ANTIGUA & BARBUDA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
Antigua and Barbuda is an independent Commonwealth country situated in the Caribbean and forms part of the CARICOM. The nation is comprised of twin islands that are located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Antigua became a British Colony under the discovery of Christopher Columbus and was named after the church of Santa Maria de l’Antigua in Seville, Spain. The islands attained full independence on November 1, 1981.The aim of the citizenship by investment (CBI) program is to generate foreign investment through capital and real estate investments and in exchange offer investors citizenship and a passport. An Antiguan citizenship offers investors visa free travel to over 130 countries, including the UK, Canada as well as the Schengen zone countries. Applicants and their families are granted full citizenship in exchange for either making an economic contribution to the country or investing in an approved real estate project, as set out by the Government.
• Program leads directly to citizenship and passport
• No requirement to relocate or live in Antigua &Barbuda
• Freedom of visa free travel to Schengen zone countries, UK, and many others
• Dual citizenship allowed
• Spouse, dependent children and dependent parents can be included
• Very minimal visit requirements: 5 days over 5 year period in order to renew passport
• Tax friendly jurisdiction: no personal income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax or estate duty.
The investor can include his immediate family: spouse, dependent children under the age of 25 (provided they are full time students), dependent parents over the age of 65.
PROCESS AND REQUIREMENTS
The Antigua & Barbuda citizenship program requires the investor to make an economic contribution to the country as well as meet certain other requirements.Investors (and their families) who wish to apply for Antiguan citizenship by investment must meet one the following two investment requirements:
1.Purchase of real estate with a minimum value of USD 400 000 in an approved real estate development.
Evidence of ownership needs to be provided of a property purchased for a minimum of USD 400 000.
If the applicant opts for the real estate option, they may not sell the property within a 5 year period.
After the 5 year period they are free to either keep or sell the property.
2. Donation to the NDF – Antiguan Government charity:
The required donation will depend on the size of thefamily:
• USD 250 0000 for a single applicant
• USD 300 000 for main applicant, spouse and two children <18
• USD 50 000 for additional children <18
The Caribbean is a tax friendly jurisdiction and there is no inheritance or capital gains tax. Persons who are present for more than 183 days a year will be viewed as residents of Antigua & Barbuda and will therefore be subject to tax.
In 2005 personal income tax was reintroduced and the rate is between 10% – 25% on income above a minimum amount. Persons who are only in the country temporarily will only be taxed on income that is derived from or in Antigua and Barbuda. Changes to the Income Tax Act are expected which will change the income tax on worldwide income to only locally sourced income.
Antigua & Barbuda has a tax which is similar to VAT and is known as sales tax. This is a standard rate of 15% and is levied on local consumption. The business and corporate tax rate is 25% (of net profits). There are however tax breaks and concessions which are available to qualifying companies.
The legal framework of the economic citizenship program allows for the investor and his family to obtain citizenship provided they follow the specified requirements. There is no residency or residence period, the investor acquires citizenship and his/her passport directly. The application process takes 4 – 5 months.
FREEDOM OF TRAVEL AND ACCESS
An Antiguan passport allows the investor to spend a maximum of 90 out of every 180 days in any of the Schengen zone countries. Some of the popular countries that an Antiguan passport allows visa free travel to include: UK, Schengen zone and many of the Commonwealth countries.
BENEFITS: DIRECT CITIZENSHIP
• Antigua and Barbuda is a tax friendly jurisdiction.
• The citizenship application has a fast application process relative to other programs and the applicant should have his/her passport within 3 – 4 months.
• An Antiguan passport offers the investor visa free travel to around 130 different countries, including the UK, Canada and the Schengen zone countries.
• There are no residence periods or minimum physical stay requirements, aside from the 5 days visit required.
PROCEDURES AND STEPS
The Antigua & Barbuda citizenship by investment program adheres to very strict regulations and guidelines. The Citizenship-by-Investment Unit (CIU) is the government authority responsible for the administration of the citizenship program as well as processing all applications.
Before the submission of an application to the Government of Antigua & Barbuda, strict and comprehensive due diligence will be done and a medical certificate is also required to confirm that the family is in good health and not suffering from any contagious diseases. The CIU will examine the applications closely and may sometimes request an interview with the applicant.
Once all steps and requirements have been achieved and the application is approved, the applicants can collect their passports. The passports can either be collected in Antigua and Barbuda or the office of any High Commission or Consulate.