ABIRE MANSOOR, DIRECTOR AND LICENSED AGENT
Having attracted nearly half a billion US dollars to its economy since its inception in 2013, the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program has processed over 3,000 applications to date.
The National Development Fund (NDF) represents about 81% of all applications, while real estate investments at around 10%, and the remainder directed to business investments and the University of West Indies Fund, one of the industry’s most competitive investment options for larger families.
The Antigua & Barbuda citizenship investment unit announced late last week that they will now accept for siblings and dependent grandchildren to be included in citizenship applications.
The most recent changes to the Antigua & Barbuda include the following changes to the definition of “dependent”:
a) A current spouse of the principal applicant;
b) A child of the principal applicant, or of his or her spouse, who is 0-30 years of age and who is financially dependent on the principal applicant;
c) A child of the principal applicant, or of his or her spouse, who is 18 years or older but who is physically or mentally handicapped and who is living with and is fully supported by the principal applicant;
d) A parent or grandparent of the principal applicant, or of his or her spouse, who is 55 years of age or older and who is financially dependent on the principal applicant;
e) A sibling of the principal applicant, or of his or her spouse, if unmarried;
There are also some changes to the fees for adding dependents to applications after citizenship is granted:
a) A future spouse of the principal applicant, A fee of US$50,000 is payable upon application;
b) A future spouse of dependent children where the dependent child is financially dependent on the principal applicant; and
c) A future child of a dependent child. A fee of US$10,000 is to be payable for children under 5 years of age and US$20,000 for children 6-17 years of age.
Cabinet also approved the following:
- The fee to add a child shall be US$10,000 for children under 5 years of age and US$20,000 for children 6-17 years.
- The fees for the addition of adult dependents shall be reduced from US$75,000 to US$50,000.
- There shall be no time restriction on when a dependent may be be added to an application.
These are welcome adjustments bringing Antigua & Barbuda in line with some of the other Caribbean programs which also decide to allow siblings last year. The other changes have once more ensured Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program is the most compelling and not least because it’s the most cost effective option for a family to apply.
Despite being the most desirable country in many respects for second citizenship when you consider important ‘Plan B’ factors such as access, infrastructure, international population, foreign direct investment, safety, education, medical infrastructure and in particular the economy, Antigua & Barbuda has priced it’s citizenship aggressively in the market place knowing that the vast majority of applicants are almost solely concerned with the visa-free travel privileges and are price sensitive.
This year we have seen the growth of another motivation for having more than one passport, and that is the desire for a safety net, a viable ‘Plan B’ country. When the destination itself as a back up location for you and your family is of importance in the decision process, Antigua & Barbuda has almost endless advantages to leverage. I predict that we will see a lot more European and North American applicants in Antigua the coming years and a corresponding rise in property purchases.
If you’d like to speak to us, please either send us a webchat (click the icon bottom right of this page), email or book in for a video consultation easily in our partner calendar. We find video conferencing to be the most efficient use of your time to ascertain the best program for you and your family. We encourage you to take advantage of it since your first consultation is free of charge.