The Dominica Entrepreneurship Visa Program which is expected to be launched later this year, will expand business activity and create new jobs, according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
“Under the programme foreign investors who start a small business or invest in an existing business would be granted residence status,” Skerrit said during his Anou Palay programme. “The overall objective of this program is to widen Dominica’s economic base by expanding business activity and creating new jobs.”
He said his government was moving forward with this initiative “at a time when we must source new and creative ways to generate revenue and boost economic activity owing to the adverse impact on economies worldwide.”
Managing Partner of Advance Global Partners, Kenny Green who chairs the committee which is responsible for the program, said the initiative is not the same as the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) Program.
“It is by all effects a residence permit which is granted after qualification through investment in a local business, or in a startup or a joint venture in Dominica,” Green explained. “There has to be a qualification period to which it leads to naturalization after a period of two years…In many ways it’s what the industry called an RCI, a Residence By Investment.”
Green explained further that CBI programs make no demand on applicants for residency, “so that is one of the reasons for their popularity.”
He said there are many different CBI programs in the world – over 40, therefore, the fundamental difference is that, as an RBI the entrepreneurial visa requires that the applicant spend substantial time in Dominica, 90 days of each calendar year.
“And that, like other RBIs, means that the applicant has to become a resident here, has to become a consumer here, has to become lodged here and that has a totally different impact,” Green stated. “It’s a different requirement, a totally different impact and a different client as well.”