Antigua and Barbuda Investors Residency & Citizenship Solutions
Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship for investors programme is one of the best in the world and provides the holder with a number of benefits. There are a few additional requirements for an investor to secure citizenship unlike other programmes beyond making an investment that will benefit the local economy. In exchange, citizenship and a second passport for Antigua and Barbuda.
Second citizenship’s by investment in Antigua is no longer the preserve of the few. Second Citizenship by Investment programmes are now the fastest growing area of immigration law globally as people come to realise residency and a second Citizenship is not just desirable but, a vital part of any effective global freedom, privacy and security strategy. Antigua and Barbuda offer one of the world’s leading second citizenship programmes for investors.
We are experts in the niche area Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment. Our team strive to provide the most suitable solution to meet our client’s requirements to ensure they can secure Antigua Citizenship under the current Antigua and Barbuda immigration policies for investors quickly and easily.
Antigua and Barbuda Investor Visas
The citizenship-by-investment program requires a person to make a significant economic contribution to the country. The applicants and their families are granted citizenship in exchange, subject to a stringent application procedure, including thorough background checks.
To qualify for citizenship, the person must be over 18 years of age, meet the application requirements and select one of the following three options available:
- an investment of at least USD 400,000 into one of the approved real estate projects; such assets cannot be disposed of within five years or before the proposed development in which the investment has been substantially completed
- a contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF) of a minimum non-refundable amount of USD 200,000 (for a single applicant)
- an investment of a minimum of USD 1,500,000 directly into an eligible business as a sole investor or a joint investment involving at least two persons in a qualified business totalling at least USD 5,000,000, and each of those persons invest at least USD 400,000
Under each of these options, there are government processing fees of USD 50,000 for the principal applicant plus additional government processing fees of USD 50,000 for the spouse, any dependent child of 18 to 25 years of age and any dependant parent over the age of 65 years, as well as USD 25,000 for each dependent child under 18 years of age.
Government processing fees and due diligence fees apply to all three options.
The NDF is a non-profit foundation established for, inter alia, supporting enterprises.
The NDF is governed by the provisions of the Finance and Administration Act, which stipulates that a public officer should administer a particular fund. These funds will not be combined with the Government’s consolidated funds and will only be utilised for the specific purposes above. The citizenship-by-investment program will be subject to six-monthly reporting, which will be published and presented to the House of Representatives no later than 30 days following the completion of the report.
The programme allows for a dependant between 18 to 25 years to be included in the principal applicant’s application if the dependant is a full-time student at a recognised higher learning institution and is financially dependent on the principal applicant. The programme allows parents and grandparents over the age of 65 if living with the principal applicant.
The principal applicant and their dependents will become ineligible if they have not received a free pardon or have previously been convicted in any country of an offence for which the maximum custodial penalty is more than six months imprisonment. The Regulations further provide that a person who has been denied a visa to a country with which Antigua and Barbuda has a visa-free travel arrangement and has subsequently not obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial shall not be entitled to apply under the program. A person who is deemed a potential national security risk, a reputational risk or is subject to a criminal investigation will also be denied citizenship.
The Benefits of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship
In 2009, the Antigua and Barbuda Government signed a visa waiver agreement with the EU, allowing an Antigua and Barbuda citizen to visit the Schengen countries without a visa for three months within the date of first entry into any EU country.
The Antigua and Barbuda passport is a good travel document for many international individuals. With an Antigua and Barbuda passport, a citizen can travel to approximately 130 countries worldwide, including Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK and Europe, with relative ease and without challenging visa requirements.
Full citizenship with a passport is granted to the applicant and family, and there are no restrictions whatsoever, not even on voting, subject to meeting the standard voter registration criteria. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the Commonwealth, which entitles Antigua and Barbuda citizens to certain privileges in the UK and other Commonwealth countries.
Procedures and Timeframes
The government authority responsible for administering the program, the Citizenship-by-Investment Unit (CIU), is responsible for the processing of all applications. The CIU examines the application thoroughly and, if deemed necessary, may request the applicant to attend an interview.
The CIU undertakes strict due diligence checks and will decline an application if the applicant makes a false statement or omits any relevant information in the application.
The applicant must apply on the prescribed government forms, which can only be submitted through an Agent who is the holder of a Citizenship-by-Investment program licence granted under the Regulations.
The applicant must complete the form in English personally and submit the prescribed forms together with original or certified supporting documentation as specified by the Government.
The documentary requirements of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship-by-Investment program are reasonable, and the procedures are pretty straightforward. It is recommended that investors visit the Islands before making a decision on the purchase of real estate. Once the application is approved, passports can be collected in Antigua and Barbuda or the applicant may attend an Embassy or the office of any High Commission or Consulate to take the oath or affirmation of allegiance.
It is estimated that the process will take between three and four months from the application submission to the issuance of the passport, assuming there are no areas of concern with the application. The Regulations specify that within three months of applying, the CIU shall notify the licensed agent that the application has been approved, denied or delayed for cause and is still being processed.
Under the real estate option, the timeframe may vary depending upon the project. Therefore, it is important to select a real estate project that is able to provide the necessary paperwork required from the developer for the citizenship application.
If the real estate option is selected, an applicant needs to be aware of the investment potential, financial strength, track record and reputation of the developer before committing to the property. Once the applicant has chosen their preferred real estate, a sales and purchase contract is signed, usually conditional upon the person receiving citizenship. After the Government approves, the real estate purchase is completed, and the ownership title is transferred to the buyer. Applicants under the real estate option should also ascertain from the developer whether there are additional purchase and closing costs and the amount of those costs before entering into any purchase contract.
Within 30 days of notification of approval, the applicant shall pay the balance of the processing fees and:
|1.||deposit the required contribution into the National Development Fund; or|
|2.||complete and execute all necessary documents and pay the purchase price and all required disbursements to enable the title to be registered in the applicant’s name and allow for the implementation of the proposed real estate investment per the guidelines established by the CIU; or|
|3.||complete and execute all necessary documentation for the payment or investment of all sums due to the implementation of the proposed investment in a business per the guidelines established by the CIU|
Your Grant of Citizenship
The citizen must visit an Embassy, Consular Office or High Commission of Antigua and Barbuda to enable the physical collection of the passport and swear an oath or affirmation of allegiance. The passport will be valid for five years and is renewable. During this time, the holder must spend 5-days per year onshore.
A six-monthly report, including applications made, granted and refused, along with statistical data, will be provided to parliament per the Citizenship-by-Investment Act.
An Antigua and Barbuda citizen is entitled to reside in Antigua and Barbuda at any time.
There are no restrictions on dual citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda.
Taxation in Antigua and Barbuda
There are no capital gains or inheritance taxes in Antigua and Barbuda. Personal income tax was abolished effective April 2016. Individuals who have their permanent residence in the country or are present for at least 183 days a year will qualify as residents of Antigua and Barbuda. Persons will not be taxed on worldwide income if holding citizenship and are not residents in Antigua and Barbuda. Individuals who are in the country temporarily will only be taxed on income arising in or derived from Antigua and Barbuda. However, proposed amendments to Part 111, Section 5 of the Income Tax Act will change taxation on worldwide income to taxation limited to locally sourced income.
The business and corporate tax rate is 25% of net profits. However, attractive concessions are available to all qualifying companies, such as a tax holiday on profits for up to 20-years and an import/export customs duty waiver.
A sales tax similar to VAT is applicable at a standard rate of 15%, which is levied on local consumption. Some exemptions exist, and transitional rates apply to certain areas, i.e. 10.5% or 12.5% for hotel and holiday accommodation. Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) was introduced in 2007 and replaced several other taxes. The current threshold for business registration under ABST is an annual turnover of EC$300,000 (although other variables also apply, so this is an approximate figure).
Property tax is levied on all properties. The taxable value is based upon the property’s current market value construction replacement cost, with the applicable tax rate dependent upon the classification of the property (residential or commercial).
Booking a Consultation
Complete our online enquiry form, and one of our senior managers will arrange a confidential consultation to discuss your requirements and potential options.
At Sterling Migration, our team are ready to manage even the most complex of cases. Our thesis, however, is to keep things as simple as possible. We believe our clients must be comfortable and remain in control of their international plans throughout the process. We can also explore other options for residency and citizenship by investment. A radically different yet popular choice today is the investment visa offered by Australia. We are happy to view various possibilities when we speak.