For some years, Citizenship by Investment in Dominica has become very popular. It is no surprise how bunches of people worldwide are looking towards the island to seek their second Citizenship through economic citizenship programme.
The CBI Index released by the PWM Magazine of Financial Times has considered Dominica the best in running the CBI Programme and offering a thorough due diligence process to ensure that no illicit person can become a citizen of the country.
According to a report released by Smith and Williamson,
The Smith and Williamson has appreciated the fact that the Commonwealth of Dominica performs heightened due diligence checks on all applicants applying for their Citizenship by Investment Programme to discourage ‘illicit persons’ from applying for their Programme.
The citizens of Dominica have the right to reside in Dominica; there is no need for an applicant, under the CBI Programme, to live in Dominica before, during or after the application process. As per the Ministry of Finance, “the archetypal applicant for economic Citizenship of Dominica strives for the freedom to travel across borders, greater flexibility to pursue business goals, and personal security. This is afforded by Dominican citizens’ ability to undertake visa-free access to more than 150 countries and territories.
Under the Programme, applicants must have to avail personal information including basic details, residential history, educational history, professional history, business history and family history, as well as extensive information on their source of wealth, including estimated net worth, net annual income, the value of their assets and liabilities, details of their close business relations, the primary geographical location for their business activities and summary of how they are earning the total net income.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, entitled ‘Assessment of the Commonwealth of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme,’ discloses that between 2013/14 and 2018/19, EC$582.6 million (circa US$215.5 million) were redirected from the CBI Programme into sectors of the Dominican economy, with major effects being felt in the short-term recovery effort after Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Maria, and predicted in the long-run.
Among these are the buildings of hurricane-resilient homes for 6,680 households, reparations to 15 sections of damaged roads and 19 bridges, investment in water sources and river dredging, reparations to three hospitals and six healthcare centres, repair work to 15 schools, sponsorship of 32 agricultural and fisheries projects, and the funding of 3,896 interim placements via National Employment Programme.
Focusing on tourism, the report puts light upon the fact that Dominica’s investment of CBI funds in the sector should generate between EC$90 and 140 million (circa US$33 and 52 million) every year, and fiscal benefits valued at between EC$20 and 40 million (circa US$7.4 and 15 million).
According to a report by Ernst and Young-
As per the report by multinational accounting firm Ernst and Young (EY), the CBI Programmes that Dominica is running does not assist tax avoidance and evasion. The report stated that the programmes provide Citizenship by nature, but Citizenship is not based on a person’s tax duty. Instead, tax residence- a concept that typically revolves around personal socio-economic linkages with a nation- administers the responsibility to pay the tax.
Meanwhile, the applicants who have applied under the economic citizenship programme do not automatically become tax residents when they attain the Citizenship of Dominica. Besides this, they must prove their physical presence by providing a “permanent place of accommodation” in Dominica.
Meanwhile, the EY provides four primary tests to set tax residency, pulling from the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and Capital.
According to the CBI Index-
The Caribbean contains some of the most beautiful nations in the world. It has also become a point of choice for Americans and Europeans looking to enjoy the “island life”. Most Caribbean islands in the CARICOM region received 73 points, but the Commonwealth of Dominica reached a score of 77.3, making it to 36th place in the international arena.
Dominica ranks higher in categories like voice and accountability, where citizens feel more empowered to hold leaders accountable for their demands and needs.
Many nations are trying to attract talented professionals, and some smaller nations are doing so by Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programmes. Countries like Dominica are becoming a preferred place to live due to the quality of life, safety and security, and economic and business opportunities.
Dominica, also called Nature Isle, placed in the top 30% of the WCR, receiving excellent scores in safety and security, quality of life, and global mobility motivators. The nation is politically and economically reliable, has a low crime rate, is rich in investment options, and offers one of the best living standards in the Caribbean.
Dominica’s CBI Programme grants successful applicants valuable citizenship benefits like visa-free travel and visa-on-arrival travel to around 75% of the world, business opportunities, and family security. Funds raised through the Programmes are utilised to support the national growth in areas such as infrastructure, climate resilience, healthcare and education.
Dominica is considered as the most significant nation offering Citizenship by Investment Programmes in the Caribbean region. Moreover, they are utilising the income generated from CBI Programme into overcoming the impact caused by natural disasters in the region.
Undoubtedly, the nation offers several benefits to the people seeking dual Citizenship, with Dominica being a particularly attractive place to hold second Citizenship.
Dominica, which has started its Citizenship by Investment Programme back in 1993, has been ranked as the “number one economic citizenship initiative for the past six years consecutively” by the CBI Index published by PWM magazine.
Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme was first launched in 1993 and is known for being one of the world’s most efficient and transparent options for Economic Citizenship. It plays a crucial role in stimulating environmental and social causes, particularly sustainable development.
The Programme was later reshaped by the Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship by Investment Regulations, 2014, including diverse investment options and stringent regulatory processes. Updates to the Programme in 2020 modified investment doors and fees and significantly expanded the scope of eligible dependants and post-citizenship additions.
The Programme offers two investment chances: a one-time contribution to the government, commonly known as Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) option, or investment in government-approved real estate. Funds that are transferred to the EDF have been instrumental in Dominica’s national development, specifically through the rearrangements of primary infrastructure, sustainable housing and the agricultural sector.
The EDF option asks for a contribution of US$100,000 for a single applicant- a price value that increases as family members are added to an application. The real estate option asks for an investment of at least US$200,000, to which a single applicant must add a US$25,000 real estate government fee. The applicant must ensure to hold the real estate for a time of three years, which will increase to the period of five years if the future purchaser is also applicable for Citizenship by Investment.
The other applicable fees include due diligence, minor processing and Certificate of Naturalisation fees. The CBI Unit is the government authority tasked with managing and processing applications for economic Citizenship.
To ensure that one must be eligible for Dominica’s CBI Programme, applicants must have maintained a clean criminal record and prove they are of good character through a series of thorough due diligence checks, including the source from where funds came from.
By rules, the CBI Unit must respond towards an application within the time frame of three months following its submission, helping it maintain one of the fastest processing times in the CBI industry.
The application process to be followed in Dominica is very simple, with having no interviews, travel or residence needs, either before or after the citizenship process. Applicants are not required to learn English or show a minimum level of education or business experience.
Benefits of having Citizenship of Dominica includes a visa-free journey to over 140 foreign countries, dual Citizenship and the chance to experience an eco-friendly lifestyle in a lavishing environment.
Several family members of the applicant can also join and become the citizens themselves, including, as of summer 2020, siblings of the principal applicant or their spouse up to the age of 25, subject to the conditions.
Benefits of Dominican Citizenship-
- Full residence status- including working rights
- Joining a global community that transcends Dominican’s land borders
- Global mobility
- Least taxation, with no wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income, or capital gains tax
- The calibre to have several citizenships
- By knowing the fact that you have personally contributed to the prosperity of a peaceful, welcoming nation, which you can call home for life.
The funds that have been raised from this Programme, Dominica has been using it in their socio-economic initiatives. The minimum investment for a single application is USD 100,000, which is inclusive of due diligence processes and other processing expenses.
- USD 100,000 for a single applicant
- USD 50,000 for the prior applicant’s partner
- Siblings of the preliminary applicant or spouse between the ages of 18 and 25 years old- USD 50,000
- USD 50,000 for each extra dependent (except the primary applicant’s spouse and the primary applicant’s siblings or spouse aged 18-25).
- A family of four will have to pay USD 175,000 in total (besides siblings of the primary applicant or spouse).