24 Nov Dominica Citizenship by Investment – 2023 Guide
Squeezed between francophone Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica – the “Nature Island” – is an obvious spot for a great holiday. But did you know it’s fast becoming a popular option for savvy investors? Between 2017 and 2020, around 4,200 investors successfully obtained Dominica citizenship by investment, with an upfront investment of as little as USD 100,000.
As a former British colony and member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Dominica enjoys a high international reputation too. In fact, this year the country was crowned as one of the safest places in the Caribbean and Latin America to invest and do business, thanks to its emphasis on safety, infrastructure, rule of law, political stability and rich investment opportunities.
In this article, we discuss Dominica’s popular citizenship by investment program, covering the advantages, costs, requirements and application process. We will explore the following topics:
- Dominica citizenship by investment options
- Benefits of the Dominica citizenship by investment program
- Dominica citizenship by investment requirements
- How to apply for Dominica citizenship
- Dominica citizenship by investment fees
- How strong is the Dominica passport?
- Dominica passport visa-free countries 2022
Dominica citizenship by investment options
Dominica introduced the Dominica Economic Citizenship Program in 1993 to put the island nation on the map for international investors. Today, the program still offers individuals and families from every corner of the globe the opportunity to obtain a passport in as little as three months. It’s one of the fastest and most affordable ways to gain permanent second citizenship.
There are currently two options for Dominica citizenship by investment. The first involves a non-refundable contribution to the Economic Development Fund of USD 100,000 for a single application. If you plan to bring a spouse or eligible sibling aged 18-25, you will need to make an additional contribution of USD 50,000 per individual. Each additional dependent thereafter will require an extra contribution of USD 25,000.
If you are applying as a family of four, there is an option to make a one-off non-refundable contribution of USD 175,000, though this option is not available for dependent siblings.
The second option involves investment in an approved real estate development with a minimum value of USD 200,000. As with investment through economic contribution, you will need to pay additional fees for additional dependents. Currently, adding a spouse to the application costs USD 10,000, an eligible sibling costs USD 50,000, and all other dependents cost USD 25,000. Applying as a family of four offers additional savings and amounts to USD 35,000.
Applicants for citizenship by investment through real estate will need to maintain property ownership for at least three years. If you hold the property for more than five years, you will be eligible to re-sell under the citizenship by investment program.
Benefits of the Dominica citizenship by investment program
As an English-speaking island with some of the world’s best beaches and low levels of crime, the immediate appeals of Dominica citizenship are obvious. But look beyond its tropical allure, and there are even greater advantages for international investors, including high levels of economic security, democratic political stability and high living standards.
Second citizenship can release you from dependence on one single country and allows you to diversify across a variety of markets and assets, making it an excellent backup plan. Plus, a second passport can make it easier to travel more privately, which is particularly important for high-net individuals, business professionals and government officials. But while these benefits can be enjoyed with a strong passport from any country, a Dominica passport offers specific benefits for investors, including:
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 140+ destinations
Dominica passport holders currently enjoy visa-free travel to countries including all the European Union members, Switzerland, Russia, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
- Generous tax relief
Through the Dominica citizenship through investment program, you will enjoy zero personal income tax, corporate tax incentives, generous tax relief and no repatriation of profits restrictions.
- No education, language or managerial experience requirements
Unlike many citizenship programs, applicants are not required to meet formal education, skills or experience requirements, nor is there a mandatory interview.
- Option to include dependents in the application
Applicants can include their spouse, dependent unmarried children aged under 31 years, and parents and grandparents aged 65 and over. There is also an option to add further dependents after citizenship has been granted to the main applicant.
- The right to live, work and study in Dominica
Dominica passport holders can live, work and study in Dominica, though this may alter an individual’s tax status.
- No restrictions on dual citizenship in Dominica
Dominica recognises dual citizenship, so applicants are not required to renounce their previous nationality to become citizens of Dominica.
- No physical residency requirement
Applicants are not required to reside in Dominica, and there is currently no minimum stay requirement.
Dominica citizenship by investment requirements
While there are no formal education, language or skills requirements for Dominica citizenship by investment, applicants must meet specific criteria according to Section 101 of the Dominica Constitution and Section 8 and Amendment 20(1) of the Citizenship Act.
The Dominica Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU), a government authority that sits under the Ministry of Finance, is the official regulatory body charged with ensuring that only worthy applicants are accepted. To do this, applicants over 18 years will be subject to a comprehensive due diligence procedure. These eligibility requirements stipulate that applicants must:
- Be aged 18 or older
- Hold no criminal record and be able to prove that funds have been obtained through legal sources
- Be in excellent health with no known contagious diseases
- Possess basic knowledge of the English language
- Be of outstanding character and repute
In addition to this, you will need to meet the specific requirements for one of the two citizenship by investment options:
- Economic Diversification Fund Donation applicants must make a non-refundable contribution of USD 100,000, with additional contributions of USD 50,000 for a spouse or sibling and USD 25,000 for each qualified dependent.
- Real Estate investment applicants will need to purchase property for at least USD 200,000 in a government-approved real estate development. Applicants will need to maintain this property for at least three years and wait at least five years before selling.
Not everyone will qualify for Dominica citizenship by investment. For instance, nationals of Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, Sao Tome Principe, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Yemen will be examined on a case-by-case basis.
How to apply for Dominica citizenship
Dominica offers a cost-effective and relatively straightforward route to gaining citizenship, but you’ll need to make sure you jump through the right hoops to make the process as smooth as possible. At Huriya Private, we have helped countless high-net individuals gain citizenship through investment. To help give you an idea of what to expect, we have broken down the process into six steps.
Step 1: Contact a Caribbean Economic Citizenship Program authorised agent
Applications cannot be made directly to the CBIU – you will need to appoint the services of an authorised agent. Fees depend on the number of applicants, the complexity of the file and the type of investment made.
Step 2: Background checks
Your citizenship by investment due diligence fees will cover the costs for an independent regulatory risk mitigation firm to perform a thorough background check on all applicants over 18. If any false statements, forms or documents are identified, applications will be denied at this stage. Additionally, applicants identified as being involved in criminal or nefarious activities will be rejected.
Step 3: Application processing
Processing times for applications currently average three months from the receipt of your completed application. Dominica does not require foreign nationals to attend an interview. Throughout this period, any correspondence with the Government will be managed by your authorised agent.
Step 4: Make the investment
Once you have cleared due diligence and have been issued with a CBIU Letter of Approval, you will need to complete the investment, either through a real estate purchase or the Economic Development Fund.
Step 5: Oath of Allegiance
Once the CBIU verifies that the investment has been made, you must sign and submit an Oath of Allegiance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Labour.
Step 6: Receive your passport
When the Prime Minister has approved your application, you will be issued with a Certificate of Naturalization and a Dominica passport within one week.
Dominica citizenship by investment fees
The Dominica citizenship by investment program is one of the most affordable in the world. Individuals can obtain citizenship for as little as USD 100,000 through a non-refundable state fund or a USD 200,000 investment in real estate.
However, there are additional fees to consider too. For instance, if you plan to apply for citizenship for dependents and other family members, you will need to pay between USD 10,000 and USD 50,000 per person.
You will also need to pay fees for due diligence checks, processing, naturalisation and passports. Current prices are:
- Due diligence fees: USD 7,500
- Processing fee: USD 1,000
- Naturalisation fee: USD 250
- Passport: USD 60
In 2016, Dominica passport costs were set to increase, but this proposed price hike has been postponed indefinitely. Dominica citizenship by investment remains one of the least expensive programs in the Caribbean.
How strong is the Dominica passport?
According to the Guide Passport Ranking Index, Dominica ranks 34th among global passports. Passport holders can enjoy the right of free movement and visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 140+ destinations across the globe. In international terms, this means the passport has an overall high mobility score, making it highly desirable.
Passport holders enjoy visa-free access to some of the planet’s most popular destinations, including the EU, the EEA, China and the Caribbean. Citizens can also enjoy visa-on-arrival access to 28 destinations.
There are around 87 additional destinations for which Dominica passport holders will require a physical visa or e-visa to visit, including the USA, the UAE and Thailand.
Dominica passport visa-free countries 2022
As of November 2022, Dominica passport holders can visit 140+ countries worldwide without a visa, and many more with an e-visa or visa-on-arrival. These are just some of the destinations you can travel to with no visa requirements:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- China (including Hong Kong)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- European Union – all countries
- South Korea
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom and many of the Crown dependencies
Citizenship by investment with Huriya Private
Huriya Private is an independent, international, award-winning private equity, immigration, multi-family office and corporate structuring firm with a head office in Dubai, UAE. We provide bespoke strategic management support to international clients in global markets.
Our citizenship by investment expertise covers many Caribbean and European countries, and other locations including Canada and Turkey. Our know-how in this area is second to none.
The Huriya Private team can guide you through an extensive range of citizenship programs and help you choose the option that best fits your domestic and business objectives and personal needs. We will help you maximise your investments, secure your family’s future, and ensure travel mobility whenever needed.