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24 July, 2020

Antigua and Barbuda can open a residence permit programme for wealthy people

A residence permit program may be launched in Antigua and Barbuda. Its conditions are developed by the Department of Citizenship. It is expected that program participants will be able to live in the country for up to 2 years. They can work remotely.

Antigua and Barbuda is about to launch the Residence Program
Photo: Adobe Stock

Who'd be interested in a new program

The essence of the residence permit program is to allow wealthy people to live in Antigua and Barbuda for up to 2 years. The Government is particularly counting on the interest of those who can work remotely. The government estimates that the program can attract about 1000 wealthy residents.

The main advantage of the program is the opportunity to optimize taxation for yourself and your business. The status of tax resident will help in this. To obtain it, you need to spend at least 183 days on the islands during the year.

There are no taxes on income, wages or capital gains in Antigua and Barbuda. Tax residents also pay nothing on dividends, interest and royalties.

In addition, participation in the program can compensate for the loss of the usual rest. Wealthy people will get an opportunity to stay at a popular resort with a tropical climate.

Probably Antigua and Barbuda's desire to open a new programme was due to the desire to compensate for losses from the crisis. Expenditures by wealthy foreigners will revive the frozen tourism sector, which will help the country's economy.

The terms have not yet been announced

The specific terms of the Antigua and Barbuda residence permit programme have not yet been announced. They are being developed by 2 specialists from the Department of Citizenship for Investment. They have made several recommendations to the Cabinet for the implementation of the project.

Neighbourhood experience

A similar proposal was made by Barbados. Foreigners are offered a "welcome stamp", which allows them to stay on the island for up to 12 months.

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, noted that "many people worked remotely during the pandemic, sometimes under stressful conditions and without the opportunity to go on holiday. The new visa helps to change places of residence and work in a place that is a favorite destination for tourists from all over the world.

The trend of investment immigration

The emergence of new programs can be considered a trend due to the pandemic. Closed borders have spurred demand for citizenship and residence permits for investment. For example, we mentioned earlier that May 2020 was a record-breaking year in terms of the number of approved "gold visas" for Portugal.

Governments seek to exploit a new window of opportunity. It is not only about opening up new programmes, but also softening the conditions of existing ones. For example, Saint Lucia has halved the amount of investment in government bonds to obtain citizenship, and Italy has also halved the minimum amount of investment in business to obtain a residence permit.

What Antigua and Barbuda already offers

Today, Antigua and Barbuda has a citizenship for investment programme. Part of its success is guided by the Government when it considers the residency programme.

The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship programme for investment was launched in 2013. Since then, 2700 passports have been issued under it.

To participate in the program, applicants invest in state funds, real estate or business. Recently another option has been added - investment in the University of the West Indies Fund. It benefits families of six or more people. This investment also entitles a family member to a year of free British university education.

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Antigua and Barbuda can open a residence permit programme for wealthy people