RIF Trust hosts Prime Minister of Dominica over a Citizenship by Investment Programme Webinar
07 September 2020
The Commonwealth of Dominica is a beautiful country situated amid the Windwards Islands of the Caribbean. Featured in numerous movies and TV programmes, the wonderful island welcomes more than 200,000 visitors annually. It is a destination of choice for tourists for its tropical weather and picturesque lush, where they can indulge themselves in the 2nd largest hot spring and Boiling Lake in the world within the Morne Trois Pitons National Park in addition to several unique attractions.
Given its relatively small area and population, the citizens of Dominica enjoy visa-free access to 140 countries, including the UK, EU, and their passport is ranked 38th among the most powerful passports in the world.
In 1993, the island nation has introduced its first Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, and since then, the programme proves to be successful in generating interest among high net worth individuals (HNWIs) around the globe. The CBI programme is also the main contributor to its economic development.
On September 8th, 2020, the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Commonwealth of Dominica, was an honourable special guest on a webinar hosted by RIF Trust. Throughout this insightful webinar, Dominica’s PM uncovered the key features of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme and discussed the top real estate investment opportunities in his country. His Excellency Ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan, Head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit of Dominica, Gregor Nassief, Chairman & CEO of Secret Bay, and Youssef Eldessouky, Regional Development Director of Secret Bay, joined Mimoun A. Assraoui, CEO of RIF Trust and Vice Chairman of the Latitude Group, in exploring the growing opportunities in the tourism sector of the country.
High praise from the PM for the partnership with RIF Trust and Latitude
Prime Minister Skerrit opened with, “First, I want to say… we, in the government of Dominica, have great appreciation for you [Mimoun Assraoui] personally, and also for RIF Trust and Latitude. You know, you have been an exceptional partner of Dominica, and you know we value your partnership. We value the contribution which you have been making to our economy and our economic development. The creation of jobs and bringing foreign exchange into our country, which is always needed by every country in the world. As a small island nation, do not underestimate the contribution, which you are making to welfare and well-being of many families and citizens in our country.”
Highlighting RIF Trust and Latitude role in government advisory, Prime Minister Skerrit, commented, “I’m very grateful to you and to all your colleagues in RIF Trust & Latitude for the exceptional partnership, and I would like to extend my personal appreciation on behalf of the government and indeed the people of Dominica for providing us with advice and guidance on how to improve the programme, and how to ensure that Dominica’s programme is always ahead of the game. We do not have all the answers to the challenges, but certainly practitioners like yourself, who are in the marketplace have the profound knowledge and insights into the industry and evaluates that our country is doing well so far. Thanks, God, for that.” He also spoke of the Coronavirus and the current situation in Dominica, “we had only 18 cases so far, and all successfully recovered. Nobody died even though we had two patients in their 80s. One of them is 85 with all sorts of health issues including asthmatic, hypertensive to diabetic he survived. He is from Malaysia and that is testimony to the extraordinary efforts which our government put in place to fight COVID.”
Emphasising on the recent government’s endeavours, Prime Minister Skerrit, said, “in respect to the Middle East, we know that there are many issues relating to different family structures. In the Middle East, there are people who unfortunately are stateless, and we are trying to be able to cater to this type of structure and different types of structures. There will be changes regarding dependants, because we recognize that the Middle East has a particular circumstance, where larger families are concerned. Families in the Middle East are very closely linked, and we need to ensure we can keep families together as far as possible, especially parents.”
PM Skerrit applauded the fruitful long-standing partnership with RIF Trust and the Latitude Group and emphasized that the CBI programme of Dominica offers all its citizens full citizenship protected under the prevailing laws and constitution of Dominica.
Prime Minister Skerrit also laid out the five significant regulation changes:
- Any dependant can be related to either the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse
- No age limitations on parents and grandparents
- For all adult dependants, other than a spouse, they only need to show substantial support on the part of the main applicant or the spouse of the main applicant (full support was required to be shown previously)
- Allowance of siblings up to the age of 25, and for siblings under the age of 18 – the parents must grant consent
- Allowance of spouses of qualifying parents and grandparents to also be included in the CBI application, so long as there is a showing that they are substantially supported by the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse.
From his side, Youssef Eldessouky, Regional Development Director of Secret Bay, disclosed exclusive financial figures that demonstrate the lucrative and successful journey of Secret Bay. The company has proudly earned a 70%+ of average occupancy rate and 80%+ growth in its average daily rate since its opening eight years ago.
Eldessouky also laid out a competitive exit strategy as part of the resell market, in which non-citizenship buyers (lifestyle buyers) can sell their property after 3 years and citizenship buyers after 5 years.
Key Features of Dominica CBI Programme
- Visa-free travel to 141 countries including the EU, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong
- Full citizenship with passport granted to main applicant, spouse, children, and parents
- Siblings of the main applicant or spouse, who are between 18 and 25, single and childless can qualify under the application as a dependant
- Applicants will also receive additional identification documents with biometrics, including a National ID, Tax ID and a Driver’s License
- Lowest priced programme in the Caribbean for a single applicant
- No physical presence requirement
- No minimum age for parents or grandparents to qualify as dependants if they are substantially supported by the main applicant or spouse
- Offer citizenship by marriage and descent