Over the years, economic citizenship programs have emerged as some of the most preferred ways of achieving a new sense of freedom. These programs capitalize on the fact that dual citizenship is now widely considered as a major investment, with the second passport benefits as the main ROI.
By definition, economic citizenship is a status that an individual can attain after completing legal processes to become a naturalized citizen or permanent resident of another country by making a financial investment in that nation’s economy. In many cases, second passport countries offer three main investment options: donation, real estate, and/or business.
In Antigua and Barbuda, the route to citizenship by investment that is the least expensive upfront is through contribution to the National Development Fund or NDF. Read on to learn more about this investment option.
The National Development Fund
The National Development Fund is the most affordable in terms of upfront outlay and is a straightforward option for securing citizenship by investment in Antigua. For the government of Antigua, it is a strategic income-generating measure that aims to leverage dual citizenship as a commodity to help fund government projects for public welfare.
The NDF was created through the Citizenship by Investment Act of 2013 with the purpose of funding government-approved projects and partnerships with the private sector.
Although it is made to generate income for the country, the NDF remains a non-profit program that maintains transparency through the oversight of the Antiguan parliamentary via semi-annual detailed reporting. The accountability is taken one step further as the Fund is also subjected to regular audits done by an accounting firm that is recognized internationally.
NDF Donation and Fee Schedule
Donating to the NDF means offering a non-refundable sum to the country’s economy. For economic citizenship applicants in Antigua, that means shelling out a minimum of US$100,000 as a one-time payment. This already applies to both solo applicants and those with a maximum of three dependents (spouse, dependent children up to 28 years, and parents aged 59 years and up).
However, the actual contribution amount isn’t the only cost you should think about when considering a second passport in the country. Other costs you should consider in your budget include:
- Government fees – Ten percent of these fees should be paid upon the submission of the citizenship by investment application. These are non-refundable. The balance should be settled in full after the approval of your application. Each member of the family is charged a government application fee, with the computation as follows:
- For a solo applicant or a family with a maximum of four members: $25,000
- For a family with more than four members, there is a $15,000 increment for every additional dependent
- Due diligence fees – Since your application will be subjected to third party diligence, you also need to pay due diligence fees for each family member who is at least 12 years old. This is to ensure that only meritorious applicants get approved. This fee is non-refundable and should be paid during the submission of your application, with charges as follows:
- $7,500 for the primary applicant
- Another $7,500 for the spouse
- $2,000 each for dependents aged 12 to 17
- $4,000 each for dependents 18 years old and up
- Passport fee – Every member of the family applying for economic citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda are required to pay passport fees which will be used in the processing of their passports after the approval of the application.
How to Apply
The process of applying for Antigua economic citizenship can be broken down into five easy steps, as follows:
Step #1: Prepare application requirements with the help of an authorized agent
Application for economic citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda can only be done through a government-authorized agent who is licensed by the country’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) such as Citizens International. The agent should also be able to assist in the preparation and submission of documentary requirements and will serve as the liaison for the applicant throughout the process.
Documentary requirements, as well as accomplished forms, should be written in English. Original or certified documentation should also be submitted as prescribed by the government.
Step #2: Pay necessary fees
Concurrently with the submission of the application, the agent will also need to pay due diligence and a fraction of the government processing fees (10%) on your behalf.
Step #3: Wait for the result of due diligence checks
Upon the receipt of your application, the CIU shall perform due diligence checks to verify the information in the paperwork you submitted. This process may take 90 days and may last up to 120 days, depending on the complexities of your application documents.
After 90 days from the date of your submission is up, your agent shall receive written notification from the CIU on your behalf. It shall indicate the current status of your application (approved, denied, delayed, or still being processed).
Step #4: Pay the contribution and remaining balance of fees
After the approval of your application, it is time for you to pay the remaining fees and the promised contribution to the NDF. The contribution should be paid through the CIU escrow account within 30 days.
Step #5: Apply for a passport and take an oath
Once you settle your payments, you and your dependents will each be given a Certificate of Registration of Citizenship through your Licensed Agent. This should be submitted for the processing of your passport.
After this is done, you will receive your certificates, passports, and other accompanying documentation of your legal citizenship in the country through the agent. Upon your first visit to Antigua and Barbuda, you will be required to take an oath or affirm your allegiance to the country. You can also accomplish this by visiting the country’s High Commission, Embassy, or a Consular Office.
Are You Ready to Take the Leap?
Becoming an economic citizen of another nation is a major investment, so it is also a decision that requires much pondering. To make an informed choice and avoid mistakes, you should always have an experienced agent who can assist you throughout the process. Citizens International is here to help. Send us a message for more information.