Antigua and Barbuda make up part of the Leeward Islands group in the Northeast Caribbean and the notoriously easy going lifestyle typical in the Caribbean has definitely become part of the way of life. The islands cover just 170 sq. miles and offer the tranquility and luxury that this part of the world is now famous for.
Antigua is fairly famous, but Barbuda is less well known. The island of Barbuda is situated 40km north of Antigua, its 8km long beach is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The coastal waters are rich in ocean life, with all types of crustaceans and tropical fish. This island boasts beautiful deserted beaches and heavily wooded interior abounding in bird-life, wild pigs and fallow deer.
The main leisure activities are water sports and nature watching, with much of the country attracting rare species of wildlife. As tourism is the main industry there are many attractions and resorts which are designed for temporary visitors. The country has a tropical maritime climate which helps to bring in visitors all year round and makes the islands attractive to those who wish to move more permanently to a warmer climate.
The good thing about having 365 beaches to choose from within 108 square miles…is you can always find an empty one all to yourself. Visitors to the island enjoy the peace and tranquility of the surrounding seas, but the beach is only the beginning of what Antigua and Barbuda has to offer.
Antigua, the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands, is about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide. And its capital, St John’s is a melting pot of architectural styles, and shops and restaurants can be found in either new complexes or beautiful brightly colored 19th century Caribbean buildings.
The fascinating little island of Barbuda—once a scavenger’s paradise because so many ships wrecked on its reefs—is now home to one of the region’s most significant bird sanctuaries. Barbuda, a flat coral island with an area of only 68 square miles, lies approximately 30 miles due north. The nation also includes the tiny (0.6 square mile) uninhabited island of Redonda, now a nature preserve
The easy-going, English-speaking people who call Antigua and Barbuda home have a reputation for humor and hospitality and a no problem attitude to life. Visitors to the shore rarely want to leave and are usually planning to return even before they take off.
After a brief description of the islands, let me tell you that you can be more than a simple tourist in the paradise and why you should apply for citizenship and make a live as the country has some appealing investment programs.
Antigua and Barbuda has an Investor Citizenship program which enables one to acquire direct citizenship of the country without any complicated residency requirements.
Benefits of having a citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda:
Hassle-free movement through the Caribbean CARICOM countries
There are three investment options offered by Antigua and Barbuda Investor Citizenship Program:
Investment in National Development Fund:
The National Development Fund (NDF) is a non-profit fund which was set up in 2006 to run government projects, private-public partnerships and other government approved charitable investments. An investor can acquire citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda by investing a minimum amount of US $250,000 in the NDF.
Through such an investment citizenship can be acquired by the investor, his/her spouse, any dependent children and dependent parents above 65 years of age, without any further investment requirements.
Investment in Real Estate
Another option for acquiring citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda is to invest a minimum amount of US $400,000 in real estate property in the country. Such an investment must be made in officially-approved real estate only.
A joint investment can also be done wherein two or more applicants can jointly apply for citizenship, provided that each applicant makes a minimum investment of $400,000.
The applicant cannot sell or dispose of the property bought under this option for a period of five years. This is allowed only if the applicant buys an alternative real estate property approved by the government and which meets the permissible investment criteria for acquisition of citizenship by investment in Antigua and Barbuda.
Investment in Business
Investors can also acquire citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda by investing in a business approved by the Citizenship by Investment Unit. There are two ways in which investors can use this option:
- Make a minimum investment of $1,500,000 in an approved business
- Make a joint investment application with one or more persons in an approved business where the total minimum investment should be a sum of $5 million. In such an investment, each applicant should contribute at least $400,000.
The application process for all options stated above requires the investor to obtain an application form from a locally authorized agent licensed by the Citizenship by Investment Unit of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. The completed application form should be submitted along with necessary documents and payment of requisite due diligence fees and 10% of the total government processing fee. The application will be processed by the agency implementing the program within three months of submission.
A Certificate of Registration of Citizenship will be issued to the successful applicants and all eligible dependents.
In order to get the passport, the investor should submit an application along with necessary documents and the Certificate of Registration of Citizenship.
The investor applicant must take the oath or affirmation of allegiance when he/she first visits Antigua and Barbuda. However this requirement can also be fulfilled at an embassy or high commission in the investor’s country of residence.
Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programs
The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program provides investors along with their family members, direct, quick, qualification for citizenship through investment. An applicant can make a donation, invest in a business, or purchase real estate in Antigua and Barbuda.
Citizenship can be acquired by investors with:
A $400,000 USD investment, plus applicable fees, over five years in select government approved real estate. A $200,000 USD contribution, plus applicable fees, to the National Development Fund. A $1,500,000 USD investment, plus applicable fees, in a business. over 200 languages spoken.
If the applicant makes the required investments and meets the other requirements established in the Citizenship by Investment Act, the applicant and his family members (if they are part of the application) will become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda. In acquiring citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, the applicant will benefit not only from being able to establish himself with his family in Antigua and Barbuda but also from all the rights available to Antiguans and Barbudans.
Applicants must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and be willing to make an investment as per the regulation of the Act.
The applicant can include his dependents in his citizenship application. Dependents include:
- the spouse of the main applicant;
- a child of the main applicant or of the spouse who is less than eighteen years of age;
- a child of the main applicant or his or her spouse who is at least eighteen years and less than twenty-six years of age and who is in full time attendance at a recognized institution of higher learning and fully supported by the main applicant;
- a child of the main applicant or of the spouse of the main applicant who is at least eighteen years of age, who is physically or mentally challenged, and who is living with and fully supported by the main applicant; or
- parents and/or grandparents of the main applicant or his or her spouse above the age of sixty-five years living with and fully supported by the main applicant.Foreign nationals of all countries will be considered. There are no specific requirements related to minimum business experience or minimum assets. A due diligence inquiry will be conducted. The applicant and family members will have to provide a clear police certificate and medical report.An applicant would NOT be eligible for consideration if he or she:
- has not received a free pardon, has at any time previously been convicted in any country of an offence for which the maximum custodial penalty is in excess of six months imprisonment;
- has the subject of a criminal investigation;
- is a potential national security risk to Antigua and Barbuda or to any other country;
- is involved in any activity likely to cause disrepute to Antigua and Barbuda; or
- has been denied a visa to a country with which Antigua and Barbuda has visa-free travel and who has not subsequently obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial.
Citizenship can be acquired by investors through investments into the three aforementioned areas (real estate, National Development Fund, or business). Sussex offers turnkey solutions for the real estate investment option but can help assist clients who wish to pursue the other two options.
Antigua and Barbuda has some of the most desirable and highly sought after real estate locations in the Caribbean. The applicant who proceeds with the real estate investment option cannot dispose of the property or dispose of his shares in a company owning such real estate before the expiry of a period of five years, unless the applicant purchases another approved project whether directly, or through beneficiary ownership, for at least the minimum required investment.
Benefits of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programs:
Visa Free travel: Antigua and Barbuda has a visa free entry into 118 countries including the European Union Schengen member States for stays of up to 90 days without a visa. In addition, they can also travel to the countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and others visa-free.