Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment

In 2012, Antigua and Barbuda became one of the latest Caribbean countries to sell citizenship to wealthy international investors. The main motivation behind the program’s launch was to generate revenue that could help boost the national economy. Citizenship-by-investment programs are a growing trend in the Caribbean where tiny islands are looking for new ways to generate income and attract investment from international citizens.

Antigua and barbuda citizenship by investment

Antigua and Barbuda’s passport is a very good travel option for individuals looking to travel internationally. Citizens of this island nation can travel with relative ease to approximately 130 countries globally, including in Europe, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong and the UK. One of the other main outstanding facts about the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is that there are no restrictions granted on the applicant and/or their family. Successful applicants can even vote, subject to satisfying a standard voter registration parameters. Antigua is a part of the commonwealth, which means its citizens are entitled to certain privileges in the UK and other commonwealth nations.

Under this program, foreign citizens who invest in Antigua and Barbuda will be given citizenship. Investors will be required to make a minimum investment of $250, 000 in the country’s National Development Fund to qualify for the program. Applicants also have the alternative of investing a minimum $400, 000 in real estate or inject an investment of at least USD 1.5m in a business registered in Antigua and Barbuda.

Destination Facts

Antigua & Barbuda

Map credit: http://www.freeworldmaps.net/centralamerica/antigua/

Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island that’s located in the America’s, in between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The name of the country ‘Antigua and Barbuda’, emanates from the two main islands that make it. In addition to Antigua and Barbuda, there are also a number of other smaller islands that fall within the country’s geography. Tropical weather and a beach lifestyle are a few of the things that make Antigua and Barbuda interesting to foreigners. The country boasts immense natural beauty, with the official language being English.

Antigua and Barbuda’s judicial system is based on the English Legal System. The governmental system is a democratic monarchy, where executive power belongs to the government and legislative power to the two chambers of Parliament. General elections are held after every 5 years, and Antigua and Barbuda’s constitution guarantees individual freedoms and fundamental rights. Life expectancy is 71 years, which a low infant mortality rate of less than 10% and an adult literacy rate of 99%.

Antigua Citizenship Program Main Benefits

  • Antigua and Barbuda citizenship allows visa-free travel to EU Schengen states, Canada, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK, St. Martin and St. Barths. That’s travel (for business or pleasure) to approximately 130 nations without the need to apply for a visa.
  • Antigua and Barbuda passports have a 5-year validity period.
  • Dual citizenship – applicants are not required to relinquish their home country citizenship.
  • Access to international banking establishments.
  • No taxation on worldwide income.
  • Fast processing within 3-4 months.
  • Lower tuition fees in institutions of higher learning for students with an Antigua and Barbuda resident status.
  • Confidentiality – the law preserves the confidentiality of applicant information.
  • A stable democratic government and reasonable legal system developed from English common law.
  • Strong asset protection laws, and financial services that are well-regulated.
  • The country’s citizenship by investment program requires successful applicants to physically reside in the country for only 35 days throughout the first 5 years. Given the beautiful white beaches and appealing tropical weather, most successful applicants tend to stay a little more than that 
  • Applicants can pick up their passport either in Antigua and Barbuda or at an Embassy, Consular Office or High Commission of Antigua & Barbuda.

Investment Requirements

To qualify for Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program, potential investors can take the following options/routes:

  1. Contribute a minimum USD 250, 000 non-refundable amount to the National Development Fund. This option is also inclusive of approved charitable investments.

NOTE: For a limited time up to April 30, 2015, the government of Antigua and Barbuda reduced this threshold to USD 200, 000.

  1. Make a minimum investment of USD 400, 000 into an approved real estate project in Antigua and Barbuda, to be held for a minimum duration of 5 years. Property registration, taxes, and processing fees must be paid additionally to the real estate purchase.
  2. Make a direct minimum investment of USD 1, 500, 000 in an eligible business either as a sole investor, or as a joint investment incorporating at least 2 individuals making an eligible investment of minimum USD 5, 000, 000, with each of the individuals in the joint venture contributing/investing, at least, USD 400, 000.

Qualifications

To qualify for Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship by investment program, applicants are required to meet one of the investment options outlined in the ‘Investment Requirements’ section above, in addition to the following:

  • Hold no criminal record.
  • Be of outstanding character.
  • Have a high personal net worth.
  • Have excellent health.
  • Reside (with family members who were part of the application) in Antigua and Barbuda for a minimum duration of 35 days over a 5 year period.

Conditions Leading to Ineligibility & Deprivation of Citizenship

Ineligible applicants are as follows:

  • Where the applicant has included or provided false information in the application.
  • Not having a free pardon, has been convicted for an offense whose maximum custodial sentence spans more than 6 months in any country of the world.
  • Where a medical officer issues a statement that the applicant or any of his or her family members suffers from a contagious illness or serious health problem(s).
  • Is the subject of any form of criminal investigation.
  • Poses a potential risk to the national security of Antigua, or any other country.
  • Has been involved in an activity that has the potential to disrepute Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Been previously denied visa in a nation with which Antigua and Barbuda has a visa-free travel arrangement, and has no obtained a visa to the nation that issued the denial following that.

For successful applicants, deprivation of citizenship may occur if the applicant fails to spend at least 5 days in Antigua and Barbuda within a period of 5 years after obtaining citizenship. Individuals who are deprived of citizenship do not get any reimbursements or repayment of any investment or contribution they might have made as part of the initial citizenship application.

Deprivation of citizenship can also occur if it’s established that the applicant obtained citizenship by fraud, false representation or willful concealment of key facts, or if the said person is convicted under Antigua and Barbuda law for sedition or an act of treason.

Government & Due Diligence Application Processing Fees

  1. Principal Applicant
  • Government – USD 50, 000
  • Due Diligence – USD 7, 500
  1. Spouse
  • Government – USD 50, 000
  • Due Diligence – USD 7, 500
  1. Dependent Child 0-11 years
  • Government – USD 25, 000
  • Due Diligence – NA
  1. Dependent Child 12-17 years
  • Government – USD 25, 000
  • Due Diligence – USD 2, 000
  1. Dependent Child Over 18 – 25 years
  • Government – USD 50, 000
  • Due Diligence – USD 4, 000
  1. Dependent Parent Over 65 years
  • Government – USD 50, 000
  • Due Diligence – USD 4, 000
  1. Passport fee of US 300 per person.

Application Steps

  1. To apply under the real estate and business investment options, applicants must obtain government authorization prior to submitting an application.
  2. Submit the application, pay due diligence and 10% of the required government processing fees.
  3. The government of Antigua and Barbuda will issue ‘Approved in Principle’ letter for all shortlisted/selected applicants. NOTE: an interview may be required.
  4. The applicant makes the investment in the selected/preferred option and pays the remaining 90% of the government fees.
  5. The government will issue a certificate of registration and submission to the passport office.
  6. The applicant participates in an oath ceremony in order to obtain citizenship. This is required.

antigua and barbuda citizenship and passport

FAQs

What is the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program?

This is a program that grants Antigua and Barbuda passports to foreign investors who meet the investment and other requirements required for successful applications.

Why did Antigua and Barbuda start a citizenship-for-sale program?

Citizenship-for-sale programs are increasingly popular, more so in the Caribbean, where small islands are keen to generate more revenue and attract foreign investment in the economy. These were the same reasons why Antigua and Barbuda introduced a citizenship program of its own, following the course taken by most other Caribbean countries.

Are there any restrictions based on nationality?

No, interested applicants from any nationality may apply, just provided they are not already Antigua and Barbuda citizens.

What are the required documents for application?

  • An application form acquired through an Authorized Agent.
  • A medical certificate (HIV clearance)
  • Copy of passports
  • Certificate of no criminal record or police clearance certificate
  • Marriage certificate, with spouse as dependent.
  • 2 birth certificates in original.

*For use in Antigua and Barbuda, all documents must have apostille seal.

Does economic citizenship mean I get a special economic status?

Citizenship by investment / economic citizenship doesn’t mean you get a special status. The program is labeled ‘Economic Citizenship’ because of the value it adds to Antigua and Barbuda’s economy.

Does the application accommodate family members?

Yes, you can include your spouse, children, and parent dependents in the application.

Who are family members, according to Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program?

  • Spouse
  • Children (0 – 25 years old)
  • Parent dependents – aged 65 years and above.

How good is Antigua and Barbuda’s education system?

If you’re looking to relocate with your family, it may be important to note that Antigua and Barbuda’s education system has developed significantly since the islands attained independence in 1981. Today, there are scores of public and private learning institutions in the country that offer a good standard of education to all residents.

What countries can I travel to visa-free with an Antigua and Barbuda passport?

Antigua and Barbuda passport holders can travel to at least 130 countries worldwide, including the UK, Hong Kong, Canada, Schengen Area countries, among others.

Can I invest in more than one real estate properties?

Yes. You can invest in more than one real estate property in Antigua and Barbuda, bearing in mind the total real estate threshold of USD 400, 000.

When can I sell or dispose of the investment?

You will be free to part with your real estate property after 5 years following the successful application for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship.

How long does it take for applications to be processed?

Applications for Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program are processed conveniently fast, between 3-4 months.

What are the residence requirements?

Successful applicants are required to spend at least 35 days in Antigua and Barbuda over a 5-year period. The passport issued is valid for a period of 5 years and is subject for renewal subject to the satisfaction of this requirement.

Will my contribution be refunded if I do not qualify?

If your application for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is not approved, your contribution is fully refunded. However, government, Due Diligence and other additional processing fees are non-refundable.

Antigua and Barbuda is a centrally located within the Caribbean and is considered a hub for the Eastern Caribbean. The islands have pretty good travel connections, with regular flights into the island from major tourist markets, including the US, Canada, and the UK. The massive number of beautiful white beaches and other tourist attractions accounts for the vibrant tourist industry in the country. For individuals who are looking for a favorable and travel-friendly destination for their global living goals, Antigua and Barbuda is a good consideration.

Useful Links

Government of Antigua and Barbuda – Citizenship by Investment Program

Antigua and Barbuda Economy

Living in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda Tour Guide

Antigua and Barbuda Island Guide

Antigua and Barbuda Real Estate

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority