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Case Studies

Antigua and Barbuda citizenship for visa-free travel and treatment in Europe

As soon as I retired, I decided it was time to live for myself and see the world.

Travel is something I enjoy, I want to see people's lives in other countries, and I'd like to taste the cuisine of other countries as well.

My grandchildren are studying at British universities. So I would like to see my family whenever I like, without having to wait for a British visa to do so.

Amal, 60
Owner of construction companies, lives in Beirut
Antigua and Barbuda citizenship for a whole family

Amal's situation and tasks

When Amal turned 60, he decided to hand over the management of his companies to his sons. He remained a shareholder but was no longer involved in the development of the companies. After his retirement, the businessman finally had the opportunity to travel more.

Amal had long been unable to afford trips abroad. As a young man, he devoted all his free time to his studies. After setting up his own business, Amal worked almost seven days a week: supervising new construction projects and controlling everything in the company.

Over the past ten years, Amal had only travelled to Europe and Asia to meet partners or speak at conferences.

Travelling around the world had become the retired businessman's main dream. Amal decided to finally visit the most beautiful parts of the world and relax in the best resorts. For the first time in his life, he did not have to think about business meetings or check his work emails.

Taking care of his health became another priority. Amal wanted to be treated abroad. He needed to be able to go to a clinic in Germany or Austria at any time.

Family. In September 2018, Amal's grandchildren enrolled in a public school in the UK. Previously, the children had often visited their grandfather, so Amal and his wife missed them very much. Amal decided that he would try to see his grandchildren in England often.

Amal's plans were marred by the need to obtain visas for every trip abroad. As a Lebanese citizen, he had to collect the documents and wait for a decision. Moreover, he could have been refused a visa at any time. 

Amal's friends were granted citizenship by investment. Their second passport freed them from visa restrictions and gave them freedom of movement. Following their example, Amal decided to get a second citizenship. 

On 26 November 2018, Amal contacted Immigrant Invest to choose an investment program.

Investment program selection 

Prior to proposing programs, Immigrant Invest specialists carefully analysed the situation. Here's how it happened:

Example of how responsibilities are shared when choosing a citizenship program

1
Investment programs expert:

  • analysed the client’s wishes and tasks;
  • spoke about the possibilities of different programs.
2
Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer:

  • conducted a preliminary Due Diligence check;
  • pointed out the risks that could affect the decision of the CBI Departments.
3
Lawyer in international and economic law:

  • made a list of documents that the investor needs to collect;
  • advised on the tax residency.
4
Client:


  • chose the program;
  • signed an agreement with Immigrant Invest.

After preliminary Due Diligence, five Caribbean countries' programs matched the client. Caribbean citizens enter the Schengen Area without visas to spend up to 90 days in any country in the region. Program countries are also part of the Commonwealth of Nations, so their citizens freely travel to the UK for 180 consecutive days.

All Caribbean countries offer investors several investment options: 

  • a non-refundable contribution to the state fund;
  • buying real estate and government bonds;
  • business investment.

Amal chose the option of a non-refundable contribution since he would not invest in Caribbean hotels or start a new business.

We have calculated the cost of participation for the investor and his spouse, taking into account the cost of the contribution, Due Diligence, fees and commissions. Furthermore, Amal asked to indicate the number of countries with visa-free entry.

Comparison of general conditions of Caribbean citizenship programs

CountrySpousal expensesObtaining periodVisa-free destination for the passport
Antigua and Barbuda$146,2004—6 months151
St Lucia$157,0503—4 months147
Dominica$164,1002—6 months145
St Kitts and Nevis$188,4222—6 months157
Grenada$216,5404—6 months146

Antigua and Barbuda was the cheapest while providing a significant number of visa-free destinations, so Amal chose it.

When the decision was made, the couple contracted Immigrant Invest to participate in the government's citizenship program of Antigua and Barbuda.

World of visa-free travel for Amal with an Antigua and Barbuda passport

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship to travel visa-free to 151 countries

About 250 cruise liners will come to St James and Falmouth ports in Antigua and Barbuda in 2021

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship to travel visa-free to Switzerland and the Schengen countries

High Mountain Clinic in Davos, Switzerland. Antigua and Barbuda passport holders do not need a visa to undergo medical examinations and treatments in Switzerland

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship to obtain a 10-year visa to the USA

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda can get a tourist visa to the United States for ten years and see the Grand Canyon

Fixing the problem: the income source is not suitable for investment 

The citizenship applicant undertakes a Due Diligence procedure with the Antigua and Barbuda CBI Department. To do this, they provide information about the sources of income and confirm their legitimacy.

Investors usually use income from the business to cover the program costs. Initially, we thought Amal would do the same, but a Compliance Officer of Immigrant Invest identified an issue.

One of Amal's business partners, a subcontractor on the airport construction, was on US sanctions lists. Amal's company had contracted with this subcontractor for two years. Therefore, the investor could not use the income from his business to participate in the program because the risk of rejection was too high.

If an applicant is rejected at least once by a country, they may face difficulties in obtaining citizenship or a visa in the future. For example, explaining the reason for the refusal and proving that the situation was not the applicant’s fault.

Consultant, Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer
Pavel Reshetnikov
Consultant, Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer

Amal wanted to use something other than the income from the second company, as all the profits were invested in business development, and he did not plan to withdraw the money for personal use. 

Amal's savings would have been enough to invest, but he wanted to spend the money on travel.    

Immigrant Invest's lawyers compiled a list of the investor's assets to find another option. The businessman had a two-bedroom flat in Beirut and a house in the suburbs. Amal consulted his wife and decided to sell the apartment. The couple intended to buy a bigger cottage in the future.

Amal entered into a purchase agreement and received $200,000. That was just enough to get the couple into the program and eliminate the risk of rejection.

Step-by-step process:
how Amal and his wife obtained Antigua and Barbuda passports 

Preparation of documents. Lawyers prepared all documents for the application submission to the CBI Unit in three weeks. 

In the wealth history, we listed all sources of income: dividends from two construction companies, savings and the sale of an apartment. To confirm the source of income for the investment, we attached a copy of the sales contract.

Amal submitted the documents needed to apply for citizenship:

  1. Copies of passports.
  2. A marriage certificate.
  3. Police clearance certificates.
  4. Amal's bank statement for the last two years.
  5. Copy of the apartment sale and purchase agreement.
  6. Payment receipts of state duty and payment of Due Diligence. 
  7. Medical insurance.

After Amal had gathered the necessary documents, Immigrant Invest lawyers translated the documents into English and certified and apostilled copies of certificates, passports and contracts. Our experts then filled in the state forms and questionnaires and sent them to the program department.

The Due Diligence check took four and a half months. Antigua and Barbuda's CBI Unit approved Amal's application. Amal transferred the remainder of the investment into the Unit's account and began preparing for a visit to the Caribbean.

Even though the investor’s company partners were on sanctions lists, Due Diligence was successful; a quick process with no clarifying queries from the department. 

It was because the client became aware of the risks in time, and we helped to avoid them quickly. We found an alternative source of income and a good wealth history.

Zlata Erlach, Head of the Austrian office, Caribbean investment programs expert
Zlata Erlach
Head of the Austrian office, Сaribbean investment programs expert

Oath in Antigua and Barbuda. Under the terms of the program, the investor comes to Antigua and Barbuda to take the oath of allegiance. The new citizen must also spend at least five days in the country within five years of receiving the passport.

Amal decided to meet these conditions and, at the same time, relax with his wife at the resort.

On 27 June 2019, the couple took their oath of allegiance at the Antigua and Barbuda CBI Unit. They received their naturalisation certificates and second passports in a festive ceremony. 

Amal spent 7 months and $146,200 participating in the Antigua and Barbuda CBI program

1
November 2018
Amal applied to Immigrant Invest
2
December 2018
Amal signed an agreement with Immigrant Invest
3
January 2019
Immigrant Invest lawyers applied to the CBI Unit

$15,000
4
May 2019
Amal received approval
from the CBI Unit
5
June 2019
The CBI Unit confirmed the investment

$131,200
6
June 2019
Amal and his wife took the oath and received second passports

What benefits Amal's family has gained from Antigua and Barbuda citizenship

Amal did not limit himself to visiting Antigua and Barbuda. Over the next six months, the investor and his wife visited 13 countries. A second passport allowed them to forget about visas and bureaucracy.

The couple explored cruises and embarked on a sea voyage around the Mediterranean. During the stops, Amal and his wife walked the charming streets of Crete, enjoyed the romance of the canals in Venice and dined in the best restaurants in Barcelona.

The couple spent August 2019 in the UK with their grandchildren. Then, when school started, the couple went on excursions to Scotland and Ireland.

In the autumn, Amal was forced to return to continental Europe as his back problems worsened. After undergoing treatment in Baden-Baden, the couple decided not to return to Lebanon. They flew to Asia for the winter and settled in Indonesia and Thailand.

Opportunities for Amal's family before and after obtaining Antigua citizenship

BeforeAfter
❌ Visa required to travel to the UK and the Schengen countries✅ Visa-free travel to the UK and the Schengen countries
❌ Right to live only in Lebanon✅ Right to choose where to stay — in Lebanon or another country
❌ Medical treatment in Europe requires a special visa✅ Free visits to Europe's leading medical clinics

It was not until February 2020 that the couple returned to Beirut because of the pandemic. Even with their borders closed, they still had the opportunity to travel. As citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, the couple had the right to visit the islands at any time. So the summer holiday was spent on one of the Caribbean beaches.

Amal plans to get a visa to the USA after the pandemic, as he has always wanted to see the Grand Canyon.

You can learn about all the opportunities that an Antigua and Barbuda passport offers from the material "Antigua and Barbuda citizenship benefits".

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

Schedule a meeting

Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
Schedule a meeting
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