Antigua and Barbuda is an independent Caribbean state and a member of the British Commonwealth. The country with its lush tropical islands and 365 beaches of clean turquoise waters, is called an inviting paradise where summer vacation never ends. It is no surprise that the main contributor to gross domestic product in the country is tourism which generates around 60 percent of the island’s income. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the United Nations, the CARICOM group of nations and the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as many other international organizations.
In 2013, in order to bring more economic development into the country, the government of Antigua and Barbuda introduced a national citizenship by investment program that would allow investors to directly acquire citizenship and a passport by making a donation to a charitable fund or through purchasing of real estate. Under the program so introduced, an applicant making such a one-time investment can acquire lifetime citizenship for himself and his family. A personal visit is not required, and there is no obligation to live in Antigua to obtain citizenship. There is no formal interview with a government official and there is no business experience requirement, nor any language test required. The processing time for citizenship is fast – typically between three and six months.
One key feature of the country is that there is no wealth, inheritance or personal income tax for investors. What is more, as Antigua nationals, investors are entitled to free movement in the Caribbean CARICOM group of countries. Investors are also allowed to hold multiple citizenships with other countries. Citizens of Antigua get full access to a developed banking infrastructure on the island. The country has the most technologically advanced medical clinic in the entire region and offers a world class medical education to future doctors at its two internationally renowned American medical universities. Antigua is a true regional travel hub with direct flights to such destinations as London, New York, Miami, Toronto and Montreal. Finally, holders of the Antigua and Barbuda passport enjoy visa free travel to approximately 151 countries, including the U.K., Russia, India, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as the countries of the Schengen area.
Qualifying Investments for Antigua Citizenship
The citizenship by investment program offers applicants the following investment options:
Option 1: Donation to National Development Fund
$100,000 U.S. for a single applicant, or for a family of up to four.
$125,000 U.S. for a family of five or more.
In either case, the following are also payable: Processing fees: $30,000; Due Diligence fees: $7,500 for a single applicant, $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 for each dependent 12 – 17 years of age and $4,000 per dependent 18 and over.
Option 2: University of West Indies Fund
A donation of $150,000 U.S. for a family of six or more (minimum number of persons per application is six, processing fee is included). Additional dependents – $15,000 per applicant.
Due Diligence: $7,500 for a single applicant, $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 for each dependent 12 – 17 and $4,000 per dependent 18 and over.
Option 3: Real Estate Investment
Investment of $400,000 U.S. for a single applicant or a family of up to four. The government provides a list of approved projects and areas for such investment. The property must be held for five years before selling it without losing citizenship.
Processing fees: $30,000; Due Diligence: $7,500 for a single applicant, $7,500 for spouse, $2,000 for each dependent 12 – 17 and $4,000 per dependent 18 and over.
If the family has more than four members, a $15,000 processing fee is charged for each additional dependent.
Option 4: Business Investment
Single person investment: An applicant makes an investment of at least $1,500,000 U.S. in an approved business.
Joint investment: At least two persons make a joint contribution of at least $5 million in an approved business and each of the investors contributes at least $400,000 U.S. to the joint investment.
Processing fees: $50,000 U.S. for a family of four or less and US$15,000 for each additional dependent.
Applications for Citizenship by Investment are submitted through approved agents.
Application staging and timeline.
1. The application is submitted. At that stage, 10 percent of the government processing fee and 100 percent of the due diligence fees are paid.
2. When the letter of approval from the government is issued 90 percent of the government processing fees, and 100 percent of passport fees as well as the full investment amount is made.
3. Citizenship certificate and passport are issued.
The whole processing of the citizenship application takes between three and six months.
The passport is granted for a five year validity period and after that it can be renewed. To renew after five years, you must have visited Antigua for five days.
If you are interested to learn more about Antigua Citizenship, there is an upcoming free seminar taking place on Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 at 1 PM Eastern Time. See here for details. My colleague Rachel Brown at Pace Law Firm is one of the presenters.
Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is an excellent second passport for American investors to have, particularly for those who are considering a “Plan B” for their lives.