Economic Diversification Fund
Real Estate Investment
Visa Free Travel
The Commonwealth of Dominica is considered the bargain of global citizenship – a quick and transparent process to obtain a passport to 130 countries worldwide for less than what many other reputable citizenship-by-investment programs require. For other countries including Ukraine, India and Vietnam, Dominica citizens enjoy the benefit of visa on arrival.
The program has been ranked highest against 12 other countries by Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management. Started in 1993, Dominica’s citizenship-by-investment program boasts a track record that many newer programs cannot. Its program benefits include dual citizenship and no wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income or capital gains tax.
The Caribbean island nation, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, was badly battered by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Several weeks after the storm, the government estimated that two of the country’s key sectors – agriculture and tourism – were 95 percent to 100 percent destroyed. Just as it did after Tropical Storm Erika two years earlier, Dominica is expected to tap funds from its citizenship-by-investment program to rebuild.
Dominica’s citizenship-by-investment program has played a big part in promoting social and environmental causes, particularly sustainable development.
Permanent residency in Dominica is granted on the discretion of the minister for foreign affairs, immigration and labor. It also requires that the applicant be a resident or have been employed on the island for five years.
Documents required for residency include a medical certificate, marriage certificate, statement of financial position, recent police record, copies of work/resident permits and two testimonials from people who have known the applicant for the applicant’s entire time in Dominica. Those who aren’t Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals pay a higher fee, currently pegged at U.S.$800 as of 2018.
As resident in Dominica you enjoy the benefits of being a tax resident in the country and be entitled to your Tax Identification Number.
Dominican citizenship permits visa-free travel to about 130 countries – including Singapore, Hong Kong, the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries – and allows 10-year visas to the U.S. and Canada. Citizens can live in any of the 14 other members of CARICOM.
All applications must go through authorized third-party agents and documents need to be submitted in English. Processing of the application takes less than three months. The program doesn’t turn away applicants based on their nationality. Travel to Dominica is not required and, in most cases, neither is an interview. Criminal background checks are conducted.
All applicants are charged a U.S.$1,000 application fee. Extra fees are tacked on for spouses or dependents. There are also due-diligence fees.
The highest fees are added to the real estate investment options. They start at U.S.$25,000 for a single applicant.
The island’s population is largely of African descent, with a small number of indigenous people and an increasing number of inhabitants of Middle Eastern, European and Chinese heritage. The island has a higher-than-average number of centenarians and it has been a topic of medical school study.
The nation, known as the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, is a premier ecotourism site, with waters that offer world-class diving and an interior teeming with lakes, waterfalls, rivers and streams as well as wildlife such as parrots and tree frogs.
Renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar and hydro are also a target of development.
Those who want to become citizens of Dominica don’t actually have to live there, either before or afterwards.
Two paths to citizenship are offered: a contribution into the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF), real estate or approved real estate project.
The EDF contribution is U.S.$100,000 for a single applicant, which increases to U.S.$175,000 to add a spouse, and to U.S.$200,000 to add up to three qualifying dependents. Funds have gone to such public-sector projects as schools, the hospital, the airport, a national sports stadium and a geothermal energy plant. Private-sector projects include information technology, tourism and agriculture.
To take advantage of the real estate option requires purchasing property worth at least U.S.$200,000 or contributing at least that into an approved project. Applicants can combine their investments if each kicks in at least U.S.$200,000.
The real estate must be held for three years for citizenship to be granted.
Eligible dependents, who must be fully supported by the main applicant, include the main applicant’s or spouse’s children under 18 (or under 30 if the child is a full-time student); an unmarried daughter of the main applicant up to 30 living with the main applicant; a child of the main applicant or spouse over 18 and physically or mentally challenged; and parents or grandparents of the main applicant or spouse over 55 living with the main applicant.
Dominica don't tax people who acquire citizenship under its citizenship-by-investment program.
Sign up to receive a free copy of our industry leading global immigration magazine
Join our the global immigration communityjoin for free