- Brief information about the new rules for name change in Dominica
- New passport name in Dominica: current rules and regulations
- Change of personal data
- Updating various documents
- Reasoned refusal
- Cancellation of changes
- CBI name change after obtaining a passport in other jurisdictions that issue economic citizenship
- Have you changed your name before? Prove that everything is legal when applying for citizenship by investment
- Why did Dominica tighten the rules for changing the name?
- Expert assistance with choosing and obtaining citizenship by investment
Do you plan an official name change by obtaining citizenship by investment in the Commonwealth of Dominica? Then get ready for a move and long (for at least two years) residence in the Caribbean. Local authorities have changed the rules for changing personal data for citizenship by investment holders. Let’s study innovations and prerequisites for changing the rules, not forgetting to consult with experts if questions remain. An introductory consultation is available for free!
Brief information about the new rules for name change in Dominica
The Commonwealth of Dominica authorities have introduced new rules for the legal change of personal data after obtaining citizenship by investment in this Caribbean jurisdiction. The amendments are relevant from August 18, 2022 (the publication date of Statutory Rules and Orders/S.R.O. # 24 of 2022 in the Official Gazette).
The main innovation concerns the introduction of the residency requirement, without which it is impossible to change the personal data of the ‘golden passport’ holder (‘golden passport’ is another name for the citizenship by investment program).
In other words, after obtaining Dominica citizenship by investment, it will be possible to get a new passport name only after confirming the fact of residence in this jurisdiction for a specified period.
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New passport name in Dominica: current rules and regulations
Let’s look at the amendments in detail. Below you will find the key provisions of the Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship (Change of Name) Regulations 2022.
The applicant needs to ensure that the following requirements are met for CBI name change:
- Payment of the following fees upon the application:
- fee for processing the application for the name change – USD 500
- fee for making changes to record – USD 300
- fee for issuing a duplicate certificate of name change – USD 120
- fee for changing the former name in any document to a new one – USD 200.
- The applicant must be a citizen of the Commonwealth of Dominica. The application has to indicate the method of obtaining citizenship:
- by birth/parentage
- by marriage
- by naturalization – relevant for economic citizenship holders (in this case, you need to additionally indicate the number of the certificate of naturalization + country of origin).
- Also, the applicant needs to provide proof of residence in the Commonwealth of Dominica for a minimum period of two years. If the applicant resides outside Dominica, evidence of the temporary nature of staying abroad is required. The authorities are entitled to request a statement of the nature and likely duration of such residence abroad. In addition, at least five years must pass from the moment the applicant obtains citizenship by investment.
When applying for the name change in Dominica, the applicant needs to indicate marital status:
- not married
In addition, the applicant needs to indicate the persons who will be affected by the name change procedure. In particular, the application has to indicate the current name and the proposed name of any close relative (the change of personal data in such a case will occur due to family ties). Accordingly, the application has to include:
- Power of attorney from tied relatives (in the prescribed form).
- Documents confirming the consent of tied relatives (in the prescribed form).
- Own birth certificate + birth certificates of relatives whose names may change as a result of the application. If it is impossible to submit relatives’ birth certificates (for example, in the absence of such a document), other documentary name/identity evidence acceptable to the Registrar is required.
The married applicant is required to provide such additional documents:
- Marriage certificate.
- Evidence of spouse notification of the intention to apply for official name change (delivered by courier or mail to the spouse’s last known address).
- Evidence of obtaining spouse consent for the proposed name change. Alternatively, it is possible to provide the Dominica authorities with a valid reason that does not allow obtaining the consent (for example, if the spouse is missing).
Change of personal data
An application for the name change in Dominica must be submitted to the Registrar. The Registrar ensures that each application is published in the Official Gazette and two commercial newspapers at least one month before the actual change registration.
If the applicant complied with the requirements and paid the prescribed fees, the Registrar registers the official name change and issues a duplicate certificate of name change. The name change certificate issued to the applicant in accordance with the relevant Commonwealth of Dominica regulation takes effect immediately on the date of issue.
The certificate/duplicate certificate/certified copy of the certificate of name change, issued by the Registrar in accordance with the law, is irrefutable evidence of a change in personal data. It is not required to confirm the signature or position of the official who signed the certificate / duplicate certificate / certified copy.
Updating various documents
An individual whose name has been changed in accordance with the laws of Dominica has the right to update personal data in any document. The term ‘document’ in this context covers any record, certificate, contract, or another document from the ejusdem generis category (or literally ‘of the same kind or class’) which is in public/private access. Replacement of personal data is carried out on the basis of:
- submission of the original/duplicate/certified copy of the certificate of name change
- provision of an identity card
- payment of the prescribed fees.
Updating personal data in any document can be carried out by the official responsible for issuing, maintaining, or storing such a document, who is additionally obliged to make a note about the replacement of personal data in accordance with the provisions of the law.
The Registrar is obliged to refuse to register personal data change in one of the following cases:
- There are grounds to believe that the new name proposed by the applicant can be used for deception or misrepresentation.
- The applicant is under investigation or is a defendant in a criminal case.
- The applicant obtained citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica by naturalization, and less than five years have passed since the registration date.
- Less than two years have passed since the last issuance of the certificate of name change.
If the Registrar refuses to register a change in the applicant’s personal data on the basis of one of the listed above points, it has to notify the applicant of the refusal and the reason within ten days. Within fourteen days from the date of notice receipt, the applicant has the right to send an appeal to the court. The notice of appeal must be served on the Registrar at least seven days before the appeal hearing.
Cancellation of changes
The Registrar has the right to cancel the previous change of personal data if it was carried out by fraud, coercion, or misrepresentation. The fact of personal data change cancellation is fixed in the certificate of name change kept in the High Court Register. Notice of cancellation is immediately published in the Official Gazette.
The Registrar amends other relevant records due to the cancellation order. The Registrar has the right to request from any person who has received a duplicate/certified copy of the certificate of name change to return such a document immediately. An individual who does not comply with this requirement is found guilty of an offense and is liable to a fine of USD 500 or imprisonment for three months (simultaneous use of both penalties is allowed).
An individual who achieves a change by deceit or misrepresentation is found guilty of a crime and is liable to a fine of USD 1,000 or imprisonment for six months (simultaneous use of both punishments is allowed).
CBI name change after obtaining a passport in other jurisdictions that issue economic citizenship
To complete the picture, let’s consider the situation with CBI name change in other jurisdictions offering passports to investors:
- St. Kitts and Nevis: official name change is allowed, provided that a valid declaration of commitment to change the name (Deed Poll) from the country of origin is submitted along with the application for a passport with new personal data.
- Antigua and Barbuda: persons who obtained citizenship by investment are not allowed to change their name when applying for an Antigua and Barbuda passport through Deed Poll or in any other way.
- Grenada: name change is permitted in exceptional circumstances, provided that valid Deed Poll from the country of origin is submitted along with the justification for the change of personal data.
- St. Lucia: the Citizenship Law of St. Lucia allows citizenship by investment holders to change their names. This option is available only when changing the name in the passport of the country of origin. It is not allowed for one person to have several passports with different names.
- Turkey: Law No. 1353 on the Application of the Turkish Alphabet allows foreigners applying for Turkish citizenship by investment/other basis to change their given names to Turkish, provided that the foreign given name is phonetically preserved (only spelling changes due to the use of Turkish letters).
Have you changed your name before? Prove that everything is legal when applying for citizenship by investment
To confirm their reliability, participants of economic citizenship programs who have previously changed their personal data need to provide relevant documents when receiving a ‘golden passport’. Withholding such information may result in the denial or subsequent cancellation of a previously obtained citizenship by investment.
In particular, applicants should provide the authorities of host countries with economic citizenship programs with color copies of all documents confirming official name change for any reason, including the following:
- Deed Poll
Why did Dominica tighten the rules for changing the name?
Tightening personal data change rules for citizens of Dominica by requiring applicants to prove actual long-term residence on this Caribbean island is part of a larger trend in the investment migration industry driven by political pressure from the EU.
Earlier, Vanuatu authorities took similar measures, announcing the abolition of the Change of Name Policy mechanism in accordance with the Civil Registry Act, which led to a reduction in demand for Vanuatu citizenship by investment.
It is noteworthy that the Cyprus investment citizenship program was closed due to a high-profile scandal concerning, among other things, the name change. Al Jazeera news agency published an hour-long video where undercover journalists met with migration service providers and senior Cypriot officials who were ready to help a Chinese businessperson with a dubious past get a passport. At some point, one of the interlocutors was asked if they could change the investor name and if they had done it before. The official replied: “Of course. This is Cyprus.”
Expert assistance with choosing and obtaining citizenship by investment
It is not easy to select the optimal economic citizenship program since the applicant needs to consider many factors related to both the process of obtaining a ‘golden passport’ and subsequently using it. Our experts are ready to help with these and other tasks, guaranteeing an individual approach and complete confidentiality.
Contact our team using the feedback form or one of the contact numbers from the site header! An introductory individual consultation is available for free.
How much does the Commonwealth of Dominica ‘golden passport’ cost?
The entry threshold is USD 100 thousand when making a gratuitous endowment donation or two times more when making a returnable investment in real estate. Additionally, administrative fees (for checking the applicant’s reliability, processing the application, and issuing a passport) and the fee of a hired licensed migration agent are subject to payment. The more relatives the main candidate includes in the application, the higher the total amount payable.
Is it true that you can change your name after investing in Dominica citizenship?
Yes, if the personal details are also changed in the country of origin. In addition, the applicant will have to wait five years from the date of obtaining Dominica citizenship by investment and live on this Caribbean island for at least two years prior to the date of the application for the name change.