ANTIGUA & BARBUDA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
Overview A sovereign twin-island state, located in the West Indies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Antigua and Barbuda are separated by 39 miles. However, following destruction of most of the infrastructure of Barbuda during Hurricane Irma in 2017, 97% of the population of Barbuda now live on Antigua. Antigua’s capital and largest port is St. John’s. Antigua boasts the largest expanse of freshwater in the whole of the Caribbean.
Health and Education Antigua has a greater than 90% literacy rate, one of the highest in eastern Caribbean with education compulsory and free for children between the ages of 5 and 16 years. There are three colleges, including The University of Health Sciences, and a campus for the University of the West Indies. Further training institutions on the island include one for IT and one for hospitality. With the aim of becoming the pre-eminent provider of medical services in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda boast the most technologically advanced hospital in the Caribbean. Its main hospital, the Mount St John Medical centre is free to citizens. There are also a number of private hospitals and clinics.
Transport V.C. Bird International Airport is located on Antigua, five miles northeast of the capital, St. John’s. It offers non-stop flights to 26 destinations in 19 countries, including to and from Milan, London, New York, Miami and Toronto.
Lifestyle More greatly influenced by limestone formations than volcanic activity, an absence of mountains and forests is what distinguishes Antigua and Barbuda from other Caribbean islands. Antigua’s coastline is intricate with the shorelines of both islands heavily indented with beaches, lagoons and natural harbours and rimmed by reefs and shoals rich with sea life. Cricket is the national sport, with others including football, fishing, surfing and sailing, with the island’s Sailing Week one of the world’s top regattas, attracting visitors from all over the globe. There are many sugar plantation ruins to explore, hiking and ziplines in the rainforest and some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. According to Conde Nast Traveller’s 30 Best Beaches in the World 2020, Barbuda’s Pink Sand Beach is among them. Antigua & Barbuda was named 2021’s Emerging Sustainable Destination of the Year in global travel authority Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel Awards 2021.
Climate The climate is tropical and hot with an average temperature range of 22C to 32C, but its constant northeast trade winds means there is low humidity almost year-round.
Population 96,286 (2018)
Languages English is the official and widely spoken language, while Antiguan Creole and Spanish are also spoken.
Religion Christians make up 77% of the population with Anglicanism the single largest denomination.
Capital city St John’s, a port city.
Currency East Caribbean Dollar (ECD)
GDP per capita $16,272.00 (2018)
Economy According to the Doing Business Report by the World Bank 2019, Antigua & Barbuda is 113th out of 190 economies, making it third highest in the Caribbean. Heavily dependent on tourism, it generates some 60% of the island’s GDP and Antigua is certainly positioned as an ultra-high-end travel destination and is famed for its many luxury resorts. The finance services industry and the government the next largest employers, while its agricultural production is mainly focused on the domestic market and constrained by limited water supply. There is no capital gains or estate taxes.
Did you know…? Famous people who have lived or owned homes on the island include Oprah Winfrey, author Jamaica Kincaid, fashion designer Giorgio Armani and Richard Branson, while Eric Clapton build a rehab centre on the island.
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA CBI PROGRAMME
- Established 8 years
- Minimum outlay $100,000
- Processing time 2-3 months
- Residency or travel requirements None
- Freedom of movement 151 countries
- Investment Options 4
Overview Launched in 2013, Antigua’s citizenship by investment program requires a low-cost contribution option, but it does add on quite high government fees meaning that several other Caribbean destinations are cheaper overall. The dual-island’s ease of processing, due diligence and visa-free destination numbers place this economic citizenship program in a competitive position. 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”. The programme has increasingly become renowned for its family inclusiveness having reduced restrictions on children over 18 years and allowed siblings if 30 years or under. Antigua also has a temporary residency programme, the Nomad Digital Residence (NDR) Programme, which invites remote-working foreigners to reside on the island for up to 24 months.
Best for Best value for large families due to the programme’s UWI investment option whose recent restructure of fees to US$150,000 (a reduction of US$35,000) for a family of six means this investment option is now the cheapest family of six option of all programmes worldwide. This also includes the processing fees.
Pros There is a small donation outlay for instant citizenship, which makes this a good value option and especially for families, though government fees are higher than some other Caribbean programmes. This program delivers strict due diligence and requirements for documentary evidence and employs independent due diligence providers. It is now necessary that all economic citizens hold e-passports. There are no mandated interview or knowledge-based tests. Along with Grenada, offers the highest standard of living of the Caribbean islands. Very family-friendly, Antigua’s CBI programme has risen two points in the Family Pillar in the CBI Index 2021 over the last year, a result of recent changes that “reduced restrictions on children over 18 years and allowed siblings of the main applicant or spouse to be included in an application, if unmarried”.
Cons Unlike many of the Caribbean citizenship by investment programs, Antigua requires applicants to travel to the nation, or to an embassy or consulate, to sign an oath of allegiance and to spend five days on Antiguan soil within five years of being granted citizenship. In June 2017, Antigua and Barbuda lost visa-free access to Canada, one of its most significant selling points. While its minimum outlay for citizenship by investment is just US$100,000, it does levy a hefty government free of US$30,000 on top of this.
USP The most family-friendly CBI programme in the industry following reforms undertaken in 2020, according to the CBI Index 2021, now allowing “many family members, including unmarried siblings or any age, to join the main applicant’s journey to second citizenship”.
Ease of processing Typically takes two to three months. While applicants do not need to undertake an interview or knowledge-based test, it is required that they travel to the islands or an embassy or consulate in order to sign an oath of allegiance and citizenship is conditional on the applicant spending five days on the twin-island soil within 5 years of obtaining citizenship (except kids under 18). However, both of these requirements can be undertaken simultaneously. When it comes to due diligence, citizenship requires biometrics and use independent due diligence firms for on-the-ground checks.
Freedom of movement Visa-free travel to 151 countries including the UK, EU, Schengen zone, Hong Kong, Brazil and Switzerland.
Investment options 4
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA CBI INVESTMENTS
Government fees of US$30,000 apply for three of the four options and for any family of up to four persons increasing by US$15,000 with each extra person added to the application. This doesn’t apply to option 2.
Option 1 A non-refundable donation to the non-profit National Development Fund (NDF), which funds public and private projects, as well as charitable initiatives including on healthcare and education. This involves a one-time payment of $100,000 for a family of four or individual applicant. This payment can cover a spouse, dependent children, dependent parents over 58 years, and siblings of the main applicant and spouse (if unmarried) without additional contributions. However, additional fees need to be paid: $37,500 for additional individuals and $45,000 for a family of four. Government fees are US$30,000 on top of this.
Option 2 A non-refundable donation to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Fund, which is financing UWI’s fourth landed campus. This involves a donation of $150,000 (inclusive of processing fees) for a family of six or more. If more than six family members, there is a $15,000 extra fee for additional dependents. This makes it the most affordable investment option for a family of six worldwide. In addition to receiving citizenship for all family members, this option further entitles one family member to a one-year tuition-only scholarship at UWI.
Option 3 An investment in a government-approved real estate area or development/project and there are plenty of project options to choose from. There is a minimum $200,000 for a single investor, along with $37,500 in fees and $400,000 for a family of four, plus $48,000 in fees. Investors must hold the property for a minimum of five years. Also, an applicant with up to three added family members can make a joint investment with a ‘related party’ with both making a minimum investment of US$200,000 each.
Option 4 A business investment in a government-approved business project, of which there are current 11 such projects available. A minimum investment of $1.5m, before fees, for a single investor or $400,000 per person as part of a group with a minimum investment of US$400,000 into a project worth at least US$5m.
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA RANKINGS
Passport Ranking (Henley Passport Index 2021) 29 / 116
CBI Programme Ranking (CBI Index 2021, Financial Times) 77% / 5th out of 14 countries
Ease of doing business Ranking (Doing Business 2020, The World Bank) 93 / 190
Economic Freedom (2020 Index of Economic Freedom) 53 / 178
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