Dominica Switches To Biometric Passports

July 29, 2021
Dominica goes on to issue biometric passports
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Photo: Adobe Stock
The Dominican government has begun issuing biometric passports. On 26 July 2021, President Charles Savarin and his wife received their first new passports. Citizens of Dominica are also required to replace their passports: applications can be submitted until 30 July 2023.

The innovation is being implemented as part of a programme to upgrade the island’s border control system. This was announced by Dominica’s Minister of Defence and the Interior, Rayburn Blackmoore.

Why the new passport format is needed

Dominicans are still required to submit fingerprints when applying for documents. However, current passports are machine-readable, meaning that information about the holder is encoded in a chain of characters for optical recognition. A special chip with scanned data of the holder is embedded in the biometric passport. The chip is also equipped with facial recognition.

The biometric passport will increase the protection of the document against counterfeiting and misuse. Citizens of Dominica will be able to get through border-crossing controls faster. The government says the new document format will help control migration traffic and organised crime.

Citizenship of Dominica by investment: a new biometric passport
Layout of Dominica's biometric passport. The cover design for the new document was developed by Canadian Bank Note Company Limited. They took Dominica's nature and landmarks into consideration when developing the design. A biometric chip icon also appears on the cover

How investors replace Dominica's passport

Investors with Dominican citizenship apply for a replacement passport under general conditions. The application process remains the same.

It costs EC$150 to apply for a passport and EC$75 for children under 16 years of age.

Most of our customers turn to us for additional services once they have received their passports. We can help our clients obtain a new biometric passport for Dominica.

Zlata Erlach,

Head of Caribbean Citizenship Investment Programs

Additional services provided by Immigrant Invest:

  • We extend your passport or replace it if you lose it;
  • help with name change;
    obtain a tax identification number;
  • rent or buy property;
  • assistance in getting driving license;
  • help you open a bank account;
  • obtain citizenship for family members;
  • obtain certificates of cleanliness and ID cards;
  • register companies, business licenses and yachts;
  • We get social security numbers and SIM cards;
  • Assist children of investors to gain admission to universities;
  • Help renounce citizenship.

Not all services are available in every country; the list of services depends on the investment programme.

Strengthening document security as a trend

Increasing security by switching to biometric IDs 一 a worldwide trend. The EU government has tightened the security requirements for ID cards in the regulation of 20 June 2019. According to the regulation, all EU member states will complete the transition to the new documents by 3 August 2031.

We previously reported that Malta was one of the first countries to issue ID cards with fingerprints and enhanced anti-counterfeiting protection. In mid-August, the Cypriot government began updating the documents of its citizens.

Steps to attract foreign investors

The Dominican government is increasing the convenience of the citizenship programme. In July-August of this year alone, 3 such changes have been proposed.

  1. A discount is offered for families of 4 people when choosing the option of a non-refundable contribution to the country’s national fund. If the family consists of the investor, spouse and two other relatives other than siblings, the grant will be reduced by $25,000 to $175,000 instead of $200,000.
  2. It has expanded the list of family members who can obtain citizenship along with the investor.
  3. The government has relaxed the conditions for children and parents – they only need to provide evidence of substantial financial support from the main applicant.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship programmes in the Caribbean. If you want to obtain a Dominica passport or travel visa-free to Schengen countries, seek advice from investment programme experts.