Like several other countries in the Caribbean, the Commonwealth of Dominica, an independent island-state with just 72,000 inhabitants, runs an economic citizenship programme enabling foreigners to acquire citizenship of the island and the passport to go with it by paying money into a state fund or making a sizeable real estate investment. The country’s passport policies have in the past occasionally raised eyebrows abroad – and are currently a hot topic in Dominica’s highly polarized domestic politics.
In an in-depth interview, two senior Dominican officials provide a rare glimpse behind the scenes of the programme. Vince Henderson is Dominica’s permanent representative to the United Nations. Emmanuel Nanthan heads the country’s Citizenship by Investment Unit. They reveal how the programme works in practice, and discuss its potential contribution to the broader economic development of the island.