National Development Fund
Real Estate Investment
Visa Free Travel
Antigua and Barbuda has raised more than U.S.$200 million since opening its doors to immigration investors in 2013, placing it as one of the top Caribbean CBI programs in 2017. Like its regional rivals, Antigua and Barbuda offer a donation-based CBI program that provides a quick route to a second passport, with almost no residency requirement for successful applicants — a combination that has drawn large numbers of “plan B” investors from China, Russia and the Middle East.
Facing stiff regional competition, the twin islands slashed the cost of their donation-based CBI program in 2017, reducing the price from U.S.$200,000 to U.S.$100,000 for a family of four, in a move that officials say is a temporary measure that will be reviewed in late 2018. Antigua also offers real-estate and enterprise CBI options, but heavily promotes its donation-based immigration options.
Since 1995, Antigua and Barbuda has offered a permanent residency program designed to encourage high net worth individuals to establish tax residency in the islands. To qualify, investors must maintain a permanent abode in Antigua and Barbuda, spend at least 30 days a year in Antigua and Barbuda, maintain an income of at least U.S.$100,000, and make a flat tax payment of U.S.$20,000 per year. In exchange, residents receive access to a highly favorable tax jurisdiction, with no worldwide income tax, no inheritance taxes, and no capital gains tax.
Applicants must work with licensed agents to prepare their applications, as agents prepare paperwork and serve as a point of contact with the Antiguan government throughout the process. Antigua and Barbuda require standard biographical documentation, including a police check, and officials pay close attention to the applicant’s financial records and sources of wealth when considering applications.
Donation-based applicants can expect to receive their passport in about 100 days, but real-estate and enterprise applications can take longer to adjudicate. For real-estate applications, applicants should first secure a binding purchase and sale agreement for an approved development project, conditional upon the approval of their CBI application. Once the application is approved, applicants complete their transaction, and provide documentation to the government to finalize the CBI process and receive their passport.
Successful applicants must take an oath of allegiance as soon as practicable in order to confirm their citizenship. This can either be done at overseas embassies or consular offices or can be done on the applicant’s first trip to Antigua while fulfilling their 5-day residency requirement.
Antigua’s passport allows visa-free travel to more than 150 countries and territories including Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.K., and the Schengen Area. The Antiguan passport is valid for five years but can be renewed if the holder has spent at least five days physically present in Antigua during the term of its validity.
Antigua and Barbuda rely on tourism to drive their GDP, and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma in 2017 has caused serious problems not just through its direct impacts, but also by leading fewer tourists to visit the islands. The islands have been independent from the UK since 1981, but still benefit from a parliamentary democratic political system and a stable, independent judiciary grounded in British common law. Despite the islands’ sunny weather and countless golden beaches, however, most CBI investors spend little or no time in Antigua and Barbuda, preferring to obtain their passports without traveling to the islands.
Antigua and Barbuda’s CBI program is fighting to maintain its position as one of the most popular Caribbean immigration investment initiatives — and in practical terms, that means lowering costs for investors. There are three pathways to an Antiguan passport:
Regardless of the investment pathway selected, all applicants must also pay due diligence fees pegged at U.S.$7,500 each for the applicant and their spouse, U.S.$2,000 for minor dependents aged 12-17 years, and U.S.$4,000 for each dependent aged 18 or older. There are no due diligence fees for children under the age of 12 years.
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