BBC rates Dominica as cheapest place to buy citizenship

passportDominica is the cheapest place in the world to buy citizenship, according to a report by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

“For an investment of $100,000 plus various fees, as well as an in-person interview on the island, citizenship can be bought,” the repor dated June 3, said. “However, experts caution that because the interview committee meets only once a month, actually getting a Dominican passport can take anywhere from five to 14 months.”

The report stated that since Dominica is a Commonwealth nation, “citizens get special privileges in the UK, and citizens can also travel to 50 countries, including Switzerland, without a visa.”

Next in line is St. Kitts, which according to the report, has the longest running citizenship-by-investment programme (CIP) in the world, which was founded in 1984.

“There are two methods to obtain citizenship, with the cheapest option being a $250,000 non-refundable donation to the St Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, a public charity,” the report stated. “A second option involves a minimum $400,000 investment in real estate in the country.”

The program in St. Kitts was recently “singled out by the US Treasury, which cautioned that Iranian nationals could be obtaining passports and then use them to travel to the US or make investments, which could violate US sanctions.”

In late 2013 Antigua and Barbuda introduced its CIP for a $400,000 real estate investment or a $200,000 donation to a charity.

Prime minister Baldwin Spencer said CIP was essential because of economic slowdown and “the virtual disappearance of traditional funding sources”.

However, he warned that Antigua’s program “is not an open-sesame for all and sundry.”

Othe countries on the list include Malta and Cyprus.

The BBC report quoted Henley and Partners citizenship expert, Christian Kalin, as estimating that every year, “several thousand people spend a collective $2bn (£1.2bn; 1.5bn euros) to add a second, or even third, passport to their collection.”

“Just like you diversify an investment portfolio, you want to diversify your passport portfolio,” he said. The option has proven popular with Chinese and Russian citizens, as well as those from the Middle East.

Concerns have been raised about transparency and accountability, according to the BBC.

In January, Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, said in a speech: “Citizenship must not be up for sale.”

Late last year the Dominica Cabinet approved regulations for a new ‘variant’ of the island’s Economic Citizenship Program.

The new variant targets investors who prefer “fixed investments, such as real estate and /or a local address” and is separated from the Financial Services Unit (FSU).

“It is a stand alone unit so that we could give more focus and attention to administrative issues and concerns in respect to the Economic Citizenship Program,” prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, explained.

In August last year attorney general, Levi Peter, projected that Dominica will earn in excess of $60-million from the economic citizenship program for the financial year of 2013-2014.

READ ORIGINAL BBC REPORT 

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58 Comments

  1. June 8, 2014

    Around 8 weeks ago I made an online applictaion for a Visa to visit Senegal (DAK’ART 2014) Naturally, I had to state my country of origin, I opened the drop-down menue and searched in vain fo Dominica… I saw St. Lucia, Guadaloupe, Jamaica etc,
    but could only find the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo)
    I had no choice but to put DR as my country of origin. I was bit annoyed by this slackness on the behalf of the Senegalese embassy and sent an email to them complaining about the fact that DA was not on their drop down menue, I also copied in the DA High commision into the email.
    Within 24 hours I had recieved a very apologetic letter from The Senegalese embassy Aplogising for the ommission of DA from their list of countries. Up to now I have not yet received a word from the hopeless buncha of hiiiiiiiiidiats! at the High commission.
    So the fact that DA citizenship is being sold cheap comes as no
    supprise to me. We Africans & Afrikans descendants have been selling ourselves cheap for centuries

  2. James
    June 6, 2014

    I remeber when Mike Douglas, his brother Russie and Pierro were in office all I had to do to get a Dominica was show up with my mom’s birth cerfificate and pay the necessary fees. I grew up in Dominica and visit every year. Now my friend who was also born in the US but grew up in Dominica can’t get a passport. Although she visits every year, they said she must stay in Dominica for 5 yrs or marry a Dominican born. Remember this girl spend 18 yrs in Dominica before moving back to the US and she visits her grandparents every summer. Since she doesn’t have 100,000.00 she’ll have to get a loan inorder to by her citizenship. Selling citizenship is big business in Dominica but we can’t see where the money is going.

  3. John
    June 6, 2014

    Soon you are going to see a lot of Afghanistan Taliban arriving on Dominica to pick their passports, PM Skerrit is going to sell Dominica passports to the Taliban too.

  4. IluvmyPm
    June 5, 2014

    Dominican passport is like merchandise from china, de one china policy good one skerro

  5. youth
    June 5, 2014

    just wash your foot and come in!

  6. B
    June 5, 2014

    The whole world seems to be moving. Yes, there is global migration. But, most countries to where people are migrating are not selling their passports. I believe there is still the ‘visa process’ and then the granting of citizenship if proven to be a good citizen after a period of years. The wealthy will buy the passports, and also, quickly buy up the real estate – because they have the money. What will be next? A government run by citizens born out of state? This program needs to be reviewed.

  7. ATKINSON
    June 5, 2014

    If Tommy Lee had know the cost of Dominica citizenship, he should have got a passport and would not have been arrested :mrgreen:

  8. Neutral
    June 4, 2014

    One would not receive citizenship right away in the USA but with money to invest you are granted some form of residency with could eventually lead to citizenship. I don’t see the difference.

    • True Dominican
      June 8, 2014

      The difference is that we cannot account for the proceeds from the sale of the passport in the Dominica Treasury given the number of passports sold. The numbers do not add up and we have no idea if the money goes in ‘kickbacks” or if the auditors ever perform audits on the passport sale.

      In the USA, there are various funds that are set for these types of investments and when the auditors such as EY or KPMG come in to audit, they are able to respond to auditor inquiries.

    • 888
      June 8, 2014

      really?

  9. blessings
    June 4, 2014

    That’ a crime shame

  10. June 4, 2014

    Our citizenship/passports are not the only CHEAP things. LOOK AROUND.

  11. Economic Citizen
    June 4, 2014

    Dominica is expected to welcome over 600 economic citizens if levi peter projection goes as planned. $60,000,000 divided by approximately $100,000 equals 600. That will ofcourse be in addition to the Haitians and Dominican Republicans and those crimminals who would not want to be published so they would be expected to pay more… cheap sale or we do not sell cheap passports we sell good passports cheap… lol :lol: :lol: :lol:

  12. IluvmyPm
    June 4, 2014

    Bring Dominican is worth nothing

  13. shaka zulu
    June 4, 2014

    The price you put on yourself reflects the value you place on yourself amongst others. The fact we are the cheapest reflects on how much the leaders value being Dominican.

    You guys ever wonder why we were told is not our damn business, go to hell, and called cockroaches. Have you ever wondered why Dominicans are not smart enough to advice leaders, design and build infrastructure, agro center, manage and build hotels, abatoir, agro center or manufacture anything. I could name a long list. Oh I forget the hospital and country not good enough for child’s birth.

    When will you guys see the blantant disrespect for country and people. If this regime don’t change then I am coming and fight to be pm because is the only place I know you can disrespect and look down on your people and they will still love you even while there are increase people on welfare while I get super wealthy.

  14. rescue 911
    June 4, 2014

    Dominica first where it should be last and Last where it should be first

  15. June 4, 2014

    That need to be change our country is so precious and our government runs it like nothing.

  16. My own poll
    June 4, 2014

    I ALWAYS use to hear old people say to “Becareful with cheap things because most times cheap things are not good.”

    • JoJo
      June 4, 2014

      You get what you pay for. Dominica cheapest citizenship prostitute on the block. I’m ashamed to say that but it is true and it hurts.

  17. My own poll
    June 4, 2014

    Finally! Finally! Finally! We made it to number one on somebody’s list! In your face rest of Caribbean islands! Earlier this week, we were ranked LAST in the Caribbean in Foreign Investment Attraction. But today we are ranked UNO #1, for what again? Oh, is it for cheap round trip tickets? NO. It is Number 1, as the Cheapest place in the world to buy citizenship.” NOT IN THE CARIBBEAN BUT IN THE WORLD!!! Boy we can compete and make that thingy real affordable. Our goodies are so cheap that our customers can travel to over 50 countries in the world without a visa. So I guess they are saying our program is so cheap that our program is putting over 50 countries in the world at risk of granting entry to terrorists and criminals, that posses a Dominican passport.

    • Cindy
      June 4, 2014

      I just read an article recently in a major U.S daily newspaper where a Palestinian man was migrating to Brazil because he was able to obtain a passport from the island of Dominica.

      That’s where are folks….

  18. LISTEN!!!!!
    June 4, 2014

    My observation is Grenada does not have an CIP program and is able to attract this level of direct foreign investment.

    If means we have a very lazy GOVT which only looks for easy and un-accountable means to bring money into the country example via CIP program and will not do the proper vetting process as they prostitute our passports at the lowest price in the marketplace.

    • MB
      June 4, 2014

      You are wrong. Grenada does have an economic citizenship programme.

      Proper procedures are in place and a full due diligence check is carried out also.

      Without this cash injection, there would not be enough money to run the country – it’s as simple as that.

      Whether you agree or disagree with the raising of these funds is a different matter.

      This is a key source of revenue which, whomever is in power, will not be able to function without.

    • Jay
      June 4, 2014

      For your information, Grenada does have its own Citizenship by Investment Programme. It was represented a the recent Citizenship by Investment Forum, held in Dubai (26-29 April, 2014) with a high-level delegation in the form of Oliver Joseph (Min. of Finance) and Nicholas Steele (Min. of Foreign Affairs & International Business). Oddly enough, Dominica was represented at the even by our U.N. Ambassador , Vincent Henderson, to substitute for Ambrose George and Roosevelt Skerrit , who were originally featured as speakers at this event.

    • Bee
      June 4, 2014

      you hit the nail on the head!

    • Bee
      June 4, 2014

      some how i can see Lennox, Matt and Carlisle getting the blame for that one. LOL

  19. Anthony Ismael
    June 4, 2014

    I read the article in its entirety on BBC’s website last night. I then compared our low pricing for the “Economic Citizenship Program,” with the abhorrent direct foreign investment data that was recently released, and as usual, serious questions emerged. Some of the academic bin counters are boldly stating that we should not make a big deal about being last in this category and I am forced to question that brand of logic. How could these numbers be irrelevant, when one examines the landscape of Dominica’s current economic debacle and astronomical unemployment figures? The government is incapable of doing everything, no matter which political outfit is elected into office.

  20. Not Me Alone
    June 4, 2014

    That’s a warning to Dominica! We are putting those people in harms way.

  21. My own poll
    June 4, 2014

    I hope those blind supporters of the DLP ,do not believe that the reason why the BBC put out this information is because they want to tell the world where they could get cheapest passports, because that’s not the case. That is just diplomatic language. Here is why they put it out and that is frightening:
    ” The report stated that since Dominica is a Commonwealth nation, “citizens get special privileges in the UK, and citizens can also travel to 50 countries, including Switzerland, without a visa.” In other words, they are technically saying that WE ARE PUTTING THEM AT RISK

  22. real possie
    June 4, 2014

    Helping us. Not to long ago someone did this same news and grouped Dominica In a bad light with SK when the worry was about SK giving Iranians passports but they grouped us now the have no choice but to single SK out and I did bring that point out then look who’s at the helm of SK program and that s the same people in waiting to take over our own when the new Gov. is formed, but God has a way of working every knee shall bow and every tongue shal tell Hahahaha.

    • Anonymous
      June 4, 2014

      We have Pakistanis buying our passports through Dubai. You think the U.S. security services not worried about that? The U.K. is treating us very leniently because for travel to all other E.U. Schengen countries like France, Belgium Holland, Spain , Italy etc. etc. you now need to go to their embassy and apply in person after first giving them your fingerprints and eye scan. You think that is because they don’t like Dominica? If so, the E.U. would not give us so much grant and development aid. I believe they must have serious doubts about our identity papers being genuine.

  23. Doc. Love
    June 4, 2014

    We are only in June, however, I would like to nominate Mr. Lennox Linton as man of the year also Prime Minister. It was Mr. Linton, who notified Dominicans that Dominica was last with regards to Foreign Direct Investments. Recently, the ECCU ranking confirmed, Mr. Linton was on target. It was Mr. Linton who informed Dominicans with regards to Ministers of Government alleged behavior as it pertained to rape, today, Dominicans are fully aware of the serious nature of this situation. On several occasions, Mr. Linton warned Dominicans relative to the racket that does on with regards to the sale of Dominica’s Passport, those of us who did not want to believe him, must believe the BBC report.

  24. ehhhhhh
    June 4, 2014

    bonjour dca last in everyting….jahhhhh help my country 8-O 8-O 8-O 8-O

    • Anonymous
      June 4, 2014

      What do you want? Ali Baba in charge here.

  25. tom
    June 4, 2014

    “The programme has recently been singled out by the US Treasury, which cautioned that Iranian nationals could be obtaining passports and then use them to travel to the US or make investments, which could violate US sanctions. (St Kitts closed its programme to Iranians in December 2011.)

    However, Mr Kalin of Henley and Partners, which helped to set up the programme, says that while the programme has its issues, “St Kitts is relatively well run – it’s in a way a model.”

    He adds that Caribbean locations are good for interim passports for “global citizens” who are looking to eventually establish themselves via investments in other “economic citizenship” programmes like those in Portugal or Singapore.”.. Henley and Partners? Global Citizens? those names sound awfully familiar.

  26. WEC RED RED RED
    June 4, 2014

    Change is a must no longer will be known as the bottom,country

    • FAST N FURIOUS
      June 4, 2014

      The change one can see so far is to CHANGE the opposition!

  27. why???
    June 4, 2014

    :cry: The worst caribben island all becuz of the DLP :cry:

    • June 4, 2014

      I do not think it is the DLP per say, but the person leading the DLP. Do you not agree?

      • Malgraysa
        June 5, 2014

        I agree totally. A man, who has his roots in the Freedom party, changes his alliance for monetary considerations and then proceeds to hi-jack the party he joined for personal gain. I feel betrayed and will not vote DLP this time. If I have to I will abstain as my sign of protest.

  28. Dominican for sure
    June 4, 2014

    While Dominica maybe the cheapest place to buy Citizenship; what is intesting, St. Kitts programme is more into question that that of Dominica.

    • Jay
      June 4, 2014

      I must take issue with you on that because your assertion is not in accordance with the facts. St. Kitts & Nevis is a full OECS member, as is Dominica. Yet, the holders of a St.Kitts&Nevis Caricom passport (same format as ours) have visa free access to Canada as well as all Schengen countries i.e the entire E.U, whereas holders of Dominica’s passports do not enjoy the same privileges.. The question that must be asked is why Dominica is treated different from its sister island St. Kitts & Nevis with regard to visa restrictions. Simple prejudice clearly can not be the answer in this case.

  29. derp
    June 4, 2014

    This program will bring ruin to Dominica, in the future, time will tell….

  30. cc
    June 4, 2014

    Citizenship of a country is something that should be earned, not sold so easily to the highest bidder.

  31. Pedro
    June 4, 2014

    If we are going to prostitute our citizenship to the world, why cant we do it for more money then? Must we always be last in every form of investment in the Caribbean. Its already clear from the figures that DA has the lowest rate of Foreign Direct Investment in the Caribbean, and by such a huge margin to the country just above our standing!

    • Lang Mama
      June 4, 2014

      Peter Watch your mouth Tony and Lennox Father Lawrence will sue you on behalf of Dominica for calling Dominica a prostitute. Peter Garcon Behave yourself

  32. Free Thinker
    June 4, 2014

    We well reach……..we going down slowly!

  33. Ron
    June 4, 2014

    50-60 million estimated? My goodness WHERE THE MONEY GOING?

    • cc
      June 4, 2014

      In politicans pockets

  34. Rolling-My-Eyes
    June 4, 2014

    I read the complete article on BBC and have been following the program closely at home and to be honest I’ve come to the conclusion that the program DOES have its benefits that far outway the negatives if managed correctly.
    For instance, I’m of the firm belief that the amount charged is too low. More importantly, the avenue the fees takes is imperative. I will get a lot of hate for this (hence the name rolling-my-eyes) but charity is not a true investment. While it looks good on paper it lacks substance. It’s great and all to fund the purchase of textbooks, paint a school it doesn’t impact the economy to any degree. The program’s funds should go into sustainable economic development whether that be business startup loans etc. Basically teach a man to fish, blah blah blah.

    Additionally, I do believe in the applicant having to maintain some form of residency in the country (even if it is after they have received the citizenship) whether it be for as short as a week fairly REGULARLY. Basically, I’m saying that if the citizenship doesn’t bring continual permanent benefit it will have to revoked. The funds if used correct will be made to multiply the value as opposed to depreciate. This means creation of businesses at home – a minimum employment limit – think US current system.

    Forcing a short residence will will also allow us to weed out ‘unsavory’ characters. St. Kitts has failed to regulate the unsavory characters and received a lot of flak and I would hope we can avoid this.

    And finally to the people bound to disagree with me I ask to examine my points and this very simple statement: we are a poor country. We need money from outside sources as we cannot maintain it ourselves. Economic citizenship is a valid source of funds IF used correctly. And those that would argue its ‘our country’ and ‘how cheap you think we are’ try to remembers Dominicans are all over as well. I’m not a fan of hypocrisy and many of us do hold dual citizenship. We don’t realize how lucky we are compared to a lot of countries in terms of freedom of movement. Don’t be so quick to deny someone of that considering that this freedom is merely from our circumstances of birth.

  35. lol
    June 4, 2014

    Looks like even Haitian passport is worth more than ours lol lol #dead#

  36. Oh No
    June 4, 2014

    This may indicate the following:
    A certain level of desperation for cash flow.
    An acceptance that the product has minimum value compared to others.
    There is fierce competition in this particular market, as shown in the St. Kitts and Antigua situation.
    There is lack of effective differentiation among product offering.
    The managers of the product may need to be further trained in economic citizenship.
    The clientel should be high end instead of low end as purported.

  37. grell
    June 4, 2014

    Our contry has been sold out to the devil,whats new our pm is getting richer of the blood and sweat of the poor people of Dominica. :(

    • Malgraysa
      June 4, 2014

      Yes, and now he is buying his absolution from the bishop of Roseau with a E,C,$.500,000 gift. That is why the protestant churches split from Rome in the first place, as a protest against the sale of indulgences.

  38. Boops
    June 4, 2014

    Sending some love out to all my D/ca massive.especially Pookie

  39. comment are welcomed
    June 4, 2014

    And let the battle begin. UWP vs DLP..im curious to see the comments on both side..really like to gauge the intelligence of this countries people

    • Lol
      June 4, 2014

      You’re obviously not so intelligent. Countries….more than one country. What you wanted was country’s …belonging to. Ahhhh, to be a barometer.

  40. bull crap
    June 4, 2014

    I will say is lol lol lol…
    cause am sure their are gonna be simply minded people that gonna come here and think this is a good thing and that government is working..

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