Citizenship by investment is a method of getting a second passport and citizenship to another country through investing in its economy. It is one of the fastest legitimate ways to get permanent residency status, particularly in the Caribbean.
While this method of acquiring second citizenship mostly appeals to business- and travel-minded people, it can also be a viable option for those looking to relocate their family. In this article, you will learn the inner workings of Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment (CIP), including the methods of investment and the benefits it can offer to the entire family.
How to Acquire Antigua Citizenship: A Brief
You can become an economic citizen of the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda three ways: by contributing to the National Development Fund (NDF), making a real estate investment, or putting money into an approved business venture.
Established in 2006 under the country’s Finance Administration Act, the NDF is a fund gathered to pay for government-sanctioned programs and projects that will benefit all legal residents in the nation. It covers both public-private partnerships as well as charitable investments approved by the government.
To ensure complete transparency, the NDF is overseen by the parliament and is required to provide a report of their projects and progress every six months. It is also under the scrutiny of an international accounting firm that audits its cash flow.
Making the NDF contribution is very straightforward; you only need to make a one-time donation of at least US$100,000 on a single application. The best part is that this amount already covers the applicant’s family with a maximum of four members, including a legal spouse, dependent children (both biological and legally adopted), and dependent parents (aged 59 years old and above).
It is worth noting, however, that the amount does not include due diligence, government fees or licensed agent fees. Processing fees are pegged at US$25,000 for a family with four members or less, with an additional US$15,000 for each additional dependent. You must be represented by a licensed government agent in your application.
Real Estate Investment
When you’re planning to move to Antigua with your family, you might need to have a place to stay in. This is where real estate investments can prove to be more beneficial.
To qualify for this method, you need to invest at least US$400,000 in an officially approved real estate property. Under this citizenship by investment option, a family of four or less would also need US$50,000 to cover government processing fees. And, as with NDF donations, a family with five or more members needs to prepare and an additional US$15,000 for every subsequent dependent.
Take note that the contribution amount can also be reduced through joint investments. The only condition is that each applicant must contribute a minimum of US$400,000 in the same real estate property.
In Antigua and Barbuda, you can also choose to invest in a business venture to become an economic citizen in the country. However, you must pick a business to invest in wisely because not all companies are sanctioned by the government for the CIP.
Before investing in a company, be sure to check whether the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) have approved an existing or proposed business to be part of the citizenship by investment program. On top of that, you should also know that there are two investment options under this method:
- An approved business venture with at least US$1,500,000 from a single applicant
- A joint investment made by two or more people with a minimum total of US$ 5,000,000. Like real estate investments, each person should also contribute a minimum of US$400,000 each for partnerships.
Moving to another country with the entire family is a major decision to make. Aside from preparing everyone for the big change in their lives, you’ll also need to consider what the new country you’ll be moving to can provide that your original home cannot.
In this aspect, Antigua and Barbuda has three main offerings, including:
Expanded Travel Opportunities
A family that travels together, stays together.
If your family travels frequently, a passport from Antigua and Barbuda can help reduce the hassle – not to mention the expenses – of getting each member a visa for every country you visit. This is because Antigua citizenship can serve as your visa-free pass to more than 140 countries, including China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the Schengen area.
Sense of Security
When looking for a new home, one of your top priorities should be your family’s security. With economic citizenship from Antigua and Barbuda, you and your family will get to experience living in a peaceful and economically stable nation. For most families, this kind of assurance is priceless.
Access to World-class Healthcare, Education and Lifestyle
Obtaining Antigua and Barbuda citizenship can also open a door for your family to gain access to good healthcare and education. Since the benefits of CIP extend to the main applicant’s dependents, you can rest assured that your spouse’s and children’s futures are secure.
Know Your Options
When you’re moving your entire family to a new country, the smart move would be to know what you stand to gain before taking the first step of the application process. Searching through the Internet for the latest citizenship by investment news is a good way to start. Use this article to help you decide whether moving to Antigua and Barbuda is the right choice for your family.
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean, North America and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.