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Dominica has been a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations since independence in 1978. Picture: SUPPLIED/CS GLOBAL PARTNERS
Dominica has been a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations since independence in 1978. Picture: SUPPLIED/CS GLOBAL PARTNERS

Dual citizenship is becoming an attractive proposition for many South Africans concerned with the trajectory of their home country.

Dominica, a tropical island paradise situated in the heart of the Caribbean, has an established citizenship by investment programme, and attaining second citizenship via this route can offer South Africans a sense of safety and security for the future.

The advantages of this programme, as well as what makes Dominica so attractive to investors, were discussed during a recent Business Day Dialogue, hosted in partnership with CS Global Partners, a leading legal advisory that specialises in intelligent citizenship solutions.

During this webinar (watch it below), Dominica’s prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, explained that the Caribbean nation is a member of the Commonwealth — a win for businesspeople seeking to broaden their professional prospects though visa-free travel.

Boasting a diverse landscape, the country features 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 now under way.

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

On the business front, Dominica provides a welcoming environment, exciting investment opportunities, access to other markets and an easily navigated tax system

Along with low levels of crime, the country offers a good standard of living, good education offerings and a high standard of health care.

On the business front, Dominica provides a welcoming environment, exciting investment opportunities, access to other markets and an easily navigated tax system. The country’s currency, the East Caribbean dollar (EC$), is pegged to the US dollar. 

The International Monetary Fund expects Dominica to increase its GDP by an average of 5% a year between 2022 and 2026.

The country 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. 

Two routes to citizenship by investment

Established in 1993, Dominica’s citizenship by investment programme is one of the oldest in existence and the country is transparent about where the money received from it is used.

Accounting firm PwC scrutinised the programme’s records and reported its findings in 2019. The report stated that EC$582.6m (about R3.2bn) was spent across a range of sectors to support hurricane recovery efforts and Dominica's broader economic growth. This 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.

During the webinar, ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan, the head of Dominica’s citizenship by investment unit, said this programme allows foreigners to invest in the country and gain 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 $100,000 (R1.6m).

The second path is through an approved real estate purchase that comes with an attractive return of investment.

Applicants are required to pass 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. 

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, 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 Skerrit. 

“Second citizenship is like an insurance policy,” said Micha Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners, another of the webinar's expert panellists.

“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.”

For more information about the Dominica citizenship by investment programme, visit cbiu.gov.dm or email info@csglobalpartners.com.

This article was paid for by CS Global Partners.

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