Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship By Investment: The Ultimate GuideBecome a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and get a passport offering visa free travel to 143 countries.
Invest a minimum of $130,000 (including fees)
Get your passport in 3-6 months
Visa-free travel to 143 countries
This article discusses Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program, its benefits, and step-by-step procedure to acquire Antigua and Barbuda citizenship and passport.
The Antiguan program was established back in 2013 and it became one of the five such programs offered in the Caribbean.
All of them are quite similar and compete closely with each other. Changes to one cause reverberations throughout the islands and others soon follow suit, trying to gain an advantage.
For example, back in 2017, a few of the Caribbean CBI programs cut their prices, which left Antigua and Barbuda scrambling for investment dollars.
They’ve since strengthened their program. Not only that, but they’ve become the cheapest option to get a Caribbean passport for a family of up to four members. That’s because you can claim a spouse and up to two kids under the same investment fee of $130,000 (including fees).
On top of that, the Antiguan passport is one of the most powerful in the Caribbean, allowing you to access 143 countries visa-free.
Want a cheap Caribbean passport with decent travel freedom? Antigua and Barbuda won’t disappoint. If the country doesn’t catch your eye, the region has several other exceptional CBI programs. All you need to do is reach out to us to figure out which works best for you.
⤅ Antigua’s CBI Woes
⤅ CBI Program Comparison
⤅ Option A – National Development Fund (NDF)
⤅ Option B – Real Estate Investment
⤅ Option C – Business Investment
⤅ Antigua Passport Fees
⤅ Personal Requirements
⤅ Lodge Your Application (A Few Days)
⤅ Due Diligence Conducted (3 Months)
⤅ Receive Passport (A Few Days)
Citizenship by Investment: The Basics
A citizenship by investment program is something that’s created and run by a national government to attract investors to their country. If the domestic economy is lacking or overly reliant on one industry (e.g., tourism in the Caribbean), the government will seek foreign investment to diversify the ways they fill the country coffers.
Many countries around the world offer CBI programs and Antigua and Barbuda is just one of them.
They will differ in terms of their requirements, but they generally are as follows:
- Invest or donate a specified amount of money to the country
- The money has to be invested/donated in a way that’s specified by the CBI program legislation
- A citizenship and a passport will be granted to you as a result
Now that you’re up to speed with the very basics of what a citizenship by investment program entails, let’s have a gander at what Antigua and Barbuda have to offer, specifically.
Antigua and Barbuda – Country Overview
Antigua and Barbuda is a country in the West Indies, comprising two major (Antigua and Barbuda) and several smaller islands. A quick flight from North America and a longer one from Europe, the country really has plenty to offer to the foreign investor.
English speaking and part of the Commonwealth (ex-British colony), Antigua and Barbuda thrives on tourism, which generates approximately 60% of its GDP. Over a million people – mostly Americans, Canadians, and Europeans – visit the country every year.
Antigua and Barbuda has capitalized beautifully on their beaches, coves, and lagoons. Antigua has built some of the most exclusive resorts in the world and Barbuda continues attracting people with its untouched and raw natural beauty, and fewer facilities as well.
It’s quintessentially Caribbean too, with rum factories, brightly colored villages, and friendly locals.
However, it’s geographic location spells out trouble – it comes in the shape of tropical storms. Just in 2017, Hurricane Maria basically demolished the smaller island of Barbuda.
It’s totally up to chance if the islands will be hit during the annual hurricane season (July to October) and if they will be, how bad the damage will be.
The Antiguan government has taken several steps to diversify their economy and made investment banking and financial services an important part of their country’s economy.
Just like its neighboring island states, the country lets foreigners invest and manage their capital at a fraction of the cost than in the western world.
They’ve also established their citizenship by investment program, which has raised a large sum of money for this tiny country, allowing it to develop and grow.
You could get an Antiguan passport, enjoy its luscious beaches and luxurious resorts, and save a lot of money in the process too.
Let’s see how it could work.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program
Want to make Antigua and Barbuda your home? Or perhaps you just care about its passport and the benefit that it would bring to both you and your family? You can apply to become a citizen by investing in the country.
In just 3 to 4 months, you could have an Antiguan passport at hand and start enjoying all the benefits that it brings.
In return, you’ll be expected to make an economic contribution to the country.
While Antigua and Barbuda’s CBI program doesn’t have a big advantage over other island states’ CBIs if you’re a solo applicant, the real appeal is for families.
A family of up to four members (2 adults and 2 children) can apply for citizenship under the same contribution of $100,000 and processing fee of $30,000. Due diligence fees will be added for each person, but the principal investment of $130,000 (contribution+processing fee for a four person family) remains the same.
That’s not very common in the CBI world (at all) and gives Antigua and Barbuda a clear advantage.
The Antigua and Barbuda CBI program is also one of the few that not only allows for adult dependent children aged 18-26 to be included in the main application (if they are a full-time student), but it also allows for parents and parents-in-law of the main applicant to be added too (financially dependent, 55+ years old).
Although other Caribbean countries with CBI programs don’t have residency requirements, Antigua and Barbuda does. And we don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing because it shows that Antigua wants its applicants to take the whole citizenship thing a bit more seriously.
There is no pre-passport residency required. In fact, you can get an Antiguan passport without ever leaving your home. There is no requirement to attend an interview either.
But they do have a residency requirement for after you receive your passport: you’ll need to spend five days within a period of five years to maintain your citizenship. If you don’t, you won’t be able to renew your passport when the time comes. After your passport is renewed, there is no more residency requirement.
There shouldn’t be any problem fulfilling this requirement, however. It’s a beautiful country with gorgeous beaches and luxurious amenities to get you fully relaxed.
Main Pros of Having an Antiguan Passport
Route to the UK and EU
Access the UK as part of the Commonwealth and all the EU too.
Low Investment Amount
Get an Antiguan passport for as low as $130,000. (including fees).
Short Residence Requirement
Spend just 5 days in Antigua in a 5 year period.
Visit 143 countries, including Russia, South Africa, and Central America.
Luxury Island Life
Antigua and Barbuda is known for opulent travel.
Best Option For a Family
A family of 4 can apply for the price of one.
How to Obtain a Passport From Antigua and Barbuda
Make a Donation
Donate $130,000 (including fees) for up to a family of four.
Invest in a Business
Invest at least $400,000 in a local Antiguan business.
Invest in Real Estate
Invest $200,000 (including fees) in pre-approved real estate.
The University Fund
Donate $150,000 to the University of the West Indies Fund.
How to Buy an Antiguan Passport
So, how exactly do you get an Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment?
There are four options set out by the Antiguan government, but the reality is much simpler. Despite there being a possibility to invest in real estate or local businesses, the vast majority of applicants (97%) choose to make a contribution to the National Development Fund.
That’s because it requires the lowest amount of investment, even though you can potentially see a return on investment on your real estate or business.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose which route you want to go, but we strongly urge you to consider a donation to keep things simple. Look for businesses or real estate investments elsewhere – the world is full of opportunities.
Let’s discuss each of the three investment options and talk about the Antigua passport fees associated with them.
Option A – National Development Fund (NDF)
Even though it might seem counterintuitive to make a donation as opposed to investing your money in a tangible asset, this route is by far the most popular when it comes to Antigua’s CBI program.
It’s the lowest amount that can get you an Antiguan passport and it’s one of the most affordable options for a family of up to four people in the world.
The NDF is a fund that was established in 2006 to finance government projects that improve the lives of its populace. Think building roads, investing in education and the like.
Here’s what it looks like.
The investment: $100,000 donation to the Antigua National Development Fund for a family of up to 4 people. Additional dependents at $25,000 each.
Government fees: $30,000 NDF processing fee for up to four family members. Incremental payments of $15,000 for each additional dependent.
Option B – Real Estate Investment
Your second option is to invest in real estate. Only 1-2% of the applicants go for this option, for obvious reasons.
Real estate is unlikely to appreciate a great deal in Antigua and Barbuda. Moreover, it’s risky to invest in a country that relies only on tourism and foreign investment. However, you could potentially recover your funds after the holding period of five years is up.
Still, some people will choose this investment route and it breaks down like this.
The investment: $400,000, or $200,000 each if two related parties make the investment. The real estate must be held for at least five years before it can be sold. It can be sold to another CBI program applicant, but only once.
You may only buy real estate that’s pre-approved by The Cabinet, which means that you’ll be looking at the overpriced luxury real estate segment.
The most up-to-date and official list of approved real estate investment options can be found here.
Government fees: $30,000 USD for a family of up to four people, with additional payments of $15,000 for each additional dependent.
Altogether, the investment in real estate in Antigua and Barbuda comes to $430,000. It could be an attractive option for those looking to recover all the money that they’ve invested if they can wait five full years.
You’ll still get to keep the citizenship if you sell the real estate once the five years are up.
Option C – Business Investment
You can also invest in a pre-approved business to obtain your Antiguan passport. Again, this may be done individually or with someone else, in which case you can split the costs.
Here’s an up-to-date and complete list of approved business investment opportunities if you choose to go this route.
The investment: The two business investment options are:
Invest at least US$1,500,000 in an approved business as a solo applicant.
Make a joint investment (with another applicant) in an approved business totaling at least US$ 5,000,000, with each person contributing at least US$400,000.
Processing fees: $30,000 USD for a family of up to four people, with additional payments of $15,000 for each additional dependent.
Option D – University Fund (UWI)
Effective May 2020, Antigua and Barbuda introduced a new donation option that is only available to families of six or more.
By making a donation to the University of the West Indies, you can automatically qualify six applicants for citizenship. Plus, one family member will receive a one-year scholarship to the university.
The investment: A one-time donation of $150,000 to the University of West Indies Fund (UWI)
Government fees: All processing fees are included in the $150k donation amount, but additional family members will require an extra $15,000 donation per person.
Antigua Passport Fees
In addition to the investment and the government fees that are applied to each of the three investment options, there are more fees tacked on each application – all for good measure.
So, what are the additional Antiguan passport fees?
Due diligence fees. It’s $7,500 per adult applicant, $2,000 per dependent aged 12-17 (under 12s free), $4,000 per dependent aged 18 or older.
Passport fee. Every person in your family who needs a passport will have to pay $300.
Agent fee. Whatever fee you agree upon with the authorized agent or an agency, you’ll have to add it to the total cost of obtaining an Antiguan passport. This will usually range from $40,000 to $70,000.
The Step-by-Step Application Process
Now that you know what the total costs involved might be, we’ll give you a rundown of what the process of applying for an Antiguan passport looks like.
Please note that only licensed agents can lodge applications on your behalf. Here is a complete list of licensed agents, who are allowed to help you with the application process.
Not a fan of talking to a bunch of agents to figure out the best one? No problem. Talk to our team today who can help you plan your best way forward without you having to lift a finger.
It’s not an extremely restricted CBI program and all of the requirements are standard in the industry.
They are as follows:
- You are 18 years or older
- You can’t be someone who’s under sanctions, restrictions or bans to enter EU countries, the United States, the UK or Canada
- You must have no criminal record
- You must be able to confirm that the source of your income is legal and that you have enough money coming in to survive
- Good character and good health
- You must not be a threat to the integrity and the safety of Antigua and Barbuda
1. Lodge Application (A Few Days)
There are certain documents required to apply and complete the process of obtaining an Antiguan citizenship by investment.
They are as follows: police certificate proving that you don’t have a criminal record, a copy of your passport, a marriage certificate, a birth certificate, and a few others too. All of your documents should have an apostille so that they can be legally used in Antigua and Barbuda.
To initiate the process, apply with your advisor or individually via an authorized agent. You will have to pay 10% of the government fee (so $3,000 if you’re going the donation route) to start the application process.
Real estate investors will need to provide a sale agreement. Business investors will need to get their project approved.
2. Due Diligence Period (3 Months)
It will take approximately three months for the government to look into your application and
decide on the outcome.
From the day that the Certificate of Registration of Citizenship is issued, you will have 30
calendar days to finalize your investment and pay all the fees.
3. Receive a Passport
Visit an Antiguan Embassy, High Commission or a Consular office to take an oath of Allegiance and physically receive your passport.
It will then be issued for five years. During that time, you must visit and spend at least five days in the country to be able to extend the passport once it expires. All subsequent passports are valid for periods of 10 years.
Want to Enjoy Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship Like These Nomad Capitalists?
“I thoroughly enjoy having an Antiguan passport. Visa-free travel has opened up numerous business opportunities for me in Europe and in South Africa.”
“After obtaining an Antiguan passport, I’ve been able to open up my business in Russia. It’s such a relief not to worry about getting a visa every time I need to travel there.”
“Antigua and Barbuda was by far the cheapest option to obtain a second passport for my family of three. Now, my child will have options in his future too.”
The Pros of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship
Although similar to other programs, such as St Lucia or Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda has an edge if you aren’t a solo applicant.
If you have a spouse and children, Antigua is the cheapest jurisdiction in the world to obtain a second (or subsequent) passport. While other programs will tack on additional costs for every member of your family, Antigua lets a family of four apply for the same price – that’s a bargain.
Plus, there are other benefits of an Antigua and Barbuda citizenship:
Visa-free travel to 143 countries. According to the Nomad Passport Index, an Antigua and Barbuda passport allows you to travel to approximately 143 countries without applying for a visa. These countries include the Schengen area, South Africa, Hong Kong, Brazil, and others.
Access and privileges in the UK. Since Antigua and Barbuda is part of the Commonwealth, its citizens are entitled to certain privileges in the United Kingdom and its other member states.
Dual citizenship for life. You will get to enjoy your citizenship for life and the same goes for your children. You will obtain the right to live and work in the country. However, you won’t automatically have the right to vote in elections.
Quick passport. The total time it takes, from the lodging of your application to actually holding your passport in your hand is relatively quick, especially when compared to European CBI programs.
No residence requirement. You don’t have to live or even visit Antigua and Barbuda to obtain its passport. Lodge an application and only if you receive a passport will you have to spend five days in the country in five years to retain your citizenship.
Favorable tax. Even though you can’t live tax-free in Antigua and Barbuda if you choose to become a resident, the tax environment as a whole is quite favorable. The country has no capital gains, gift, wealth, inheritance, or real estate tax. Income tax is not charged on income that’s generated outside of the country.
An island paradise. There is no negating the fact that Antigua and Barbuda is one of the top holiday destinations in the world. Antigua’s resorts and Barbuda’s unspoiled beaches and nature attract over one million visitors a year. You could have a second home there, with easy air connections to major hubs in North America and Europe.
Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment FAQs
Who cannot apply for Antiguan citizenship?
Nations whose citizens are only accepted if they are residents of any other country: Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan.
What are the residency requirements for Antigua's CBI program?
Once becoming a citizen, you must visit and spend 5 days in Antigua and Barbuda during the first five years. Otherwise, you won’t be able to renew your passport after it expires.
How much do I invest in Antigua and Barbuda to get citizenship?
The absolute minimum that you have to invest in is $130,000 (including fees) to obtain an Antiguan passport. Every additional family member will add to that amount. This amount also doesn’t include agent fees.
Will I need to have a residential address in Antigua and Barbuda?
No. There is no such requirement.
Does Antigua and Barbuda publish the name of its investors who receive passports?
No. Your name won’t be published anywhere nor will it be disclosed to any third parties, unless legally necessary.
Your Antiguan Passport
Antigua and Barbuda is just one of several countries in the world that offer citizenship by investment, competing with many other jurisdictions for investment dollars.
Does it make sense for you to invest in Antigua? Only you can decide, but there are some obvious pros.
Not only would you be able to travel to more than 143 countries visa-free, including all of the EU, most of Latin America, South Africa, Russia, Hong Kong, and the likes, Antiguan citizens are also Commonwealth citizens, which in itself has some benefits if you were to go to the UK.
The most attractive investment option in Antigua is the donation. A $130,000 investment (including fees) could get you or a family of four an Antiguan passport and open up plenty of opportunities globally.
All Caribbean CBI programs are largely similar and it’s entirely up to you to decide which way you want to go. Still confused? Don’t worry. No matter how similar some CBI programs are, it’s always beneficial to do your due diligence so that you can go where you’re treated best. That’s exactly what we believe in, here at Nomad Capitalist.
We have helped our clients acquire citizenship from 28 countries and we can help you do the same. Set up a call with us today to get your second passport.