In the eighties and nineties passport sale scandals rocked countries like Belize, Dominica, Grenada and Costa Rica, and the citizenship by investment industry was largely unformed, unknown and unregulated. Today, by contrast, the sector is an established part of the economic landscape and has secured a better reputation with enhanced respectability.
According to a 2017 survey published by CS Global Partners, 89% of Britons would like to own a second passport and approximately 34% said they had looked into a scheme that would let themobtain one. Should any type of social, political or economic unrest unfold in one’s home country, a Plan B is the most secure way to protect family and finances. Eliminating the time consuming process of applying and reapplying for visas, while gaining various benefits offered by other nations, dual citizenship offers a greater level of freedom and mobility. The global market in citizenship by investment programmes – or CIPs as they are commonly known – is booming. Many nations around the world offer CIP packages, but the differences in the investment required varies wildly. The Caribbean has always been a popular destination among holidaymakers, and the appeal to the 3,000 millionaires who moved there in 2017 seems obvious.However, there’s more to these beautiful islands than sun, sea and sand – and that’s what makes Antigua and Barbuda so popular with global investors. Favoured over St. Kitts for exclusivity and reputation, Antigua and Barbuda is a popular destination for celebrities purchasing holiday houses, boosting real estate values and it is also one of the world’s more sought after options for second citizenship. In today’s volatile global environment, the value of certainty and security cannot be underestimated, and Antigua and Barbuda, an independent state in the Eastern Caribbean, known as the land of 365 beaches, offers an ideal geographic position. Just three hours from Miami and eight hours from London, the positioning provides the ultimate relocation destination alongside a luxurious lifestyle.
The Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program is ranked #1 in the Caribbean by the Global Residence and Citizenship Program Report (GRCP) 2017–2018. This tropical utopia is home to almost 90,000 people, and with a straightforward, transparent application process and a fast turnaround, it’s no wonder that the number of submissions is steadily increasing. An Antigua and
Barbuda passport is a coveted one for numerous reasons.It provides exceptional global mobility, offering visa-free access to approximately 150 destinations including the UK, Europe’s Schengen area, Singapore and Hong Kong. In 2009, the Antigua and Barbuda government signed a visa waiver agreement with the EU which allows an Antigua and Barbuda citizen to visit the Schengen countries without a visa for a period of three months within any six month period following the date of first entry into any EU country. There is a stable political
environment and an attractive tax regime, with no capital gains or inheritance taxes. Personal income tax was abolished effective April 2016, and the corporate tax rate is 25% with a generous 50-year exemption programme for IBCs. The Antigua & Barbuda government allows citizens to hold dualcitizenship, and the acquisition of citizenship is not reported to other countries.
Foreign investment has contributed to the rapid development of the economy, resulting in Antigua and Barbuda having one of the highest GDPs per capita in the sub-region. The quickest way to gain citizenship is to invest in a business, a real estate project, or the National Development Fund (NDF) of Antigua and Barbuda. The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Act was passed in April
2013 and gave jurisdiction to the Citizenship by Investment Unit, and by 2017 global leaders in residence and citizenship planning Henley & Partners ranked Antigua and Barbuda as the Caribbean’s best CIP destination.
There are four investment levels to apply for citizenship, and these investment possibilities gives you choice over how and where to invest.
- A contribution of US$200,000 to the NDF. Until 31st October 2019, there is a Limited Time Offer. The threshold for the NDF option has been reduced by 50% from US$200,000 to US$100,000 for a family of up to four persons, and from US$250,000 to US$125,000 for a family of five and over
- An investment of at least US$400,000 into one of the approved real estate projects and to be held for a minimum period of 5 years. Until 31st October 2019, there is a Limited Time Offer. Two applications from related parties can make a joint investment, with each applicant investing a minimum of US $200,000
- An investment of a minimum of US$1,500,000 directly into an eligible business as a sole investor or a joint investment involving at least 2 persons in an eligible business totalling at least US$5,000,000 and each of those persons individually invests at least US$400,000
- An investment of a minimum of US$150,000 into the University of the West Indies Fund. Participation in this option will entitle one member of the family to a one year, tuition only, scholarship at the University of the West Indies.
Many British citizens have concerns about what’s going to happen post-Brexit, and clearly, there is a great, and growing demand for CIPs. Antigua and Barbuda, an idyllic setting with breath-taking beaches, buzzing fleets, scuba diving, snorkelling and coral reefs, could become your second home in just 3 months. Globalisation has created a new class of citizen, one that has more than one nationality, and as the world is on the move, global citizens and their businesses are able to traverse countries and continents with ease.