How to Get Citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda

Flag Of Antigua And Barbuda

Learning how to get citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda opens doors to opportunities, including enhanced global mobility and a tax-friendly environment. The nation’s Citizenship by Investment Program, established in 2012, offers a straightforward and efficient path for high-net-worth individuals seeking to acquire second citizenship through economic contributions. With options ranging from donations to real estate and business investments, the program is tailored to accommodate diverse applicants.

By completing the application process and passing the necessary due diligence, successful candidates can enjoy the privileges of an Antigua and Barbuda citizenship, such as visa-free travel to numerous destinations and the right to live and work in this tropical paradise.

Antigua And Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program

The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program was established in 2012, offering you and your family a way to obtain citizenship through economic contributions to the nation. If you’re a high-net-worth individual looking to expand your travel mobility and access to global markets, this program might be particularly appealing.

Once you’re successful, you’ll gain the right to live and work in Antigua and Barbuda, along with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to about 150 destinations, including the UK, the Schengen Area, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Investment Options

To qualify for citizenship under this program, you must be over 18 years old and can choose from several investment options. One of the most straightforward paths is a non-refundable contribution of at least USD 100,000 to the National Development Fund.

Alternatively, you might contribute a minimum of USD 150,000 to the University of the West Indies Fund. This option works well for families of six or more, as it includes processing fees and offers cost savings compared to other options.

Another avenue is investing in real estate, which requires a minimum purchase of USD 200,000 in approved property that must be held for a specified period.

For those interested in business investment, you’ll need to invest a minimum of USD 1.5 million directly into an eligible business as an individual. Or, you could make a joint investment with a total of at least USD 5 million, where each investor contributes no less than USD 400,000 foreign direct investment.

Application Process

The application process for the Antigua and Barbuda passport and Citizenship by Investment Program is designed to be straightforward and efficient, typically taking three to four months from submission to the issuance of a passport. The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), the government authority responsible for the program, oversees the processing of applications.

You’ll need to provide a range of documents, including:

  • A professional reference letter
  • A marriage certificate
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Medical certificate
  • Proof of investment

Once approved, you and your dependents aged 16 and older must attend a mandatory virtual interview. You can collect your passports in Antigua and Barbuda. You’re required to spend a minimum of five days in the country during the first five years of citizenship, ensuring you have a tangible connection to the country.

Due Diligence and Compliance

The CIU conducts rigorous due diligence checks to maintain the integrity of the program. The multi-tiered review process includes screening against international databases, such as INTERPOL’s Most Wanted list and the United Nations Al-Qaeda Sanctions List.

The process also involves detailed background checks by third-party due diligence service providers. The CIU works with regional and international partners, including the Joint Regional Communications Centre, which pre-screens passengers on behalf of CARICOM Member States and includes partners like the United States, the UK, Canada, and the European Union.

You must be transparent and truthful in your application. Any false statement or omission of relevant information can lead to the decline of your application. The program’s commitment to due diligence ensures that Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship is respected and valued internationally.

The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program provides a pathway to citizenship. It offers a host of benefits, such as the freedom to hold dual or multiple citizenship and a tax-friendly environment for those living abroad. It also offers a strong passport with extensive visa-free travel privileges. With its clear procedures and compliance commitment, the program is a compelling option for those seeking a second citizenship.

Aerial View Of Antigua And Barbuda

Preparing Your Citizenship Application

Gathering Necessary Documentation

You’ll need to compile a thorough set of documents, which serve as the foundation of your application. These include:

  • Identification
  • Medical certifications for you and your dependents
  • Evidence of your financial contribution – whether through a donation or investment in approved real estate or business initiatives.

It’s essential that all applicants and their dependents have no history of serious criminal offenses, are not under criminal investigation, or are considered a threat to national security. Additionally, a criminal record or having been denied entry to a country that allows Antigua and Barbuda citizens visa-free entry could affect the outcome of your application.

Background Checks and Clearance

The CIU’s comprehensive due diligence checks ensure that new citizens are of good character. Applicants must not engage in activities that could tarnish the reputation of Antigua and Barbuda or have financial connections to restricted nations unless under certain conditions, such as emigration before reaching adulthood or long-term residence in non-restricted countries.

Alternative Pathways to Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

Citizenship by Birth

Individuals born within the territory of Antigua and Barbuda typically acquire citizenship at birth. However, this does not apply to children of foreign diplomats or those whose parents hail from a nation not recognized by the government fees. For those born abroad, citizenship may still be claimed if they have a parent or grandparent who was a citizen at the time of the country’s independence in 1981 or if their parents are serving the government overseas.

Citizenship by Descent

Citizenship by descent is available to individuals born outside of the country after its independence, provided that at least one parent was a citizen of a restricted country at the time of their birth.

Citizenship by Marriage

Spouses of Antiguan and Barbudan citizens may apply for citizenship by registration after three years of marriage, provided they are living together. This provision also extends to those who were married to a citizen at the time of independence, given that the marriage had lasted for at least three years and the couple were not separated as of October 31, 1981.

The Constitution of 1981 permits the holding of dual citizenship, allowing individuals to maintain their original nationality while becoming citizens of Antigua and Barbuda.

Type Of Housing In Antigua And Barbuda

After Obtaining Citizenship

Passport Application and Renewal

After obtaining citizenship, applying for a passport is the next step. Since 2006, Antigua and Barbuda has issued machine-readable CARICOM passports. The application can be initiated at a local office and is then sent to the passport office in Antigua for issuance.

Applications can also be made during a stay in the country or through a designated local representative.

A new passport generally takes about eight weeks to process. An adult passport with 32 pages has a renewal fee of USD 90.00. In the event of loss or theft, the replacement cost is USD 180.00, which is also the fee for an expedited issue.

For a 64-page passport, renewal costs USD 150.00. In this case, the fee for a replacement or expedited issue is USD 300.00. Minors under 16 are charged USD 40.00 for renewal and USD 80.00 for a lost/stolen or emergency passport.

Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens

Citizenship confers a suite of rights and duties. The constitution ensures freedoms such as internal movement and the right to leave and return to the country. Citizens can freely associate, including the right to form and join independent unions, engage in collective bargaining, and conduct legal strikes. However, there are some limitations on striking. Employer discrimination against union members is illegal, and all forms of forced labor are criminalized.

The government upholds anti-discrimination laws. The judiciary operates independently, and citizens are guaranteed a fair public trial by jury.

There are avenues to seek civil remedies for human rights violations, including petitions to the High Court and the option to appeal to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Freedom of expression is upheld, with no government restrictions on internet access or content censorship. The rights to peaceful assembly and association are also generally upheld.

Dual Citizenship Considerations

Understanding the implications of holding citizenship in more than one country is essential. While Antigua and Barbuda recognizes dual citizenship without requiring renunciation of another nationality, it’s important to be cognizant of the laws and obligations of your other country, such as military service, taxation, and voting rights.

Although the legal system in Antigua and Barbuda ensures equality and protection against discrimination, it does not have specific provisions for dual nationals. As such, dual citizens should remain informed about the legal requirements of both nations to ensure compliance.

Island Beachfront Of Antigua And Barbuda

Benefits Of Antigua And Barbuda Citizenship

Minimum Residency Requirements

The program’s minimal residency requirement is a significant advantage. You are only required to reside in the country after obtaining citizenship. However, to maintain your status, a brief visit of five days within the first five years is expected, providing an opportunity to explore the nation’s culture and landscapes.

Inclusion Of Family Members

Your application can encompass not only your spouse and children up to the age of 30 but also parents over 55 and unmarried siblings of any age. This inclusive approach ensures that the advantages of citizenship are available to your wider family, providing them with security and the potential for a better future.

Visa Free Travel

The passport grants you and your family visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a multitude of countries and territories, enhancing your global mobility for various purposes, including business and leisure.

Investing In A Secure Country

Choosing to invest in this citizenship is also a commitment to a nation recognized for its political stability and adherence to democratic values. The country’s consistent efforts to maintain a stable and free society provide assurance that your investment is placed in a secure environment.

Embark on Your New Journey

Securing citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda through investment represents not merely a transaction but the beginning of a new chapter. It’s a step towards a future filled with the promise of freedom, opportunity, and a life embraced by the warmth and beauty of this Caribbean haven. The clear-cut and refined process reflects the nation’s commitment to quality and integrity, qualities mirrored in the lifestyle and communities you are poised to join.

With expert guidance, the path to your new citizenship can be smooth and free from undue complexities. At Next Generation Equity, we champion your aspirations, ensuring that every detail is addressed with the utmost care to pave your way forward. We invite you to begin this transformative journey, knowing it will open doors to a world rich in possibilities for you and your loved ones.

Housing And Waterway In Antigua And Barbuda

FAQs

Is Antigua Citizenship Worth It?

Antigua citizenship offers several attractive benefits, including visa-free travel to 150 countries, encompassing the Schengen Area, the UK, Singapore, and South Korea, with 30 to 180 days, depending on the country. The country’s Citizenship by Investment Program also allows for family inclusion, providing a feasible option for big families seeking citizenship together. Investments can be recouped when choosing real estate or business investment routes, as these can be sold after five years, potentially at a profit, given the rising property values on the island.

Tax optimization is another significant perk, with no personal income, inheritance, or capital gains taxes for residents. The process is relatively swift, taking about 3 to 6 months, and does not require physical presence in Antigua and Barbuda for application, making it a convenient option for many. However, weighing these benefits against the non-refundable nature of some investment options and the requirement to spend five days in the country within the first five years of obtaining citizenship​​​​is important.

Can I Get Dual Citizenship in Antigua?

Yes, Antigua and Barbuda allows for dual citizenship, enabling individuals to maintain their current nationality alongside their Antiguan citizenship. This flexibility is a significant advantage for many applicants. However, checking whether your home country permits dual citizenship is essential, as some countries do not​​.

How Do I Get Permanent Residency in Antigua?

Permanent residency in Antigua is typically separate from citizenship and involves different criteria and applications. The Citizenship by Investment Program is focused on providing citizenship rather than residency. For permanent residency, individuals usually need to demonstrate a sustained period of living in the country, among other requirements, which differ from those for citizenship by investment.

How Long Does It Take to Get Citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda?

The process for obtaining citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda through the Citizenship by Investment Program is relatively quick, with applications generally processed within 3 to 6 months. This expedited timeline is one of the program’s attractive features, offering a faster route to citizenship compared to many other countries​​.

How Much Is Citizenship by Investment in Antigua?

The Citizenship by Investment in Antigua and Barbuda offers several investment options, starting from a USD 100,000 donation to the National Development Fund for a single applicant. Other options include a real estate investment starting at USD 200,000, a USD 150,000 contribution to the University of the West Indies Fund for families of six or more, and business investments starting from USD 400,000. Besides the investment, applicants must also cover a USD 30,000 state fee and additional due diligence fees starting at USD 7,500. The cost varies depending on the chosen investment route, and the number of family members included in the application​​.

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Author:
Rihab Saad

Managing Director
Next Generation Equity

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