In our article on Second Passport Programs available in the Caribbean entitled "Citizenship, a Global Perspective" we tried to explain the whole idea of citizenship, the importance of being a citizen of a country and the responsibilities that came along with it. We targeted the topic from this stand point so as to offer another perspective on the idea of the Caribbean Second Passport Programme, rather than the common belief of sale of passport and in this article will look at the Dominica Second Passport Programme.
In the previous article, we explained why a Second Passports has so much of a greater value than is generally perceived. Currently, the world seems to be in utter chaos and what appeared to be financial trouble is quickly becoming a war on freedom of movement and financial liberty to invest and save our money in whichever country we see fit.
We see trillion of dollars in bailout, we hear about lavish executive parties and million dollar bonuses with bail out funds that were meant to improve things for normal Americans so that they could keep their homes and jobs, but this has not been the case. Rather, more and more smaller companies are filing bankruptcy and job loss is at its highest since the 1980s.
One of the ways that our leaders have identified for resolving the financial trouble of our countries is by staging an attack on tax havens. Recently, the US senate introduced the Stop Tax Haven Act, which basically aims at removing all loopholes from the tax laws of the US, setting penalties for tax crimes and crippling, if not all, but an enormous portion of offshore activities and the EU is also on the same track.
So faced with this, how does acquiring a Dominica Second Passport help? Well, what we are looking at are the several benefits that can be achieved from a Dominica second passport. First of all, we are looking at:
- freeing yourself from the possible economic tyranny of a restrictive government
- allowing yourself to exercise the basic human right of financial freedom
- allowing yourself to enjoy the fruits of your success
- allowing yourself and children the possibility of a bright and peaceful future
- protecting yourself from unfair undemocratic treatment from your government
How can you achieve this freedom, peace and protection by becoming a second citizen with the Dominica second passport programme? Well, there is a considerable amount of information about second passport programmes, however here we shall focus on the Dominica Second Passport Programme.
First of all, Dominica is an English speaking island located in the Caribbean and is often confused with the Dominican Republic, a Spanish island near Puerto-Rico and sharing the same land mass with Haiti. Dominica is known as the "Nature Island of the Caribbean" and this is because of its natural beauty, lush green vegetation and 365 rivers, a river for every day. Dominica may not be as developed as other countries in the world or even islands like Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad, but has:
- modernized communication facilities
- an excellent education system
- very low crime rate
- democratic government
- relaxed and peaceful living
- promising future
- growing ecotourism product
- advantageous taxation structure for foreign investors
- wonderful legal system based on English Common Law
In the beginning, many expats like myself who moved to the island sometimes felt a bit frustrated because life seemed to have slowed down a bit and this was quite a change from the long hour train rides and rush routine. But after some time, I learnt to appreciate the island for what it was - paradise. I run my own business, take frequent trips to nearby islands like St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Marie Galante, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and St. Martin. I also earn extra income from renting out my home in the UK.
As we weather the global economic downturn, people who are able to afford a second passport should take a shot at it. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain should you be granted a second passport from Dominica.
The application process of the economic citizenship program is very thorough, but this is to ensure that it is regulated and well managed so that it retains its good reputation and respect.
First, all second passport enquiries must be directed to a registered second passport/economic citizenship agent, licensed by the government of Dominica. These agents are responsible for relaying information to the government on the applicant's behalf and so, acts as an intermediary. Economic Citizenship / Dominica Second passport applications are not sent directly to the Government from the applicant.
Economic Citizenship agents in Dominica are trained professional employed in the legal field and are capable of providing professional advice and clear details about what the economic citizenship program entails and what applicants are required to do.
Once communication is established and an applicant is considered eligible, then he or she will be given the details of the Due Diligence Agency with which the Government of Dominica works. The Due Diligence process must be done before the applicant is allowed to officially commence the application process by sending in the documents that are required.
The due diligence agency is chosen by the government of Dominica and internationally recognized. No fixed cost is stated for this procedure because this varies according to the number of countries or states that the applicant may have resided in, the applicant's age and how quick those countries or states are able to provide the information requested by the agency. If the applicant lived, let's say, in only one specific country for his entire lifetime and at the same address and he or she has clean records, then chances are that the due diligence proceedings will take a much shorter time, be complete faster and be less expensive.
Applicants are allowed to send in their documents and officially begin applying for a Second passport in Dominica if they receive successful due diligence results. If a prospective applicants fails due diligence, then he immediately becomes ineligible for formerly applying for Citizenship in Dominica.
All of the documents requested by the Government of Dominica when applying for Economic Citizenship must be notarized. The details are provided in the forms and checklists provided by the agents who guide applicants through the process.
Once the relevant documentation for economic citizenship has been sent in and complete, it is reviewed by the respective government authorities. Providing that the requirements are met and the applicant's details are satisfactory, the applicant is given an invitation to visit the island for an interview with the Prime Minister, a representative from the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Financial Services Unit and the Police Force. The Prime Minister will be replaced by the relevant Government Minister in the event that he is unable to attend the interview.
Successful interviewees are granted Dominican citizenship and will be provided with a Dominican passport within two weeks. At this juncture, obtaining a passport follows the regular steps of filling in the regular local passport form and paying the necessary stamp fee in the local currency.
Successful applicants who wish to become naturalised are free to do so at their convenience by going through the necessary procedures whenever time permits.
The funds transferred for the economic citizenship represent a contribution to the economy of Dominica and for this reason are non refundable in the event that an applicant is not granted economic citizenship after being interviewed. The program however tries its best to avoid the rejection of applicants by ensuring that all the necessary criterions are met before monies are transferred to the government's escrow account. Economic citizenship/ Second Passport agents also ensure that applications are correctly processed and that applicants are well informed before the documents are handed over to the relevant government authority.
Funds accumulated from the Dominica second passport/ Economic Citizenship Program go toward building roads, schools, promoting the tourism industry, modernizing the public sector's information technology and maintaining health care centres. Second Passport Therefore the / Economic Citizenship Program has been important to the government by providing a venue for economic and social development of the country.
Applicants to the Dominica second passport / Economic citizenship Program apply not simply because they can afford it, but because they all have the need for a second passport. For reasons stated by applicants, families and individuals apply for security if they live in a country where there is always war, if they feel that the passport that they hold disposes them to terrorist attacks or if they wish to someday retire, settle and start business in the country. Applicants from certain countries see it necessary to have a second passport due to the absence of democracy in their countries, where they are unable to experience free travel or self expression.
In many instances people are unable to travel to several countries whether on vacation or business without visa restrictions because of the country that they are from, so having a second passport through economic citizenships from a country that allows for visa free travel to numerous countries helps in relieving that limitation. All in all, there are many reasons for desiring a second passport and more so via economic citizenship which is a secure and quicker route. A second passport in Dominica is surely a lifeline for many people who direly need freedom and security for themselves and their family.
(c) Caribbean Land and Property 2009 and 2011