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Case Studies

Moving to Dominica
as a springboard for relocation to the EU: expenses and taxes for the family

My business goes well in Morocco, and I would have stayed in my country if not for my daughter. Rachida and I understand that investing in Meriem’s future is better now. We want our daughter to get an education in the US, the EU or the UK. So, we got Dominica passports which gave us access to these countries and, in the future, the possibility to move to Europe. But for now, we’ve decided to move to Dominica and try living here.

Ayoub, 36
A co-owner of several banks in Morocco and real estate investor
Clients’ names and photos have been changed
Moving to Dominica with Dominica Citizenship

Why did the investor obtain Dominica citizenship
for his family

In 2021, Ayoub obtained Dominica citizenship for his family to travel visa-free worldwide. The same year Ayoub’s family moved from Morocco to Dominica.

Ayoub chose the Dominica program over other citizenship programs for investors because it opened up the maximum possibilities within his budget. We listed below these benefits.

Visa-free travelling. Initially, the chief aim of Ayoub and his family was to get visa-free access to European countries and the US. They needed access to these countries to choose a school and, in future, a university for their daughter Meriem. Also, the family was thinking of moving to Europe in the future. Before that, they wanted to travel and get to know different countries and cities.

With Dominica citizenship, Ayoub’s family could visit 144 countries without visas. The visa-free destinations include the UK, Schengen, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

As Dominica passport holders, they could get a 10-year B-1/B-2 visa to the USA. The visa would allow Ayoub’s family to stay in the country for up to 180 days a year to attend business meetings and conferences, travel and get medical treatment at any US clinics.

Tax optimization. Ayoub gets his income from dividends, property rentals and sales in Morocco. When thinking about getting Dominica citizenship, the investor wondered how much taxes he would pay if moving to Dominica.

In Dominica, residents do not pay taxes on dividends from which they receive income, nor do they pay withholding tax on dividends, royalties and interest. Also, there are no capital gains and property ownership taxes in Dominica.

Income tax is levied on labour and business activities, royalties, interest, and rent and has a progressive income tax rate:

  • 15% on the first EC$20,000 or $7,400 of income;
  • 25% on the next EC$30,000 or $11,100 of income;
  • 35% on the rest of the income.
Evgeniya Morozova Expert Immigrant Invest
Evgeniya Morozova
Head of the Legal Department, lawyer, PhD in Law

Taxpayers in Dominica are entitled to tax deductions, which are reductions in the amount on which tax is levied. Deductions are standard and general. A taxpayer can receive several deductions at once. The standard deductions apply to bank interest on a mortgage, donations to funds from the state list, payments for university education, rental yield and self-employed.

Primary tax rates for the investor in Dominica and Morocco

0%
Tax on dividends in Dominica Эмодзи 🇩🇲 ВКонтакте
10%
Tax on dividends in Morocco Эмодзи 🇲🇦 Apple и iOS
0%
Tax on capital gains in Dominica Эмодзи 🇩🇲 ВКонтакте
20%
Tax on capital gains in Morocco Эмодзи 🇲🇦 Apple и iOS
15%
min. income tax in Dominica Эмодзи 🇩🇲 ВКонтакте
on the first $7,400 of income
10%
min. income tax in Morocco Эмодзи 🇲🇦 Apple и iOS
on income lower than $11,145
35%
Max. income tax in Dominica Эмодзи 🇩🇲 ВКонтакте
on part of the income exceeding $11,100
15%
Max. income tax in Morocco Эмодзи 🇲🇦 Apple и iOS
on income equal to or exceeding $11,145

Ayoub turned to tax consultants to calculate how much taxes he would pay in Dominica. The sums were converted to US dollars for ease of comparison. Another point to consider was that there was no Double Taxation Treaty between Dominica and Morocco, so each tax had to be paid twice.

The calculation showed that Ayoub’s main tax payments would be reduced by 21 times if he became a Dominica tax resident. No doubt, the investor chose to become a Dominica tax resident.

Taxes to pay in 2021 

TaxIf Ayoub changed his tax residency to DominicaIf Ayoub stayed
a Moroccan tax resident
On dividends,
payable in Morocco
$0 $6,685 
On capital gains from the sale of property in Morocco$0$114,346
On income from property rent in Morocco$5,863$3,623
Total$5,863$124,654

Decent education for children. Dominica has close historical and economic ties with the UK and the USA. So, Dominica citizenship allows investors’ children to get an education in these countries on preferential terms.

Dominica is part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Therefore, scholarships are available for citizens of Dominica to study at universities in the UK and the US. For example, The Commonwealth Scholarship Fellowship Plan (CSFP) program. With the help of the Commonwealth Scholarship, citizens of Dominica can reduce the cost of studying at educational institutions in the UK.

When I learned about all these benefits I can acquire with Dominica citizenship, I did not doubt I should get passports of this country for my family. Moreover, Rachida and I decided to move to Dominica and try living there for 1—3 years. Anyway, we are going to move to Europe in the next five years. Let Dominica be our training ground. Plus, it’s an English-speaking country. We will practice the language before the final move to Europe.

Ayoub, 36
A co-owner of several banks in Morocco and real estate investor

Dominica CBI program terms

An investor must pass a Due Diligence check and fulfil the investment conditions to get a Dominica passport. There are two investment options:

  • a non-refundable contribution to a government fund of $100,000;
  • the purchase of real estate in the country worth $200,000.

Under the real estate purchase option, investors can sell the property after three years and return the money. But if after five, then the next participant in the Dominica CBI program can become a buyer.

In 3 years
Investors can return the money

Ayoub chose to buy a real estate option. Since the family decided to move to Dominica, they needed an apartment. Moreover, as a real estate investor, Ayoub was interested in the Caribbean real estate market. The investor decided to sell the object in five years to the next participant in the program.

Dominica real estate

Ayoub bought a similar object to participate in the Dominica CBI program. The property brings up to 7% of income per year. 

The investor paid 0% taxes and stamps under special conditions. Otherwise, the buyer will pay 6% tax and 4% stamp duty, totalling $22,000.

Also, Ayoub does not pay annual property tax, as property ownership tax in Dominica is 0%. If the investor decides to sell the object, he will pay 6% of the property transfer tax and 2.5% stamp duty.

10%
Property tax and stamp duty for a buyer
8.5%
Property tax and stamp duty for a seller
0%
Property ownership
tax

When buying real estate in the Caribbean under the CBI program, an investor pays a state fee of $25,000 or more. Also, an investor pays the Due Diligence check, the application, and notarial and bank fees. The expenses increase if the investor adds his family to the application.

An investor can add a spouse, financially dependent on him children under 30, parents, brothers and sisters of both an investor and a spouse. Immigrant Invest lawyers have calculated the costs of the Dominica CBI program for the investor.

$254,353 — Ayoub’s payments under the Dominica citizenship program for a family of three

$200,000
Real estate purchase
$35,000
State fee
$15,500
Due Diligence fee
$1,000
Application fee
$1,083
Passport fee
$750
Administrative fee
$750
Issuance of certificates of naturalisation
$270
Bank fee

Living in Dominica:
prices and infrastructure

We keep in touch with our clients who don't mind to figure out how they live after participating in citizenship by investment programs. So, especially for our clients, we asked Ayoub and Rachida to tell us about prices to show the average living standards in Dominica. Rachida made a list of their ordinary family expenses for us.

Prices in Dominica

Accommodation 
Rent of an apartment with three bedrooms in the centre of Roseau per month $1,000
Apartament utilities monthly $46
Internet monthly $65
Markets
Milk (1 gallon) $19
Loaf of bread $2
Local cheese (1lb) $5
Eggs (a dozen) $4.5
Chicken fillets (1lb) $2
Beef round $4
Rice (1 lb) $1
Apples (1lb) $4
Banana (1lb) $1
Tomato (1lb) $3
Potato (1 lb) $2
Lettuce (1 head) $2
Water (1.5 litre bottle) $2
Bottle of wine $8.5
Restaurants
Meal for two people,
three-course
$60
Street food restaurant,
one course 
$6
Cappuccino (regular) $2.5
Leisure activities
Fitness club,
monthly fee for one adult
$63
Tennis Court Rent
(1 hour on the weekend)
$37
Cinema, 1 seat $9
Transportation
One-way ticket $1.30
Gasoline (1 gallon) $4.3
Show more Hide

Rachida also told us how the family spends their daily routine. The investor pays most of the working week in his home office reading or busy with business calls or educational courses.

Their daughter, Meriem, is studying online from home in one of the private British schools’ programs. She turned 11 and entered a secondary education step in the British education system this year.

After her school classes, Meriem has a lesson with an English tutor — the parents want Meriem to study full-time in the UK, US or EU in a couple of years. For that, she needs a good level of English.

When Meriem’s classes are done, they go to the swimming pool for a workout, and in the evening, the whole family has dinner in a local restaurant.

On weekends or holidays, the family can go to the beach, to art museums, walk in the city parks and botanic gardens, or fly to Europe or the US if Ayoub is not busy with his work.

In Dominica, I feel no difference from Morocco regarding services’ availability. Here, we have everything we need: shopping, medical clinics, entertainment, and sports facilities. Also, I like that Meriem and I never get bored here, especially when Ayoub is away for some business meetings.

In that case, I can go to a beauty or spa salon, fitness club for a workout, or shopping while Meriem is studying. After her classes, I take her to swimming practice, and later we have dinner in a nice local restaurant — there are plenty of them! And the food, it’s excellent! But most of all I like our walks along the coast and trips to nature: waterfalls, springs, lakes and rivers — the indescribable beauty!

Rachida, 32
The investor’s wife

The family has also noted excellent transportation in Dominica. They use the car they have bought in Dominica. Sometimes, the family uses a taxi or public transport — buses.

Moving to Dominica with Dominica citizenship by investment

Roseau, the capital and cruise port of Dominica. Ayoub and his family are now enjoying living in this city

Moving to Dominica with Dominica citizenship by investment

Around Roseau, the capital and cruise port of Dominica. The Dominica passport is renewed every five years until a citizen turns 16. Dominica citizens over 16 renew their passports every ten years

Moving to Dominica with Dominica citizenship by investment

Emerald pool and waterfall views in Dominica. The nature in Dominica has been preserved in a pristine state, which is why Dominica is often called the “Nature Island of the Caribbean”

How to get to Dominica

You can get to Dominica either by plane or ferry. The island has two airports, Douglas-Charles Airport in the north and Canefield Airport in the south. As these are not international airports, you need to transfer from nearby islands such as Guadeloupe, Barbados, Antigua, Martinique, St. Lucia or St. Martin.

How to get to Dominica

Getting the nearest Dominica islands is possible by plane from the US, Canada, the UK, France and the Netherlands. For example, airlines that operate from the US to the Caribbean are American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Silver Airways — typically 52 flights weekly.

The last step to get to Dominica from the neighbouring islands is by ferry or plane. L'Express Des Iles ferry service operates between Dominica and St. Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe 5 days a week.

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

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Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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