ROSEAU, Dominica – The festive season is often a time to reflect on the year that has passed and on plans and goals for the year to come. With gift-giving around the world, the festive season is also a time to think about what one really wants from life.
With the explosion of remote work options around the world, our experience wish lists are no longer restricted by location. And even if your professional and private life requires you to be in a certain location from time to time, the world has opened in ways which may just top your stockings’ list.
Dream island location
The Caribbean is known for its idyllic beaches and island lifestyle. Let alone its dynamic culture and history, it’s offered a hideaway for investors the world over.
Located halfway along the Eastern Caribbean archipelago is the Commonwealth of Dominica, an island-state stretching 751 km² (290 square miles) and boasting 148 km (91 miles) of coastal line. It is not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, also in the Caribbean.
Also known as the “Nature Island of the Caribbean”, its forest landscape is still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity and boasts the second-largest hot spring in the world, Boiling Lake. The island boasts nine volcanic peaks. Morne Diablotins is the highest mountain on the island and the second highest in the Lesser Antilles. One can even view the neighbouring islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique from its top.
The country’s climate agenda also makes good use of these natural resources. As part of its aims to become the first climate-resilient country in the world by 2030, as announced by prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit following the devastation ravaged on the island nation by hurricane Maria in 2017, the nation is actively investing in sustainable development projects.
In March 2019, the World Bank approved a US$27 million project to support the construction of a 7MW small geothermal power plant in the Rosseau Valley, which aims to increase the share of renewables, diversify the country’s energy matrix, and identify a clear road map for private sector investment in geothermal development. Development projects outside of the development and enhancement of renewable energy capabilities include sustainable housing, healthcare and educational facilities. The country already obtains 28% of its energy requirements from renewable energy sources such as hydropower and wind.
Cities and spoken languages
English is the official language of Dominica, with French and Spanish spoken in some parts. The capital city is Roseau, which is the most popular place for nomads and ex-pats to settle in Dominica, while others choose to live in Portsmouth, Dominicas’ second-largest city.
Visa and work options
Dominica welcomes digital nomads from across the world. More recently, the government has launched its “Work in Nature” (WIN) campaign. This programme offers digital nomads an extended stay visa for individuals and families to work remotely in Dominica for up to 18 months.
Many affluent investors enjoy life on Dominica so much, that they opt to invest in the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CIB) programme, through which investors gain citizenship, freedom of movement and of doing business in and from the island nation. Citizenship is for life, with the right to hold dual citizenship, so investors don’t need to give up their current citizenship at all. Once citizenship is obtained, it can also be passed to future generations.
Launched in 1993, Dominica’s CBI programme has been ranked as the number one CBI initiative for five consecutive years by the CBI Index. This is a ranking system published by the Financial Times’s Professional Wealth Management (PWM) magazine. The Financial Times’ PWM publication particularly highlighted the programme’s stringent due diligence, efficient times and affordability. After applicants pass the due diligence checks, citizenship hopefuls then choose to either invest in real estate or contribute to a government fund. The latter is known as the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF), and it sponsors public and private sectors in Dominica that need financial support or have economic potential, such as the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Project.
Is this for me?
The Dominica CBI Programme is a good value for money for both individual applicants and families looking to apply for second citizenship. It is particularly a good fit for single professionals who want to broaden their horizons, families that would eventually like to add dependents such as grandparents or siblings, individuals looking to study abroad and digital nomads who want greater global mobility.
Dominica requires no wealth tax, gift tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax, foreign income tax or personal income tax. There are also corporate tax incentives, import duty exemptions, tax relief and export allowances.
The programme has no residency requirements for applicants, so there is no need to be present on the island for any duration of time.
As the processing time for a CBI application takes about three months from submission of the application to approval in principle, this is something you’ll be able to bag before next Christmas.