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OCCRP research shines importance of Dominica’s CBI Program

Since the catastrophic impacts of tropical storm Erika in 2015 and category 5 Hurricane Maria in 2017, Dominica has wisely utilized Citizenship by Investment (CBI) revenues to rebuild its infrastructure and public welfare programs. A recent study by the OCCRP confirms the positive direction of these funds towards fostering the island’s infrastructural and socio-economic development. 

The OCCRP outlines that funds raised by the CBI Program have become the catalyst for exponential growth in terms of climate-resilient housing, healthcare infrastructure, advanced educational facilities, recovery from climate change devastation and many other social development projects.

With the support of CBI Program over 1,500 climate-resilient homes have been constructed for individuals impacted by tropical storm Erika and Hurricane Maria. Additionally, several state-of-the-art healthcare centres, including the extensive Marigot Hospital, have been inaugurated, ensuring sufficient medical amenities for citizens. 

Educational infrastructure has also seen enhancements with the complete renovation of the Dominica Grammar School and the construction of several other schools to elevate educational standards.

The OCCRP also mentioned a new policy brought in by Dominica’s CBI programme which has made interviews mandatory for all citizenship applicants as of July, 2023. This made Dominica the first nation amongst many to apply this policy, a ground-breaking move by all measures.

While some parties have raised questions about the efficacy of the programme, the OCCRP research is a good look into how well it has done to weed out bad actors and extended its horizons above reach.

Another significant development in the report explains how the citizenship by investment program has helped the nation find its footing in the aftermath of the banana industry collapse.

Dominica once sustained itself majorly on its vast and thriving banana industry which exported its produce across the world. The collapse of that industry left Dominica in dire straits.

The CBI program has given the nation a more stable option that allows continued economic progress without a dependency on exports and market fluctuations in the food and produce industry.

Three distinct investment options are available to potential investors. Each option presents a unique investment avenue, with allocations directed towards different developmental projects respectively. 

The first option channels funds into infrastructural advancements such as the building of healthcare centers, hospital, airport, schools, and housing. The subsequent second option is ‘Real Estate’ that directs investments to private developers, tasked with building hotels, resorts, and other ventures, with each application incurring a government fee. The third option allocates funds to a government-managed fund, purposed for bolstering national developmental initiatives.


The OCCRP research highlighted the fact that Dominica has been working extensively to improve the level of transparency that the program offers. Another member of this investigation, the ‘Government Accountability Project’ also furnished a great deal of information through gazettes that are open for public viewing.

These gazettes give access to detailed records of the project, which includes a list of all the naturalized citizens that have come through the program from 2007 to 2022.

It is unsurprising that Dominica’s programme is rated as highly as it is, considering the work that has gone into making it open, transparent and secure.

Dominica, a small island nation with limited resources, has chosen to maintain its gazettes solely in paper form. This traditional method, while seemingly archaic to some, does not inhibit public accessibility. 

It is clear that, even in the absence of digital copies is due to COVID-19 pandemic which delayed every effort of the government. However, the information remains transparent, available, and within reach of anyone interested in accessing it.

According to the research conducted by the OCCRP, acquiring a second citizenship serves as a lifeline for individuals residing in oppressive regimes, offering them a chance at safety and a better life. 

This principle resonates beyond Dominica and is evident in the wider European region, which has historically opened its borders to thousands of refugees fleeing from countries characterized by authoritarian governance and systemic oppression. 

As the research underscores, every sovereign nation possesses the legal prerogative to determine its citizenship criteria. For countless individuals under tyrannical rule, the opportunity to attain a secondary nationality can be the very key to ensuring their security and well-being.

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As highlighted by OCCRP, historically, individuals from North Korea and Sudan have encountered restrictions. Furthermore, in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine the previous year, applicants from both Russia and Belarus have also faced restrictions. 

This proactive stance was met with approval from the US State Department, which expressed its satisfaction with Dominica’s measures. A spokesperson elaborated on this sentiment, noting that the department is “pleased with Dominica’s efforts to increase security and due diligence” within the parameters of the citizenship program.

As quoted by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Dominica Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program enforces stringent due diligence processes, employing third-party firms from the US and UK. This comprehensive multi-layered vetting involves both online and on-the-ground assessments of every applicant.

Critical documents, including a 10 years’ worth of financial records, birth certificates, police clearance certificates, and passport copies among other documents, undergo thorough verification and cross-referencing to ensure authenticity.



The programme has granted citizenship to 7,700 investors since 2007. Out of them, the OCCRP has highlighted 26 individuals in particular for various reasons.

The implication is that out of the vast number of investors who were granted citizenship (7,700), a small number (26) may have been involved in activities against CBI Program’s guidelines after obtaining the citizenship.

According to information available on Wikipedia of Dominica citizenship by investment programme, 260 citizenships have been revoked by the government for concealing information in their citizenship applications. 26 individuals may have been included in the revocation list.

As reported by the OCCRP research, the regulations of the country categorically exclude individuals with significant criminal records, those under criminal investigation – of which they are or should be aware of – and individuals deemed a potential security threat either to Dominica or any other nation. 

Furthermore, any involvement in activities that could tarnish Dominica’s reputation also serves as a disqualifying factor. This rigorous selection process underscores Dominica’s commitment to safeguarding its national interests while extending the opportunity of citizenship to global investors.

A slight inconsistency in that narrative arises as some of the individuals on the list have no legal cases against them, making the allegations unsubstantiated, or have pleaded ‘not guilty’ to ongoing cases which are yet to reach their conclusion.

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