa free travels, in particular the ability to enter EU without visa). Potential applicants should take into consideration that the Government of Dominica has plans to reform the program (in particular cash donation option) in the near future. The program will be amended as follows. Contribution of USD 175,000 will be required from single applicant (instead of the current USD 100,000). Investor + wife will donate USD 225,000 (instead of the current USD 175,000). Investor + 2 kids below 18 will donate USD 225,000 (instead of the current USD 200,000). Investor + wife + 2 kids will donate USD 250,000 (instead of the current USD 200,000). For a child between 18 and 25 years old additional contribution USD 50,000 will be required (nothing will change in this regard). Therefore, in you want take advantage of the current reduced amounts you should start the process as soon as possible to be able to apply as soon as possible (our practice clearly shows that it normally takes 2 or even 3 months to prepare the forms and supporting documentation). Initially the new amounts of contributions were scheduled to be valid from 01.08.2016 but at the end of July the Government of Dominica announced that the program would remain unchanged until further notice (no new date of changes was announced).

Question regarding Dominica citizenship by Investment Program:

Question: Thank you for the prompt answer. Can you send us sample of property that can be purchased for citizenship by investment in Dominica? Is it located in the approved projects (like in St. Kitts or Antigua)? Alternatively, can the applicant buy any property he likes? Moreover, for how long the property must be kept? For 5 years like in St. Kitts?
Answer: The property must not be resold for at least three years after granting citizenship. Note however that the purchase must be in an approved development. There are currently three approved projects in Dominica: Range Developments (Kempinski Hotel), The Silver Beach Development, and Sunstone Incorporated – Tranquility Beach Dominica.

Question: Having read your summary on the Citizenship by investment program of the Commonwealth of Dominica, is there any way of reducing the processing time by further “Investment?”
Answer: Unfortunately, it is impossible to speed up the process by further investment. The processing time depends upon the number of applications that are currently in the queue. Moreover, due diligence also takes time and may vary from case to case. The average processing time for citizenship of Dominica is about 3 months which is really fast without any fast-track.
Question: Secondly, regarding payment what needs to be actioned and what safe guards are in place if the application fails?
Answer: As to the investment/donation amount, the Dominica citizenship program it is organized in a guaranteed way. In case your citizenship application is refused the contribution is not to be transferred to the governmental account. You transfer the funds only after “approval in principal” of your application. In case of refusal, you have the risk of losing due diligence fee and professional fee for preparation of application (both should be paid in full before the submission of application).

If you have any question regarding above-mentioned material or wish to use our legal assistance in obtaining second citizenship of Dominica, contact us today. When you send us an e-mail, please, indicate your citizenship, country of residence, and age of every family member to be included into application. We must have the age in order we could quote the fees and expenses applicable in your case.

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