Getting a second citizenship or residency offers several benefits like freedom to travel to different countries, tax efficiency, and more business opportunities. You can also own properties in either country and be immersed in both cultures.
If you want to be a citizen or resident of another country, Antigua and Barbuda is an excellent choice, especially if you are drawn to the sea. Located in the Caribbean, this nation consists of two islands with 365 beaches. You can enjoy a relaxing beach vacation all year round.
Read on to learn how you can enter Antigua and Barbuda and become a resident or citizen of this beautiful country.
- 1 Visa: Your Entry Pass to Antigua
- 2 Acquiring Antigua Residency and Citizenship
Getting a visa is one way of determining if Antigua and Barbuda is the right country for you to enjoy and live in for years. You will get to experience how to live here without committing anything yet.
Antigua and Barbuda allows some citizens of other countries to enter the country visa-free. These include citizens of the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and Asian countries like Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan.
However, if you cannot enter the country visa-free, here are your options.
This type of visa lets you enter and stay in the country for a maximum of six months for business or holiday. Aside from a valid passport, you also need to have proof of buying a return ticket for leaving the country within that time frame, your financial capacity to sustain your lifestyle during your stay, and accommodations.
You can use this type of visa if you are visiting Antigua to fulfill a job or for similar reasons that require you to come and go based on your individual needs. Though it has the same requirements as getting a tourist visa, its validity is longer – 12 months. Note that your application can only be approved if the issuing office you are working with believes that you have a valid reason for acquiring it.
If your goal is to acquire Antigua residency and citizenship, here are your options.
You can become a resident of Antigua and Barbuda temporarily or permanently.
Antigua’s temporary residency program grants you residency for two years. Within this period, you can live, study, and work in the country. However, if you commit any criminal activity anywhere, you can lose your status of temporary residency.
You can apply for this residency permit if:
- You are married to an Antigua citizen and have been living together for a minimum of one year
- You have been living in the country for a minimum of four years before you submitted your application
In an effort to encourage wealthy individuals and investors to move to Antigua and Barbuda, the government introduced a permanent residency program in June 1995. One of the perks of this residency program is freedom from local taxes like capital gains tax, wealth tax, income tax, and inheritance tax. If you establish an international business in this country once you become a permanent resident, your profits will be exempted from taxes, too.
To qualify for this program, you must:
- Maintain a permanent address and residence in Antigua and Barbuda (purchased or leased)
- Pay an annual tax of no less than 20,000 USD per year
- Live in the country for no less than 30 days each year
- Have a yearly income of over 100,000 USD (presenting a certificate confirming your income, two personal references, and bank statement may be necessary)
Once you are granted a residency permit, it is valid for one year and can be renewed yearly.
Though there are several options for becoming an Antigua citizen, the CIP is considered the fastest and simplest way of gaining your second passport and citizenship. This citizenship program requires you to make a considerable economic contribution to the country. In exchange, you and your family will be granted citizenship – but also after being subjected to due diligence and a strict vetting process.
To qualify, you must be more than 18 years old, you must meet the application requirements, and you need to choose one of these four options:
You must contribute a minimum of 100,000 USD (non-refundable) to the NDF, a special fund established for financing different projects sponsored by the government.
You need to buy an eligible business for at least 2.5 million USD as an individual. A joint purchase is possible, too, wherein every person must contribute a minimum of 400,000 USD, totaling at least 5,000,000 USD.
To get funds for the fourth campus of the University that is located in Antigua, the government introduced this investment option. This requires you to make a donation of at least 150,000 USD (non-refundable). In exchange, aside from becoming a citizen, one family member will be granted a one-year tuition-only scholarship at Antigua’s University of the West Indies.
You must purchase a property from an approved real estate project. The property’s amount must have a minimum value of 200,000 USD. Take note that the property you have bought must not be disposed of within five years.
Tax planning and asset protection are the two main reasons people choose to relocate to Antigua and Barbuda. Depending on your individual needs and capabilities, their government offers several options for becoming one of their residents and/or citizens. Generally, you must provide the following:
- A completed application form
- A police certificate proving that you have a clean record
- A medical certificate indicating that you have a clean bill of health
- Certificate of birth and marriage (if applicable)
- A valid passport
To hasten your application process, consider working with a professional who can guide you throughout the course of getting your residency and/or citizenship. Experts offering citizenship services are your best partner in successfully acquiring your second residency/citizenship. The timeline can range from four to six months, from the compilation and submission of all necessary documents and identification of the most suitable investment route to your application’s approval.
These citizenship experts can even help with business coaching or property search so you can get the most out of your investment. And whenever you have any questions or concerns regarding the process, feel free to ask or talk to them. They are more than willing to provide assistance, even after your residency or citizenship is granted. This can entail additional fees, but their services can be a huge help for your application.
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship, residency and investment into the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.