The Real Deal - Start with Information
With the smallest population in the Eastern Caribbean island chain, it’s no wonder that this friendly and extremely verdant piece of Paradise is bookmarked by so many people across the length and breadth of planet Earth as an unspoiled paradise to retire to, or indeed as a second home destination. Dominica is a lush, tropical, and a self-sustainable island – a true rarity in the Caribbean.
A majestic, mountainous, forested island with a year-round tropical climate, national parks, rare indigenous birds, 365 rivers, hundreds of waterfalls and the second-largest boiling lake in the world, Dominica also offers world-class hiking, whale watching and diving. Dominica is potentially a great tourist attraction with a knock-on effect of investing in the ever growing real estate market.
Known affectionately as the ‘Nature Island’, Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-eek-a) is located between the French islands of Guadeloupe to the north and Martinique to its south. With approximately 282 square miles of wildly beautiful mountain terrain, Dominica features 10 extinct volcano’s (thankfully, all of these are dormant), but due to its volcanic origin, Dominica is the most fertile and lush island in the Caribbean.
The island, which was originally occupied by Carib Indians - some of whose descendants remain - was discovered by Columbus in 1493 and colonized by the French in the 1600s. In 1805, the island became a British possession and remained under British rule until 1967. The Dominican Government gained independence from the UK in 1978, but a great deal of the political activity here resembles the Westminster system.
It is said that if Christopher Columbus was to visit the Caribbean today, the only island he would recognize is Dominica!
Visa required for residents of former Eastern Bloc countries and citizens of China, India and Nigeria.
Money Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$); EC$1 = US$0.38 = €0.24 = UK£0.19
Official name Commonwealth of Dominica
Departure tax EC$55 (US$20) for all persons over 12 years old
Area 290 sq miles
Famous for Nature
Population Density: 91.5 per sq km.
Capital: Roseau (Population: 14,500, UN estimate 2005)
Government: Republic Gained independence from the UK in 1978.
Language: The official language is English, but Creole French, the national language, is spoken by most of the population.
Religion: Almost entirely Christian, with Roman Catholic majority.
Time: GMT - 4.
Country code 767
Phrase: irie (hello/goodbye/cool/good); you check? (you understand?)
Dominica has a relatively low crime rate for the Caribbean. Although it is among the poorest countries in the region, its differences in wealth distribution are not as marked as in the larger Caribbean islands.
Transfer fees payable by the purchaser are made up as follows:
· 4% stamp duty
· 2.5% judicial fees
· 1% assurance fund
· 3% legal fees
· The vendor has to pay 2.5% stamp duty
All Transfer fees are calculated on the market value of the land being sold.
If you receive land as a gift or at an under value the transfer fees are still calculated on the market value which is the higher of the purchase price and valuation.
If you are not an OECS Citizen
If you are not a citizen of one of the OECS States you will have to pay an additional 10% on the market Value of the land regardless of how little land you purchase.
In addition you will need to obtain an Alien Landholding License to own more that 1 acre of land for residential purposes or 3 acres for business purposes.
OECS States include:
· British Virgin Islands
· St. Kitts & Nevis
· St. Lucia
· St. Vincent & the Grenadines
If you are a member of a CSME STATE
If you are a member of a CSME STATE (Caribbean Single Market Economy) unless you are also an OECS Citizen the Alien Land Holding Provisions apply to you when buying land and you will have to pay the additional 10% in Government Transfer Fees and apply for a License if you purchase above 1 acre for residential or 3 acres for business.
For these purposes land includes whatever is on the land.
If you are coming from a Commonwealth country you are entitled to stay in Dominica for up to six months. Thereafter you will need a residence permit.
You will need to show that you are in good health, have sufficient funds to maintain yourself and your family and have no criminal record. You will also be required to state your reasons for wanting to settle here.
You will need the following:
· two passport size photographs
· medical report including HIV report
· a statement of financial position from a reputable banker
· two references including one from your employer
· marriage certificate
· proof that you have a return ticket to your normal place of residence
If you need to apply for a work permit essentially you will need to show that you will not be taking a job from a local person - in other words you will need to show how you will be benefiting the country.
E.g. will you be able to employ other persons; have you special skills.
A fee of EC$500 has to accompany the application.
If you are going into paid employment your prospective employer will have to advertise the job three times and show that there are no suitable applicants.
Residence is normally for a year at a time. It is possible thereafter to apply for permanent residence and citizenship in 5 years if you are from a Commonwealth country or 7 years in other cases.
For forms and further information contact:
The Ministry of Immigration and Labour,
Government Headquarters, Roseau, Dominica
Tel (767) 448 2401.
This is a general number so be prepared to wait.