Important factors to consider in residence planning
The citizenship-by-investment program requires applicants to make a significant economic contribution to the country. In exchange, and subject to a stringent application procedure, including thorough background checks, the applicants and their families are granted citizenship.
To qualify for citizenship, the main applicant must be over 18 years of age, meet the application requirements, and select one of the following three options available:
Under the NDF option, the contribution for a single applicant or a family of up to four people is USD 100,000, and the processing fee is USD 30,000. For a larger family, the NDF contribution is USD 125,000, with processing fees of USD 30,000 for the main applicant and the first three dependents. An additional fee of USD 15,000 will apply for the fifth and each additional dependent thereafter.
Under the real estate option, the minimum contribution is USD 200,000 with processing fees of USD 30,000 for a single applicant or a family of four persons. A fee of USD 15,000 will apply for the fifth and each additional dependent thereafter.
Under the business investment option, the minimum contribution is USD 1.5 million for individual applicants, with processing fees of USD 30,000 for a single applicant or a family of four persons. A fee of USD 15,000 will apply for the fifth and each additional dependent thereafter.
There are also due diligence fees of USD 7,500 for both the main applicant and spouse, USD 2,000 for any dependent child of 12 to 17 years of age, and USD 4,000 for any dependent child of 18 to 28 years of age as well as any dependent parent over the age of 58 years.
Government processing fees and due diligence fees apply to all three options.
The NDF is a non-profit foundation established for the purpose of, inter alia, supporting enterprises to develop significant innovations through the provision of long-term, committed share capital, public/private partnerships, specific governmental projects, and, from time to time, charitable investments in non-profit organizations that deliver services in health care, education, environmental management, youth development, or the promotion of sports and culture.
The NDF is governed by the provisions of the Finance and Administration Act, which stipulates that there be established a special fund to be administered by a public officer. These funds will not be comingled with the government’s consolidated funds and will only be utilized for the specific aforesaid purposes. The citizenship-by-investment program will be subject to reporting every six months, which will be published and presented to the House of Representatives no later than 30 days following completion of the report.
The program allows for a dependent between the ages of 18 to 28 years to be included in the application of the main applicant if the dependent is a full-time student at a recognized higher learning institution and is financially dependent on the main applicant. The dependent should have at least six months remaining in their studies at the time of submission of the application. The program also allows for parents and grandparents over the age of 58 of the main applicant or their spouse to be included in the application as dependents, if the parent(s) and grandparent(s) are living with and are fully supported by the main applicant.
The main applicant and their dependents will become ineligible if they have not received a free pardon or have at any time previously been convicted in any country of an offense for which the maximum custodial penalty is in excess of six months imprisonment. The regulations further stipulate that a person who has been denied a visa to a country with which Antigua and Barbuda has visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel arrangement and has subsequently not obtained a visa to the country that issued the denial shall not be entitled to apply under the program. A person who is deemed a potential national security risk, a reputational risk, or is subject to criminal investigation will also be denied citizenship.