Antigua and Barbuda are two islands of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. United under one sovereign state, Antigua and Barbuda are harmoniously headed by one democratically elected parliament and a constitutional monarchy, responsible for the governance of the nation’s population of around 91,000 citizens.
Antigua and Barbuda became independent from the United Kingdom in 1981, but aspects of British culture remain, such as the official language being English and cricket being the national sport.
Antigua, the largest of the two islands, is divided into six parishes and is home to the port-city of St John’s, the country’s capital. Barbuda is inched to the north of its sister island, and offers a more private Caribbean experience.
Antigua and Barbuda’s GDP grew by 2.5 percent in 2015, and is expected to moderate to 2 percent in 2016. Tourism, investment banking, and manufacturing are the largest contributors to the nation’s economy, with tourism accounting for almost 60 percent of GDP.
Despite the islands relying heavily on their natural environment to attract foreign visitors, particularly from the United States, Antigua and Barbuda is first in the world for its percent usage of fossil fuels to generate electric energy.
The financial sector is a growing segment of the economy, with a number of commercial banks having been set up on the islands, including foreign ones from Canada and Britain. Antigua and Barbuda’s primary exports include boats, ships, and petroleum.
The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme is a recent addition to the sphere of economic citizenship, having been established by the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Act, 2013.
Antigua and Barbuda offers three investment alternatives for successful applicants.
The first alternative allows applicants to make a minimum contribution of US$200,000 to the National Development Fund (NDF), a not-for-profit organisation created with the purpose of running both public and private projects as well as charitable initiatives such as improving access to healthcare and education.
The second alternative requires the applicant to make an investment of US$400,000 or more into one of the Government’s approved real estate projects. Such developments include leasehold schemes, hotels, and villas that add value to the nation’s tourism sector.
The last alternative entails an investment of US$1,500,000 into an eligible, Government-approved, business project. Applicants can apply as joint investors so long as each applicant makes a US$400,000 investment into a project estimated to be worth at least US$5,000,000.
The Programme’s application process takes approximately three months from the date of submission to the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), the Government body responsible for reviewing all applications under the Programme. Due diligence procedures are strict, but a number of nationalities are outright excluded from the application process.
Antigua and Barbuda requires applicants to travel to the nation or to an embassy or consulate to sign an oath of allegiance. Furthermore, once awarded, citizenship is conditional on the applicant spending five days on Antiguan or Barbadian soil within five years of obtaining citizenship.
Antigua and Barbuda offers citizens close ties to the Americas, including visa-free travel to Canada. Citizenship also comes with access to over 130 countries and territories worldwide, as well as life in a tolerant nation that accepts dual nationality.