For years, the Commonwealth of Dominica has offered the best value for the money of all citizenship-by-investment programs. But the price will soon be increasing.
That’s hardly a surprise. In May, Dominica’s government announced that Dominica passport holders could now visit all countries in Europe’s Schengen Area without a visa. That development greatly boosted the value of a Dominica passport.
When the rules came into effect, I predicted Dominica would hike the price of its program. Now it’s done so, although it will be nearly a year before the new prices come into effect.
Currently, total costs for a single applicant come to about $130,000: a $100,000 donation and about $30,000 in total fees. This represents a 50% savings compared to the least expensive options from Dominica’s primary competitors in this market: the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda. And a Dominica passport now gives you comparable visa-free travel options.
This situation couldn’t last indefinitely. And on July 24, Dominica’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, announced price increases for the program in the country’s 2015–2016 budget.
The new pricing structure is:
$175,000 for a single applicant (currently $100,000);
$225,000 for an applicant and spouse (currently $175,000);
$225,000 for applicant and up to two children below 18 years of age (currently $200,000);
$250,000 for applicant plus spouse and up to two children below the age of 18 years (currently $200,000); and
$50,000 for any additional dependent of the main applicant other than a spouse (unchanged).
The higher prices will come into effect in August 2016. In addition, the following fees, some of them new, come into effect September 1, 2015:
Due diligence fee for spouse of primary applicant: $7,500 (currently $4,000);
Due diligence fee for dependent above the age of 16: $4,000 (unchanged);
Due diligence for dependent between the age of 12 and 16: $2,000 (new fee);
Processing fee: $3,000 (new fee);
Certificate of Naturalization, including stamp fees: $750 (new fee; stamp fee currently $15);
Passport fee (normal processing): $500 (currently $550);
Passport fee (expedited processing): $1,200 (currently not offered).
Even when these higher fees come into effect, Dominica will retain a significant price advantage over competing programs in St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda. The least expensive options in both of these countries call for a minimum $250,000 contribution for a single applicant. (Antigua offers a $200,000 option, but there is a $50,000 registration fee required.)
For a single applicant, the savings in Dominica is $75,000. Married applicants and applicants with children or other dependents enjoy comparable savings.
Incidentally, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Kitts & Nevis all offer a route to citizenship and a passport with a real estate investment. Once again, Dominica is the most cost-effective option. It requires only a $200,000 minimum investment to qualify for citizenship, versus $400,000 in Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis.
If you’re not familiar with the market for second passports, you could be forgiven for asking, “What’s the point?”
That’s a great question. Dual citizenship, coupled with a second passport, can expand your travel and investment possibilities and allow you to cross international borders if your primary passport is lost or stolen.
However, the most compelling reason to obtain a second passport is that it could save your life. During World War II, a second passport saved thousands of Jews from the Nazi gas chambers. They were able to leave Germany or Nazi occupied countries and set up a new life abroad. Six decades later, when I lived in Austria, I met refugees who used a second passport to escape ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. None of them believed that their country would ever become a war zone.
Thankfully, America allows dual citizenship – you can get a second passport from another country and keep your US one. (A small number of our clients, though, give up their US citizenship and passport after acquiring a second passport.)
The Nestmann Group is the only US company licensed by the Commonwealth of Dominica to offer the citizenship-by-investment program. Over the years, we’ve handled nearly 100 applications for Dominica citizenship and passport.
If you’d like to know more about this option, we’ve prepared a free special report on Dominica. To reserve your copy, as well as access a special offer for a one-on-one consult with me – well below my normal rate – about all things Dominica, just follow this link.