Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica

Tuesday 22 July 2014

How Do I Apply for Economic Citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica?

The following guidelines were extracted from the document "Policy Guidelines and Procedural Steps for Applying for Economic Citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica (Guidelines for Promoters/Agents/Applicants)" prepared by the Financial Services Unit of the Ministry of Finance.

Background
Introduction
Investment Options
Other Applicable Fees
Requirements
Procedural steps to applying for Economic Citizenship
Procedures for the Conduct of Due Diligence Investigations
Application Forms & Checklist

Background

Chapter VII of the Constitution sets out the conditions under which citizenship may be obtained or granted. Sections 97 to 100 make provisions for entitlement to citizenship by birth, parentage and marriage respectively. Section 101 allows Parliament to pass laws to grant citizenship to other persons who are not entitled under the preceding sections. Section 101 provides as follows:

101. There shall be such provision as may be made by Parliament for –

  1. the acquisition of citizenship of Dominica by persons who are not eligible or who are no longer eligible to become citizens of Dominica under the provisions of this Chapter;

  2. depriving of his citizenship of Dominica any person who is a citizen of Dominica otherwise than by virtue of section 97, 98 or 99 of this Constitution;

  3. the renunciation by any person of his citizenship of Dominica.

Citizenship provided for by section 101 of the Constitution could only be granted under the Naturalization and Citizenship Act which stipulated that persons who had been continuously resident in Dominica for five (5) years could apply for naturalization and may be eligible for citizenship on payment of prescribed fees.

In 1993 the concept of Economic Citizenship was introduced whereby the residency requirement was waived. This amendment to the Citizenship Act meant that for a stipulated investment, persons could apply for Dominica citizenship.

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Introduction

Government views the economic citizenship programme as one component of its national capital mobilization portfolio towards its ultimate goal of national development and as such intends to channel capital from the economic citizenship programme towards public and private sector projects where a need is identified. Public sector projects identified for financing under the programme include (1) building of schools, (2) renovation of the hospital, (3) building of a national Sports stadium and (4) towards the promotion of the Offshore Sector. With respect to private sector projects, government emphasis is on the tourism, information technology and agricultural sectors and therefore public sector projects to be financed under the programme will fall within one of these sectors.

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Investment Options

Package A: Single Applicant A non-refundable investment of US$100,000.00
Package B: Family Application One (Applicant and spouse) A non-refundable investment of US$175,000.00
Package C: Family Application Two (Applicant plus spouse and two children below the age of 18) A non-refundable investment of US$200,000.00
Package D: Family Application Three (Applicant plus spouse and more than two children below the age of 18) A non-refundable investment of US$200,000.00 and US$50,000.00 for every additional person below the age of 18

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Other Applicable Fees

Application fee - US$1,000 per investor (Non-refundable)

Processing Fee - US$200 per applicant (Non-refundable)

Naturalization Fee - US$550 per applicant

Stamp Fee - US$15 per applicant

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Requirements

  • Investors must be over 21 years of age.

  • Applicants for Economic Citizenship must be of outstanding character.

  • Application must be on the prescribed form and all necessary supporting documentation must be provided. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT ALL PHOTOCOPIED DOCUMENTS MUST BE CERTIFIED AS A TRUE COPY BY A NOTARY PUBLIC. FAX COPIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. ALSO ALL DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED MUST BE IN ENGLISH. DOCUMENTS WHICH HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE MUST BE TRANSLATED BY AN OFFICIAL TRANSLATOR WHO SHOULD NOT BE THE AGENT/PROMOTER OF THE INVESTOR.

  • Included in the package also must be a letter of application for economic citizenship addressed to the Minister responsible for Citizenship stating the reason(s) for applying for economic citizenship.

  • Application forms must be signed by applicant or by the parent or lawful guardian of children below eighteen (18) years old.

  • Applicants must have a basic knowledge of the English language.

  • Each investor/applicant under the programme shall deposit into the appropriate account at the National Commercial Bank of Dominica the amount of their investment. This amount shall not be withdrawn from the account unless the application is withdrawn, rejected or approved. In either of the first two cases the applicant will be refunded. However, if the application is rejected because of false information or declarations, forged or fraudulent documents submitted by the applicant then the investment will be forfeited to the Commonwealth of Dominica and shall not be refunded.

  • If the application is refused, all sums (net of bank charges and exchange rate differential) paid into the designated account shall be refunded to the applicant within one (1) month of the rejection of the application. However, no sums paid as fees to Government on applications for economic citizenship shall be refunded. A request for refund shall be addressed to the Minister for Finance.

  • Processing of applications for economic citizenship can take at least eight (8) weeks.

  • All applicants for Economic Citizenship must have a promoter/agent. Overseas promoters must work with a local agent/promoter. See Government Approved Economic Citizenship Agents 2014.

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Procedural Steps to applying for Economic Citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica

Step One: Preparation of applications

Promoters/Agents/Applicants should familiarize themselves with the list of required documents (PDF, 22.1 KB) attached. All the listed documents must be included in the application package in order for applications to be processed.

  1. Application Form 12 (PDF, 42.8 KB) must be completed in duplicate for all persons desirous of Dominican citizenship, children included. A parent or legal guardian of applicants under eighteen (18) years of age must sign the application Form 12 on behalf of the minor. All Form 12s must be notarized to be complete. Reproductions of the Form 12 are accepted. The section of Form 12 labelled “REFERENCE” can be left undone.

  2. Two (2) original personal references (Not Professional References) for the investor, spouse and any child over 18 years old. Testimonials should include a paragraph about the referee, who must be acquainted with the applicant for at least five (5) years. Identical testimonials will not be accepted. Also testimonials should not be from family members. An original letter of recommendation from the Principal/Dean of the school or university for children between 12 and 18 years old.

  3. One (1) original Professional reference for the investor. References should be from person who has been acquainted with the investor’s work for at least three (3) years.

  4. One (1) original recommendation from the investor’s banker (Not a certificate of Deposit/Bank Statement). The investor must be a client of the bank for at least two (2) years. The recommendation should contain the contact information for the bank. Unsigned bank recommendations will not be accepted.

  5. Original Letter of Employment for the investor. If self-employed most recent audited financial statement of the business.

  6. Original affidavit by investor stating source of funds.

  7. Marriage certificate where applicable. If an applicant is divorced and has remarried then a notarized copy of the Dissolution of the Marriage is required.

  8. A letter of application addressed to the Honourable Minister responsible for Citizenship requesting citizenship is required of the investor or the head of the family applying for citizenship stating the reason(s) for applying for economic citizenship.

  9. Original Police clearance certificate or a similar document provided by a law enforcement agency confirming the absence of a criminal record is required of all applicants sixteen (16) years and over. Police records are required from country of birth, citizenship and residence (where the applicant has lived for six (6) months or more) if different. Police records are required from a County/State and at Federal Level. All police records must be accompanied by a set of fingerprints. For children twelve to fifteen (12-15), sworn affidavit by parent that child does not have criminal record.

  10. Four certified passport size photos. On the reverse side of each photo a notary public should endorse the following statement:

    I certify that is a true likeness of the applicant Mr./Miss/Mrs./Ms __________________".
  11. Birth certificate for all applicants.

  12. Notarized copies of University/College diplomas.

  13. Completed medical for all applicants. Applicants between the ages of 0-5 years will not be required to take an HIV test.

  14. Non-refundable Processing Fee of US$200.00.

  15. The non-refundable application fee of US$200 and stamp cost of US$15.00 as stated in the list of fees apply to each applicant. These fees and stamp costs must accompany the rest of the application package. Payments can be made in EC dollars and must be net of all bank and transfer charges. The exchange rate is US$1.00 = EC$2.70.

  16. A detailed resume/business background report is required of all applicants who are working adults. The occupation of all working adults must be clearly indicated.

  17. Completed Disclosure Form for all applicants over 16 years old.

  18. Statutory declaration attesting that the information submitted in the application package is correct. If the applicant is experiencing difficulties in obtaining a statutory declaration, the document may be processed in Dominica.

  19. Any other document deemed necessary by the Minister.

DOCUMENTS SHOULD NOT PRE-DATE THE SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICATION TO THE FSU BY MORE THAN THREE (3) MONTHS

Step two: Submission of application

The complete application package should be submitted to:

The Manager
Financial Services Unit
Ministry of Finance
5th Floor Financial Centre
Roseau
COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA
Tel: (767) 266 3073
Fax: (767) 448 0054
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Step Three: Comfort Letters and Investment Deposits

After careful consideration of the application by the Financial Services Unit, the promoter/agent/applicant will be issued a comfort letter from the Minister of Finance and Social Security. Upon receipt of the comfort letter, the stipulated investment should be deposited into the Citizenship account at the:

National Bank of Dominica
For credit to Ministry of Finance & Planning Government of Dominica – Economic Citizenship Account No. 115003026
64 Hillsborough Street
Roseau
Commonwealth of Dominica
Swift code: NCDMDMDM at BANK OF AMERICA, NEW YORK

The name of the investor should be indicated clearly on the Wire Transfer/Deposit Slip.

Simultaneously, notification of the payment/deposit should be faxed to the Manager of the Financial Services Unit. All investments should be net of bank and transfer charges.

INVESTMENTS WILL NOT BE TRANSFERRED FROM THIS ACCOUNT EITHER FOR PRIVATE OR PUBLIC SECTOR PROJECTS’ USE UNTIL NATURALIZATION CERTIFICATES HAVE BEEN ISSUED.

Step Four: Interviews, Taking Of Oaths & Naturalization

  1. Interviews

    It is mandatory that all investors be interviewed by a government appointed committee or committee members. Interviews are to be conducted in Dominica. The interview will be conducted in English and therefore applicants are expected at a minimum to be able to communicate verbally in English. Also if an investor is unable to travel to Dominica and wish to have his interview conducted overseas then he would be required to pay US$3,000 plus the full cost (hotel, airfare and Per Diem) for three members of the interview panel. It should be noted that under no circumstances will an interview be waived. Government has an approved list of translators who are able to assist in the case where an applicant is not fluent in the English language. A fee of US$100 will be charged for the use of a translator. Interviews will only be conducted where all documents are in order one (1) week prior to the date of the interview and the agent/promoter confirms that the investor will be attending the interview. The questions posed at the interview will fall within the following categories:

    • Personal information and eligibility for Dominica citizenship
    • Social, political and economic life in Dominica
    • Reason for seeking Dominica Citizenship and proposed contribution to Dominica's socio-economic growth
    • Allegiance to Dominica

    It is the responsibility of the promoter/agent/applicant to make the appropriate arrangements and appointments through the Financial Services Unit with regard to the interview.

    The agent will be notified about the results of the interview one month (1) after the interview date. If the application is recommended by the interviewing committee for further processing, it will be forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Labour, that is the ministry responsible for granting economic citizenship. It should be noted that submission of an application to this ministry does not guarantee economic citizenship.

  2. Taking of Oath

    Upon final approval of application by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Labour each applicant is required to sign an Oath of Allegiance before a Notary Public, Justice of Peace or Commissioner of Oaths. Parents or legally appointed guardians of minors, ages zero to sixteen (0 - 16) must sign the Oath of Allegiance on the behalf of the minor. At this point, each applicant is to pay a registration fee of US$1,000.00. A Certificate of Naturalization is then prepared and forwarded to the promoter/agent/applicant.

Step Five: Procurement of Passports

Passports can only be issued after the applicant has been granted citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica, that is, after he/she is issued a Certificate of Naturalization under the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Labour. The applicant/agent/promoter is entirely responsible for the securing of passports. No government officer or department is responsible for applying for passports for any individual. Passports can be procured by submitting the following to the Immigration Office, Police Headquarters, Roseau:

  1. Certificate of Naturalization
  2. Certified copy of birth certificate
  3. Completed passport application forms for each applicant along with Government Treasury receipt of EC$100 on Form "A" for adults or Form "B" for children (0-16 years). These forms must be submitted as issued by the Immigration Department. Reproduction or duplicates will not be accepted.
  4. Two passport-size photographs - 2.5" x 2"

Fees for:

  1. Renewal of Passports – EC$100.00
  2. Replacement of Lost Passports – EC$500.00

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Procedures For The Conduct Of Due Diligence Investigations

The following procedure is to be adopted for the conduct of due diligence investigations: -

  1. The Disclosure Form (PDF, 43.8 KB)is to be completed in duplicate for all applicants sixteen (16) years and above.
  2. The agent/promoter/investor should forward the original Disclosure Form together with the necessary payment to the due diligence agency. The duplicate form together with the other required application documents will be submitted to the FSU.
  3. After the background investigation has been completed, the due diligence company will forward the results directly to the FSU.

It should be noted that the cost of the investigation is the responsibility of the applicant.

Approved Due Diligence Agencies

  1. Ms. Melissa Kelly
    Executive Vice President

    Ms. Marianne O’Keefe
    President

    Bishops Services inc
    249 West 17th Street
    New York
    NY 10011
    Tel: (646) 827 4994
    Fax: (646) 829 3113
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Ms. Mariela Geier
    Senior Director
    Kroll Associates
    1200 Brickell Avenue
    20th Floor
    Miami
    Florida 33131
    Tel: (305) 789 7100
    Fax: (305) 789 7159
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Financial Examinations & Evaluations, Inc.
    3030 S. Rural Road #107
    Tempe, Arizona 85282

    Tel: (480) 838 1728 & (480) 239 1745
    Cell: (480) 239 1745
    Fax: (480) 237 5953
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Website: www.FeeInc.com

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Application Forms & Checklist

For more information, contact:

Financial Services Unit
Ministry of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Information Technology
5th Floor, Financial Centre
Kennedy Avenue
Roseau
Commonwealth of Dominica
Telephone:(767) 266 3514
Fax No: (767) 448 0054
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.