Antigua and Barbuda is one of five Caribbean countries offering foreigners the opportunity to obtain Caribbean economic citizenship in exchange for investment. Having invested at least USD 100,000 in the Antiguan economy, any foreigner can get a very advanced second passport in less than six months. This document allows you to travel in the Schengen Area and the Caribbean Commonwealth (CARICOM) without visas, and guarantees visa-free access to Canada and the UK. It allows its holder to become a tax resident of the country without income tax, wealth, gift and capital gain taxes.
But there are other ways to obtain a second citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda. For example, the first step towards the coveted goal may be a little-known program for the residence permits provision that was launched some time ago and replaced the temporary residence provision program.
This naturalization mechanism is much slower than the economic citizenship program, but at the same time it requires little or no investment. The main thing is your desire and ability to settle in a potential new homeland for quite a long period of time before obtaining a Caribbean passport.
The residency program was launched by the local Department of Migration on the 15th of June 2016. Foreigners from the following categories can use it to obtain a residence permit in Antigua and Barbuda:
- Persons legally residing in Antigua and Barbuda for at least four (4) years immediately preceding the date of application;
- Persons married to a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and living together as spouses for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the application date.
The list of circumstances that the Antiguan authorities will take into account when assessing the overall eligibility of applicants for a residence permit includes the following:
- Health condition;
- Criminal record.
Successful applicants will be granted a residence permit of Antigua and Barbuda for a period of three years. It should be noted that under the previous program, temporary residence was granted for a period of two years.
The list of benefits that come with the residence permit of Antigua and Barbuda includes granting the applicant the right to settle, work or study in the Caribbean country. In addition, this status entitles a foreigner to tax residency in the Caribbean jurisdiction, which in turn opens up ample opportunities for tax planning.
However, holders of the Antiguan residence permits will lose this status in the following cases:
- If they stay outside Antigua and Barbuda for six months or more;
- In the case they commit a criminal offence in Antigua and Barbuda or elsewhere;
- If, for some reason, they are given a persona non grata status by the Cabinet of Ministers of Antigua and Barbuda.
An application for the Antiguan residence permit can only be submitted by appointment. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Department of Immigration.
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