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Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment & Passport Guide for 2024

Mark Damsgaard

Mark Damsgaard

Founder of Global Residence Index

Last updated: May 20, 2024

The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program provides a unique opportunity for individuals to acquire a second citizenship and passport through various investment options. Catering to high-net-worth individuals, the program offers a legitimate and expedited path to citizenship. Established in 2013, it is known for its stringent due diligence procedures, ensuring the integrity and credibility of its applicants.

The allure of Antigua and Barbuda’s program lies not only in the travel freedom afforded by its passport, but also in the economic and lifestyle benefits of becoming part of this vibrant Caribbean community.

Investment options for acquiring citizenship in this twin-island nation include a monetary contribution to the National Development Fund, investment in real estate, or investing in an approved business venture. These avenues are designed to bolster the nation’s economic growth while offering investors and their families the privileges of citizenship, including visa-free travel to numerous countries.

The application process is straightforward but rigorous. It ensures that all potential citizens meet the nation’s eligibility criteria and uphold its reputation on the global stage.

Key Takeaways

  • Antigua and Barbuda offer citizenship through investment with benefits like visa-free travel.
  • Citizenship can be obtained by contributing to the National Development Fund or investing in real estate/business.
  • A stringent application process ensures that applicants meet all eligibility criteria for citizenship.

Overview of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment

Historical Context

The government instituted the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program in 2013. This followed legislative approval under the Citizenship by Investment Act, Act No. 2 of 2013. The program was established as a means to promote foreign investment, thereby enhancing the economic infrastructure of the twin-island nation.

Benefits of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

Citizenship by investment in Antigua and Barbuda grants individuals and their families a wealth of advantages. Key benefits include:

  • Visa-Free Travel: A passport from Antigua and Barbuda allows visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 140 countries, including Schengen Area countries, the UK, and Canada.
  • Dual Citizenship: The program legally recognizes dual citizenship, allowing individuals to retain their current nationality while enjoying the benefits of an Antiguan and Barbudan passport.
  • Taxation: There is no tax on worldwide income for Antigua and Barbuda citizens, which is an enticing prospect for investors.
  • Community Benefits: Citizenship extends privileges associated with being part of CARICOM and the Commonwealth.

The program’s credibility is maintained by the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), the government body responsible for processing all applications. It upholds stringent due diligence procedures to ensure the integrity of the citizenship by investment process.

Antigua & Barbuda Passport

Eligibility Criteria

The Citizenship by Investment program in Antigua and Barbuda establishes precise requirements that applicants must meet to obtain citizenship. This includes criteria for the main applicant and specific provisions for including family members as dependents.

Main Applicant Requirements

Age: The main applicant must be over 18 years of age to be eligible to apply for citizenship by investment in Antigua and Barbuda.

No criminal record: The CIU conducts strict due diligence checks to ensure the integrity of applicants.

Criteria For Inclusion of Dependent Family Members

  • Dependent Children: Unmarried children aged 0-30, who are financially dependent on the main applicant
  • Dependent Parents: Parents of the main applicant or spouse aged 55 and above, living with and fully supported by the main applicant
  • Dependent Siblings: Unmarried siblings of the main applicant or their spouse, who are 18 years or older, without children, and who rely on the main applicant for financial support

All dependents must pass due diligence checks, and fees apply for processing and due diligence.

Investment Options

Antigua and Barbuda offer multiple avenues for investors to contribute to the nation’s economy in exchange for citizenship. Each option is tailored to different investment levels and types of contribution, from direct donations to business ventures.

National Development Fund Contribution

The National Development Fund (NDF) option requires a minimum donation of $100,000. It is a non-refundable contribution allocated to the government’s fund for the purpose of national development and supporting public projects.

Real Estate Investment

Investors can opt for a Real Estate Investment by purchasing government-approved real estate. The minimum investment is set at $200,000, ensuring that the property is held for at least five years before it can be sold.

Business Investment

The Business Investment option involves a minimum outlay of $400,000 into a government-sanctioned business. This investment must create jobs and contribute to the country’s economic growth, aligning with the program’s objective to bolster Antigua and Barbuda’s entrepreneurial landscape.

University of the West Indies Fund Option

There’s also a donation choice that serves educational purposes, known as the University of the West Indies Fund. A single applicant’s contribution starts at $150,000 and includes one semester’s tuition for a member of the family at the University of the West Indies.

Each investment option offers its own set of benefits and requirements. All contributions are expected to bolster Antigua and Barbuda’s economy in distinct ways, whether through the support of public projects, enhancement of the real estate market, expansion of business industries, or advancement of educational programs.

Application Process

The application process for the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program is detailed and thorough, ensuring that only reputable applicants are granted citizenship. It involves various stages from document submission to due diligence checks, and from potential interviews to the oath of allegiance.

Required Documents

Applicants must provide a comprehensive dossier of documents, which typically include:

  • Valid passport copies
  • Birth certificate
  • Police clearance certificate to establish lack of a criminal record
  • Proof of residence and address
  • Professional and financial references

Documents related to the chosen investment option, such as real estate contracts or business investment details, are also mandatory.

Due Diligence and Background Checks

A non-refundable due diligence fee is charged for the background checks undertaken to verify each applicant’s information. These checks are rigorous and crucial to the program’s integrity, ensuring that the applicants have no criminal records or dubious financial history. The government employs these due diligence processes to maintain high program standards.

Interviews

Interviews have become a mandatory part of the application process for citizenship by investment in Antigua and Barbuda. All applicants are now required to attend an interview, which serves as an essential step in the due diligence and vetting procedures.

Taking the Oath of Allegiance

Finally, if the application is approved, applicants must take the Oath of Allegiance to Antigua and Barbuda. This step is necessary before any citizenship certificates are issued and passports can be granted. The oath is typically administered either in Antigua and Barbuda or at a consulate or embassy.

Financial Considerations

For individuals considering the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program, it is essential to understand the financial commitments involved. These commitments include not only the investment amounts but also the various fees and charges, as well as the tax implications for new citizens.

Total Investment Breakdown

The total investment for acquiring citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda can vary. One can opt to contribute to the National Development Fund (NDF) with a minimum amount of $100,000 for a single applicant or a family of four. Alternatively, investments can be made in real estate with a minimum value of $200,000 or in a business with a minimum investment of $1.5 million. Multiple investors can collaborate on a business investment, with each contributing at least $400,000, provided the total investment reaches $5 million.

Fees and Processing Charges

When applying for citizenship, applicants must also cover processing fees and government fees.

  • The Government NDF processing fee is set at $30,000 for a family of up to four members, with additional fees for each added dependent.
  • The Government processing fee for real estate and business investment applications is also set at $30,000 for a family of up to four members, but vary based on the number of dependents included in the application.
  • Applicants should also prepare for due diligence fees, which are $7,500 for the main applicant and $7,500 for the spouse, with a reduced fee for dependent children aged 12-17 and full fees for those aged 18 and above.

Tax Implications

New citizens of Antigua and Barbuda benefit from a tax regime that is conducive to economic growth. They are not required to pay personal income tax on worldwide income, nor is there a capital gains tax in the country. This policy supports the country’s competitive edge as an investment destination. However, new citizens should consult with a tax professional to fully understand their tax responsibilities both in Antigua and Barbuda and their country of origin.

 

Seeking expert immigration guidance?

Navigating through immigration programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

During our call, we will:

  • Address any specific questions: We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.
  • Detail every step: We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.
  • Evaluate program suitability: We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.
  • Connect you with local professionals: Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers in the respective country, as well as trusted providers of eligible investment options.

 


 

Rights and Privileges

The Citizenship by Investment program in Antigua and Barbuda confers a suite of rights and privileges to investors, ranging from global mobility to financial benefits. Individuals obtain a second passport and enjoy increased travel freedom, a desirable lifestyle, and economic opportunities in the Caribbean and beyond.

Travel and Mobility

Passport: Holders of an Antiguan and Barbudan passport gain visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to approximately 143 countries. This includes the Schengen Zone, the UK, and other key business and travel destinations.

  • Visa-Free Travel: A significant advantage is the ability to travel to multiple countries without the hassle of obtaining a visa beforehand. This facilitates easier movement for personal and business reasons.
  • Schengen Zone Access: The passport allows for visa-free entry to the countries within the Schengen Zone, increasing ease of travel across much of Europe.

Residency and Lifestyle

There is a minimal residency requirement for citizens by investment, which is only five days within a period of five years, allowing investors to retain their citizenship status while living abroad.

Investors and their families can enjoy the high standard of living in the West Indies, with access to pristine beaches, a stable political environment, and a relaxing Caribbean lifestyle.

Antigua and Barbuda offer the appealing advantage of no personal income tax, which means that one’s global income is not taxed by this jurisdiction.

Economic Opportunities

The program opens doors to various economic ventures in Antigua and Barbuda and by extension, the wider Caribbean region.

Investors gain the chance to start or expand businesses within a supportive framework designed to encourage economic development.

Having a second passport can act as a stepping stone for international financial planning and can provide more flexibility in business and travel options.

Living in Antigua and Barbuda

Residents of Antigua and Barbuda enjoy a serene lifestyle amidst stunning beaches and a welcoming local community. The nation offers a blend of vibrant tourism and tranquil island life, set in the heart of the Eastern Caribbean with azure waters and white sand.

Integration into the Community

Antigua and Barbuda’s small population fosters close-knit communities, providing a sense of family among residents and expatriates alike.

Festivals and local events are central to community integration. The island’s cultural events represent a fusion of the indigenous and colonial heritages that promote a sense of belonging.

Real Estate and Accommodation

The real estate market in Antigua and Barbuda offers a variety of options, from luxury resorts to private villas.

Individuals who invest in property can find accommodations boasting views of white sand beaches and azure waters. The government’s Citizenship by Investment program even includes options to invest in real estate as a path to residency.

Healthcare and Education

The nation is equipped with medical facilities that provide care for both locals and expatriates.

While some specialized services may require travel abroad, the overall healthcare system caters to routine medical needs.

In terms of education, there are options ranging from public to private schools. Several institutions offer international curricula suitable for family requirements.

  • Healthcare Facilities: Mount St. John Medical Centre (primary hospital), Adelin Medical Centre
  • Education Institutions: The University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus, Antigua Girls’ High School, Island Academy International School

Comparison with Other Citizenship by Investment Programs

Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program is positioned within a global and regional landscape of varying options, each with unique attributes and requirements.

CBI Programs in the Caribbean

Caribbean nations each have distinct Citizenship by Investment Programs (CBI), allowing for direct citizenship upon investment.

These programs often appeal due to their relatively low investment thresholds, streamlined processes, and the travel benefits they confer.

  • St. Kitts and Nevis: Known as the oldest CBI program, it requires a higher investment threshold and offers visa-free travel to over 150 countries.
  • Dominica: Its program requires a minimum investment of $100,000 and provides extensive visa-free travel, but not to the UK.
  • St. Lucia: The program provides options starting from a $100,000 donation, with the unique addition of a government bond investment route.
  • Grenada: Stands out for its E-2 visa treaty with the USA, which allows citizens to apply for a E-2 non-immigrant visa. The investment threshold starts at $150,000.

These Caribbean programs are often compared on their speed of processing, cost, global mobility (visa-free access), and the ease of the application process.

Notable Antigua and Barbuda Citizens

Antigua and Barbuda has been home to a variety of influential individuals and public figures who have made substantial contributions in their respective fields.

Influential Figures

Sir Vivian Richards is one of the most famous Antiguans who captivated the cricketing world.

Regarded as one of the greatest batsmen ever, he has been an influential figure in sports, especially cricket.

Timothy Harris, born on the sister isle of St. Kitts, serves as the current Prime Minister of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. He has been pivotal in the region’s politics.

Celebrities and Public Figures

Eric Clapton, the renowned British rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, owns a residence in Antigua.

He established the Crossroads Centre, a medical facility for recovering substance abusers.

While not a citizen, Oprah Winfrey, the celebrated American talk show host, actress, and philanthropist, has been linked to Antigua and Barbuda through her frequent visits and significant real estate investment. Her presence on the island has brought attention to Antigua and Barbuda as a destination for the affluent.

Important Legal and Regulatory Information

The legal framework for Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment hinges on detailed legislation and rigorous compliance measures. Ensuring the integrity of the program is a continuous process involving regular updates and active monitoring by the government authorities.

Citizenship Legislation

Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship by investment program is anchored by the Citizenship by Investment Act, 2013.

This act outlines the requirements for obtaining citizenship through investment, including qualifications, application procedures, and the duties of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU).

The CIU is the government authority responsible for processing applications and ensuring that they meet the legal criteria set forth in the legislation.

Amendments and Updates to the Program

The government of Antigua and Barbuda has the authority to make amendments to the Citizenship by Investment program. Any changes are made with the aim of improving the program’s efficiency, security, and attractiveness to potential applicants.

Recent amendments are documented in the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment (Amendment) Regulations 2020. It’s imperative for applicants and agents to stay informed about such updates to ensure compliance with the current regulations.

Compliance and Monitoring

Compliance and monitoring are critical to the sustainability of the Citizenship by Investment program. The CIU works in conjunction with other government bodies, such as the cabinet and the embassy, to enforce regulations and to supervise the activities of licensed agents. The government has implemented stringent due diligence processes to verify the information provided by applicants.

This not only protects the integrity of the program but also the reputation of Antigua and Barbuda on the international stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for obtaining citizenship by investment in Antigua and Barbuda?

Investors must make a minimum non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund or invest in government-approved real estate projects or businesses. They must also pass a due diligence background check and, as of November 2023, complete a mandatory interview.

What are the benefits of holding an Antigua and Barbuda passport?

Holders of an Antigua and Barbuda passport enjoy visa-free travel to over 140 countries, including the UK, the Schengen area, and many others. The passport also offers full citizenship rights including the ability to work, live, and study in Antigua and Barbuda.

Is dual citizenship permitted under the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program?

Yes, Antigua and Barbuda does allow dual citizenship, so applicants can maintain their current citizenship while enjoying the benefits of Antiguan and Barbudan citizenship.

How much does it cost to acquire citizenship through investment in Antigua and Barbuda?

The minimum investment for citizenship starts at $100,000 for a contribution to the National Development Fund. Real estate investments start at $200,000, and business investments require a minimum of $1.5 million for a single investor.

What types of investment options are available for the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program?

Investment options include a non-refundable donation to the National Development Fund, investing in approved real estate projects, or investing in an eligible business venture.

Need help?

Navigating through golden visa & citizenship by investment programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

GET PERSONALIZED GUIDANCE

During our call, we will:

Here is what to expect from a call with our advisory team:

1

We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.

2

We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.

3

We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.

4

Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers, as well as providers of eligible investment options.