Buy a Marriott Timeshare, Get Citizenship

The Anichi Resort & Spa in Dominica will be opening late next year as part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

Nestled on Dominica’s picturesque Picard Beach, Anichi Resort & Spa seeks to provoke immersive, sensorial adventures as it does peaceful introspection. Its striking design, amplifying the spirit of Dominica and its indigenous people, fuses tropical foliage with impressive architecture, giving way to what can only be called eco-chic resort living.

Timeshares here come with one unique perk: Dominica citizenship. The citizenship by investment program lets you buy in at $200,000 and gain that country’s citizenship. What’s more they offer what immigration opponents in the U.S. refer to as ‘chain migration’. You don’t just get citizenship, your family of seven or more does too. And the official language there is English.

In addition to the investment you pay the following fees to the government:

Processing time is three months, and according to their marketing materials Dominica passports enjoy visa free travel to at least 130 countries. (Passport Index ranks a Dominica passport as 35th best based on access to 119 countries visa-free.)

And by the way if your citizenship application gets denied for any reason, most of your money is fully refundable.

Once a citizen you only need to hang onto your investment for five years. You keep your citizenship. You sell the timeshare. And the new buyers get citizenship too when they pay $200,000 or more for your unit.

(HT: Dennis L.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I’m guessing this is aimed at uber rich folks from less-the-stable countries, where there’s always a chance a regime could confiscate your money or get toppled in a revolution. I doubt anyone who takes advantage of this will ever actually visit the hotel, except to maybe deposit money in a bank account. I don’t know if I’d want a Dominica passport. If ISIS kidnaps me or China detains me, I doubt Dominica will carry much water for me — especially if I’m not even a real citizen, but merely someone who bought my citizenship.

  2. @Ed: that’s a pretty naive view. While some “Uber rich” may take advantage of this offer they have plenty of options to purchase citizenship elsewhere (I think even Canada offers or has recently offered it for $1mm).

    In fact, a number of countries offer residency and / or citizenship trying to attract middle class retirees from North America and elsewhere. Portugal, Panama and the Dominican Republic both have thriving retiree markets. The three month waiting period described by Gary is unusually short but the other conditions (such as $200k investment) are pretty standard.

  3. Don’t forget that unless you renounce your U.S. citizenship you are still likely required to file income taxes in Dominica or wherever you buy citizenship. Also, U.S. law requires you to use a U.S. passport to enter or leave the United States, so keep that in mind if you ever return. Panama, Costa Rica, Dominica. They all sound nice until there’s civil unrest, a horrific natural disaster or a coup.

  4. The characterization that “they offer what immigration opponents in the U.S. refer to as ‘chain migration’” is inaccurate. “Chain migration” refers to the practice of people who are sponsored for legal permanent residency status (and eventual citizenship) in turn sponsoring family members of their own, who in turn can repeat the procedure, without limit.

    An example would be if Gary immigrated to the United States, and sponsored his spouse and children, and then his children would sponsor their spouses, and then Gary’s children’s spouses would sponsor their parents, and then Gary’s children’s spouses’ parents would sponsor their siblings (at this point we are talking about Gary’s son- or daughter-in-law eventually bringing over his/her great-uncle or great-aunt, who can also bring others into the US.) So chain-migration is a never-ending system where each person who is sponsored can in turn sponsor more people, like an additional link in a chain that keeps growing.

    In contrast, the system for Dominica is a one-time extended family deal, without further sponsorship of relatives.

  5. @Sam S Barnes — you make an investment and get citizenship and get to bring over your family for citizenship as part of the deal, you’re drawing a distinction without difference

  6. @Gary
    Respectfully, you are wrong about this. “Chain migration” refers to the practice whereby each sponsored immigrant is able to sponsor more immigrants. What Dominica allows is simple family migration, where your entire family, including children, parents, and grandparents, can come along with you. The term “chain migration” would apply if those people whom you brought over could then also bring over their spouses, siblings, parents, grandparents, and then *those* people could repeat the process, without limit, forever, each person sponsored gaining the ability to sponsor more immigrants, like links on a never-ending chain. It is this specific practice, the unending chain of sponsorship, that is hotly contested in the US immigration debate, not the one-time family migration that Dominica allows.

  7. If I’m paying $200-$220,000 for citizenship in Dominica, I’m using an American Express card to bank the points.

    I wonder if one could pay with points, assuming one had enough points in their account, on a Barclay-style card.

  8. I wonder how many of the units will actually be occupied on a regular basis. It might be a cheap AirBNB location in the future. May rich might buy the time share so they can apply for citizenship and never use them. Just a guess.

  9. This isn’t unusual, or confined to Dominica. The U.S. offers expedited resident visas and citizenship for foreign investors who will invest $500,000 or more, through the EB-5 visa. See, https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-fifth-preference-eb-5/about-eb-5-visa-classification.

    Austria and Malta also offer citizenship through investment, although the amounts needed are in excess of €1 million. However, those citizenship offers come with a Schengen passport, which allows residence anywhere in the EU. Cyprus offers citizenship and EU citizenship, but not a Schengen passport. And, there are other Caribbean islands, such as Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis that also offer citizenship by investment.

    Dominica is the cheapest currently.

  10. Those who oppose chain migration should consider the POTUS Trump example: Melania was granted a visa due to her extraordinary skills. Her visa is often termed an “Einstein Visa”. So, hmmm… And now her parents are in the US as well, as a benefit of chain migration.

    My Point? Trump must make it Trump for the folks that follow him. A “do as I say, not as I do” situation.

    As for me, a tax shelter might not be bad. The upper middle class looks like the only folks currently paying the big chunk of taxes in the USA.

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