2022
Reading Time: 5 min

Dominica citizenship instead of EU residency: doorway to reliable European banks

It was always not easy for me to open a bank account in Europe. Preparation and submission of documents took several weeks of my life, that’s crazy. Often I was denied without explanation. It collapsed the business routine.

If I were an EU resident or citizen, I would open a bank account much faster. Besides, I wanted to have the possibility to travel to Europe visa-free.

That’s why I decided to apply for residency in Europe.

Hasan

Hasan, 47 years old

A businessman from Lagos

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Dominica citizenship by investment for opening accounts with EU banks

Dominica citizenship instead of EU residency: doorway to reliable European banks

Hasan started his business in Nigeria by opening a cement factory. Hasan’s company exports the cement products to Spain, Portugal and Italy. He planned to expand the area of export among European countries.

Hasan wanted to open an account in a reliable European bank. This would give him freedom from African economic crises and the possibility to keep his business earnings in hard currency.

He thought that the easiest way to open an EU bank account was to get a European residence permit or citizenship. So Hasan was considering several programs.

Portugal residence permit. The program does not require living in the country, it is enough to spend there 7 days a year. Hasan liked this condition, but he was not satisfied with the expenses.

An investor buys real estate worth €280,000 if the object is over 30 years old and in a low-density region. Hasan did not like such property. Investors can purchase new real estate by the sea, but the cost of such objects must be at least €500,000.

Malta citizenship. The conditions of the programs offer a Malta passport in one or three years. They provide an opportunity to obtain European citizenship and get all European values. However, the investment is at least €700,000. He didn’t plan to spend such funds on getting residency in Europe.

Cooperation with Immigrant Invest

By the time Hasan contacted our company, he had already acquired knowledge of European investment programs. We pay Hasan’s attention to more advantageous programs in Caribbean countries.

The costs for Caribbean programs are two times lower than for European ones. A Caribbean passport will allow Hasan to open bank accounts around the world quickly.

Many entrepreneurs, including Pavel Durov, have received Caribbean citizenship. A Caribbean passport gives the freedom to travel around the world. You can visit Schengen and the UK without a visa. Passports of Grenada and Dominica allow citizens to visit China without a visa. With a Caribbean passport, citizens can access the United States for 10 years.

All Caribbean programs have a real estate investment option. After five years, the investment can be returned.

Real estate return horizon in Caribbean citizenship programs

Features

Real estate Investment

$200,000+

$300,000

$200,000

$200,000

$220,000

Return horizon

5 years

5—7 years

5 years

5—7 years

5 years

Obtaining passport term

In 3—6 months

In 3—4 months

In 3—6 months

In 3—6 months

In 4—6 months

Visa-free destinations

Schengen Area, UK

Schengen Area, UK

Schengen Area, UK, China

Schengen Area, UK

Schengen Area, UK, China

According to the law, the return on investment when buying property in Dominica is 3 years. But for real estate, which is used to obtain investment citizenship, the ownership should be kept for 5 years. In this case, the object becomes more liquid because of permanent high demand.

So, Hasan settled on Dominica’s citizenship. Compared to other programs, he was attracted by relatively low costs and the ability to travel to China without visas. With a Dominica passport, you can freely travel to 140 countries.

Dominica passport by investment — European bank account for non-residents

Dominica is a member of CARICOM, which include 15 states in the Caribbean region. The country’s citizens can come to any member state of the associations without a visa. The Caribbean countries are duty-free

Process of obtaining Dominica’s passport

1. Preliminary Due Diligence Check. The compliance department checks investors before signing a contract. Anti money laundering officer identifies potential risks that may lead to the rejection of the application. This is how we reduce the risk of refusing an application for citizenship by investment to 1%.

Hasan passed the test successfully and could take part in any program.

2. Choosing property. The investor chose shared ownership in the hotel. Secret Bay property is one of the most resalable Caribbean objects with the opportunity to get Dominica citizenship.

The Wall Street Journal published that in 2021 Secret bay set the current sales record in Dominica.

The cost of the share at Secret bay was $208,000. Hasan сoncluded a preliminary agreement with the seller and paid 10% of its cost to reserve an object.

4. Sending documents. Within 5 days, we collected a package of the required documents for Hasan, made copies, notarised, apostilled and submitted them for consideration to the government of Dominica according to the short-term procedure.

The Dominica Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) has accepted the documents. They started Due Diligence checks, which took about two weeks. After that, they filed papers for final processing.

Vladlena Baranova

Vladlena Baranova,

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

The law does not require investors to stay in the country before or after obtaining a passport. Therefore, participation in the program is completely remote.

5. Approving application. Two months later, Immigrant Invest received a positive response about Hasan’s participation in the investment citizenship program. Approval of the program is the basis for the transfer of investments.

6. Paying for the required investment. Hasan’s expenses when choosing to buy a share in real estate included the cost of the object, Due Diligence check, the state and courier fees.

$243,850 — Hasan paid to participate in the investment program

  • $208,000 — Property cost

  • $25,000 — State fee

  • $7,500 — Due Diligence

  • $1,200 — Fast-track process

  • $900 — Passport fee

  • $1,000 — Processing fee

  • $250 — Courier fee

7. Getting passports. When the bank confirmed the investment, the CBI printed the passports and certificate of naturalisation. And two weeks later, we delivered a new passport of a Dominican citizen to Hasan. In February 2022, Hasan received documents at a convenient address. In our experience, this is one of the fastest examples of obtaining Caribbean citizenship.

Hasan received Dominica citizenship in 6 months

1

August, 15th, 2021

Signing an agreement with Immigrant Invest

2

+ 1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence check

3

+7 days

Choosing investment property

4

+ 3 weeks

Preparing and sending documents

5

+ 2 weeks

Due Diligence by Dominica CBIU

6

+2 months

Application approval

7

+ 1 week

Payment for investments

8

+ 4 weeks

Making passports and naturalisation certificate

9

February 17th, 2022

Getting passports by courier

The result of cooperation with Immigrant Invest

When Hasan received citizenship in Dominica, he started opening accounts in European banks — both personal and for the company. He chose two banks — one in Malta and one in Portugal. The Due Diligence lasted approximately two weeks. Now Hasan has accounts in European banks.

Also, the services of banks in the UK and the USA are available to citizens of the Caribbean countries.

Now Hasan is planning business trips to Singapore and Hong Kong and going to spend the vacation travelling across Europe and the Caribbean.

Also, he is absolutely satisfied with the liquids of assets he had bought in Secret Bay. Hasan does not doubt that in 5 years, he can sell the hotel share to the next investor without any problem.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

This case was provided by our expert

Albert Ioffe

Legal and Compliance Officer

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