Many people today are looking to get second citizenship for themselves and their loved ones. Having a second passport offers excellent financial benefits and the freedom to travel in a number of selected countries. The island of Antigua and Barbuda is among the Caribbean nations offering citizenship to eligible applicants.
So if you want to be a citizen of this superb Caribbean island nation, here is the ultimate guide to the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment (CIP) program.
Why choose Antigua and Barbuda citizenship?
Antigua and Barbuda are among the most appealing Caribbean nations because you get to enjoy pristine beaches, resorts, and rainforests. You can also benefit from their state-of-the-art communications infrastructure and financial services.
Other reasons for choosing Antigua and Barbuda citizenship include:
- Low crime rate
- Economic and political stability
- Home to a large expat community
- Special privileges in Commonwealth countries
Perks of the Antigua and Barbuda CIP
The Antigua and Barbuda CIP was launched in 2013, offering interested and eligible applicants full citizenship in exchange for either a financial contribution to the government or an investment in an approved real estate project.
The benefits of the Antigua and Barbuda CIP include:
- Full citizenship for life with the right to work and live on the island and even in other Caribbean community countries.
- Minimal residency requirement of a least five days during the first five years.
- An Antigua and Barbuda passport provides visa-on-arrival or visa-free travel to over 150 countries, including Europe’s Schengen area, the UK, and Singapore.
- Freedom from capital gains tax, inheritance tax and wealth tax.
- Straightforward application process – you can get your second passport in 3-4 months.
- Antigua and Barbuda allows for dual citizenship, so you don’t have to give up your existing citizenship.
- Applicants can include their spouse, children below 31 years old, parents and grandparents over 55 years old, and even unmarried siblings of both the main applicant and spouse of any age.
For you to be an eligible applicant for the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program, you must:
- Be more than 18 years old.
- Submit your application in line with the process.
- Meet the minimum required investment in the CIP option you choose.
To become qualified for the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program, you need to make a considerable contribution to the country through one of the following routes.
1. Financial contribution to the country’s National Development Fund (NDF)
This is a non-refundable monetary contribution to Antigua’s NDF amounting to USD $100,000 for the main applicant and USD $100,000 for a family of up to four members or USD $125,000 if you have five members or more.
2. Business investment
Under this option, you need to invest in an approved business to qualify for the program. This route allows the country to establish sustainable agriculture and renewable energy businesses, along with hotel and resort projects.
As an investor, you can benefit from high ROI and participation in the enterprise’s profits. With the country’s robust economy and tourism demand, this investment option is the best route if you are an entrepreneur looking for a valuable investment opportunity.
A minimum of USD $1,500,000 is required if you are an independent investor. But if you prefer a joint investment, a minimum of USD $ 400,000 each with at least two individuals and a total investment of USD $ 5,000,000.
3. Real estate investment
If the business investment option is not for you, consider investing in approved Antigua real estate projects. It is the best investment route if you are a sophisticated investor who wants something resilient to market fluctuations.
You get to own a property in Antigua that you must hold for at least five years following the purchase. Since most properties are returned to a rental pool after purchase and covered by management agreements, you can earn income from it during your period of ownership.
In case you choose this option, here are some CIP-approved properties to consider:
- Tamarind Hills Resort – These properties are the fast-selling approved developments. Each studio has glass walls that lead to infinity-edge pools, gazebos, and private terraces. Moreover, all townhouses have stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and beach. Available resort services include a gym, restaurant, and a kids club.
- South Point Condo Hotel – This is a modern classic hotel with Italian interiors in English Harbour. All 23 beachfront units have spacious terraces, Italian kitchens, and a full complement of modern furniture. Facilities and amenities include a modern lounge, swimming pool, restaurant over the water, boat dock, and a fully equipped fitness center.
- Villa Serena – This is a villa developed by World of Indulgence, a successful provider of luxury villas and chalets in Europe and the Caribbean. Amenities include beaches, an infinity-edge pool with a jet stream, restaurant, bar, and kite surfing center.
Note: These three investment options are subject to due diligence and government processing fees.
Decisions on citizenship applications are usually made within three to four months after the submission of each application form.
The application process involves:
Step 1: The applicant (you) must complete the government forms in the English language. This will be submitted, along with all the required documents and fees, to the CIU or the Citizenship by Investment unit through an authorized agent like Citizens International.
Step 2: Your application will be reviewed thoroughly by the CIU. You may also be required to attend an interview for further verification. Moreover, the CIU will perform due diligence with regard to your application.
Step 3: Once your Antigua citizenship application is approved, you will be asked to pay the remaining fees. If everything is settled, your passport will be ready for collection at an Embassy or in Antigua & Barbuda. You will be required to make an oath of allegiance upon your receipt of your second passport.
Important Note: Working with an authorized agent is crucial, as they will assist you throughout the application process. They can help you complete the forms correctly and confirm what supporting documents are required depending on your situation. Most importantly, they use the same third-party diligence company the Antigua government employs to verify if you are a qualified applicant before proceeding with your application.
Becoming a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda offers several perks, whether you are a regular individual wanting to get a second passport or an entrepreneur looking for better investment opportunities.
The application process may seem daunting and stressful. But if you equip yourself with the right information and get help from an authorized agent, you can get your Antigua passport within three to four months and enjoy all its perks.
When all is done, you can just pack the best carry-on luggage you have and de-stress in some of Antigua’s pristine beaches.
Abire Mansoor is a Director and Licensed Agent at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship, residency and investment into the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. Based in her home country of Antigua & Barbuda, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.