Dominica’s ‘Golden Passports’: Unveiling Transparency, Governance, and Security Challenges

Through its “golden passports” program, the Caribbean nation of Dominica has sold citizenship to thousands of people, raising serious questions about governance, transparency, and possible security implications. An outline of the conclusions and ramifications of this technique is given below:

Dominica's golden passports

The Investigation and The Significance of Dominica’s Scheme

The “golden passports” scheme in Dominica is the subject of an extensive inquiry that aims to provide light on a practice that was previously known but was carried out in secret. In order to bring accountability and transparency to a program that had mostly operated out of the public view, The Guardian and 14 other international news organizations collaborated with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to conduct this examination.

The key aspects of this investigation are as follows:

  • Collaborative Effort: The extent of the problem is demonstrated by the collaboration of fifteen international news organizations on this inquiry. Such a coordinated effort made it possible to thoroughly examine all of the program’s complexities.
  •  Exposing Hidden Information: The investigation’s main goal was to make public information that had previously been kept secret. This information was related to those who became citizens of the Dominican Republic by way of the “golden passports” program.
  • Revealing the Extent: The purpose of the inquiry was to find out how widespread the program was and how it affected the participants as well as Dominica. This involved identifying the people who had become citizens using this technique.
  • Addressing Transparency and Accountability: The investigation’s goal was to address issues with transparency, governance, and possible security vulnerabilities relating to the program by bringing this covert activity to light.
  • Balancing Interests: The goal of the inquiry was to find a middle ground between the wider concerns about the people who have obtained citizenship through this method and Dominica’s economic interests, which are strongly based on citizenship sales.

Dominica’s “golden passports” scheme is one of the world’s largest and has reportedly raised over $1 billion since its inception in 2009. This program allows individuals to acquire Dominican citizenship through a substantial investment, granting them visa-free travel to numerous countries, including most EU member states.

Concerns in Transparency, Security, and Governance

The investigation found a big problem: it’s hard to know who bought citizenship in Dominica because the names are kept secret. But, when they looked closer, they discovered that some people who got Dominican citizenship had serious concerns about their background.

Citizenship Sales Impact on Dominica’s Economy and Locals

Selling citizenship is a major source of income for the Dominican government, accounting for about half of total revenue. Essential initiatives including housing, healthcare, national security, economic expansion, and tourism have all benefited from the usage of this funding.

For native Dominicans, however, the “golden passports” initiative has created issues. For example, the UK government removed the ability of Dominicans and citizens of four other countries to travel without a visa, which had an effect on Dominican citizens.

Comparing Programs: Transparency International’s Role

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica is in favor of the scheme and compares it to the US green card, which grants permanent status. He thinks it is not the program’s fault if individuals make bad decisions after becoming citizens.

The anti-corruption organization Transparency International has voiced concerns regarding “golden passport” schemes. Some countries have stopped their own projects as a result, including Cyprus and the United Kingdom.

Implications for Dominica

The “golden passports” initiative has brought in a substantial amount of money for Dominica, but it has also sparked concerns about the long-term effects on the nation’s standing and the possible dangers of giving citizenship to people with contentious backgrounds.

The “golden passports” program in Dominica is under scrutiny, and this has brought up difficult issues with governance, transparency, and possible security dangers related to selling citizenship. The disclosures have an impact on the nation’s overall social and economic advancement in addition to the individuals who were granted citizenship.


The investigation reveals governance issues in Dominica’s “golden passports” program, emphasizing economic gains alongside concerns about citizenship impacts. As broader questions arise, the long-term effects on Dominica’s reputation and the risks of controversial grants pose challenges beyond individual cases, influencing the nation’s overall trajectory.

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