How to Work in Dominica

The island of Dominica has plenty to offer those who wish to take refuge on its shores. It’s perfect for any eco-tourist looking for an adventure, or simply for someone looking to lead a quiet, stress-free life. Relocating there is one thing, but working abroad in Dominica is another. There is a process for both, but they are slightly different. If you want to work in the Commonwealth of Dominica, you need a work permit and you should also have a job lined up already.

Work Permit

Unlike many Latin American countries, Dominica doesn’t offer an exclusive work visa, per se. What you’ll actually need is a work permit. If that work permit is granted for a job that will last six months or more, that permit can grant automatic residency.

Work permits are valid for one full year and can be renewed annually. Keep in mind, however, that there is currently an act in place called the Alien Landholder’s Act that restricts non-citizens from buying or owning land in Dominica. Having a work permit does not exempt anyone from this act.

In order to qualify for the work permit abroad in Dominica, hopeful applicants must submit the following:

  • Two complete copies of the application
  • A clean bill of health
  • Job offer/letter from employer confirming position & accepting responsibility for applicant
  • Police record from applicant’s home city
  • Return ticket or proof of funds to cover a return ticket
  • Two passport-style photographs
  • Fees & receipt for said fees
  • Marriage certificate if necessary
  • Two testimonials
  • Three Printed out copies of job postings for position
  • Passport that’s valid for at least six months
  • Extension of stay on tourist visa to cover wait time
  • Photocopy of passport bio page
  • If self-employed: bank statement and certificate of registration

Start a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to make your way in the Dominica through business ownership, you can apply for a work permit to get the process started. When following this process, you must already be a resident. You can apply for the appropriate work permit while in Dominica through the Labor Department. The process can take several months, so make sure you’re covered to be in the country for an extended period of time. It can take anywhere from two weeks to seven months, so be prepared.

Upon applying for the work permit in Dominica, you’ll need the list of documentation provided above. Aside from that, you’ll need to search for and reserve the name for your business and have a lawyer working with you to verify further paperwork needs. These will likely include articles of incorporation and notice of directors. Your lawyer will be able to tell you more.

Register your business with the Commercial Registry and register for your tax ID number. Then, go to the social security institute and register there as an employer. Once these steps are completed, you’re well on your way to running your own business in the beautiful country of Dominica! After receiving your work permit, the rest of the steps take very little time.

Golden/Investor Visa

You can also purchase a business abroad in Dominica rather than start your own. If you make a purchase for at least $100,000 in real estate, you can be qualified for direct citizenship. This is through the citizenship by investment program and is the cheapest program in the world for such an endeavor. If your goal is to work in Dominica through business ownership, it may be worth taking a look into this program.

Job LandscapeConsumer Resource Guide

Dominica’s economy has been heavily dependent on agriculture – banana exports, to be more specific – in the past. However, in recent years the government has been running efforts to try and steer away from this reliance on the crop and focus more on ecotourism as an economic driving force. Aside from tourism, Dominica is also focusing on areas such as medical education, the offshore financial industry, and geothermal energy resources.

Trade is highly important to this country. Exports and imports together make up 81 percent of Dominica’s overall GDP. The financial sector is currently underdeveloped, but Dominica is working at building on this in order to grow its economy. The country is currently offering numerous tax incentives to those who wish to run businesses or otherwise invest in its economy.

As Dominica is trying to move from an agriculture-focused economy to a services-focused economy. Here is the current breakdown of the current economy and job landscape:

  • Unemployment Rate: 23%
  • Minimum Wage: EC $4.05 ($1.50 USD) per hour or EC $162.00 ($60 USD) per week
  • Major Industries:
    • soap, coconut oil, tourism, copra, furniture, cement blocks, shoes
    • Agriculture: bananas, citrus, mangoes, root crops, coconuts, cocoa
  • Labor Force:
    • Agriculture 40%
    • Industry 32%
    • Services 28%

image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AScotts_Head_(Dominica).JPG