Antigua and Barbuda launched a residence permit programme for entrepreneurs and remote employees

October 1, 2020
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Antigua and Barbuda launched a residence permit programme
Photo: Adobe Stock
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has launched the Nomad Digital Residence Programme (NDR), a programme for wealthy people. Under its terms, foreign entrepreneurs and remote employees of foreign companies can obtain resident status and live on the islands for 2 years.

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda thus expects to compensate for the economic downturn amidst the pandemic and closed borders. The influx of wealthy residents will revitalise the tourism industry, which accounts for 60% of the island’s GDP. 

How to participate in the Antigua and Barbuda residence permit programme

You can apply and register for a residence permit from anywhere in the world: the entire process is online. All you have to do is fill out the application form and attach the necessary documents on the official website of the programme.

The following documents must be attached to the electronic application:

  • confirmation of an annual income of $50,000 or more and the availability of sufficient funds for the principal applicant and his or her family members to live in Antigua and Barbuda;
  • proof of employment or self-employment.

The applicant then pays a non-refundable programme fee. The payment is made by bank card on the website and the invoice is attached to the form on the website. The amount of the fee depends on the number of applicants.

Non-refundable fee for participation in the
Antigua and Barbuda residence permit programme

Number of applicants Amount of fee
Main applicant 1500 $
Main applicant and spouse 2000 $
Family from 3 people 3000 $

In addition, the applicant provides a standard set of documents:

  • a copy of the first pages of passport;
  • Police Clearance for each applicant over 16 years of age – a document that confirms that the state security check has been passed;
  • a document that proves a relationship between the principal applicant and additional applicants;
  • health insurance for the duration of your stay in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Programme Department then reviews the application and makes a decision on granting resident status. The applicant will be notified by e-mail.

A potential programme participant fills out a special form on the official website.

What it takes to keep a residence permit

A residence permit under the programme is issued for 2 years. During this time, the resident can freely reside on the islands. There are no restrictions on entry and exit from the country.

When leaving the islands, the programme participant must retain accommodation in Antigua and Barbuda. If the resident does not plan to return to the country, the Programme Department must be notified. In this case, the government will revoke the resident status.

The second important point is that programme participants cannot work or receive income from companies located in Antigua and Barbuda. For this reason, Prime Minister Gaston Brown stressed that the programme is designed for wealthy people who do business or work remotely.

Taxes and tax resident status

Residence permit programme participants pay income tax only in the source country. Changing your tax status will allow you to profitably optimise taxation for yourself or your foreign business. Let us explain by an example.

If a Russian citizen does not live in the country for at least 90 days a year, he ceases to be a tax resident of Russia. If a participant in the Antigua and Barbuda residence permit programme resides on the islands for 183 days or more, he will receive the tax status of a Caribbean state.

There is no tax on profits, wages or capital gains in Antigua and Barbuda. There is also no tax on dividends, interest and royalties which are accrued to the resident’s account.

Thus, participation in the Antigua and Barbuda residence permit programme allows for a change of residence and favourable tax conditions.

According to our estimates, the stated benefits are not sufficient to attract wealthy people. The programme does not give the main 一 freedom of travel. Visa-free travel provides only Caribbean citizenship.

Citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda can be obtained by investing in the country’s economy. The investment programme for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship has been in place since 2013. Over 2700 foreign investors have obtained Caribbean passports during this time.

How has the investment programme for Antigua and Barbuda's citizenship changed in the pandemic

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has made several changes to the citizenship programme for investment:

  • The Programme Department has fully switched to online document reception. You can pay for the security check with a deferred payment after the quarantine has been completed.
  • The minimum investment amount for the property deposit option has been reduced. Now it is enough to invest 200 000 $ to participate in the citizenship programme. There is also a fixed amount of state duty – $30,000.
  • The amount of payment for children of the investor to join the programme has been reduced. Under the new rules, the fee for adding a child under 5 years of age is 10 000 $, for a child aged 6 to 17 years – 20 000 $.
  • The option of non-refundable contribution to the University of the West Indies Fund has been added. The new option is intended for large families of 6 people or more. As a bonus, one family member gets a year of free study at the University of the West Indies.
  • The requirement to stay in the country has been temporarily removed. The exemption is valid until 31 August 2021. The condition of personal presence in Antigua and Barbuda for oaths is still in force.

All steps have been taken towards investors: to simplify the passport issuance procedure and to attract investments into the country’s economy.

Opportunities offered by Antigua and Barbuda citizenship:

  • Visa-free travel to more than 165 countries including the Schengen area, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE.
  • Opportunity to apply for a 10-year tourist visa to the USA.
  • Benefits for children studying in UK universities and the University of the West Indies in Antigua and Barbuda.

You can only take part in the citizenship programme for investments through a licensed agent. Specialists of Immigrant Invest provide full support: from the application to the receipt of the passport by the investor.

Where else would new investment programmes be launched

Antigua and Barbuda is not the only country whose government has thought about creating a residence permit programme. According to the calculations of the states, it will help to attract wealthy residents and compensate for losses against the background of the crisis and the fall in revenues from tourism.

Previously, the government of Barbados made a similar proposal. Under the programme of this Caribbean state foreigners can get a “welcome stamp” – a special visa, which allows them to stay on the island for up to 12 months.

Dominica has developed a residence permit investment programme which it plans to launch by the end of 2020. The new program is designed for entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in the business of the country from $ 50 000. Residence permit status will be issued for 2 years with an opportunity to apply for citizenship of Dominica. In more detail, we told in the material «Dominica will launch a residence permit program for entrepreneurs».

Slovenia is considering the possibility of launching its own investment programme. The Government has not yet decided whether it will be a citizenship programme or a residence permit. The preliminary minimum amount of investment will be 1 million euros. More details about plans for the new programme were given in the material  «Slovenia can launch a Citizenship for Investment programme».

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