During a breakfast meeting organized by the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) on Wednesday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica offered, for the first time, a launch date (of sorts) for the country’s much-anticipated Entrepreneurship Visa Program, which IMI first reported on in September. The program, the PM told those assembled for DAIC’s Eggs & Issues breakfast, was currently awaiting approval from his cabinet and would be launched “in early 2021”.
That cabinet is composed of members of Skerrit’s Labour Party, which holds 18 out of 21 seats in the country’s parliament, the House of Assembly, indicating any political roadblocks to the introduction of the program are unlikely to arise. A source intimately familiar with the matter’s proceedings tells IMI the cabinet will approve the program this month, paving the way for a launch in late January or early February.
Briefly summarized (read a more detailed description here), the program offers a two-year path to Dominican citizenship to applicants who invest US$50,000 in an existing government-approved company through the Investment Fund, a minimum of US$100,000 in a new, local startup that employs at least three full-time employees, or who invest an unspecified amount in a government-approved public or private sector venture. Additionally, the applicant must spend a minimum of 90 days a year in Dominica and deposit US$100,000 in a local financial institution, but these funds may be depleted during the residency period. Following two years of holding the residence permit and fulfilling the attendant requirements, the applicant is eligible for Dominican citizenship.
Skerrit characterized the program as an opportunity to generate new residency and consumer activity on the island, to stimulate local business growth, and to “add new energy and vitality to economy”.
IMI understands that most of the infrastructure needed to operate the program is already in place, including most of the application forms. The government and its partners are currently working on the formation of a “secretariat”, effectively a processing unit.
Image credit: DAIC
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