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The latest Gulf News webinar was a must-watch for anyone looking to gain citizenship of a second country to provide a better life for their family.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is located in the Caribbean’s south and has developed a strong reputation as a tourism destination. It prides itself on its natural wonders, with waterfalls, lakes, beaches and hot springs.

However, the island is equally regarded for its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme. Established in 1993, it focuses on bringing families together – one of the core reasons the programme has received several accolades since its launch.

“The family is at the centre of the Dominican society,” said Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, during the Gulf News webinar on the country’s CBI programme. “Sometimes great-grandparents to great-grandchildren are living in the same house,” he added.

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In July this year, Dominica made some changes to its CBI programme to make it more attractive to future applicants. The changes include the fact that dependents can be related to the main applicant or the main applicant’s spouse; there is no longer an age limitation on parents or grandparents; and siblings are allowed up to the age of 25.

A successful programme

The evolution of the CBI programme is part of its success. This year, the Financial Times rated Dominica’s CBI programme as the best in the world for the third time. Prime Minister Skerrit believes this is because of the country’s robust due diligence process. “We don’t play games with prospective investments or applications,” he said.

The CBI programme is essential to Dominica as it has been a source of revenue for providing citizens with aid in healthcare, agriculture and tourism developments.

As a result, in Dominica’s primary healthcare is free for those under 18 and over 60.

Prime Minister Skerrit even spoke about his country’s successful battle with the Covid-19 pandemic during the webinar. He said, “Everyone who has contracted the virus has recovered. An 85-year-old man, suffering from diabetes, hypertension and asthma, has recovered from Covid-19.”

Education is also free for citizens of Dominica up until the age of 16, with the country’s literacy rate at 98 per cent.

Family is the key

His Excellency Emmanuel Nanthan, Head of the Citizenship by Investment Unit, also spoke during the Gulf News webinar and reiterated the country’s policy in keeping families together through the CBI programme. “In Dominica, citizenship is hereditary. That means you can pass on your citizenship to any child once you are a citizen,” he said.

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H.E. Nanthan believes the programme is also successful because it is not solely about financial gain. “[The CBI] programme is where we make our contribution to humanity because we listen to our citizens, to our investors, and we’ll make changes. The family is the key to who we are as a people.”

Prime Minister Skerrit too spoke about Dominica’s strong relationship with the UAE, where the news publication is based. “The UAE has been a very strong partner, especially in renewable energy,” he said. “It is assisting with a major battery storage for solar energy and has helped us in healthcare and a number of [other] areas.”