Gov’t prepares for Citizenship Programme growth

passportIn 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.

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38 Comments

  1. Wolfgang Lightbourne
    September 16, 2015

    The citizenship by investment program is designed so that certain people in the government may collect bribes. Otherwise, no passport. That is what its all about.

  2. grell
    August 10, 2015

    For sure,Skerrit the only hope is see is more corruption under the program.

  3. No Local
    August 10, 2015

    The only thing that Dominicans know how to do is to talk about bad things happening in other people’s country, now look at it in their face. How can a country depend on selling passport to survive and they still have a debt of billion dollars? Charity ship has come and go next thing to come will be captivity ship to come and take the people and the island in exchange for debt. Now Dominicans stop talking about other people’s household and start to look into what is happening in your own household and find way to tackle it. It gets worst everyday. Alas!!!

  4. True Dcan
    August 9, 2015

    Oh Dear

    Rapists, murderers, drug traffickers, paedophiles, in short all the deplorable persons of society at large, will descend on Dominica like swarms of locusts!

    The sad aspect of this, is that the greedy and selfish overseas Dominicans who ran down to Dominica or in some cases delayed their return to the UK (as they were recompensed for doing so) et al will not be the ones who will suffer but the Doninicans who actually reside in Dominica.

    How can this be a good thing for Dominica?

    Has anyone noticed how the returnees are spending less and less time in Dominica? In fact most of them are desperate to leave Dominica permanently.

    T

  5. Investor in love with Dominica
    August 9, 2015

    I totally under stand the Dominicans frustrations from CIP, but for those who are not familiar with immigration and investment regulations or options around the world, may I ask you please to review Wikipedia or other sources to see how many countries offer similar programs (Malta, Cyprus..) even USA and Canada have citizenship by investment programs, however, those require the investor to live in these countries for more than 5 years which is a downside. The key questions are where the money goes? and the due diligence process that takes place? Let me assure you here as a CIP applicant that all applicants including myself transfer the money to a dedicated account under the Ministry of Finance control and it is a government audited account. I never heard of anyone sending funds to other accounts. Due diligence process is very tough and complicated, many nationalities can’t apply. All applicants go through a global security clearance, that’s why we all can travel freely to 95+…

    • Francisco Telemaque
      August 10, 2015

      Yes, lots of nations offers economic citizenship; which is something totally different to the mere sale of a passport. Economic Citizenship means that is granted to persons, investors who wish invest money in the country, and also reside in the Country.

      Nobody, it matters not how rich they are can simply buy an American passport in the of America, nor do the United States have sales people traveling the globe selling U. S. Passports. This economic citizenship began in Ireland for the purpose of getting rich people to invest in that economically depressed country at that time.

      Many Americans took advantage of that because they manufactured products for export, using the cheap labor force of Ireland. The late John Delorian was one of them who went there and set up his Sports Car company where they built the “Delorian.”

      The money from the sale of passports only benefits the politicians. If Dominica was a place people rich people was crazy about, they would be anxious to…

    • August 10, 2015

      Sir, as a Dominican born who is concerned about his country I have to say that you are talking rubbish. Do you know that we have sold passports to crooks and thieves, people running from the law in their own country. Tell me what facilities, opportunities have been provided by this CBI program.
      Our people are dumb and ignorant so this cabal can pull the wool over their eyes. Even if it goes to the treasury the finance minister can with one phone call, get this money diverted as he sees fit no questions asked. You talk about Audits we are still awaiting the results of the audit done several years ago. The chief auditor is a functionary of the PM, he simply does what he is told. With respect, you have no idea what goes on in my country so butt out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Investor in love with Dominica
        August 11, 2015

        Dear Zabocca, thanks for your friendly feedback, however, you didn’t answer any of my points. 1- why do you think the Dominicans can travel freely to UK, Europe, Singapore, Brazil, and many other strong nations if crooks and thieves buy it? Do you think the EU is stupid to allow such people to entre their soil freely? 2-celebrating diversity is a key element that you will find in nations that have developed strong economies. Singapore was an isolated tropical land few decades ago, its people and government welcomed immigrants and investors from all over the world, and here you go… it is one of the best globally. Dubai was even worse than Singapore, and now there are more than 200 nationalities living in harmony and building the city together, no one talks about selling the country. The CBI Canada and US are very similar to the one in Dominica, simply you need to be richer and show face a couple of times. Austria sells its citizenship for Euro 1 million without living there!

  6. Francisco Telemaque
    August 8, 2015

    Roosevelt, you can advertise as much passport for sale; no mater how much you sell, the money you get will never be enough to put a dent in the economy of the country!

    You been selling passport for more than fifteen years, if that could have helped the economy of the country, and individuals, there would be no poverty stricken residence on the island. I do not care how much you talk about economic citizenship program, you do not have an economic citizenship program in Dominica okay!

    Assuming you had an economic citizenship program; at least you would be able to point your finger at one single person doing business, and residing on the island. There are a few Chines on the island running grocery shop, and selling defective rubbish to people, if that is what you call economic citizenship, you need someone to define the word to you, because you do not know what economic citizenship entails.

    The selling of our national document to criminals is not economic citizenship!

  7. Lang Mama
    August 8, 2015

    The credibilty of the program has long been compromised. Long long time ago and there is enty of evidence to support that.

  8. CYRIL Volney
    August 8, 2015

    I am a DOMINICAN CITIZEN (over 5 generations) yet my wife of 38 years, with a Caricom (Barbados) passport, now has to leave Dominica every 3 months to extend her stay over visa, in order to live with me, her husband, in Dominica. The day she gets fed up with that, I am gone!

    Inspector Pascal at Immigration has told my wife he will only renew her visa for 3 months at a time, yet if she flies out and returns same day, she will get a 6 months visa.

    I am a Dominican returnee, a pensioner, and a contributor to our economy with HARD CASH from Canada. I own my home, vehicle, etc.

    When will we start looking after our own people? Where is the respect for the Diaspora?

    Guess I do not have US$175k cash to pay up front, although our home cost more than that to build, and we inject over EC$60k into the economy each year. Maybe I should move to a more favorable climate???

    • Francisco Telemaque
      August 10, 2015

      You see the crap Volney, that is what I do not understand with Dominica. Here is a guy, came to Dominica , broke our immigration, and naturalization laws, he was deported from the country, he stays in on another island and sue Skerrit, who became so frightened, so much so he decided to pay the scum bag money in secrete.

      In the United States, if one enters the country legally, and remain here for five years, citizenship if applied for after five years is automatic. When I was in Antigua, the late Donald Halstead tabled a law which gave foreign, and West Indians living in Antigua for a period of seven (7) years what they term “Belonger Status;” many Dominicans including me got that!

      He wrote that law shortly after Antigua’s independence!

      In the British system, even when Dominica was British, anybody who lived in Dominica foreigner that is after seven years

      • Francisco Telemaque
        August 12, 2015

        “In the British system, even when Dominica was British, anybody who lived in Dominica foreigner that is after seven years”

        That one got away from me before I completed it.

        So, that should read: In the British system when Dominica was British, any foreigner, who lived in Dominica for a period of seven (7) years, by law as long as they applied for citizenship, they got it, and that’s the way it was on every island of the Caribbean as British colonies.

        Ross of Ross medical school, although the man invested his money in Dominica, employed even a certain big mouth thief who owns more than one million dollar house, and yacht, the labor party refused to give Ross citizenship, Edison James had to correct the evil and make him a citizen of Dominica. If anyone deserved economic citizenship he did because he did what such a program is about; he invested, and lived in the country!

  9. Jaime Lewis
    August 8, 2015

    While there is nothing wrong with developing countries like Dominica exploring various revenue generating avenues like this citizenship program, there must be greater transparency with the management of the program. On at least a quarterly basis, there should be the publication of a simple accounting of the program. Release the names of those who have been granted citizenship, and the amount of money collected. If the monies are going to a specific project like a hotel or hospital, then that information should also be released. If there is a formula for determining how the funds are allocated, then that information should also be made public.
    The Prime Minister, for his own integrity, must learn to operate with transparency. Government ministers who have been elected to serve the people should strive to be honest and remove this shroud of secrecy that surrounds this program. As a Dominican, I take great umbrage with this lack of respect from those who govern our country.

  10. Sovereignty gone. DA selling, sold
    August 7, 2015

    Skerritt and his DLP Gov’t are hell bent on selling Dominica’s sovereignty, continuing to sell our passports to whoever with money. In addition, our real estate, our Land is up for sale. Do you know who will bu?, of course, the new buyers of our passports. They do not have to be on island, know about the island,, be interested in `invest-in on Island.

    With all the passports sold, and all the millions made, we are again and again asking, where are the investments and by whom? How many Dominican passports/diplomatic, in all, have been sold and/or given away? How much, in total have been collected? No answer, Skerritt? Is that how you continue to treat Dominicans with contempt?

    Selling our passports is big, big business for Skerritt and his cabal, for the local agents (selected few operatives and sympathizers) foreign agents and Cos.The passport-selling networks are set up all over the world peddling our passports. No accountability. No transparency

    Tax for…

  11. August 7, 2015

    Skerrit are you for real, what boarder security you are talking about, you so concern about securing your boarder yet you are the one selling Dominica’s passprt to terrorist and criminals all over the globe. For sure France need to secure it’s territories Guadeloupe and Martinique against your Middle Eastern friends, your Asain friends the crooks the criminals, the fraudsters you and your boys wine and dine with in Malaysia, Syria and the other terrorist countries, so olease give me a break, broader security my behind

  12. DFR
    August 7, 2015

    This whole program of selling passports is a farce and nothing more than a cash cow for the government. Until the leadership can show what happened to the previous funds received I am afraid that we are selling off the country. Someone mentioned St. Kitts . Go ask the locals what happened to local land especially in Nevis and Anguilla . there is not much left . nor can they afford to buy it . The same is going to happen down the road in DA. Barbados is another good example .

  13. Mixing party like paint
    August 7, 2015

    So much so that reforms So much so that reforms have been applied to the programme which include revised legislation, a new office ,increased staffing and hgher price and more profits cuts forBOYS Nous!

    • Mouche miel
      August 7, 2015

      Lol! All the boyz have many house(not homes) swiss accounts,boats( no Eddie alone it look like lol.Eddie boat could be used to export Agricultural goods when LL becomes the P.M in 2075 lol
      So with the increase price of the passports which are being sold like coconut cheese etc what else are these gangsters gonna buy ? They have more land than they can use.Bacos, fish nets, SUVs gold foreign tailored suits the one in Mahaut like shoes so he’s gonna increase his # and start to import crocodile skin shoes?
      He should like Medard, the one from castle bruce buy an English grammer teacher or two.
      Sitr Luther,Mr.If DA could talk amongst others would gladly come out of retirement.Groovy bat could take advantage of the offer as well.

  14. DA Native in Texas
    August 7, 2015

    If this program has been in effect for the last 15 years, Dominica should be debt free by now. Based on the fugures that were peresented by DNO today, let’s do some simple math. Assuming that you received 30 couples per year who applied during the 15 years when the program started, and 25 were granted, that’s 375 couples. 375 x $225,000.00=$84,375,000.00 US $s. Convert that amount to EC currency and this is what it comes to. $21,937,500,000.00. Now remember that I said “assuming”. So in closing the PM needs to give out some FIGURES as to how many people applied, and how many were granted. Unless he does that people will be thinking that the monies received through this program is not benificial to the country, and is benifiting a few individuals. Come clean mr PM you and your Cabal were voted to be a leader of Dominica and not just the Labor Party. As the PM you should be transparent, and should have nothing to hide.

  15. Mixing party like paint
    August 7, 2015

    shps my bad.

  16. vegnag
    August 7, 2015

    Before any expansion what I really want answered is this. For the past 15 years how many Dominican passport were sold and what is the total value. What percentage of that money was deposited in the Dominica Treasury – and what is the total monies collected to date. and thirdly what areas of the economy has the monies been invested in and to the tune of how much. How many diplomatic passports have been issued and to who? reason for these question is because this system over the last 15 years has not been transparent and has lacked accountability to the bone. If we should add the Haitian and DR passport and citizenship scandal or racketeering as coined by the Prime Minister himself and If one has to go by the number of utterances from the passport agents including the Isidore one can’t help but conclude that this passport business is a total mess. In fact I would recommend a commission of enquire and a cleaning up of the system before embarking on any programme expansion

    • Mouche miel
      August 7, 2015

      Dem man not expanding sales for D/cans but 4 themselves alone but 4passport agents/boyz yo.

  17. alas
    August 7, 2015

    if so many passports selling why is it that you cannot say how much money we making and put it to use in de tourism sector.
    it is believable that a supremo almighty like you can allow a private investor to come here with a proposal to build a hotel in our national park.
    first you give him de land
    second you give him our passports for him to sell to raise money to fund de Hotel development.
    How many passports have to be sold to raise de tens of millions needed for construction?
    De same developer built a Hotel in St Kitts.
    Does de developer have money of his own? If not why are you giving him money for him to build His hotel?
    You are so disappointing Skerrit.

  18. Anthony P. Ismael
    August 7, 2015

    Which border will we be protecting? Is it the open sea and sky between Dominica and Guadeloupe or the open sea and sky between Dominica and Martinique? You also mentioned in an earlier article that it was either a case of “Citizenship by Investment Program or increased taxation.” So if the program is doing so well and generating much needed revenue for the country’s treasury, why is it that we saw so many tax increases in the new budget? Thus far we have not seen a certified financial statement from you detailing income, expenditure and the projects that were financed by this program. You have conditioned Dominicans to accept vague reports lacking any detail as the gospel truth, so carry on. In the land of the blind, “One-eyed Jack is King.”

  19. Van
    August 7, 2015

    Why not name the countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East who have applied for and been granted this right?
    Surely the people of Dominica have a right to know this.

  20. Thorbjørn Jagland
    August 7, 2015

    What kind of prime minister would put 1.3 billion debt on his people then take there passport to pay it?
    Roosevelt don’t care skerrit cause he have nothing to lose.

  21. August 7, 2015

    The government has not proven to us the beneficial of this program, I don’t believe the Prime minister this money is not spending on border security, It should be on infrastructure projects to create jobs for the people of Dominica to benefit, He wouldn’t never mention infrastructure issue because he most prove that to the people, All these projects he claimed his administration completed were granted from China, Venezuela and the European Union.

  22. forreal
    August 7, 2015

    st kitts and nevis announced that they made a billion dollars in their CBI program,so it’s a good program after all,but I think it would be wise that the government disclose their intake so far,so the ignorant at heart can be dispelled,and also the effectiveness of the program in what areas of dominica as to where is was disposed

  23. Moin meme
    August 7, 2015

    OMG NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
    Labourites!!!!! Look at what you have done!!!!
    LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO OUR COMMUNITY OF DOMINICANS.
    You have killed us.

  24. Dan Tanner
    August 7, 2015

    We lived in Dominica for 6 years. As US citizens we would never seek other citizenship because the US could then decide to then revoke ours. But even before we settled in Dominica we took out annual residency. After 5 of those we applied for permanent residency.

    Go to the government offices. There you will find a huge backlog of those, all paid for, waiting for cabinet action. Why are they waiting? Because bribes haven’t been paid.

    No matter. We simply lives as “illegals” in Dominica for 3 more years — just as some Dominicans we know in the USA are doing.

    Then we happily left Dominica and never plan to return.

  25. REAL!!!!
    August 7, 2015

    The process for payment from recipients of our passport should have been revised.

    All payments should be made directly to our treasury and the fees for the sellers of the passport should then be paid by our treasury for proper accountability.

    Therefore an the end of the year we can see how much passports were sold, the revenue for the GOVT and the revenue paid to the sellers. If the sellers are receiving 25% or more of what the state is making, we need to establish a max fee for sellers and make the program price more beneficial to the country. I suspect the pricing on our passport is lower to allow the sellers to make 100% or more and still have a competitive product on the market.

    Also we need to have a clear mandate of how every penny collected will be spent to grow the economy in a sustainable way. ( example: 20% – To manufacturing, 50%- To Agriculture ,Software Coding & Programing training to accommodate for outsourcing technical jobs – 10%, boosting tourist…

  26. TRUEMAN
    August 7, 2015

    ********BREAD & BUTTER*********

    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 this is what we’re hoping to be one of our very few “bread & butter” economic plan!!

    That’s so SAD!!

    Stll, best wishes to us in finding a better way!!

  27. %
    August 7, 2015

    Mr Skerrit can you mention to us the investments under this programme Sir, how many, where they are located, the number of people they have employed, the nature of the investments, etc, etc,.After all Sir, you stuttered to us very incoherently GO TO ST KITTS and all the investments you will see are from the CBI programme.Why cant you invite Kittisians to come to this failed country under your leadership to see our investments under this CBI programme as well? What most of us know, is that some people are FILTHY RICH from the programme, while the poor and indigent are CATCHING HELL!!!

    • Kid On The Block
      August 7, 2015

      Your pathetic ignorant fool!

  28. Neverson st jean
    August 7, 2015

    Some of these fees will go towards border security? Our borders are the ocean sir,where is the coast guard base u were supposed to build

    • lol
      August 7, 2015

      You telling me, boarder security?
      lol …on my goodness and Dominicans believe that?

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