Just one of a raft of remote working visas unveiled worldwide in the last five months, Antigua and Barbuda’s Nomad Digital Residence (NDR) Programme, which invites remote-working foreigners to reside on the island for up to 24 months, has witnessed a high number of applicants, especially from the US, UK and Canada, and has been receiving up to seven inquiries per day since its launch in September.
The programme, which like other digital nomad visa programmes in the Caribbean and Europe, was unveiled this year as an initiative to replace the tourism dollars that have been lost due to the pandemic, offers eligible foreigners and dependents the opportunity to live and work remotely from the island for up to two years.
The twin island nation’s 365 beaches (that’s one for every day of the year), year-round sunshine and luxurious resorts, not to mention very low Covid rates, has certainly proven a pull for people with Antigua’s NDR Programme already showing good uptake.
According to Antigua & Barbuda’s tourism officials, since the programme’s launch in September, there has been a high number of American, Canadian and British applicants, with many already living (and remote working) on the island, while the number of those showing interest continues to rise, with up to seven new inquiries received every day.
“People are attracted to the Caribbean generally,” states tourism minister Charles Fernandez, “we still have low incidents of Covid and also, again because of Covid, most people can work remotely now. So, if you are working from home in an apartment in New York or London at an exorbitant rate, you can come to Antigua where the cost of living is much lower, and the water is beautiful. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
These aren’t the only pulls of the programme. As a popular tourist destination, Antigua not only delivers luxury resorts and fine-dining restaurants, it also offers direct flights to 26 destinations in 19 countries, including the main cities in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Italy and many parts of the Caribbean. English is widely spoken and it has the most technologically advanced hospital in the Caribbean.
And then there’s the fact that Antigua & Barbuda has just been been named 2021’s Emerging Sustainable Destination of the Year in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel Awards 2021.
Charles Fernandez adds: “The programme has created a great amount of interest and proven to be a good thing for us, because when these people come here, they spend money.”
Designed to tap into the digital flexibility being offered by today’s businesses (remote working), these programmes lure foreign remote workers to their shores to enjoy their climate, hospitality, laid-back lifestyles and cultures, and spend money while they are resident, thereby helping to recoup some of the lost tourism dollars due to the pandemic.
Antigua-based Luxury Locations Real Estate has witnessed a recent surge in long-term rentals with renters hailing mainly “from the US and Canada, but we have had some from Asia and Russia too”, Nadia Dyson told Antigua Observer. Most of those who have come via the programme, she says, are “from places with direct flights”, are mainly single, and while some “work for internet-based companies, others are property investors interested in citizenship by investment”.
In fact, according to Nadia, some 30% are here on a recce, looking to potentially build a home in Antigua. “We are seeing a few people just looking for a different life,” she states.
And while the NDR Programme foreigners can pay a small fee (US$1,500 to US$3,000) for a visa to reside and work (remotely) on the island for up to two years, and subsequently travel into and out of the country as they wish without paying income tax, it is only through the country’s longer-standing Citizenship by Investment Programme that foreigners can reside permanently and subsequently procure an Antiguan passport.
Antigua’s Citizenship by Investment Programme
In fact, Antigua has been running a successful Citizenship by Investment programme since 2013 and is currently one of the most affordable CIPs worldwide for large families.
Delivering four investment options, including one of the lowest-cost contribution options at US$100,000, and a powerful passport, giving visa-free access to 147 countries, Antigua’s citizenship by investment programme has proven both popular and reliable over the past seven years and is renowned for its strict due diligence, security and stability within the industry and recently was lauded by the CBI Index 2020 in particular for its “ability to adapt to meet the needs of investors”.
It is also the only CBI Programme worldwide to offer a scholarship to a university place to one family member as part of its citizenship by investment programme.
Find out more about the Antigua & Barbuda’s citizenship by investment programme from our country profile by clicking here