This Dominica visa refers to the Commonwealth of Dominica, not the Dominican Republic. There is no specific visa for retirees, anyone may apply. The Commonwealth of Dominica does have an active economic citizenship program but this may not be the option to which most retirees would be attracted. Citizenship can be acquired via the residency program without a major financial commitment.
The Commonwealth of Dominica is a small nation and has only a limited number of overseas embassies and consulates. Also it does not host the diplomatic representatives of many foreign countries. Even the ex-colonial ruler, the United Kingdom, does not have a consulate in the country. Instead British representation is located in Bridgetown, Barbados. This diplomatic mission also serves other countries in the Caribbean area.
With few industries, limited natural resources and only embryonic tourist ventures “Nature’s Island”, as the country is known, may well be attractive to many retirees. Those preferring a “small town”, rural or quiet life style whether on the coast or in the hills could well find the Dominica visa worth acquiring. The generous visa free admission to those from many countries make the “Golden Rule” (make no irrevocable move or decision prior to visiting the country at least once) easy to observe.
As an underdeveloped Third World country there is every opportunity for the creation of new industrial and commercial ventures. With little wealth and a very limited tax base the government has decided that the basis for development can be in economic citizenship. For a relatively small sum entrepreneurs can acquire citizenship which can offer relief from home country taxes and visa free travel opportunities to many countries. In fact a Dominican passport allows visa free travel to over 100 countries. Details of the comparative costs of economic citizenship for various countries can be seen here.
Temporary residency is not difficult to obtain. The national language is English but for those not fluent in this language it is possible to engage an attorney. It may be noted that local lawyers may well not be practiced in working specifically with immigration matters but international help is also available. (For those who may have been concerned about a "404 error" appearing on the site page at this link previously you may note that this referred only to certain information which is no longer available. Details regarding Dominican citizenship could still be accessed from the "Citizenship Program" tab at the top of the page or the "Programs" tab at the foot of the page. The link now goes directly to these details.)
Progression from a temporary state to permanent residency (hit the "residence renewal" tab) is then very much just a matter of time. LINK After two years as a permanent resident application can be made for citizenship. Economic citizenship requires an immediate investment but is granted much more quickly. The emphasis here will be on the acquisition of permanent residency. For most retirees citizenship is not a priority, certainly not via the economic citizenship path.
Documents for the Dominica visa must be submitted in person together with the appropriate application form, which can be downloaded from the government’s web site. The ministry concerned is Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Labour. Information is available at the Ministry of National Security, Labour and Immigration. In fact that may well be a good place to begin. Forms can be obtained at this ministry if internet access is not available and enquiries can be made with respect to any authentication which may be necessary for the personal identification papers. There is no mention of consular authentication, notarization or apostille endorsement on the government’s web sites. Contact will also be necessary for particular or specialist matters at other departments. The Government’s web sites are very clear and easy to read.
Extension of stay from Immigration Police Department is required during the period that application is being processed.
The above secures a temporary residence permit which must be renewed annually by submission of the following documents (the same ministry deals with renewals and the appropriate application form can be obtained from the same source as above):
The following points are also relevant:
Citizenship via the residency process requires no major financial investment.
Collecting the required documents and submitting them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Labour is straightforward both for the initial application for the Dominica visa and renewals. The fees applicable should be checked at the time of payment. Such amounts can vary without notice. It should also be ascertained how much time other departments may need to issue documents such as the local Police Record and, at the beginning, the time needed for foreign governments to act in such matters.
For economic citizenship applications an interview is necessary. The process itself takes 4 – 8 weeks to complete. For residency the period for issue of the visa is unimportant because local stay visas will be granted until the process is compete but it is unlikely to be a lesser period than for citizenship applications.
The Dominica visa is one of the simplest application procedures and the same may be said for the citizenship application whether done via the residency process or by way of the economic citizenship facility. Dual citizenship is recognized by the Commonwealth of Dominica. Acquisition of local citizenship is not notified to other governments.
Economic citizenship requires a minimum investment of $US100,000. This is one of the lowest commitments compared with other countries which offer such programs.
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