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Thursday, 5 March 2015

CHANGES TO DOMINICA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAMME


Fresh Water Lake, Dominica (Compliment N. Lawrence)
The New Year, 2015, has brought a number of changes to key institutions in the Commonwealth of Dominica.  The elections of December 8, 2014 returned the ruling Dominica Labour Party to Government, albeit with two fewer seats. Mindful of concerns raised about the Economic Citizenship Programme and the need to create employment for the youth of this country, the Government has enforced new regulations regarding the Citizenship by Investment Programme (formerly the Economic Citizenship Programme).

The Government of Dominica revamped the Citizenship by Investment programme in January 2014 adopting its new name and introducing, in addition to the cash investment option, a real estate option. This new option is aimed at engendering growth in the private and public sectors through tourism, agriculture, information technology and manufacturing.

Mr. Emmanuel Nanthan, former advisor to the Prime Ministers of Dominica for the past fifteen, heads the Citizenship by Investment Unit. As he settles into the new position, Mr. Nanthan has jumpstarted processes to enhance the efficiency of the Unit.  The interview, which formed an integral part of the Citizenship by Investment programme, was deemed no longer mandatory in October, 2014. However, this change only came into effect in January, 2015. Nevertheless, the Government of Dominica still reserves the prerogative to request an interview of the applicant if it is considered necessary.

Among other changes, the Due Diligence fees are now payable directly to Government on submission of the application for citizenship.  The Government initiates the Due Diligence process with the Investigative Agency.  The fees quoted for Due Diligence investigation are now bundled with the processing fee. In addition, bank statements for the main applicant for the period of twelve months immediately preceding the submission of application are now required.  Fast past passports may be obtained at the cost of US$500.00!

Changes have also been made to application forms and some new forms have been presented. The former Disclosure Form and Medical Questionnaire have been tidied up and have been assigned the names D1 and D3 respectively. There is now a Fingerprint and Photograph Verification Form, D2 and an Investment Agreement Form, D4, for the real estate option. The Form 12 has not been altered and is still being used.




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