In his 2015/2016 Budget address, the Hon. Finance Minister, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit again assured the nation that its Citizenship by Investment programme is an effective and well-managed means of revenue-generation.
So much so that reforms have been applied to the programme which include revised legislation, a new office and increased staffing.
According to Hon. Skerrit those changes and the potential which Dominica’s real estate offers for development mean that Government is preparing for increased engagement.
He said, “The interest in Dominica’s programme has grown and Government, in partnership with our marketing firm, has been engaged in several promotional events in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
“As a result of these marketing initiatives, it is expected that the number of applicants to the programme will increase,” he said. “We are preparing for that eventuality, and have improved the process by which applications are reviewed. The due diligence process has been strengthened, and we have also increased the number of firms that are engaged to provide that service. In other words, even as the programmes expands, its quality will not be compromised.”
Also in the name of preparing for the programme’s expansion, Government has revised the fees so as to remain competitive and attract only serious investors.
He said, “Based on a recent assessment, the following is the structure of the investments into the Economic Development Fund:
US $175,000 for a single applicant;
US $225,000 for an applicant and spouse;
US $225,000 for applicant and up to two children below 18 years;
US $250,000 for applicant plus spouse and up to two children below the age of 18 years; and
US$50,000 for any additional dependent of the main applicant other than a spouse.
With the exception of the US $50,000 for any additional dependent of the main applicant other than a spouse, which currently exists, the other fees will come into effect in August 2016.”
In addition, the following new fees will come into effect from 1st September 2015:
Due diligence fee for Spouse ……. US $7,500
Due diligence fee for dependent above the age of 16 ….. US $4,000
Due diligence for dependent between the age of 12 and 16 …. US $2,000
Processing fee …. US $3,000
Fee for Certificate of Naturalisation, including stamp fees …. US $750.00
Cost of expedited process for passport…. $1,200
Some of that revenue will go to improving border security.
Government has promised that the Citizenship by Investment programme will never jeopardize the island’s credibility or reputation.