Dominica Introduced a "Groundbreaking Policy" for Families Seeking Citizenship by Investment, PM Skerrit Says

Dominica Introduced a "Groundbreaking Policy" for Families Seeking Citizenship by Investment, PM Skerrit Says

PR Newswire

LONDON, Sept. 1, 2020

LONDON, Sept. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Commonwealth of Dominica has introduced major changes to its world-leading Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. These concern a significant expansion of family members that can qualify for second citizenship from Dominica as part of the same application or even long after the receipt of citizenship. In a webinar with Gulf News on Monday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit described the new policy as "groundbreaking".

PM Skerrit explained that the government decided to make the new changes upon consultation with prospective applicants, economic citizens, authorised marketing promoter CS Global Partners, real estate developers and promoters. As a result, Dominica's Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) identified that family reunification through CBI became especially important in light of the ongoing uncertainty caused by the global pandemic. Moreover, the PM said that Dominica reduced the qualifying fund contribution for a family of four from US$200,000 to US$175,000, comprising the main applicant, their spouse and two dependants other than a sibling.

Premier Skerrit described five major changes to the CBI Programme:

"1. Any dependant can be related to either the main applicant or the main applicant's spouse;
2. We impose no age limitations on parents and grandparents;
3. For all adult dependants, other than a spouse, there need only be a showing of substantial support on the part of the main applicant or the spouse of the main applicant, where, previously, we required full support […];
4. We allow siblings up to the age of 25, but we are also cautious that, for any sibling who is a minor - that is under the age of 18 - consent must be granted by the parents;
5. And we are the only country, really, that allows spouses of qualifying parents and grandparents to also be included in the CBI application, so long as there is a showing that they are substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant's spouse."

For this reason, the Prime Minister argues that "this is, we could say, a ground-breaking policy that the government […] has introduced because we understand the importance of family, we understand the importance of keeping families together, we understand the need for family members to continue looking out for each other."

PM Skerrit notes that Dominica has remained the number one country for citizenship by investment for three consecutive years in the most prestigious industry ranking - the CBI Index, published yearly by the Financial Times' Professional Wealth Management magazine. He believes Dominica is also well-suited for family relocation because the government can offer key essentials: security and safety for one's family and business, coupled with high-quality education and healthcare. He elaborated that, "in respect to security and safety, we have minimal crime in Dominica […] We are a safe place for you to raise your families, and Dominica is, no doubt, a very safe place."

Ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan, the Head of the CBIU, joined the webinar with Gulf News and added that Dominica's Programme is favoured by investors due to its 27-year experience, three-month processing, straightforward requirements and, above all, strong due diligence. All applicants must first pass a series of security checks before being 'approved in principle', after which they make a qualifying investment. This can either be in the form of a contribution of at least US$100,000 to a government fund or an investment of US$200,000 or more in pre-approved hotels and resorts.

"If efficiency, if experience, if longevity is the lifeblood, the main aspect of our Programme is actually the due diligence - that is the heart," commented Ambassador Nanthan. "We have contracted the best due diligence firms in the world," he continued, "who do due diligence for the largest financial agencies. We chose firms from the UK and from the US mainly, and they must do for us an enhanced due diligence. They must do a 'boots-on-the-ground' due diligence."

His Excellency argued that, besides ensuring the country's own security and the Programme's impeccable reputation, having strong due diligence checks was also important to maintain the country's strong diplomatic ties. "The global community has to ensure that they have solid due diligence. And because of that, we are able to expand the number of visa-free access globally. So three, four years ago we had access to 120 countries - today, we have up to 140 countries and we are counting. We have added places like Russia, we have signed with China, we have added Brazil, we are working on a number of countries in Africa, in Europe, etc. And that's because our applicants and our process ensures that due diligence is important."

To find out how to apply for Dominica's Citizenship by Investment Programme, please visit the CBIU website.

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