Fielding questions in Parliament this week, the Prime Minister of Dominica offered a rare disclosure of data on the country’s citizenship by investment program, covering the three most recent fiscal years.
In the 2017-18 fiscal year, stated Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, “1,673 citizenships were approved as follows: 1,073 under the government cash option, 285 under the Montreal Management Consultants Est. (MMCE) housing cash option, 111 for children and dependents under the cash option, and 204 under the real estate option.”
Questioned for clarification as to whether the Prime Minister was referring to individuals or applications and why dependents were counted for but one of the categories, the Dominica CIU said that the numbers cited referred to files and that the figure given for “dependents and children” related to individuals naturalized post-hoc, that is, individuals (such as newborns or new spouses) added to after the fact to already-approved applications for an additional fee.
For the 2018-19 period, the Prime Minister indicated 579 files were approved under the donation option, 802 under the social housing option (MMCE), and 468 under the real estate investment option. Additionally, 77 dependents were approved post-hoc.
For the most recent fiscal year – 2019-20 – 396 files had been approved under the donation route, 1,057 under MMCE, and 443 under the real estate option. 319 dependents were also approved in retrospect to previously approved applications.
The government also reported total revenue figures, stating it had raised EC$379m in 2017-18, EC$ 409m in 2018-19, and EC$464m in 2019-20. It was not immediately clear from comments in Parliament or from the response from the CIU whether these reported figures referred to the government’s revenues only or whether they included investment funds that would have gone to the developers as well.
The reported revenues during the period imply that the numbers referenced must be files rather than individuals, and also that they must be referring to government-revenue only; total revenue divided by the number of cases reported in Parliament equate to average per-file revenues of about US$80,000.
Another noteworthy observation from this week’s disclosure was that the program’s most popular option for the three years in aggregate was the social housing option, operated by Montreal Management Consultants Est. (MMCE). A total of 2,144 applications (out of a combined of 5,814) pertained to the social housing option, followed by the donation option (2,048), and real estate (1,115).
The same company, confirmed the Health Minister Irving McIntyre, had been selected to construct the country’s new Marigot Hospital, using funds raised through the CIP.
“The company [MMCE] to whom the contract was awarded is Montreal Management Consultant Establishment . This company has delivered previous projects of high quality and within satisfactory time frames,” said the Health Minister, adding that the firm had secured its own sources of financing for the project and that the government had agreed to compensate the company for the construction of the hospital by “providing them allocations under the CIP, from which the company will be permitted to recoup and raise the financing required to construct those facilities.” Montreal Management could not be reached for comment.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.