Dominica rise from adversity: Transformative power of CBI Programme

In the recently released CBI Index 2023 featured in the Financial Times, Dominica has once again cemented its position as a premier destination for citizenship-by-investment, securing the 2nd spot globally.

Dominica rise from adversity: Transformative power of CBI Programme
Dominica rise from adversity: Transformative power of CBI Programme

In the recently released CBI Index 2023 featured in the Financial Times, Dominica has once again cemented its position as a premier destination for citizenship-by-investment, securing the 2nd spot globally.

This achievement is a testament to the nation’s consistent and high-quality offerings in this sector, as Dominica has impressively maintained a place within the top three rankings for seven consecutive years. This honor underscores the country’s enduring appeal to international investors seeking both value and excellence in citizenship opportunities. Below are the steps how an individual can get the citizenship of Dominica and what process they have to go through:

Download the full CBI Index 2023 report here

Selection of Authorised Agent

Building on the process of applying for Dominica citizenship-by-investment programme, the very first step requires applicants to choose an agent from the list of authorised agents given on the website.

These agents have been rigorously vetted and officially licensed by the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) to act on the main applicant’s behalf throughout the application process. It’s crucial to note that the CBIU exclusively accepts applications through these authorised agents. Direct submissions from potential candidates or unauthorised agents are not entertained, reinforcing the stringent measures the nation takes to maintain the integrity and efficiency of its citizenship programme.

Navigating the Documentation Process

Continuing with the application process, once an authorised agent is chosen, it becomes imperative to engage in detailed discussions with them about preparing the essential documentation for the CBIU submission.

The thoroughness of this process entails completing all official forms, undergoing a medical examination, and gathering specific supporting documents such as full page passport copy, birth certificate, education history, source of funds, 2 professional references, fingerprints and complete medical reports to the CBI application. Applicants must ensure that all submitted paperwork is in English and is accompanied by the necessary notarisation and legalisation to meet the set criteria.

Additionally, for those eyeing property acquisition as part of their investment, it’s essential to have the property earmarked through a sales and purchase agreement, ensuring every step is aligned with the prescribed protocol.

A Rigorous Due Diligence

Diving deeper into the application process, it’s of paramount importance to understand that every applicant undergoes a comprehensive due diligence background check to validate the accuracy of the information provided.

For this meticulous vetting, the government levies an additional fee of USD 7,500, which is directly channelled to the third-party due diligence firms, primarily based in the US and UK. These specialist firms undertake both on-ground and online evaluations for every individual included in an application. This encompasses visiting the applicant’s offices and residences, as well as validating the authenticity of documents with local authoritative entities like Police Stations, Municipalities, and Hospitals.

Download the full CBI Index 2023 report here

Furthermore, to ensure the validity of the investment source, applicants must provide financial documents and back statements dating back several years. These records must clearly illustrate that the investment funds are generated from legitimate sources. But the scrutiny doesn’t end there; the due diligence firms rigorously examine if the applicant has any political exposure and cross-references their profiles with global criminal databases, including Interpol and other similar agencies, protecting the programme’s commitment to integrity and security.

It is said that investigators working with these due diligence firms are former Interpol, CIA and FBI, who conduct state-of-the-art vetting of each applicant in a bid to ensure highest standards of citizenship application processing.

Decoding the Due Diligence Traffic Light System

The precision of Dominica’s Citizenship-by-Investment Programme is further exemplified by the unique decision-making system employed by the due diligence firms, inspired by the clarity of traffic lights. Here’s how it works:

Red Signal: This is an immediate cause for concern. If, during the vetting procedure, any document appears questionable or a discrepancy emerges, the due diligence agency flags the application with a red signal. In layman’s terms, this translates to a recommendation for decline, and as a result, the CBIU is likely to reject the application.

Yellow Signal: This denotes caution and the need for further clarity. When the due diligence firm identifies potential gaps or requires additional documentation to complete the evaluation, they mark the application with a yellow signal. It implies the applicant needs to provide supplementary information or documents to facilitate further assessment.

Green Signal: The best outcome an applicant can hope for, a green signal is an endorsement of the individual’s application. It confirms that the provided information is accurate, every person under the application has been vetted positively, and they uphold a high moral and professional repute. Consequently, the CBIU receives a green signal as a go-ahead to approve the submitted application.

This systematized approach ensures transparency, fairness, and rigour, fortifying Dominica’s commitment to maintaining the integrity and quality of its CBI Programme.

Bridging the Applicant and the CBIU

Upon the meticulous assembly of all required forms and documentation, the authorised agent plays an instrumental role in moving the application forward. They are responsible for formally submitting the comprehensive application to the CBIU and act as the primary point of contact throughout the process.

Their expertise becomes invaluable as they adeptly handle all correspondence, addressing any queries or questions that the CBIU might pose during the evaluation phase. This symbiotic relationship ensures that the applicant’s journey towards acquiring Dominica’s citizenship-by-investment remains seamless and well-orchestrated, benefiting from the agent’s deep understanding of the nuances of the process.

From Approval to Citizenship: Finalizing the Investment

When the application navigates successfully through the vetting stages and secures an ‘approved in principle’ status, the CBIU subsequently forwards a letter of instruction to the applicant.

This directive pertains to the payment modalities, directing the applicant to either make their contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund or finalize the remaining payment for their chosen real estate property.

It’s crucial to understand that this payment is the final linchpin securing one’s path to citizenship. Once the CBIU is presented with proof of payment, they proceed to issue the certificate of registration. This certificate is not just a document but a testament to the individual’s new citizenship status in Dominica.

Dominica’s Lifeline: The CBI Programme and National Resilience

For Dominica, a picturesque island nation with a largely tourism-driven economy, the introduction of the Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) Programme has proven to be more than just an economic catalyst; it has become the nation’s lifeline.

Amidst the azure waters and lush green landscapes, the revenue from this programme has stimulated the nation’s fiscal health, enabling infrastructural and societal advancements that would otherwise have remained out of reach.

Tragically, the persistent spectre of natural disasters has not been kind to Dominica. The island was severely impacted by Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, which was only a precursor to the disastrous damage inflicted by Category 5 Hurricane Maria in 2017.

This disaster razed almost 95% of the nation’s infrastructure, leading to a staggering drop in GDP by over 226%. In such dire circumstances, where the future looked miserable, it was the CBI Programme that emerged as a beacon of hope and rebuilding. Funds generated through this initiative played an instrumental role in constructing climate-resilient houses, ensuring the locals had sturdy shelters to withstand potential future blows of the climate change.

Download the full CBI Index 2023 report here

But the CBI’s contributions aren’t limited to disaster recovery alone. In the health sector, for instance, Dominica has made significant strides. The country has built medical centres across the island, ensuring immediate medical intervention during emergencies.

Furthermore, two major hospitals now stand as a testament to the nation’s commitment to the well-being of its residents. Beyond infrastructure, the CBI programme also plays a pivotal role in sustaining various public welfare schemes, demonstrating how investment-driven citizenship can be channelled towards comprehensive national upliftment.