The government of dual-island Caribbean nation Antigua & Barbuda has made an amendment to the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme in order to ensure holders don’t lose their citizenship during the current pandemic.
According to the Antigua Observer, a bill was passed in parliament on Thursday, August 27th, that prevents people who become citizens of Antigua & Barbuda via the CBI programme losing their status during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the current Citizenship by Investment programme Act of 2013, the minister responsible for immigration is legally allowed to strip a holder’s citizenship if they do not spend at least 35 days in Antigua & Barbuda during the period of five calendar years following their registration.
This would mean that those who gained citizenship via the CBI programme could be stripped of their citizenship through no fault of their own, but instead due to the pandemic which has prevented people from travelling.
This amendment will suspend that provision and prevent thousands of people and families from losing their Antiguan citizenship.
Antigua & Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne explained that “many individuals have been unable to travel here because of Covid and, as a consequence, we have had to make this amendment to make sure that we can suspend that requirement which would have called for the actual cancelling of the citizenship”.
This adaption is applicable during the pandemic, as well as other subsequent periods of outbreaks of infectious, dangerous diseases or other situations that merit the suspension of the 35-day requirement.
However, PM Gaston Browne made clear that this particular amendment does not negate the need for these citizens to take up residency within the country at some point.
Antigua’s Citizenship by Investment Programme
Launched in 2013, Antigua’s citizenship by investment programme requires a low-cost contribution option, a donation of US$100,000 (making it one of the cheapest worldwide and highly competitive with the other Caribbean CIP offerings.
Antigua’s CIP is especially price-conscious for families, in fact one of the best for big families, due to its Limited Time Offer, which has reduced the fees for additional dependent children, meaning applicants only pay $10,000 for children aged 0-5 and $20,000 for kids aged 6-17. This offer has been put in place during the pandemic period and lasts until October 31, 2020.
Citizens to Antigua get visa-free access to 147 countries, including the UK, EU, Schengen zone, Hong Kong and Brazil; and along with Grenada, Antigua offers the highest standard of living of the Caribbean islands.
Antigua’s CBI Programme offers four different investment options and is the only CBI program to offer a scholarship to a university place to one family member as part of its citizenship by investment programme.
Applicants can choose between a non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF), to The University of the West Indies Fund, purchase property in a pre-approved real development, or in an approved business venture, with costs ranging from $100,000 for a donation to the NDF for a single applicant, to investment of $400,000 in a property or $1.5m in a pre-approved business.
Find out more about the Antigua & Barbuda’s citizenship by investment programme from our country profile by clicking here