While applications to Antigua & Barbuda’s successful citizenship by investment programme have continued throughout the pandemic, the numbers of applications have only recently returned to what they were pre-coronavirus, according to the Caribbean nation’s Citizenship by Investment Unit.
In a statement on October 9, the CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Charmaine Quinland-Donovan explained that “the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme has continued to enjoy sustained interest and the number of applications submitted has begun to increase to near pre-Covid-19 levels”.
In part, this has been due to the fact that the country’s CIU had set up an online platform earlier in the year and so, unlike many of its Caribbean CBI counterparts, the country was able to still receive and process applications during lockdown.
At the beginning of March this year, Charmaine explains, “the unit began a comprehensive reorganisation of its operating processes to facilitate greater electronic engagement and maintain response time. As a result of this quick response to the crisis at hand the unit has been able to maintain a steady stream of applications”.
Chief Financial Officer Casford King said that to date the unit has approved 275 applications.
Launched in 2013, Antigua’s Citizenship by Investment Programme has brought in enough economic income to help fund the reconstruction of Barbuda, which was badly damaged by hurricane Irma in 2017.
“We have contributed significantly to the development of the country in a positive and real way,” explained Casford King. “Pre-Covid, we were on pace to outdo the previous year in terms of applications, but since the advent of Covid, we’ve seen the effects in terms of numbers, but safe to say, we are returning to normal and there has been increased demand in terms of inquiries and person wishing to apply for alternative citizenship. So the prospects of the programme does look positive.”
In 2020, the CIU has also made some changes to the programme. The unit has introduced a third option to real estate ownership giving prospective applicants the option of purchasing approved real estate at a minimum of US$200.000 as a qualifying investment.
Furthermore, the CIU has adapted its pricing of the programme’s unique UWI Fund option, so that a family of six invests just US$150,000 now, in order to make it more attractive for larger 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. In fact, since its launch in 2013, the programme has become 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”.
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