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Citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda: an interview with an insider

How can you acquire second citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda by investment? Technically, the answer is simple: you have to have a spotless reputation, sufficient investment capital, and be in good health. However, there are nuances and little details that only licensed immigration agents are aware of. They are in direct contact with the local government officials and they keep track of all the changes in the immigration legislation that frequently occur. If you would like to obtain the most up-to-date information about the possibility of becoming a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda for money, we recommend that you read on as below you will find excerpts from a recent interview with an Antiguan immigration service official.

Гражданство Антигуа

Antigua and Barbuda is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The islands are often referred to as ‘paradise on earth’ as they boast endless white sand beaches washed by the sky-blue sea and lush tropical forests.

The nice looks, however, is not the only thing that the country is famous for. Rich culture, eventful history, friendly locals – all these factors also attract tourists to Antigua and Barbuda. The islands are especially popular with North Americans spending their honeymoons there. Besides, it is a wonderful recreational place for those who have some health issues. Moreover, the country is a world center of crypto technologies development as well as a financial and business center.

The islands serve as a safe haven not only to the luxury yachts that like to dock in modern marinas but also for wealthy people seeking to protect their capital and use the advantages of the beneficial tax regime that Antigua and Barbuda offers.

Some of the homeowners buy property in the country in order to hide away from overly curious journalists and too much public interest. We are talking about celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Erick Clapton, and Giorgio Armani who have houses on the islands.

On top of that, Antigua and Barbuda has one of the most attractive citizenship-by-investment programs in the Caribbean and beyond. The passport of the country gives the holder visa-free (or visa-on-arrival) access to 165 jurisdictions including Hong Kong, Singapore, Great Britain, and Schengen zone countries.

Recently, the program has become even more attractive. Notwithstanding the global lockdown and total self-isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) keeps on working without stop. The September issue of The Citizen of Antigua and Barbuda magazine contains an interview with a CIU officer who reports about the latest achievements that the Unit has made over the recent months. The interview is quite long so we are giving only the gist of the story here.


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Question: What was going on with the Antiguan citizenship-by-investment program during the first half of this year?

Answer: The global lockdown has had a serious impact on all aspects of life in the country. It has affected the economic citizenship program too. However, our citizenship-by-investment program remains quite popular in the world.

The CIU has remained fully functional and fully accessible all throughout the lockdown times and we have introduced new digital platforms that simplify the process of filing applications for citizenship. The response to these innovations has been positive on the part of both existing and prospective clients. They welcome the changes and this has led to the increase in the number of new applications for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda. The inflow of applications has not become any smaller.  

Question: The CIU has digitalized the process of filing applications for citizenship to a large extent. What exactly does the digitalization imply and what are the results that it has brought about?

Answer: The CIU started the transition to online application submission in the second half of 2019. We launched an Internet portal that allows the immigration agents to download, send, and track the application documents on behalf of their clients.

We used a control group to test the portal at the beginning of 2020 and the responses from the users allowed us to fine-tune the software and start using the application on a large scale in March 2020.

The CIU has simplified the process of submitting the applications for citizenship, changed the types of the required documents as well as the document submission schedule. This has been done with the view of the limitations on transboundary movements that have affected courier services too. The application submission process has been broken down into several stages and the immigration agents have been notified of the documents required to complete each stage.

The new level of flexibility and the digital technologies that we apply now have allowed us to shorten the application processing time considerably. In most cases, it takes six weeks less now to process an application for Antiguan citizenship than it did before.

Question: What other changes has the citizenship-by-investment program seen over the recent months?  

Answer: We are improving the existing instruments and introducing some new ones. In particular, a new immigration route has been made available in 2020. Now a foreign national can qualify for Antiguan citizenship if he or she invests at least US$ 200,000 into government-approved real property in the country.

There also was a limited-time offer that provided for an opportunity to make a joint investment into real property located in Antigua and Barbuda. The option allowed two independent individuals to acquire citizenship of the country by making a four-hundred thousand joint investment into a piece of property, each of them investing two hundred thousand. Now this opportunity has lost the ‘limited-time offer’ status and turned into a permanent opportunity.

In addition to that, the owners of real estate who have already acquired Antiguan citizenship by investment can feel more relaxed now, as the opportunity to resell the property after five years has now been explicitly declared in the immigration legislation.

The feedback from the immigration agents has made it clear that the administrative fees that each immigration route implies should be made equal. Now three of the four immigration routes require payment of US$ 30,000 as the administration fee. The fourth route – the possibility to acquire Antiguan citizenship by donating to the University of the West Indies (UWI) fund – does not require payment of the administrative fee as the donation covers the fee.

As far as the ‘black list’ of countries is concerned, it has also been changed as Iraq has been scratched off the list. Besides, people who were born in blacklisted countries are now eligible to apply for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on the condition that they have resided in a ‘clean’ jurisdiction for at least ten years (all other conditions remain in force).

Question: Has the geography of the applicants for Antiguan citizenship (the countries where the applications come from) changed over the recent months?

Answer: The pandemic made people reconsider their priorities and now security is valued more than ever. Many people are now looking for safe and sparsely populated places in order to relocate there with their families.

Consequently, we are experiencing a growth in the number of applications submitted by residents of African countries, Southwest Asia, and the Middle East. Free access to 165 countries has always been a serious advantage that the Antiguan passport brings so this interest of the people from Africa and Asia is understandable. At the same time, we keep receiving applications for citizenship from the countries where the Antiguan citizenship-by-investment program has been traditionally popular.

Question: Does the current situation in the world have any bearing on the reasons why people apply for foreign citizenship?

Answer: The level of mobility that the Antiguan passport brings has always been a factor that determines the interest to the program on the part of foreign nationals. As the knowledge about the program is spreading around the world, more and more people grow interested in acquiring the wonderful passport of Antigua and Barbuda. They see the real advantages that the passport brings.

Our potential clients are impressed by the Antiguan Government’s success in fighting the COVID-19. In addition, they appreciate the measures taken to modernize and improve medical service in the country.

Besides, the Government has demonstrated interest in promoting higher education in Antigua and Barbuda by opening a University of the West Indies campus last year. The potential holders of Antiguan passports are inspired by the fact that they can contribute to the benign purpose of the development of the educational system and become citizens of Antigua and Barbuda via donating to the UWI fund.

Question: What would be your advice to the people who feel insecure with their home country passports during these troubled times?

Answer: If you are a lucky holder of the Antiguan passport, very few things can make you feel insecure even in the times characterized by unpredictability and uncertainty.

If you are residing in the safe and carefree Caribbean region, you can be feel that you and your family members are well-protected due to the security measures taken in Antigua and Barbuda, the advanced healthcare system, the stable infrastructural environment, and wide opportunities for remote work and/ or virtual communication with people located in other parts of the world.

All Antiguan citizens who currently find themselves in foreign countries can return to Antigua and Barbuda and enjoy the safety that their home country guarantees. Those who have not applied for Antiguan citizenship yet can use the online platform to file an application straight away and join the group of Antiguan passport holders.

Question: In conclusion, what are the main advantages of becoming a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda?

Answer: Antigua and Barbuda offer a variety of investment options. In addition to the mobility that the Antiguan passport brings, every category of applicants will find something valuable especially for them. Entrepreneurs are going to enjoy the opportunities for growing and developing their businesses under the attractive taxation conditions. Those who want to have a nice place to stay in the Caribbean paradise will also find wonderful houses, suites, and apartments in Antigua and Barbuda.

In addition to that, the country offers a safe and healthy habitat, high-quality education, world-level healthcare, sunny beaches with pearl-white sand, and friendliness of the local people. You can find a place in paradise and call it your home. Why wait any longer! Apply for Antiguan citizenship right now!

Professional consultations for prospective citizens of Antigua and Barbuda

Thirty-eight years ago, in 1982, less than a year after Antigua and Barbuda had become independent from Great Britain, the Government started designing a national legislation that would be inviting for foreign investors. Today, Antigua and Barbuda is one of the most popular tourist destinations and besides, the financial industry is well developed there.

Currently, wealthy people can find multiple instruments in the country that allow protecting and growing their capitals and acquiring high returns on investments.

One of such instruments is the national citizenship-by-investment program. Please contact our immigration experts by email, live chat or WhatsApp to find out more about the program details. Our team will analyze your case, work out a personalized strategy with the view of your goals and desires and we will then support you at every stage of Antiguan citizenship acquisition. Now is the right time to build a safety net for yourself and your family!

What is the best time to visit Antigua and Barbuda?

The best time to visit the islands is between the middle of December and the middle of April. This is the high season in the country and many people go there to leave the grey winter sky behind and escape from the cold. Visiting Antigua in May and June will also be a good idea.

What is the cost of living in Antigua and Barbuda?

You have to realize that the prices in the Caribbean basin are rather high because many goods have to be imported. The transportation costs also add to the ultimate prices considerably. At the same time, the general cost of living in Antigua and Barbuda is approximately 20% lower than that in North America and Western Europe. For example, the monthly rent of an apartment with multiple bedrooms is about US$ 2,500 in an expensive district and about US$ 2,100 in a standard neighborhood. Smaller apartments cost twice as little to rent. 

Is it dangerous to live in Antigua and Barbuda?

The country is considered one of the safest tourist destinations in the Caribbean basin. However, you should not forget about common sense when visiting Antigua and Barbuda and stay on the watch-out. Violent crimes seldom happen there but seldom does not mean never. A few cases of rape and robbery are registered every year. Minor crimes such as pickpocketing can hardly be totally eliminated so you had better keep your wallet in a safe place while walking around the islands

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