Dual citizenship is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition for many South Africans concerned with the trajectory of their country. The Commonwealth of Dominica, a tropical paradise situated in the heart of the Caribbean, offers much-needed stability and peace of mind with an established citizenship by investment programme.

A recent Business Day Dialogues, in partnership with CS Global Partners, focused on the advantages of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, including what makes the Programme so attractive to South African investors, the application requirements and process, and the eligibility criteria.

Dominica’s Prime Minister, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, explained that the Caribbean nation is a member of the Commonwealth. Boasting a unique and diverse landscape, the country is made of rugged volcanic mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, rainforests and beaches and is one of the region’s leading tourism destinations. The nation offers several luxury eco-tourism resorts, and the construction of a new international airport is currently underway.

Described as a small nation with a big heart, Prime Minister Skerrit said Dominica is a world leader in advocating for climate change. The country aims to be the world’s first climate-resilient nation by 2030. According to the World Citizenship Report (WCR), it is also ranked as one of the safest countries in the Caribbean.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Dominica to grow its gross domestic product an average of 5% a year between 2022 and 2026.

The country offers a good standard of living, low levels of crime, good education offerings and a high standard of health care. On the business front, Dominica provides a welcoming environment, good investment opportunities, access to other markets and an easily navigated tax system. The country’s currency is pegged to the USD.

Dominica is run by a stable and trusted government with a sustainable debt ratio and strong fiscal policies. In addition, the government supports private sector investments and ensures that these investments are protected by law.

Ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan, the Head of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Unit, explained that the citizenship by investment programme allows foreigners to invest in Dominica and gain citizenship. Established in 1993, Dominica’s Programme is one of the oldest in existence.

The Programme offers citizenship via two routes. The first is a one-off contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund, which offers the most direct and affordable route to citizenship. This option requires an investment of USD 100,000 (ZAR 1.6 million). The second path is through an approved real estate purchase that comes with an attractive return of investment.

Applicants are required to pass through a robust six-tiered vetting and due diligence process. If certain requirements are fulfilled, citizenship may be extended to the investor’s spouse, dependent children, siblings, parents and grandparents.

Additional advantages of second citizenship from Dominica include increased global mobility, investing in a stable currency pegged to the US dollar, wealth diversification and growth and the ability to pass citizenship down for generations to come.

“Those who receive their citizenship via the Programme enjoy the same rights as those born in the country and are treated as equal under the law,” assured Prime Minister Skerrit.

“Second citizenship is like an insurance policy,” says Micha Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners, a leading legal advisory that specialises in intelligent citizenship solutions. “Dominica offers a good fit in terms of providing a viable plan B for South Africans wanting an alternative option. Applying for citizenship is a seamless process. Applicants don’t need to travel to Dominica, nor do they need to fulfil a residency requirement.”

The country’s citizenship by investment programme is transparent about where the money received is used. Accounting firm PwC scrutinised the Programme’s records and reported its findings in 2019.

The report stated that EC$582.6 million was spent from citizenship by investment funds across a range of sectors to support hurricane recovery efforts and Dominica’s broader economic growth. Citizenship by investment funding resulted in the rehabilitation of 15 sections of damaged roads and 19 bridges, the construction of three hospitals and six health centres, and the repair of 15 damaged schools.

For more information, visit the official Dominica Citizenship by Investment website:  www.cbiu.gov.dm or contact info@csglobalpartners.com