India’s economy has undergone dramatic changes which have led to a trend of Indians renouncing their Indian citizenship for alternative citizenship in countries around the world. Global markets have proven to be more favourable for Indian high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), such as investment opportunities for alternative citizenship through citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes. In 2022, The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) reported that 225,620 Indians had renounced their citizenship, this is the highest number of Indian migrants in the past 12 years. Thankfully, Dominica’s CBI Programme could soon have access to globally renowned institutions.
Challenges faced in India
Constantly affecting businesses and families of HNWIs are challenging economic and political uncertainties. In recent years Indian HNWIs have migrated overseas for better economic conditions. Indian HNWIs are exposed to high levels of bureaucracy that lead to restriction of business trading and high tax rates. With alternative citizenship, HNWIs can open possibilities for securing their investments and their families future.
Could Dominica’s CBI programme be the solution?
The Commonwealth of Dominica – the “Nature Isle” of the Caribbean, is an island paradise filled with rich cultural heritage, and exhilarating natural greenery. Dominica is a welcoming small island nation, with low crime rates creating safety and security for businesses, local residences, international visitors, and future-thinking HNWIs.
Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme offers Indian HNWIs an affordable, simple and quick route to obtaining Dominican citizenship and the ability to collaborate with the global community. Alternative citizenship from Dominica allows these HNWIs to give their children the privilege of studying through world-class academic institutions. They can also receive quality hospital care from advanced medical facilities.
Benefits of Dominica’s CBI Programme
The Dominican CBI has gained popularity over the years, as there are multiple advantages of having alternative citizenship. Dominica has become one of the most alluring countries to gain alternative citizenship from, as it has proven to provide business opportunities and adventure experiences like no other country in the world.
Dominica’s agriculture sector makes up the largest percentage in the country’s economy. The island’s main crops are bananas, citrus fruits and coconuts. The island also produces cocoa, coffee and tropical vegetables, making Dominica self-reliant on their fresh produce. Furniture and other goods are made from commercial timber grown in Dominica’s forests.
Pumice is a volcanic rock that is the island’s commercial mineral in trade and used in the construction industry, along with clay, copper, gravel, limestone and volcanic ash.
There are tax incentives for investors that include import duties and tax exemptions.
Tourism has grown during the 2022 cruise season and tourist season, with over 60,000 visitors and an estimated 300,000 cruise ship day visitors in 2022. Lush wildlife, luxury adventures and endless family-fun are some of the things that attract visitors to this “Nature Island of the Caribbean”. The Prime Minister of Dominica, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, expressed his gratitude on social media with welcoming the cruise ships and their passengers.
In the 2023 global index of economic freedom, Dominica’s economic freedom scored 5.3 points higher than in 2022. The country ranked 19th out of 32 countries in North and South America, and above average globally.
The country’s economy continues to thrive from the CBI Programme funds, as the country has managed to effectively respond to natural disasters through mitigating, adapting and resilience towards natural disaster management. The Climate Resilience and Recovery Plan (CRRP) is part of the National Resilience Development Strategy 2030 (NDRS) that consists of Dominica’s Government policy framework and 43 resilience principles to ensure economic development for Dominican citizens. The CRRP is structured on three pillars that are financial resilience, post-disaster resilience, and structural resilience.
Only eligible applicants who comply with the island’s CBI requirements are granted alternative citizenship. Applicants can only apply through a licenced authorised agent, who acts as a go-between with the Dominca Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU). After that, Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) conducts robust due diligence. The country uses multiple institutions and vetting processes in its due diligence when reviewing applications.
Dominica is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), The Commonwealth, the Organization of American States, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Dominica uses the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) as its currency, which has been pegged to the US Dollar since 1976.
Safety and Security
Dominica is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean and Latin America. The country ranked 3rd in the Caribbean and 33rd in the world in the World Citizenship Report (WCR) 2022. The data for the WCR was collected from the Global Peace Index (CPI) 2021 and the World Governance Indicators (WGI).
The country takes accountability of political leaders seriously, as well as allowing Dominican citizens to have a voice in Dominica.
In 2017, Hurricane Maria had devastating economic and environmental effects in Dominica. Subsequently, Prime Minister Skerrit made it the country’s priority goal to make Dominica the world’s first climate-resilient island. This led to the National Resilience Development Strategy (NDRS), which consisted of a plan with 43 climate resilience policy objectives that are people centric.
Dominica’s Government ensured that their mission would materialise into a vision by implementing measures and resources. Built under the Housing Recovery Project, these houses are climate-resilient.
Dominica’s CBI Programme investment options
Launched in 1993, Dominica’s CBI Programme is of the most popular in the world. Investment citizenship is one of the quickest to obtain and acquire a Dominican citizenship. Most importantly, there are two options that eligible HNWIs may select from:
Economic Diversification Fund (EDF). The EDF is a non-refundable Government funding investment option. Donated funds are used towards public and private projects in the country, mainly in supporting private sector projects. These projects include developing agriculture, information technology and tourism sectors in the economy. In the public sector, the Government selected various sectors that require development, such as hospital renovations, building modern and new schools, and developing a national sports stadium.
A minimum investment of US$100,000 is required by the eligible applicant. Likewise, additional due diligence and processing fees applied per applicant.
Real Estate Investment. Eligible applicants can select an approved property from and contribute a minimum of US$200,000. The real estate must be held for five years from the date of citizenship obtained. However, it may only be resalable through the CBI Programme. This investment option includes additional Government fees.