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Obtaining Citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda Through Investment

Becoming a Citizen of Antigua and Barbuda through Investment

Antigua and Barbuda, located in the sunny Caribbean, offers a citizenship by investment program that provides a pathway for high net worth individuals and families worldwide to obtain a second passport and citizenship. With its beautiful beaches, lush landscapes and welcoming island lifestyle, Antigua and Barbuda is an enticing option for those looking to invest in real estate or business opportunities in the Caribbean region. Its passport also offers increased global mobility to over 140 destinations.

This article provides an in-depth look at the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program, its requirements, application process, benefits and costs. It outlines the various investment options available and key considerations for prospective applicants.

Antigua and Barbuda Overview

Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation located where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of about 100,000, the islands were long known for their sugar cane production during colonial times. Today, tourism dominates the economy, accounting for over 60% of GDP. The main tourist markets are North America and Europe. The country enjoys political stability and actively encourages foreign investment.

The larger island of Antigua is known for its 365 white and pink sand beaches surrounded by clear blue waters. It offers an idyllic tropical paradise for travelers and second home buyers alike. Antigua’s international airport offers easy access to major cities in North America and Europe. Barbuda is a flatter island dominated by the Codrington Lagoon, popular for eco-tourism.

Citizenship by Investment Overview

Citizenship by Investment programs allow qualified investors to obtain citizenship by making a substantial economic contribution to a country. There are currently five active programs in the Caribbean.

The Antigua and Barbuda program was launched in 2013 as a means of supporting economic growth and development. It requires a minimum investment of $100,000 in the National Development Fund, purchasing real estate, starting a business, or donating to the University of the West Indies.

Benefits of the program include

  • Visa-free travel to over 140 destinations, including the UK, EU, Singapore and Hong Kong
  • Ability to pass on citizenship to future generations
  • No residency requirements
  • Attractive tax environment with no tax on worldwide income
  • Ability to add dependents after approval
  • Citizenship application includes family members

There are four different routes that you can choose from:

  1. National Development Fund Contribution – Minimum $100,000 non-refundable contribution
  2. Real Estate Investment – Minimum $200,000 investment in government approved projects
  3. Business Investment – Minimum $1.5 million for a single investor, or $400,000 in a $5 million+ joint investment
  4. Donation to the University of the West Indies – For families of 6+, minimum donation of $150,000

The Application Process

2 person writing up contract

Applications are submitted to the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) by authorized agents such as Global Citizen Solutions. Applicants do not deal directly with the CIU.

  • Select investment option & gather documentation
  • Complete application forms
  • Submit through agent
  • Approval in principle within 60-90 days
  • Make investment & provide confirmation
  • Take oath of allegiance to finalize

Approval time is typically 3-4 months. The process can be completed remotely with no requirement to visit Antigua and Barbuda until after citizenship is granted. The only travel requirement is that citizens must spend at least 5 days in the country during the first 5 years.

Visa-free destinations include the United Kingdom and the Schengen area of Europe. However, Antigua and Barbuda passport holders require a visa for the United States. Passports must be renewed every 5 years and then every 10 years. Citizenship is for life and can be passed on to future generations.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the Antigua and Barbuda program, the principal applicant must be

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have a clean criminal and health record
  • Make a qualifying investment
  • Have no economic ties to restricted countries (Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan)


Dependents such as a spouse and children under the age of 18 may be included in the application. Parents, grandparents and siblings may also be eligible.

Documentation includes identification, health and police records, birth/marriage certificates, proof of investment, and application forms. All documents must be properly notarized and translated if necessary.

Once approved, to complete the naturalization process, the applicant must sign an oath of allegiance in Antigua. Dual citizenship and multiple nationalities are permitted.

Investment Options

1. National Development Fund

This is the most common route with a minimum contribution of $100,000 for a single applicant. There is an additional $30,000 processing fee and $7,500 due diligence fee payable to the government. There are additional fees for additional family members.

The non-refundable contribution supports government-led projects that benefit the nation. There is no requirement to administer or monitor the investment.

2. Real Estate Investment

The Real Estate Option involves investing a minimum of $200,000 in a government-approved real estate project. Two applicants may each invest $200,000 for a joint qualifying investment. The property must be held for 5 years prior to resale.

This is an opportunity to invest in the Caribbean real estate market. However, resale restrictions should be considered. Applicants must work with developers experienced in getting projects approved for the Citizenship Program.

3. Business Investment

For a single investor, the minimum investment is $1.5 million in an approved business venture. For joint ventures, each investor must contribute a minimum of $400,000 for a total of $5 million.

The business must be approved by the government based on its ability to generate economic growth and employment. The investor is responsible for active management and control. This route is best suited for those with existing business interests in Antigua and Barbuda or the region.

4. University of the West Indies Fund

This option is for families of six or more with a minimum gift of $150,000. It provides a one-year scholarship for one dependent at the university. This may be a good option for large families seeking a cost effective citizenship.

Taxes in Antigua and Barbuda

A major benefit of Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is the attractive tax environment:

  • No personal income tax
  • No capital gains tax
  • No estate or inheritance taxes
  • Offshore companies can obtain tax-exempt status

The corporate income tax rate is 25% of net profits. There is a 15% sales tax on goods and services. Property tax is based on current market value. Non-residents are taxed only on locally earned income.

Pros and Cons of the Program

Pros
  • Visa-free travel to Schengen area, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore
  • No residency requirements
  • Low 5-day travel requirements
  • Cost effective for families
  • Allows dual citizenship
Cons
  • High fees compared to other Caribbean CBI programs
  • Restrictions on property resale
  • Susceptible to hurricanes
  • Not part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program

Why Use Global Citizen Solutions

Global globe and airplane

Global Citizen Solutions is a leading authorized agent specializing in Caribbean citizenship programs. Benefits of using their services include

  • 100% approval success rate to date
  • All-inclusive service includes document processing, application submission, and investment consulting
  • Multidisciplinary team provides coordinated legal, tax and investment advice
  • GDPR compliant and secure data management
  • Full transparency of fees and expenses

Their experts can facilitate every step, from assessing eligibility to collecting passport documents. They also offer a free initial consultation and due diligence assessment. Overall, using an authorized agent like Global Citizen Solutions can streamline the application process while ensuring full compliance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program offers high net worth individuals several attractive benefits. These include increased global mobility, a tropical second home destination, tax benefits and the ability to pass on citizenship. However, applicants should carefully weigh the costs and restrictions against other Caribbean programs before applying. Hiring an experienced authorized agent can maximize the chances of a smooth application process. For those looking for a fast track to alternative citizenship in a Caribbean paradise, this program may be worth considering.

What is the least expensive way to become a citizen of Antigua?

The cheapest option is to make a donation to the National Development Fund, with a minimum investment of $100,000 for an individual applicant.

How fast can I get citizenship in Antigua?

The typical processing time for an application is 3-4 months from submission to approval. The fastest approvals are within 60-90 days.

Do I have to live in Antigua to become a citizen?

No, there is no residency requirement before or after citizenship. You only need to visit for 5 days during the first 5 years.

Can I buy property instead of donating to get citizenship?

Yes, investing a minimum of $200,000 in approved real estate projects qualifies you for the program.

What are the benefits of an Antigua passport?

An Antigua passport allows visa-free travel to over 140 destinations worldwide, including the UK, EU, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Are Antigua passports for life?

Yes, citizenship is for life and can be passed on to future generations. Passports need to be renewed every 5-10 years.

Can I add family members at a later date?

Yes, you can add dependents such as a spouse or children after you have been approved for citizenship.

Is dual citizenship allowed?

Antigua and Barbuda allows dual citizenship, so you can keep your existing citizenship.

What taxes will I pay with Antigua citizenship?

There are no taxes on worldwide income, capital gains, wealth or inheritance. Some local taxes do apply.

Is the Antigua passport valid for travel?

The Antigua passport is ranked 59th in the world, with visa-free access to many key business and tourist destinations.

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