Where is Dominica’s revenue from passport sales

Where is Dominica’s revenue from passport sales

By Thomson Fontaine
January 25, 2016 3:04 P.M

passport revenue
Dominica trails badly in reported revenue from passport sales.
Roseau, Dominica (TDN) Recent reporting on revenues from the Citizenship by Investment programs in several Caribbean countries have raised more questions about a program that has drawn unprecedented scrutiny from across the Globe.

In a world of increasing security concerns and in particular the rise of ISIS questions continue to be raised about Citizenship programs being offered in the Caribbean Region. To date five countries, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia offer various forms of the program (See table below).

There is growing concern about the due diligence process and there have been attempts made by some countries to strengthen their processes. For instance St Kitts and Nevis took the unprecedented step of refusing to grant citizenship to Iranian and Syrian nationals.

In the meantime, Dominica’s prime minister on a December 2015 visit to Dubai went out of his way to stress that Dominica is still welcoming new citizens from Iran and Syrian. Indeed a great deal of effort and energy has been placed by the Skerrit regime on drawing citizens from the Middle East Region.

Security concerns aside another more pressing issue for residents in those Islands is the inflow or lack thereof of revenues from the Economic Citizenship Programs.

After one year of getting their feet wet in the process, Antigua announced that they had made well over US $ 98 million from their program in 2015. In the case of St Kitts and Nevis the government of prime minister Timothy Harris would only say that they have exceeded expectations.

That would mean over US $ 170 million flowing into the government coffers. This in turn has helped spur economic growth of over 6 percent in that country.

While our Northerly neighbors were basking in the glow of huge revenue streams, Dominica’s Finance minister Roosevelt Skerrit reported to parliament that while he forecasted US $ 30 million for 2014/15 he had only succeeded in securing a miserly US 9.2 million. This would be equivalent to the sale of a mere 90 passports.

Citizenship By Investment Programs in the Caribbean

Country Date Started Government Revenue




US $ 200 000 to National Development Fund

US $ 400 000 Real Estate Option or US $ 1.5 million/US $ 5.0 Million in Existing Business as Individual/Joint



US $ 50 000 to Treasury & US $ 100 000 from passport sale

US $ 200 000 Real estate Option



US $ 200 000 to National Transformation Fund

US $ 350 000 real estate option

St Kitts and Nevis


US $ 250 000 Sugar Industry Diversification Fund

US $ 400 000 Real Estate Option

St Lucia


US $ 200 000 Development Fund

US $ 300 000 Real Estate Option or US $ 500 000 in Government Bonds

This is at once shocking and unbelievable. How could a program almost as old as St Kitts and Nevis’ and about half its cost take in twenty times less than the St Kitts program? Undoubtedly this warrants further scrutiny.

Despite repeated appeals from the populace to make the program more transparent and to be accountable, the Dominica government firmly refuses to do so. In the case of the other Caribbean countries they are far more transparent, reporting in a timely fashion on the number of new citizens and the income stream.

The obvious question is what happened in 2014/15 in Dominica and why is it that the country’s program appears to be lagging so far behind the rest of the Region. Is it a case where people simply do not want Dominican citizenship or are there more nefarious reasons for this.

In other words, where are the revenues from Dominica’s sale of passports? Figures are hard to come by but the closest we’ve come to getting a fair handle on this is when Skerrit’s lawyer Stephen Isidore, one of the people who would know, told a newspaper Europeanceo.com in an October 2013 interview that more than 12 000 passports had been sold since 2003. He also boasted that he alone had sold “hundreds.”

“Since the programme was established in 1993, over 12,000 individuals have successfully applied for and obtained citizenship, with a further 2,000 to be granted citizenship in the coming year,” Isidore was quoted as saying.

There is no reason to doubt those numbers and it certainly is more in line with the reported revenues in Antigua and St Kitts and Nevis. Based on Isidore’s count the country should be seeing a total of at least US $ 74 million per annum.

Increasingly one gets the sense that the Skerrit regime’s real reason for failing to be more transparent may very well lie in their inability to adequately account for the seeming millions generated by the program.

If on the other hand, these numbers are a true reflection of the size and scope of the program in Dominica then there is no real need to continue with it. One can argue that the potential costs far outweigh the benefits. Costs such as the potential to lose visa free entry to the United Kingdom, if this lax due diligence environment continues to hold sway.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Click here for standalone player

miss dominica 2013

  | Home | Welcome Message | Prior Issues | Feedback | Current Issue | Contact Us | Advertise | About Dominica | Privacy Policy |

  Copyright 2002-12 TheDominican.Net. Designed by TheDominican.net -- All Rights reserved