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Dominica set to hike citizenship-by-investment programme fee by August.

Summary: Those interested encouraged to take advantage of lower cost at present

Dominica will be increasing the minimum amount of investment required to apply for its citizenship-by-investment programme (CIP) in two months, Henley & Partners, a leader in residence and citizenship planning, said.

Currently, the application cost for a single applicant for Dominican citizenship starts at $100,000 plus fees, making it the most economical CIP in the world.

From August, the Dominica CIP will no longer be the most affordable such programme, a factor that for so long has been a key advantage for it. Although the revised cost structure of the programme is yet to be announced by the Dominican government, it is expected to be a significant fee increase.

"We urge those interested in applying for the Dominican citizenship programme to start the application process at the earliest to take advantage of the low fee structure of the program before it rises in August 2016. The Dominican citizenship programme finds a huge favour among single businessmen as well as families, due to it being an economically viable alternative to other Caribbean citizenship programs," said Bata Racic, manager of Henley & Partners in the Middle East.

"In the Middle East, we continue see high demand for the Dominican citizenship-by-investment program, mainly from Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi and Egyptian applicants."

Dominica's CIP ranks highly year-on-year, according to Henley & Partners' annual Global Residence and Citizenship Programmes report. This is mainly due to the low application cost and visa-free travel rights. The passport allows visa-free travel to 119 countries worldwide, including the UK and the Schengen area. Citizens of Dominica also receive certain limited preferential treatment in the UK due to the country's membership of the Commonwealth. Dominica's CIP, established in 1991, was designed to drive economic investment into the island. Since then, a few thousand families have received Dominican citizenship through the programme.

The processing time for a citizenship-by-investment application is approximately three months. There are no restrictions on dual citizenship in Dominica and there is no requirement of physically residing on the island. The applicant does, however, have the right to take up residence in Dominica at any time and for any length of time.

"The Dominican government is of course keen to encourage new citizens to become involved further in the economy and substantial incentives are on offer to make this an attractive option," Racic said.

- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jul 8, 2016
Words:413
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