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Second citizenship

All about Dominica: unique nature, recreation, and citizenship by investment

The Commonwealth of Dominica is a small state located on an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The country lives off tourism, fishing, agriculture and foreign investment.

Foreigners worldwide apply for Dominican citizenship by investment to gain the freedom to travel the world: a Dominican passport holder can visit 144 countries without a visa. We discuss why Dominica is interesting and attractive, especially for foreign investors, and how to apply for citizenship investment.

Dominica: all about the country from its geography to prices

Facts about Dominica

Area751 km²
CapitalRoseau
PopulationApproximately 72,000
Official languageEnglish
CurrencyEast Caribbean dollar (EC$)
Average annual temperature+27°C
Popular months for tourismJanuary to May

Geographic location

Dominica is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles. Scientists believe that the island was formed about 26 million years ago, in the last era of the Paleogene Period. The other Caribbean islands appeared even earlier

Dominica is in the Lesser Antilles archipelago. Guadeloupe and Martinique are the countries located closest to it. It is located at a distance of 4,141 km from the United States.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is often confused with the Dominican Republic, which shares an island with Haiti in the northern Caribbean. Dominica is part of the Windward Islands at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea.

Roseau is the capital of Dominica, the cultural centre of the country and the largest city with a population of 15,000. It is located on the southwestern coast of the island, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, the Roseau River and the tropical thickets of the Morne Bruce Mountains.

Travelling to Dominica

Dominica can be reached by plane or cruise ship. Cruises depart to Dominica from Europe and America. There are also direct flights from the UK, United States, Canada and the Caribbean countries. Roseau is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time in London.

Airfares depend on the season and the number of transfers.

Cruises to Dominica depart from America and Europe. The duration of the trip depends on the route and varies from one day to six months. Ticket prices start at $300 per night.

Commonwealth of Dominica: Roseau is the capital of the small Caribbean nation of Dominica
The port of Roseau, the capital of Dominica, accepts all types of ships: from small yachts to large cruise ships

Sights to visit in Dominica

The main attraction in Dominica is nature: volcanoes, mountains, waterfalls, bays, beaches, tropical forests and lakes.

Attractions. Trafalgar Falls are the largest waterfalls in Dominica. It takes about 20 minutes by car from Roseau to reach them. Tourists and locals alike visit the falls to jump off the rocks into the cold waters and relax in the hot tubs at the foot of the mountains. Geothermal springs are found in the mountains and waterfalls in all island regions.

The Morne Trois Pitons Park contains many famous sights: Middleham Falls, Emerald Lake and Boiling Lake, the second largest lake in the world. Its volcanoes, Morne Trois Pitons, Diablotin, Watt, Morne Micotrine and Morne-Los-Resources, are visited by travellers from all over the world.

British colonial buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries have been preserved in one of the quarters in Roseau. The city has a botanical garden, an art gallery, a national museum and a crab market.

In the Dominica Museum, tourists can see exhibits on the island's economy, culture, and history. There is a collection of tropical plants in the botanical gardens, and visitors can listen to the singing of birds that are found only in the Caribbean region.

The old British fort is open for tours in the city of Portsmouth. On the northeast coast of the island, visitors can walk around the fishing village of Kalinago Barana Aute, which was specially built for tourists.

Dominica: Roseau, the capital of Dominica

The Dominicans managed to preserve the old buildings reflecting the British colonial architecture. Their bright colours match the cheerfulness and love of life of the locals

Dominica: The National Museum in Roseau

The National Museum of Dominica was built in 1810. Until the 20th century, it functioned as a market and a post office. The museum’s collections include old photographs and portraits of the country’s rulers, colonial furniture, stuffed local birds and fish

Dominica: Fort Shirley in Portsmouth

Fort Shirley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the 18th and 19th centuries, battles between the British and French and a revolt of African slave soldiers took place there. Tickets to see the fort cost about $15

Festivals and entertainment. Music and dancing are an important part of Dominica's culture. In November, Independence Day is celebrated for a week with a festival of traditional song and dance. It features international stars and local musicians such as Frankie Vincent, Ophelia Marie and the Karimi band.

In 2010, the Dominicans started holding an annual literary festival in which local writers read stories and poems, musicians perform Creole music, and documentary films are shown.

Diving festivals and marine competitions are organised, in which anyone can take part.

Medical tourists flock to the tiny village of Wotten Waven in the south of the island. It has several spas and hotels with swimming pools. Visitors at the spa centres are examined by a doctor and can book different medical procedures: for example, a visit to a salt cave and mineral or sulphur baths.

For tourists to enjoy the beauty of the local nature, hiking trails have been laid around the island. The first trail there, the Waitukubuli National Trail, was completed in 2011. It stretches for 183 km and meanders along the island's entire length. Lush rainforests, hills with waterfalls and coastal villages can be seen along the way.

There are fewer beaches in Dominica than in other Caribbean islands. However, Champagne Beach is famous throughout the region, one of its beaches. It is located on the outskirts of Pointe Michel. The beach got its name from the effect of the small gas bubbles continuously rising from the volcanic seafloor: the water there is warmer due to the hot springs underneath it.

The cuisine in Dominica is vibrant and varied. Dominicans grow legumes, rice, potatoes, and the tropical root vegetable cassava. Cafes and restaurants serve fresh shellfish and baked fish, meat stews, soups with vegetables and fried bananas. Cassava replaces grains for the Dominicans: they bake bread and confectionery from it.

Dominica: local beaches
Dominica's coastline is lined with numerous black and yellow sandy beaches. Where the mountains approach the sea, the coast is steep

Holidays in Dominica

Holiday season. The most enjoyable months for taking a holiday in Dominica are from January to May, when the rainy season begins. In this period, it is not hot, and the occasional rainfall is pleasantly refreshing.

Housing. Tourists rent rooms in local hotels, apartments or villas. The average monthly cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment depends on the city and is about $236. Rental prices in Roseau, the capital of Dominica, are one-and-a-half to two times higher, according to Numbeo.com.

$236 per month
The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Dominica

The cost of living in the country is relatively low: for example, the cost of groceries in local stores is 50-65% lower than in the United States. A dinner for two in a restaurant costs about $45.

Cost of groceries in Dominican shops (December 2021):

  • bread, 500 g, $1.9;
  • milk, 1 liter, $2.5;
  • local cheese, $7.9/kg;
  • a dozen eggs, $4.1;
  • chicken fillet, $4.6/kg;
  • apples, 1 kg, $8.3;
  • bananas, $3/kg;
  • potatoes, $4/kg;
  • a mid-range bottle of wine, $8.50.

A monthly fitness club membership costs $63, renting a tennis court costs $37, and a movie ticket costs $9.2.

Infrastructure. There are two airports near Roseau: Cane Field and Douglas-Charles. Flights from the Caribbean, America, Europe, Asia, and neighbouring countries land there.

The cities and villages of Dominica are connected by the main road that stretches along the coastline. Dirt roads are more common in the centre of the island.

Off the coast of the island, there are places for parking ships. The Dominicans began building jetties next to the cliffs in the early 21st century. Owners of yachts and other boats can have their vessels repaired, buy fuel, and clear customs there.

Transport. Mini-buses run between populated points throughout the country. Ticket prices start at $1.3. Taxis are also available. They charge $2.3/km. 

Tourists can also rent a car to travel around the island. To drive a car in Dominica, you need a local license, which costs about $15.

There are ferries from Dominica to the neighbouring Caribbean islands such as Martinique, Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante.

Dominica: Soufrière Bay

Only small boats can dock in the picturesque Soufrière Bay. There are shops, cafes and boat rental companies on the beach. Tourists can rent a boat or take a boat trip with a guide

Dominica: the arrival of a cruise ship

Cruises to Dominica depart from various countries in America and Europe. Tourists usually have 5 to 8 hours to explore the island. On the liner, you can buy tickets for boat trips, hiking and horseback riding

Dominica: Roseau, the capital

Roseau is the economic and cultural capital of Dominica. One-third of the population lives in the city. The streets of Roseau are full of 18th-century French buildings, parks and recreational areas

How to get Dominican citizenship by investment and the benefits of a Caribbean passport

The Dominican government launched its citizenship by investment program in 1993. There is strong demand for Dominican passports among investors, which has grown steadily despite the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dominican passport allows the holder to visit 144 countries without a visa. The list of visa-free destinations includes the Schengen states, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong.

To obtain a Caribbean passport, an investor must choose between two investment programs:

  • $100,000 non-refundable contribution to Dominica’s Economic Diversification Fund;
  • $200,000: to purchase a property in a state-approved resort complex.

Application stages for Dominican citizenship by investment

1
1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence check
Immigrant Invest carries out a preliminary Due Diligence check in preparation for the government’s Due Diligence check
2
2-4 weeks
Collection and preparation of documents
Immigrant Invest’s lawyers prepare the package of documents to be submitted together with the application
3
2-6 months
Due Diligence check
The relevant department studies the documents submitted and checks the information on the applicant and their family in international databases
4
Up to 4 weeks
Approval of application and fulfilment of the investment condition
The investor fulfils the investment condition: makes a contribution to the fund or buys real estate
5
Up to 4 weeks
Issuance of a Dominican passport
The government’s department produces a passport and a naturalisation certificate and then sends them to the investor

Together with the investor, their close family members can also obtain a second passport: their spouse, children under 30, parents, and brothers and sisters under 25.

In addition to the investment, the investor pays the state fees for Due Diligence and administrative services. The total costs depend on the composition and age of the investor's family members.

Real estate in Dominica

Foreigners are allowed to buy real estate in Dominica, including villas, apartments and land. There has been increasing demand for houses in Dominica over the years, which has also increased prices for exclusive properties. A foreign investor paid $7.1 million for a residential property in 2021. 

Investors can get a Dominican passport by investing in government-approved real estate projects through participation in the state citizenship program. Usually, the investment is in hotel complexes, in which investors can purchase a separate apartment, a villa, or a share in a hotel.

The property must be kept in ownership for at least 3 years. However, property owned for 5 years can also be sold to another participant in the citizenship by investment program, which has increased the demand for such properties.

The investor also has the option to rent out their property and earn an income of 2 to 5% per annum.

2 to 5% per
annum
Return on property
earned by an investor

Life in Dominica

Population. Most of the population of Dominica is of African descent, and about 9% are of mixed parentage. The island is also inhabited by the descendants of Caribbean Indians and a few European settlers. The official language is English, but locals often speak Creole based on French in everyday life.

Religion. About 90% of the population are Christians, most of whom are Catholics or Protestants. A small percentage of Dominicans follow other religions or are atheists.

Christian church in Dominica
Christian church in Soufrière, Dominica. The facades of local churches are brightly coloured and decorated by different nationalities

Taxes. Dominican tax residents are not charged taxes on capital gains, inheritance or dividends. For example, one of our clients transferred his business to the Caribbean a year after obtaining citizenship. It was more profitable for him to pay income tax at the rates set for Dominican tax residents.

Basic taxes for individuals in Dominica

Tax Rate
Income tax15 to 35%Residents pay income tax on global income and non-residents on income earned in Dominica
Tax on the transfer of property ownership1% Assurance Fund fee,
2 .5% court fee 
Stamp duty 2.5% for the seller,
4% for the buyer
Social security contribution6% of salary

Basic taxes for legal entities

Tax Rate
Global income25% 
Tax on the transfer of property ownership1% Assurance Fund fee,
2 .5% court fee,
2.5% legal fees
Stamp duty2.5% for the seller,
4% for the buyer
Social security contribution7% of salary

Education. Dominica has 63 schools, five of which are private. The education system is divided into four main categories: pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary. Children aged 5 to 16 study free of charge in public schools. There is also a school for deaf children and children with developmental delays.

There are also state and teacher training colleges in Dominica, including a branch of the University of the West Indies, which operates only in countries part of the Commonwealth of Nations. The university campus is located in Roseau.

The All Saints University of Canada has also opened a private medical school in Dominica for both Dominican and international students.

Dominica: students at All Saints University Dominica - School of Medicine
The medical school trains nurses and doctors. Students who have completed doctoral studies can improve their qualifications and study for a second specialisation. Dominicans automatically receive school scholarships covering 50% of the tuition fees
Source: allsaintsuniversity.org

Many Dominicans enrol in graduate courses in Cuba, the UK, the US and Canada. Dominican students are offered preferential terms at universities in the United Kingdom, as Dominica is part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The Institute of Tropical Marine Ecology was established in Dominica in 1999. It is located 15 km from Roseau. The institute is closely involved in looking after the local environment. The staff at the institute collect meteorological data and explore marine ecosystems in the tropics.

Medicine is not state-funded in Dominica except for a small minority of people considered in need of help. For highly qualified medical assistance, Dominicans travel to Martinique and Barbados. There is no national insurance program in Dominica, and most of its citizens have to pay for their own medical policies or treatment.

Geography and nature in Dominica

Geography. The island of Dominica is of volcanic origin, and 9 of the 16 volcanoes in the Caribbean are located in Dominica. The most famous volcano is Diablotin, at an elevation of 1447 meters above sea level.  

In the western regions of Dominica, the terrain is arid, while in the central part of the island, there are tropical rainforests.  

The climate is humid and hot. The rainy season starts in May and lasts until the end of the year, peaking in September and October. Hurricanes strike the island at the end of summer and often cause significant damage. The air temperature is stable and rarely drops below +21℃. The average air humidity is 80%.

Monthly average rainfall, daytime and nighttime temperatures in Dominica

Nature. In the rainforests of Dominica, there are palm groves and bamboo plantations. Hundreds of animals live on the island: bats, iguanas, boas, possums and agouti rodents. There are also rare Whistler toads, which are found only on the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Montserrat.

The nature in Dominica has been preserved in a pristine state, which is why Dominica is often called the “Nature Island of the Caribbean”. Tourists can admire rare plants in the parks and reserves, visit waterfalls and swim in the hot springs.

Nature Island of the Caribbean
Nickname for Dominica

The first national park opened there in 1975 and was named after the highest local mountain, Morne Trois Pitons. It is home to about 60 species of birds, including the imperial amazon, a parrot that lives only in Dominica. A great variety of cocuyo beetles, fireflies, cockroaches and mosquitoes are found in the forests.

The tributaries of the Roseau River give rise to the famous Trafalgar Falls, which are called the twin falls. Visitors can admire the waterfalls from a special observation deck surrounded by orchids.

About 450 species of fish are found off the coast of Dominica. The waters around the island are rich in crabs and turtles. It is believed that the marine fauna of the region is represented by the inhabitants of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, which fell into the sea about 4 million years ago before the Isthmus of Panama arose.

Nature on the island of Dominica

Dominica has preserved its pristine nature. The government follows the UN’s sustainable development goals and strictly enforces environmental legislation

Dominica: waterfalls

Trafalgar Falls is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Dominica. You can reach the waterfalls on your own or as part of a tour. Tour prices vary, depending on the season, but cost at least $15

Dominica: landscape

There are many sulphur and mineral springs, geysers and lakes in the mountains of Dominica. Tourists can also swim in the Emerald Pool of the Central Reserve. Tours cost about $20 per person

Dominica: local birds, imperial Amazon

The imperial amazon, the symbol of Dominica, lives in plantations and orchards. Locals say that the parrot loves citrus fruits and steals fruit from farmers

Dominica: Caribbean fauna off the coast of the island

Tour operators organize boat trips where tourists can swim beside dolphins or turtles. In the thickets of mangroves, three species of large sea turtles nest from April to October: green, leathery and hawksbill. On WoodfordHill Beach, the Dominicans have set up sheltered spots to observe their lives

History of the Commonwealth of Dominica

The island of Dominica was discovered by the Spanish navigator Christopher Columbus on Sunday, November 3, 1493, and he named it Dominica, which is Sunday in Latin.

For about 100 years, the island was isolated from the Europeans, who actively explored other Caribbean islands. Although France claimed Dominica as its territory in 1635, ownership of the island continued to be disputed for another century, as the Europeans encountered strong resistance from the local Indians.

Dominica
The name of the island in Latin means "Sunday"

Dominica came under British rule in 1763 under the Peace of Paris, which was signed after the end of the Seven Years' War, which was fought in Europe, India and North America. In 1805, Dominica officially became a British colony. The British then brought enslaved Africans into the country.  

In 1834, slavery was abolished in the country, but the rights of the African people were oppressed until the outbreak of the First World War. After the war, Dominica joined the Caribbean Representative Government Association but remained under British rule. Dominica gained full independence on November 3, 1978.

Commonwealth of Dominica: a view of the Caribbean island
The cities and villages of Dominica are harmoniously inscribed in the relief of the island: not only tropical trees grow between the houses but fruit and vegetable plantations are also located nearby

The political and economic structure of Dominica

The Commonwealth of Dominica is a parliamentary democratic republic. The head of state is the president, who is elected by parliament for a five-year term. The president appoints the prime minister, who has real political power.

The Assembly, a unicameral parliament, represents the legislative power in Dominica. It holds sessions several times a year, with not more than six months breaks. 30 senators are elected to parliament, as well as the Speaker and the Attorney General.

The Dominican judiciary is based on English common law and is part of the Eastern Caribbean judiciary. The highest body is the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. There are four magistrates' courts, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal of the Privy Council in Dominica.

Flag of the Commonwealth of Dominica

Dominica has chosen green as the main colour of its flag: it reflects the natural diversity of the island, the red circle reflects the freedom of the population, and the ten stars are the ten parishes of the country. In the centre of the flag, there is an image of an imperial amazon, the symbol of the country

The coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Dominica

The Dominican coat of arms depicts a shield with the motto and symbols of the country, the imperial amazon parrot and the Antillean whistler toad, which are found only in Dominica. Their motto states “Besides God, we Love the soil“

Dominican passport

A Dominican passport gives the holder the right to travel visa-free to 144 countries, including the Schengen states, the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore

International relations. Dominica is a member of several international organizations:

  1. United Nations (UN).
  2. World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  3. British Commonwealth of Nations.
  4. Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
  5. The organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
  6. The organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

After gaining independence, Dominica retained its political and cultural ties with Britain and France. Dominicans have the right to study at British universities on preferential terms. The U.K. government finances the treatment of Dominican citizens resident in the U.K. in hospitals in the U.K.

Dominica has close economic relations with the United States. As a result, Dominican citizens enjoy certain benefits: for example, they can apply for a 10-year tourist visa to the United States under a simplified procedure.

Economy. The Dominican economy is driven by fishing, agriculture, tourism, and the citizenship investment program. The state exports exotic fruits, spices and flowers, such as rare varieties of orchids. About 20% of the land is arable, most of which is planted with palm trees. Dominica’s main foreign trade partners are Britain, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, France, Japan, and China.

Dominica supplies the United States and Europe with copper, limestone and pumice mined from its volcanoes. The country produces and exports oil and soap from coconut and furniture. Most of the country's income is generated from tourism, and the government has been steadily investing in infrastructure to support and attract tourists.

The island uses the energy of its natural resources, such as thermal springs. Dominica supports the sustainable lifestyle of the population and is committed to sustainable development.

Infrastructure development is supported by the contributions made by foreign investors participating in Dominica's citizenship by investment program. The government is using the income earned from the program to build a geothermal plant and earthquake-resistant buildings and repair schools, hospitals, and roads.

Frequently asked questions

Where is Dominica located?

Dominica is located in the eastern Caribbean, not far from South America. The island is part of the Lesser Antilles archipelago. Previously, this area was called the West Indies.

How can I travel to Dominica?

Visitors can travel to Dominica by plane or cruise ship. There are flights from Europe, America, Canada and other Caribbean countries, such as   Costa Rica.

Ticket prices depend on the season and the number of transfers. 

Cruises to Dominica start in Europe and the United States and can last from three days to six months.

How can I apply for Dominican citizenship?

Dominican citizenship can be obtained by naturalisation, marriage to a Dominican citizen or investment. The fastest way is through the state’s citizenship by investment program. Investors can choose between two investment options: a non-refundable contribution to the state fund or buying real estate.

The minimum contribution to the fund is $100,000 and the minimum investment in a government-approved real estate project is $200,000.

What are the benefits of a Dominican passport for an investor?

A Dominican passport allows the investor to travel visa-free to 144 countries, including the E.U., the Schengen states, the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Dominican citizens are also entitled to educate their children in the UK under preferential terms as Dominica is a member of the Commonwealth.

Dominican citizenship also gives the investor the opportunity to become a tax resident in Dominica and legally reduce their tax obligations. There are no taxes on capital gains, inheritance or dividends.

What are the main tourist sights in Dominica?

Dominica is considered the “Nature Island” of the Caribbean. There are volcanoes, mountains, numerous waterfalls and mountain rivers on the island. The Trafalgar Falls are the main waterfalls in Dominica. Morne Trois Pitons National Park is home to crater lakes, Boiling Lake, Middleham Falls, Emerald Pool and many other sites of natural beauty.

In the capital of Dominica, Roseau, visitors can stroll through the old quarter in which the British colonial houses have been preserved. The city also has a botanical garden, an art gallery, a crab market and a national museum.

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All about Dominica: unique nature, recreation, and citizenship by investment