Citizenship by Investment: Applications for Antigua Passports, 672 in 2018 and 241 in the First Half of 2019
Does it make sense to apply for the most accessible citizenship by investment in the Caribbean in 2020? Hundreds of investors have given an affirmative answer to this question over the last 12 months. Almost 7 hundred people wanted to get citizenship by investment of Antigua and Barbuda. In 2020, such applicants will be able to take advantage of the new investment option (University Fund) and the increased prestige of the passport of their potential new homeland whose authorities are paying a lot of attention to weeding out unreliable foreigners who want to get the most affordable citizenship by investment.
They say you cannot buy happiness for money. But if in your case happiness means having a passport and/or a certificate of a citizen of a country other than your homeland, then you may well buy such happiness for cash, receiving numerous benefits.
For example, the new citizenship provides additional opportunities in the field of tax planning, opening bank accounts, travel and more. The standard way of getting it is a long-term naturalization.
But it is possible to significantly speed up obtaining a passport abroad if you choose a country with the Citizenship by Investment Program and invest in its economy a substantial amount.
Citizenship by Investment Programs can have a positive impact on host countries, attracting many talented businessmen and foreign direct investment from all over the world. This is demonstrated by the Caribbean country of Antigua.
After a prolonged period of stagnation in the second half of 2017, when neighboring island states in the Caribbean significantly reduced the cost of their Citizenship by Investment Programs, the number of applications for the Antigua Program have not just recovered. 2018 became the best year in its history by far.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda: 672 Applications Received and More than USD 100 million Earned
In his 2019 Budget Address, Prime Minister of Antigua Gaston Browne said that a total of 672 passport applications via various investment options had been received under the Citizenship by Investment Program in Antigua and Barbuda in 2018.
This figure in 2018 was 109 percent higher than in 2017, when 321 applications were received. It was 130 percent higher than during the same period of 2016 as well. Recent data over the past years also show that the Antiguan authorities receive an average of 56 applications per month as part of their Program for immigrant investors.
“There can be no doubt that the Citizenship by Investment Program of Antigua and Barbuda have brought a lot of benefits to our people over the years,” said the Prime Minister in his address.
Browne added that he is encouraged by the reliability of the world Citizenship by Investment industry even in view of “slandering by certain powerful forces.”
This is probably referred to the OECD criticism and possible limitations on the US-controlled SWIFT system. Both organizations have been hampering the efforts of Antiguan authorities to attract investment by, respectively, adding the country to the “black list” of “non-cooperating tax jurisdictions” and making it more difficult for the international capital flows to move in and out of the country.
Although the information on the number of approved applications and on the number of individual passports issued to new citizens following these 672 applications was published in the regular statistical report on the Program in spring of 2019 only, the Prime Minister said that in 2018, the consolidated NDF balance increased by more than a 100 million dollars (according to preliminary data) due to this immigration program.
Yet out of 181 million US dollars of the budget non-tax revenues in 2018, almost a 100 million US dollars were donated to the NDF by the Citizenship by Investment Program Participants.
|Period||Number of Applications for Citizenship by Investment Program in Antigua and Barbuda|
|2nd half of 2015||197|
|1st half of 2016||147|
|2nd half of 2016||143|
|1st half of 2017||187|
|2nd half of 2017||134|
|1st half of 2018||278|
|2nd half of 2018||394|
|1st half of 2019||241|
Applications for Citizenship by Investment Program in Antigua and Barbuda at half-year ends
The second half of 2018 was characterized by a particularly strong surge in the number of new applications. But even in the six-month period before that, the growth was 41 percent, which can be called a record result. The positive trend has been observed before.
Browne said, he was overwhelmed by optimistic expectations regarding the Citizenship by Investment Program in Antigua and Barbuda. He hoped for a “significant increase” in the number of applications in the years to come.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda: University Fund
The Prime Minister also noted that his government would “continue to pro-actively compete in the global market” and add new types of investment options, the most recent of which is the University Fund.
According to the politician, this Fund would “partially finance the construction of the University of the West Indies fourth campus.”
In October 2018, the following information on the Government’s decision was published: a new option under the Citizenship by Investment Program of Antigua and Barbuda was launched on the basis of donations to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Fund.
It is the first university in the world to be expanded via the Citizenship by Investment Program. To be more precise, the money will go to the construction of the fourth university campus. It is expected that the new university campus will bring economic benefits to the country and inspire many young people to getting higher education.
Foreigners will be able to apply for Antigua citizenship by making a one-time donation of USD 150,000 to the UWI Fund. This donation will be covering a family of four. One member of every successful applicant’s family will also be eligible for a scholarship for 1 year (tuition only) on the campus of the University of the West Indies.
It will also be necessary to pay the government fee for the application processing in the amount of USD 25,000 for a family of four and USD 15,000 for every extra dependent. In addition, you will have to pay a fee for the passport in the amount of USD 300 per applicant as well as the following fees for the background check:
- USD 7,500 for the Principal Applicant,
- USD 7,500 for the Spouse,
- USD 4,000 for dependents over the age of 18,
- USD 2,000 for dependent children between the ages of 12 and 17.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda: Improving Cooperation with Other Golden Passport Jurisdictions to Enhance the Industry’s Safety and Reliability
Authorities of Antigua and Barbuda also report increased cooperation with the other countries where a Golden Passport can be issued in order to improve the procedures aimed at weeding out unreliable investors.
In particular, before the start of the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne held a bilateral meeting with Malta’s Finance Minister Edward Scicluna to discuss the topic.
The main items on the agenda for discussion were various initiatives undertaken by the European Union (EU) that could have a detrimental effect on countries with the Citizenship by Investment Programs.
The interlocutors focused on the EU policy analysis which was considered potentially harmful to the jurisdictions with the immigrant investor programs, and agreed to a certain measure of cooperation aimed at reducing the risks associated with the EU policy.
Minister Scicluna who is part of the ECOFIN, an influential group of the EU finance ministers, reminded that the EU tax initiative launched in 1998 and called “harmful tax competition,” had an adverse impact on the offshore jurisdictions of many Caribbean countries.
He explained that since then the EU authorities have continued to focus on international taxation, trying to stop the diversion of tax revenues from various EU member states to offshore jurisdictions.
Later, the EU officials turned their attention to the potential harmful effects of Citizenship by Investment Programs in various countries with regard to banking regulation, including general reporting standards or CRS.
Prime Minister Browne underlined further information exchange and close cooperation between Malta and Antigua and Barbuda regarding this important issue. The Antiguan Prime Minister and Minister Scicluna also took part in a panel discussion on Citizenship by Investment Programs and cryptocurrencies held at the World Economic Forum.
It should be noted that cooperation between the two jurisdictions in the global market for services in the field of investment immigration has been carried out for several years.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda: When Will It Become Possible to Pay for It with Bitcoins?
Local authorities are still struggling to answer this question, despite their earlier rhetoric about the possibility of obtaining citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda paid with bitcoins. In particular, they made the corresponding promises in summer 2018.
Nevertheless, Antigua aims to become an international financial center in terms of the introduction and use of blockchain technology. This was stated by Prime Minister Gaston Browne in his Budget Address for 2019: “Our vision is to turn the country into a regional center of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. We will work with global regulators on the initiatives to implement the best international practices, making our jurisdiction attractive to the international business.”
The politician noted, citing the results of independent research, that the global blockchain market will reach a turnover of more than 28 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. Since this industry has become so promising, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has launched a pilot project of using blockchain technology to support digital payments and transfers.
As an international financial center, Antigua and Barbuda is about to become a pioneer in the sector so as not to miss the opportunities and not to stay behind. The politician noted that his team’s plans for expansion in this market would be announced in the coming months. Now officials are trying to establish the necessary legislative and regulatory structures that would manage this advanced industry.
The politician stressed that he and his colleagues want young people to be trained and ready to take advantage of these new opportunities, including opportunities in the field of Internet entrepreneurship.
In a later interview with imidaily, the Prime Minister of Antigua noted that cryptocurrencies will be “very important” for overcoming numerous financial obstacles and solving banking issues in the Caribbean. In his opinion, this means of payment will allow to forget about sanctions from the OECD, the EU, the USA and other developed countries, which cause “serious damage” to such island nations like Antigua.
“Despite the fact that we are small island nations, our people have the right to live, and our people also have the right to a good standard of living. And some of the regulations that have been introduced at the global level put small island nations in an extremely uncomfortable position. If we are unable to make payments or even receive payments, it is obvious that our country will end up in poverty,” the politician said.
A broader use of the alternative payment methods was named among the proposed solutions to the banking issues. It was for this purpose that in summer 2018, the Antigua Parliament passed a law designed to pave the way for cryptocurrency payments under the Citizenship by Investment Program of this Caribbean country. But, according to Browne, interest in this payment mechanism has so far been unsatisfactory.
“Until recently, the interest was moderate. I believe that we have not succeeded in promoting this initiative, which involves the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. But I think that as soon as more and more investors learn that we accept cryptocurrencies, the demand will grow. However, we also intend to expand this payment mechanism for accepting yuan payments. We are trying to make sure that any investor could make payments with maximum ease, and bypass the issues associated with the correspondent banking,” said the Head of the Antiguan Government.
The politician added: “[The acceptance of payments in cryptocurrencies] also creates an extra market for the Citizenship by Investment Program. Wealthy individuals who already work with cryptocurrencies will be able to invest in our program with this financial instrument.”
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda: Terms and Conditions and Affordable Investment Options
Currently there are three types of investment that can help you become eligible for economic citizenship of the paradise islands of Antigua and Barbuda. You can choose one of the following options:
- A donation to the National Development Fund (NDF).
- Investments in the Antigua and Barbuda real estate via the purchase of a house or a share in a condo that are part of one of the government-approved development projects.
- Investments in business via one of the approved businesses.
The principal applicant must be over the age of 18, have no criminal record and have an excellent health. Provided that your application is approved, you and your family will receive lifelong citizenship and will be able to enjoy visa-free entry to almost 150 countries and territories around the world.
Citizenship by Investments of Antigua and Barbuda: Passport for a Non-Refundable Donation to the National Development Fund
The NDF non-profit organization was established to finance the government projects, innovations in business and approved charity projects. The Fund’s activities are reviewed by an internationally recognized auditing firm. Reports on outflows from the Fund and capital inflows are published every year.
If you choose this investment option, you will be asked to contribute USD 100,000 to the National Development Fund. This donation is sufficient for a family of four. You will find the amount of the data processing fee below.
- For a single applicant or a family of four: A USD 100,000 donation + the data processing fee: USD 25,000
- For a family of 5 or more: A USD 125,000 donation + the data processing fee: USD 15,000 for each extra dependent over four family members.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda: Passport of Antigua and Barbuda for Investments in the Real Estate
You and your family can obtain citizenship for purchasing properties in Antigua and Barbuda. You will also be able to earn rental income by choosing this investment option. If you choose this option to apply for your passport you must invest at least USD 400,000 in one of the officially approved development projects.
Before October 31, 2019, two investors could team up and make an investment of a minimum amount of USD 200,000 each. All data processing fees and security checks remain unchanged in this case.
If you invest USD 400,000, you will be able to sell your property no earlier than in 5 years. If you invest USD 200,000 in your Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment, you will be able to sell the property no earlier than in 7 years. You will find the amount of the data processing fee below.
For a single applicant or a family of four or fewer, the data processing fee is USD 50,000. In the case of a family of 5 or more, a USD 15,000 processing fee for each extra dependent is added to this amount.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda: Passport for Business Investment
In this case, you can invest in both new and existing businesses in the host country. The main condition is getting approval from the authorities. There are two options for business investment:
- You can invest at least USD 1,500,000 on your own in an approved business.
- You can invest in a business collectively (along with several other applicants), with the total investment of at least USD 5,000,000, and each applicant must invest at least USD 400,000 in the project.
For a single applicant or a family of four or fewer, the data processing fee is USD 50,000. In the case of a family of 5 or more, a USD 15,000 processing fee for each extra dependent is added to this amount.
Please note that in all three options, you must also pay a security check fee of USD 7,500 for the principal applicant, USD 7,500 for the spouse, USD 2,000 for a dependent aged 12 to 17, and USD 4,000 for a dependent of 18 to 28 years of age and over 58 years of age.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda: Benefits
Antigua and Barbuda is a beautiful tropical island country with about 100,000 friendly and hospitable people. The cities on the islands are surrounded by 365 white beaches. Hotels along the beachfront serve as a driver of economic development, as do the ports that receive the largest cruise ships in the world.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of cruise ship passengers descend on dry land for a day to see this Caribbean paradise. And many of them subsequently return to enjoy the local beauty to the fullest and even to become economic citizens of the island nation. But in addition to its natural beauty Antigua offers its potential citizens much more valuable benefits that are described in our articles.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda: FAQ (Answers to Frequently Asked Questions)
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: Why Does the Country Have a Citizenship by Investment Program?
The Program was established to promote economic growth and the real estate market development, increase direct foreign investment in the country, support the infrastructure development and ensure a better future for the citizens of the state.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: How Many Countries Will I Be Able to Visit Without a Visa Being a Citizen of Antigua and Barbuda?
You will be able to visit more than 15 dozen countries without a visa, or with a visa upon arrival, or e-visa. This includes the EU and the Schengen Area, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: How Long Does the Application Processing Take?
The application processing may take 3 to 6 months.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: Who is Eligible for the Citizenship?
In order to qualify for the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda you must be over 18, have a good reputation, have no criminal record and be in good health.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: Do I Have to Speak English to Qualify for the Citizenship?
In order to qualify for the citizenship you are not required to speak English.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: Who Can Be Included into My Application?
Your application may include your financially dependent children under the age of 28, your spouse and your dependent parents over 58 years of age.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: How Is the Security Check Carried Out?
No face-to-face interviews are conducted. However, all applicants are subject to rigorous vetting that involves the contractors from reputable international independent firms specializing in security checks.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: What Happens After My Application Gets Approved?
A certificate of citizenship registration is issued. This certificate is transferred to the passport service. The authorized agent/representative then sends their passports and citizenship certificates to the investor and his dependents listed in the collective application.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: Is It Necessary to Come to the Host Country in Person to Get All the Procedures Finalized?
You can file all of your papers from your country of residence. Having been successfully granted a citizenship, the investor and their dependents must come to Antigua and Barbuda to take the oath or confirm their citizenship. They must also be spending 5 days in this country for several years so as not to lose their new passports.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: Does Antigua and Barbuda Recognize Dual Citizenship?
Antigua and Barbuda has no restrictions on the multiple nationality applied to citizens of this country.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: How Many Years Will the Investor Passport Be Valid For?
The passport is valid for 5 years and is extended for 10 years if you comply with all the requirements, such as the minimum stay in the country after obtaining citizenship, that is five days within five years.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: Can I Invest in Bitcoins and Other Cryptocurrencies?
So far, this issue is under development and has not yet been resolved.
Citizenship by Investment of Antigua and Barbuda in Questions and Answers: Does Antigua and Barbuda Have A Tax Residency Program In Addition to the Citizenship by Investment Program?
Currently there is no tax residency program in Antigua and Barbuda.
Should you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact an authorized representative, a licensed agent or talk directly to the Investment Citizenship Authority of the country.
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