Economic Citizenship in Dominica
Not be confused with the Dominican Republic, the nation of Dominica is a smaller island nation located in the Caribbean Sea near Guadeloupe and Martinique. With a population of approximately 73,000 natives, Dominica offers a level of privacy that is unequaled by the majority of other nations in the area. Nicknamed the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean,” Dominica boasts vast miles of unspoiled natural beauty including the world’s second largest hot spring and lush rainforests that are home to numerous rare plant and animal species.
Despite its smaller size, Dominica should not be overlooked by foreign investors who are evaluating their options for investment-based citizenship opportunities. More than 2,000 investors and their families have already gained Dominican passports through the country’s investment program.
Dominica’s Investment Program
The purpose of the country’s investment program is to obtain financing for its school systems, hospital renovations, the creation of a sports stadium, and promoting its offshore sector. There are four investment options based upon size of the foreign national’s family. For a single applicant, the required non-refundable investment amount is $100,000USD. For an applicant and spouse, the required non-refundable amount is $175,000USD. For a family of four (the applicant, spouse, and two children under the age of 18) the non-refundable amount is $200,000USD. Finally, for an applicant, spouse, and more than two children (under the age of 18), the non-refundable amount is $20,000USD and an additional $50,000USD for each child.
In order to assist the investor with the citizenship application, the foreign national must have a Dominican government approved promoter or agent.
The investor must deposit the required amount into an account with the National Commercial Bank of Dominica. The amount cannot be withdrawn from the account unless the investor withdraws the citizenship application or the application is denied by the immigration authorities. Normally, if the investor withdraws the application or it is denied, the investor receives the funds back as a refund. However, it is important to note that if the application is denied because of false information or fraudulent or forged documents, the investment is forfeited to the Dominican government and is not returned.
Requirements for Dominican Citizenship
In addition to making the required investment, a citizenship applicant must also possess outstanding character which means the applicant must have a clean criminal record and no prior professional or immigration transgressions. Moreover, the applicant must have a basic level of English language proficiency (written, listening, reading, and speaking), and must include a letter to the Dominican Minister Responsible for Citizenship that explains the reason for applying for the investment-based program.
The applicant must also include two original personal references for him/herself and spouse from a person who has known the individual for at least five years. The references should include information about the person providing the reference and the person cannot be a family member.
The applicant is also required to submit one professional reference from a person who has worked with the investor for at least three years, and a recommendation from the investor’s bank where the investor has been a client for at least two years. The bank recommendation must also contain the bank’s contact information.
To prove the investor’s employment, the investor must submit a letter of employment from an employer or, if the investor is self-employed, recent audited financial statements of the investor’s business are acceptable. The investor is also required to submit an affidavit confirming the lawful sources of the investments funds. Finally, the investor must provide an updated resume and identification documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and passport photos.
Once the Dominican immigration authorities review the application, they schedule the investor for an interview. One of the bonuses of the Dominican program is that the investors can choose to stay in their home countries for the interview – as long as they pay the full cost of hotel accommodations, airfare, a per diem, and an additional fee of $3,000 to fly in three members of the interview panel.
Why Should Foreign Investors Choose Dominica?
The Dominican investment-based program is highly attractive to foreign nationals for several reasons. First, the required investment amount is very, very low in comparison to similar programs in other countries – some of which mandate at least $1,000,000USD. Second, there are no taxes on capital gains, gifts, wealth or inheritance. Third, there is no required army service. Finally, the citizens of Dominica enjoy visa-free travel to nearly 100 countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore, and Nepal.