Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program & Benefits
About Antigua and Barbuda Antigua & Barbuda are twin islands that form their own country in the Caribbean Sea. In 1784, the British Royal Army claimed Antigua as a Navy base. The unbroken coral reef offered a protective barrier, while the warm winds and winding coastline offered comfort and safety. Upon declaring the country’s independence in 1981, the country became part of the British Commonwealth – formally the Commonwealth of Nations – with Queen Elizabeth II as its reigning monarch and a full member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Today, the tiny island of Barbuda is the nesting ground for thousands of birds. With its ever-gorgeous coral reef, Antigua is a destination for divers and explorers alike. The capital of the country, St John’s, is the island’s commercial centre. Collectively, Antigua and Barbuda boast about 365 beaches of clean turquoise waters and magnificent rainforests. The warm, welcoming breeze and beautiful vistas attract celebrities like Robert De Niro and Oprah Winfrey, who frequently visit the country. Tourism dominates the economy, accounting for more than half of the gross domestic product (GDP), which makes up around 60% of the country’s economy, and is the main industry. The economy of this country also benefits from solid financial services and agriculture sectors. As such, there are several programs and options offered to those interested in applying for their Antigua & Barbuda citizenship. Antigua is famous for its many luxury resorts as an ultra-high-end travel destination. Weakened tourist activity in the lower and middle market segments since early 2000 has slowed the economy, however, and squeezed the government into a tight fiscal corner. Antigua and Barbuda have enacted policies to attract high-net-worth citizens and residents, such as enacting a 0% personal income tax rate in 2019. Investment banking and financial services also make up an important part of the economy. Major world banks with offices in Antigua include the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Scotiabank. Financial-services corporations with offices in Antigua include PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Antigua and Barbuda also use an economic citizenship program to spur investment into the country. Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program & Benefits Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) were established following parliamentary assent to the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Regulations of 2014. The Regulations regarding Citizenship by Investment in Antigua and Barbuda are part of Section 6 of the Citizenship by Investment Act of 2014. This act allows the government of Antigua and Barbuda to grant citizenship to persons who qualify under the criteria set by parliamentary decisions. Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by investment is granted to qualified applicants within 4 to 5 months with no residency requirements. Once the applicant is granted citizenship, he/she becomes a citizen for life. After becoming a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, the applicants must visit the country for 5 days at any time during the first 5 years of citizenship. Requirements To qualify for citizenship, applicants need to undergo a strict due diligence process, in addition to contributing one of the two following channels: Non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF) Purchase of real estate in a government-approved project AND payment of applicable government fees Requirements of Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment To qualify for citizenship, the main applicant must be over 18 years of age, meet the application requirements, and select one of the following four options available: The purchase of real estate with a minimum value of USD 200,000 from an approved real estate project. A contribution to the National Development Fund of a minimum non-refundable amount of USD 100,000 A contribution to the University of the West Indies of a minimum non-refundable amount of USD 150,000 Benefits of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Antigua and Barbuda passport provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 150 destinations including Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and Europe's Schengen Area Applicants can include a spouse, dependent children under 31 (as well as their spouse and children), parents and grandparents aged 55 and over, and unmarried siblings of the main applicant. No residency requirement or interview to acquire citizenship, but a 5-day visit must be completed within the first 5 years of citizenship. Citizenship is granted for life and is irrevocable No tax obligation for non-residents Dual citizenship is allowed in Antigua & Barbuda Antigua And Barbuda Citizenship Investment Options Option 1: National Development Fund (NDF) – Non-Refundable The National Development Fund (NDF) is a non-profit fund that is subject to parliamentary oversight by way of a six-monthly report to be presented to Parliament in sufficient detail to allow for transparency and accountability. The fund will also be audited by an internationally recognised accounting firm. Donation (Up to 4 family members) USD 100,000 Donation (Family of 5+ members) USD 125,000 Single applicant Family of 4 Family of 5 or more Processing fees $30,000 $30,000 for a family of up to 4 persons $30,000 for a family of up to 4 persons with incremental payments of $15,000 for each additional dependent. Contribution $100,000 $100,000 $125,000 Due Diligence $7,500 $7,500 + $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 per dependent 12-17, $4,000 per dependent 18 and over $7,500 + $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 per dependent 12-17, $4,000 per dependent 18 and over Option 2: Real Estate Investment To qualify for citizenship under the real estate option, the government requires applicants to make an investment in designated, officially approved real estate with a value of at least US$ 400,000 plus the payment of government processing fees and due diligence fees. Single Applicant Family of 4 Family of 5 or more Processing fees $30,000 $30,000 for a family of up to 4 persons $30,000 for a family of up to 4 persons with incremental payments of $15,000 for each additional dependent. Option 1 $400,000.00 $400,000.00 $400,000.00 Option 2 – Single Investor $200,000.00 $200,000.00 $200,000.00 Due Diligence $7,500 $7,500 + $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 per dependent 12-17, $4,000 per dependent 18 and over $7,500 + $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 per dependent 12-17, $4,000 per dependent 18 and over Option 3: University of the West Indies Fund Option Antigua and Barbuda government announced in May 2020, a reduction in the contribution to the University of the West Indies Fund for large families. This option is suitable for families of six (6) or more and it entitles one applicant to a one-year scholarship that includes tuition fees at the West Indies University. Family of six US $150,000 inclusive of processing fees Additional dependents US $15,000 per applicant Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Procedure and time frame The government authority is responsible for administering the program, and the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), is responsible for processing all applications. The CIU examines the application thoroughly and, if deemed necessary, may request the applicant to attend an interview. The CIU undertakes strict due diligence checks and will decline an application if the applicant makes a false statement or omits any relevant information in the application. The documentary requirements of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program are reasonable, and the procedures are straightforward. Once the application is approved, passports can be collected in Antigua and Barbuda. It is estimated that the process will take between three and four months from the submission of the application to the issuance of the passport, assuming there are no areas of concern with the application. There is a requirement to reside in Antigua and Barbuda for a minimum of five days during the first five years of obtaining citizenship. However, the CIU has temporarily suspended this requirement due to the various travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This suspension will expire on 31 August 2022. Under the real estate option, the time frame may vary depending on the project. Therefore, it is important to select a real estate project that can provide the necessary paperwork required from the developer for the citizenship application.