The Commonwealth of Dominica offers the world’s best Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, according to an independent study published by an FT Specialist magazine. It boasts a reputation for accessibility, efficiency and integrity. His Excellency Ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan, Head of the Dominican Citizenship by Investment Unit, spoke to London-headquartered advisory CS Global Partners about how the Programme works.
Under the Dominican CBI Programme, highly vetted applicants can obtain second citizenship via two channels: a contribution of at least US$100,000 to the government’s Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) or a minimum investment of US$200,000 in pre-approved real estate. The EDF is more straightforward, whereas the real estate option provides shares and a return on investment from luxury resorts and boutique hotels.
On why the small island only draws foreign investors with clean records, Ambassador Nanthan commented: “We have some of the best companies in the world do our due diligence for us […] We use the best due diligence [services] to ensure that we have excellently vetted investors.”
Attesting to its efficiency and security, the Programme asks EDF applicants to make a one-time contribution to a government-held account. The process does not involve any intermediaries other than the authorised agent that investors must apply through. Applicants do not need to enter any further contracts, agreements or other transactions before making the investment.
Additionally, Dominica does not normally ask EDF applicants to attend an interview, have previous business experience or demonstrate language skills. What they must show, however, is moral qualities and a clean source of funds. This is because, as a small country known for its high standards of safety and friendly locals, Dominica only accepts bona fide applicants to become its new economic citizens.
New citizens applying through the EDF are also helping their adoptive country prosper and have better healthcare, education, infrastructure etc. This is because the purpose of the EDF under the Dominican CBI Programme is to support the local population by funding both nationwide development and more targeted initiatives.
EDF-funded projects include the construction of climate-resilient homes, upgrading the infrastructure, opening more health centres and building a geothermal plant to supply the whole island with clean energy. These projects all fall in line with Dominica’s aim of becoming the world’s first climate-resilient nation – a goal Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit set after Hurricane Maria. Known as the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, Dominica advocates for environmental protection and insists hotels and guests embrace it too.
His Excellency talked about the moral aspect of what it means to be part of Dominica’s ‘global community’: “We are a country that believes in kindness and nature and that’s the essence of being a Dominican citizen. The joy of living in a country that is clean, that is green, is part of the pride I have as a Dominican.”