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Legal Basis and Relevant Legislation

The Commonwealth of Dominica has had a citizenship by investment (CBI) programme since 1993, making it the second-longest running in the Caribbean behind St Kitts and Nevis. This allows non-citizen investors to obtain a Dominican passport in return for investing in the country’s Economic Diversification Fund, or the purchase of pre-approved real estate. And in order for the programme to have a legal basis, it is enshrined within various laws of Dominica. Here we take a look at the relevant legislation.

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica

Dominica’s CBI scheme is framed within Section 101 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica. This mandates that Parliament can allow the “acquisition of citizenship of Dominica by persons who are not eligible or who are no longer eligible to become citizens of Dominica”.

Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship Act

The Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship Act was made part of Dominican law in 1978, and addressed the matter of acquiring citizenship of the country. It outlined in sections 8 and 9 that individuals who participated in CBI schemes would be granted a naturalisation certificate in this scenario.

The Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship by Investment Regulations

The Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship by Investment Regulations 2014 and its 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 amendments govern the country’s CBI programme. These regulations set out the minimum amount of investment required to participate, the definitions of terms like “approved project” and “authorised agent”, and instances in which an individual’s application can be denied.

Important: citizenship does not constitute tax residency.