Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship: A Detailed Guide for Investors

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment
Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment

The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship Program is one of the latest investment programs to be offered in the Caribbean. It was launched in 2013 and has already won the trust of investors. About 3,000 people had received an Antigua and Barbuda passport through this program by late 2020.

The government regularly reviews the terms of the program. The purpose of these changes is to make the program more attractive to investors. For example, recently the age limit of children who can participate in the program was increased to 30 years, and the minimum age of parents and grandparents for eligibility in the program was reduced to 55 years. The investor’s unmarried siblings can now also be included in the program.

In this article, we point out the benefits of an Antigua and Barbuda passport. We explain who can obtain citizenship, compare investment options and show you how you can get most of your investment back. However, we point out not only the advantages but also the disadvantages of the program.

7 benefits of an Antigua and Barbuda passport for investors

Low cost of citizenship. A family of up to 4 people can receive Antigua and Barbuda passports in return for investments in the National Development Fund starting from $100,000.

Passports processed quickly: 3 to 6 months. The Antigua and Barbuda government department approves applications within 10 weeks and plans to shorten this period to a maximum of 45 days.

Schengen countries, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong are included in the list of 151 visa-free countries for Antigua and Barbuda passport holders.
An Antigua and Barbuda passport gives the holder the right to stay in the following countries for the indicated periods:

  • 90 days in any half-year period in the European Union;
  • 180 days a year in the UK;
  • 30 days a year in Singapore;
  • 90 days a year in Hong Kong.

Passport makes it easy to get a multiple entry 10-year B1/B2 US tourist visa. The visa allows the holder to stay in the US for up to 180 days a year. Russian citizens are issued such a visa for up to 3 years.

Investment in real estate investment can be returned after 5 years by selling your real estate at a profit to other participants in the citizenship program. The potential income from renting out real estate varies from 2 to 5% per annum.

Concessional prices for studying in the UK. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, which is headed by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Children of an investor with an Antigua and Barbuda passport have access to concessional prices when studying at universities in the UK.

Tax optimization. The local tax structure makes it profitable to conduct international business and register property in Antigua and Barbuda . Tax residents do not pay taxes on income earned outside the country. There is no tax on wealth, inheritance or capital gains.

List of Visa-Free Countries for Antigua and Barbuda citizens

The number of countries where you can enter without a visa with an Antigua and Barbuda passport is growing every year. Negotiations are underway with New Zealand and Australia on visa-free travel. As of November 2020, Antigua and Barbuda passport holders could travel visa-free to 119 countries, and they could obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport in another 31 countries.

Visa Free Countries for Antigua and Barbuda citizens

# Country Conditions of entry
1 Armenia visa on arrival
2 Bangladesh visa on arrival
3 East Timor visa on arrival
4 Hong Kong visa-free
5 Georgia visa-free
6 Indonesia visa-free
7 Jordan visa on arrival
8 Iran visa on arrival
9 Cambodia visa on arrival
10 Qatar visa-free
11 Laos visa on arrival
12 Lebanon visa on arrival
13 Macau visa on arrival
14 Malaysia visa-free
15 Maldives visa on arrival
16 Nepal visa on arrival
17 Singapore visa-free
18 Uzbekistan visa-free
19 Philippines visa-free
20 Sri Lanka eTA
21 South Korea visa-free
# Country Conditions of entry
1 Botswana visa-free
2 Gambia visa-free
3 Guinea-Bissau visa on arrival
4 Egypt visa on arrival
5 Zambia visa-free
6 Zimbabwe visa-free
7 Cape Verde visa on arrival
8 Kenya visa on arrival
9 Comoros visa on arrival
10 Lesotho visa-free
11 Mauritius visa-free
12 Mauritania visa on arrival
13 Madagascar visa on arrival
14 Mayotte visa-free
15 Malawi visa-free
16 Mozambique visa on arrival
17 Saint Helena visa on arrival
18 Reunion visa-free
19 Rwanda visa on arrival
20 Seychelles visa on arrival
21 Senegal visa on arrival
22 Somalia visa on arrival
23 Sierra Leone visa on arrival
24 Tanzania visa-free
25 Togo visa on arrival
26 Tunisia visa-free
27 Uganda visa-free
28 Eswatini visa-free
29 South Africa visa-free
# Country Conditions of entry
1 Austria visa-free
2 Albania visa-free
3 Andorra visa-free
4 Belarus visa-free
5 Belgium visa-free
6 Bulgaria visa-free
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina visa-free
8 Vatican City visa-free
9 UK visa-free
10 Hungary visa-free
11 Germany visa-free
12 Gibraltar visa-free
13 Greece visa-free
14 Denmark visa-free
15 Ireland visa-free
16 Iceland visa-free
17 Spain visa-free
18 Italy visa-free
19 Cyprus visa-free
20 Kosovo visa-free
21 Latvia visa-free
22 Lithuania visa-free
23 Liechtenstein visa-free
24 Luxembourg visa-free
25 Malta visa-free
26 Moldova visa-free
27 Monaco visa-free
28 Netherlands visa-free
29 Norway visa-free
30 Poland visa-free
31 Portugal visa-free
32 Russian Federation visa-free
33 Romania visa-free
34 San Marino visa-free
35 North Macedonia visa-free
36 Serbia visa-free
37 Slovakia visa-free
38 Slovenia visa-free
39 Ukraine visa-free
40 Faroe Islands visa-free
41 Finland visa-free
42 France visa-free
43 Croatia visa-free
44 Montenegro visa-free
45 Czech Republic visa-free
46 Switzerland visa-free
47 Sweden visa-free
48 Estonia visa-free
# Country Conditions of entry
1 Vanuatu visa-free
2 Kiribati visa-free
3 Micronesia visa-free
4 Niue visa-free
5 New Caledonia visa-free
6 Cook Islands visa-free
7 Palau visa on arrival
8 Samoa visa on arrival
9 Solomon Islands visa on arrival
10 Tuvalu visa on arrival
11 Fiji visa-free
12 French Polynesia visa-free
# Country Conditions of entry
1 Anguilla visa-free
2 Bahamas visa-free
3 Barbados visa-free
4 Belize visa-free
5 Bermuda visa-free
6 Virgin Islands visa-free
7 Haiti visa-free
8 Guatemala visa-free
9 Honduras visa-free
10 Grenada visa-free
11 Greenland visa-free
12 Dominica visa-free
13 Dominican Republic visa-free
14 Cayman Islands visa-free
15 Costa Rica visa-free
16 Cuba visa-free
17 Montserrat visa-free
18 Nicaragua visa-free
19 Panama visa-free
20 El Salvador visa-free
21 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines visa-free
22 Saint Kitts and Nevis visa-free
23 Saint Lucia visa-free
24 Sint Maarten visa-free
25 Turks and Caicos Islands visa-free
26 Trinidad and Tobago visa-free
27 Franz Western Indies visa-free
28 Jamaica visa-free
# Country Conditions of entry
1 Aruba visa-free
2 Bolivia visa on arrival
3 Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba visa-free
4 Brazil visa-free
5 Venezuela visa-free
6 Guyana visa-free
7 Colombia visa-free
8 Curacao visa-free
9 Peru visa-free
10 Suriname visa-free
11 French Guiana visa-free
12 Chile visa-free
13 Ecuador visa-free

Who can participate in the citizenship program

In addition to the investor, Antigua and Barbuda citizenship can be obtained by the investor’s spouse, children up to 30 years old, parents aged 55 years and older and siblings. Children with physical or mental disabilities can be included in the application regardless of their age.

The cost of citizenship for a family is calculated based on the age and number of participants. We cover the details in the following sections.

Who Can Obtain Antigua And Barbuda Citizenship

Investor Over 18 years old
No criminal record
Legal income
Not under sanctions
Has not been refused a visa or citizenship
Has passed due diligence
Spouse Officially married to the investor
Future spouse
Children Under 30 years old
Financially dependent on investor
Live with the investor
Including children from previous marriages
Parents and grandparents Over 55 years old
Financially dependent on the investor
Live with the investor
Siblings Not married
Financially dependent on investor

The family members of the investor can be added to the citizenship program after the investor receives their passport. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has reduced the fee for a spouse or parent being added to the citizenship application from $75,000 to $50,000. The cost of adding a child under 5 years old is $10,000, while adding a child from 6 to17 years old is $20,000. Children over 18 years old cannot be added to the application at a later date, they need to be included in the original application together with the investor.

Eligible investments for participation in Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program

In order to attract foreign capital to develop the economy, Antigua and Barbuda revised the terms of their citizenship program in 2020. The amount of investment in real estate was reduced to $200,000. For a family of at least 6 members, it also added the option to invest in the University of the West Indies Fund.

Citizenship can be obtained remotely and confidentially through a licensed program agent. The investor will need to visit the country for the oath of allegiance and spend at least 5 days there during the first 5 years of the citizenship program.

4 investment options

  1. $100,000: a non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF) of at least $100,000. The money in the state fund is used to re-equip hospitals, develop alternative energy, and open new schools and universities.

  2. $150,000: a contribution of at least $150,000 to the University of the West Indies Fund for a family of at least 6 people. This option also offers a year of free education at the university for one of the children included in the application within a period of 5 years after the investor receives their passport.

  3. $200,000: investment of at least $200,000 in an elite hotel approved by the government. The stake can be sold after 5 years.

  4. $1,500,000: investment of at least $1,500,000 in one of the 11 government-approved business projects, primarily in construction companies. Investments can also be made in the organization of a call center or agriculture.

In addition to the investment, the applicant needs to pay state fees, pay for due diligence, and pay administration fees. Using the example of investment in the state fund, we examine the costs of participating in the citizenship program for the investor and their family.

Investment in the Antigua and Barbuda State Fund, including fees

Investments in the National Transformation Fund $100,000 for an investor with a family of up to 4 people

$125,000 for a family of 5 or more members
State fees $30,000 for a family of up to 4 people

$15,000 for each additional member starting from the fifth family member
Due Diligence $7,500 for an investor or their spouse

$2,000 per child from 11 to 17 years old

$4,000 per child from 18 to 30 years old, as well as for each parent over 55 years old
Passport fee $300 per applicant

Investment in real estate can be recouped in 5 years

An investor can only invest in properties that the government has approved for the program. The minimum investment is $200,000, which is twice as high as the minimum contribution required in the National Development Fund. However, most of the money can be recouped without affecting the status of the investor and their family’s citizenship, which remains valid for their lifetime.

After 5 years, the investment property can be sold at a profit to other participants in the program. In this case, the cost of the second citizenship for the investor and their family is effectively reduced to just the registration fees.

4% return: the investor can earn a potential return of 4% on the sale of the investment property. The sale can take place remotely, without the investor being physically present.

Properties that are rented out earn an income of 2 to 5% per annum. The management company takes care of all the administration, maintains the real estate, finds tenants when required and pays the bills.

Tourists rent property in Antigua and Barbuda all year round. The demand for real estate declined as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, but has gradually started to recover after the partial opening of borders.

Using the example of a real estate investment, we show the costs of participating in the citizen program for an investor and their family.

Cost of investing in real estate in Antigua and Barbuda, including fees

Investment $200,000, regardless of the number of applicants, for at least 5 years
State fees $30,000 for a family of up to 4 members

$15,000 for each additional applicant, starting from the fifth member
Due Diligence $7,500 for an investor or their spouse

$2,000 per child 11 to 17 years old

$4,000 per child 18 to 30 years old or parent at least 55 years old
Passport fee $300 for each applicant

Examples of investment properties in Antigua and Barbuda

Share in hotel-managed coastal villa
Located 27 km from the airport and 100 m from the ocean

This luxury villa is located on the east coast of Antigua. The villa offers stunning views of Nonsuch Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. The villa is furnished and equipped with appliances. The villa has a living room, kitchen, 3 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms. It features a heated infinity pool and jacuzzi.

The villa is part of a resort managed by World of Indulgence, an international villa management company based in Europe. The resort has 2 restaurants, bars, a children’s club and a water sports club.

The investor can purchase a share in the villa, which also entitles them to a free stay in the villa for 1 week a year.

From 200 000 $

Price

2—4%

Return on investment

5 years

Investment return period

Share in an exclusive, uniquely located villa
Located 15 km from the airport and 200 m from the ocean

A secluded five-bedroom furnished villa overlooking Willoughby Bay located on the south coast of Antigua. Within walking distance of sailing and recreation areas, as well as famous historical hiking trails. English Harbor restaurants and nightclubs are nearby.

The villa has a private garden, infinity pool and outdoor terrace.
The investor can purchase a share in the villa, which also entitles them to a free 5-day stay in the villa every year.

From 200 000 $

Price

2—4%

Return on investment

5 years

Investment return period

Stake in a hotel complex with a private beach
Located 20 km from the airport and 50 m from the ocean

The hotel complex is located in the southwest of Antigua next to the Falmouth Harbor Yacht Club. The complex consists of several two-storey buildings with elite apartments overlooking the ocean. Each suite is furnished, it also has a fully equipped kitchen and an outdoor terrace with sun loungers.

The complex has a swimming pool, private beach, and equipment for water sports. There is also a bar and a restaurant. An investor can purchase a share in the complex or apartments located in it. This also includes use of the apartments for up to 42 nights a year.

From 200 000 $

Price

3%

Return on investment

5 years

Investment return period

Cost of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship Program

We break down the costs of different options for participating in the citizenship program for a family of 4.

Calculation of the investment amount

for the investor, their spouse and 2 children (11 and 25 years old)

Costs Contribution to state fund Real estate
Investment 100 000 $ 200 000 $
Due Diligence 21 000 $ 21 000 $
State fees 30 000 $ 30 000 $
Passport fee 1200 $ 1200 $
152 200 $ 252 200 $

Antigua and Barbuda passport for travel to the UK
George and Anastasia are a married couple. George is 53 years old and has own business. Anastasia is 52 years old and their son Yaroslav is 19 years old.

Yaroslav is studying in London and will not be able to continue living there on a student visa after completing his studies.
George and Anastasia wanted to be able to visit and stay with their son in London without a visa and provide their son with the opportunity to live and work in the UK.

Decision. Immigrant Invest offered George and Anastasia 3 options: citizenship of Malta, residence permit in Portugal with subsequent citizenship and citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda.

➖ The options related to Malta and Portugal did not suit George and Anastasia due to the high investment costs and the long processing time required.

✅ The Antigua and Barbuda variant was an ideal fit for them in terms of their budget and the faster processing time for the citizenship application.

George, Anastasia and Yaroslav’s application for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda by investment was approved. The family is planning to visit the country, enjoy the Caribbean beaches and take the oath of citizenship.

Jolly Beach is a beach stretching 1.7 km along the western coast of Antigua. The beach is popular with ecotourists for its pink sand, clear, turquoise Caribbean waters, and spectacular views of the sunset

Incentives for tax residents of Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda joined the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), an information standard for the automatic exchange of tax information, in 2018. Under the terms of the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, the investor can choose the country where they prefer to pay taxes: the investor’s country of origin or Antigua and Barbuda.

The government of Antigua and Barbuda is interested in raising capital and it has developed a tax system for business development. Tax residents do not pay taxes on income and capital earned outside Antigua and Barbuda. There are no taxes on capital gains, wealth or inheritance.

Taxes are imposed on businesses operated in the country, as well as on the purchase of real estate and land. However, investment in property under the citizenship program offers tax benefits: there is no licensing fee on land charged on it.

Business and Taxes in Caribbean Countries

on real estate, up to 0.5%;
on the transfer of real estate: ranging from 2.5 to 7.5%;
on income of companies registered locally: 25%

An international business company (IBC) can be registered in Antigua and Barbuda to conduct international business and attract partners from abroad. IBCs are exempt from taxes for 50 years as long as they operate in the Caribbean region.

In Antigua and Barbuda there is no requirement to file annual accounting and auditing reports. Companies only need to store company documents on the territory of the country.

Antigua and Barbuda tax residents can open an account in any international bank. This helps settle foreign exchange transactions with foreign partners faster.

In order to become a tax resident in Antigua and Barbuda, you need to reside in the country for at least 183 days in the year, submit an application and pay the fee.

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship for IT Business Owners
Anton and Vitalina are a married couple and own IT companies.

Their companies were facing difficulties in settling foreign contracts. Foreign exchange controls often did not allow money to be transferred from foreign customers, but still deducted transaction fees. The length of time required for obtaining foreign exchange funds increased and additional costs arose.

We helped Anton and Vitalina obtain Antigua and Barbuda passports . They obtained tax residency and opened accounts with European banks.

Interesting facts about Antigua and Barbuda

Nature and climate. Antigua and Barbuda is made up of several islands in the Caribbean sea. Antigua is the country’s main island. The capital St. John’s and Bird International Airport, as well as many hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and casinos, are located here.

Antigua and Barbuda has an arid tropical climate. All year round it is sunny and windy, and the average temperature varies from 25 to 31°С. There is intermittent rainfall from September to November, and hurricanes occur from time-to-time.

There are picturesque hills, rainforests, white beaches, beautiful bays and coral reefs along the coast. Antigua has no rivers or lakes, and drinking water is obtained from artesian sources.

Второй паспорт Антигуа и Барбуды
The island of Barbuda is surrounded by small hills covered with tropical forests, quiet bays and white and pink beaches. The island is popular among yachting and diving enthusiasts. A comfortable climate, picturesque landscapes and luxury hotels create excellent conditions for relaxation

Economy. The country’s income is primarily derived from tourism, citizenship programs and agriculture. Its attractive tax legislation has drawn international investment into the country.

Currency. The official currency in Antigua and Barbuda is the East Caribbean dollar (EC$ or XCD) and the US dollar is also accepted.

Language. English is the main language in the country. Some of the local population speak Spanish and Eastern Caribbean Creole.

гражданство Антигуа и Барбуды за инвестиции
The Anglican Church of St. Barnabas is located on the island of Antigua. The building was built between 1824 and 1842 as a chapel in a school and later converted into a church

The Anglican Church of St. Barnabas is located on the island of Antigua. The building was built between 1824 and 1842 as a chapel in a school and later converted into a church

Education. In Antigua and Barbuda, children from 5 to 16 years old can study for free. There are public and private schools, as well as special schools: technical, craft and pedagogical schools for children with developmental disabilities. Island Academy is recognized as the best private school. Its teachers are from the UK and the U.S.

There are several universities in Antigua. The most well known among them include a branch of the University of the West Indies, the Institute of Information Technology and the American Medical University of Antigua.

Medicine. The country has a high level of medical services, which are based on British medical standards. Antigua and Barbuda has 10 hospitals and clinics with modern equipment. Doctors are attached to many of the hotels there. The cost of medical services is high. For example, the price for an appointment with a private doctor starts at $80. Before travelling to the country, it is recommended to take out an international standard medical insurance.

Transport. Shuttle minibuses, buses and taxis are the most common way to travel within the country. The cost of a shuttle bus ranges from $1 to $3, while a taxi costs $1.5 per mile on average. Barbuda Express ferries run between the islands. A round-trip ferry ticket costs from $120 to $150. Rental car prices range from $40 to $150 per day, and are cheaper for longer term rentals. A liter of petrol cost about $1 as of November 2020.

паспорт Антигуа и Барбуды
The capital of Antigua and Barbuda, St. John's, is a major shipping hub. An infrastructure has been built here allowing international cruise liners to dock all year round.

Communication and Internet. Communication and internet services are well developed in the country. The main internet service provider in the country is Cable & Wireless. The cost of an unlimited internet package is $150 per month at a speed of over 60 Mb/s. Internet cafes charge $5 per hour for a connection. Most cafes, restaurants and hotels offer free internet access.

International calls are cheaper to make from payphones or at the post office than through mobile telephones. Calling cards can be used to make international calls and are sold in stores and at the post office. Hotels also provide access to long-distance telephone operators. Calls from a hotel cost 10 to 15% more than calls from the post office or a payphone.

Purchases. The country’s largest shopping mall, Heritage Quay, is located in St. John’s. It consists of 50 stores, most of which are world famous brands. Antigua and Barbuda has many local craft shops selling souvenirs, ceramics, spices and jewelry. Groceries can be bought at farmers’ markets and supermarkets.

Food prices in Antigua and Barbuda

Item Price
Imported beer, 0.33 l bottle 4 $
Cappuccino 5 $
Water, 0.33 l bottle 2 $
Milk, 1 l 2 $
Eggs, 12 pcs. 4 $
Local cheese, 1 kg 7 $
Chicken fillet, 1 kg 8 $
Beef, 1 kg 15 $
Mid-range wine, 1 bottle, 0.7 l 9 $

Cuisine. The local cuisine is a mixture of European and Caribbean culinary traditions. The local specialities are mostly seafood dishes: lobster, flying fish fillets, sunfish, shrimps and grilled clams.

Lamb, poultry and rabbit meat is most often used in meat dishes, as beef is expensive in Antigua . The local drinks available are fruit juices, coconut milk, herbal teas. The most popular alcoholic drinks are local rum and beer.

ALT для изображения: карибский паспорт
Lunch in an inexpensive cafe on the Caribbean coast will cost an average of $8 to 15 per person. Lunch prices at a mid-range restaurant costs start from $100 for two. It is customary to leave a tip of 10% in cafes and restaurants.

Yachting. Antigua is an international yachting center in the Caribbean. The warm climate, monsoons, numerous bays and first-class ports attract sailors from all over the world to the island.

Antigua Sailing Week has been held annually on the island of Antigua in the last week of April since 1968. Over 100 yachts from all over the world, operated by about 1500 crew members, take part in the regatta, with about 5000 spectators in attendance.

The customs duty for sailing on a yacht is $70 for a crew member and $75 for a child up to the age of 15 years.

In order to sail in the Caribbean sea or Atlantic, an Antigua and Barbuda passport holder can register a yacht under the country’s flag in 3 days. However, this is not available for foreign citizens.

Антигуа и Барбуда: яхтинг
Motor Yacht Skat moored at the Antigua Yacht Club in English Harbor, Antigua

5 steps to obtain Antigua and Barbuda citizenship

1. Preliminary confidential check on international information bases, which takes 1–3 days and is done remotely.

Immigrant Invest is the only licensed program agent that has its own compliance department. A certified compliance anti-money laundering officer will examine the investor’s documents to assess the likelihood of rejection.

If we believe there is a risk of rejection during the verification process, we will select alternative solutions. The preliminary check of each participant is free of charge.

2. Signing an agreement with the licensed agent of the Antigua and Barbuda program – Immigrant Invest. You can sign a contract at one of our offices or remotely.

3. Preparing the required documents. Immigrant Invest will help you prepare the documents required for citizenship, translate them into English, notarize them and complete the required forms. Immigrant Invest then transfers the documents prepared to the relevant Antigua and Barbuda government department.

4. Due diligence check by Antigua and Barbuda Government Agencies. The process starts when the application for citizenship is submitted and lasts 3 to 6 months. The due diligence procedure can be started by providing scanned copies of the required documents. The check takes place remotely and does not require the investor to be present.

5. Receiving a passport. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers will hand over passports and naturalization certificates to the investor and their family at our office or deliver them by courier.
In addition, the investor will need to visit Antigua and Barbuda to take the oath of allegiance and spend at least 5 days in the country during the first 5 years of citizenship. Otherwise, their citizenship may be revoked.

Three advantages and disadvantages of Antigua and Barbuda citizenship

Advantages

Disadvantages

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