As published on rudaw.net, Wednesday 22 June, 2022.
Anyone wishing to obtain Dominican citizenship should donate up to $100,000 to the Dominican government or invest at least $200,000 in real estate in the little British Commonwealth Caribbean state, but this program has stopped being an option for people from the Kurdistan Region since May.
Dominica has suspended citizenship by investment for the people of the Kurdistan Region since May 11, on grounds that they have detected fake documents submitted in their applications seeking Dominican citizenship.
"Basically, we have had this program for the past 30+ years and from time to time we review if there is a concern," Emmanuel Nanthan, head of Dominica Citizenship by Investment Unit, told Rudaw's Roj Zalla on Tuesday.
"We are looking into concerns coming out of there [the Kurdistan Region and the wider region] and that is why the program has been suspended in that area," Nanthan added.
He added that they are hopeful that they will soon be done with the review and resume their work.
According to a decree issued by Nanthan dated May 11, the suspension of the citizenship applications specifically targets the cities of "Erbil, Amedi, [Duhok] , Kirkuk, Lalish, Raniya, Soran, Sulaymaniyah, and Zakho" as well as Syria, due to "concerns," they have about the authenticity of files coming from these areas.
In recent years, there has been a growing demand from the people of the Kurdistan Region to obtain Dominican citizenship and passport since the country has become one of the most affordable and flexible citizenship programs available.
Kenneth Green, managing director of Advance Global Partners - which deals with citizenship in Dominica said for his part the program has been suspended because of concerns that they have had about the "authenticity of documents and of information presented by the applicant[s]," in the region.
A Dominica passport allows visa-free travel to over 153 countries worldwide, making it desirable for those holding passports such as the Iraqi one which requires a visa for most countries.