Why Citizens International?

Management Team

Our management team have compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Brian Dobbin

Kaline Kennard

Jimmy Webster

Jose Herrera

Brian Dobbin

Founder

Brian Dobbin is the founder of Citizens International and was born in Ireland and raised in Canada. Coming from an entrepreneurial family Brian began his own business 20 years ago and has had significant success internationally in property development and sales.

Now living in the Caribbean, he has worked across borders his adult life and first became familiar with citizenship investment in the 1990’s in Canada, creating a citizenship program with a provincial government and providing jobs for hundreds of families there which still exist today. From this he assisted governments in the creation of citizenship programs in the West Indies and Ireland, and understands intimately the benefits of being an international citizen and the impact of their investment.

Kaline Kennard

Partner

Kaline is an international marketing management honors graduate having studied at university in the U.K. and France. Born and raised between France and England, she has straddled two cultures her entire life. Fluent in multiple languages she has lived in the Caribbean since 2005.

Kaline is a founding partner and a key part of the Citizens International team since its inception, responsible for the communications and marketing of the company, and coordinating the professional network of partners around the world. She has lived in Antigua for the last five years and is able to promote the lifestyle and benefits of residency on the island effortlessly, as she is reminded of them every day.

Jimmy Webster

CEO & Head of Legal

Born in Scotland, Jimmy Webster practised as a corporate lawyer with CMS Cameron McKenna before working in investment banking in London. Starting his own advisory boutique firm in London offering corporate finance in the mid-2000’s, he worked with clients in many countries.

Jimmy joined Citizens International as a founding partner and CEO upon its creation in 2011. Living and raising a family in both the UK and the Caribbean, he truly appreciates the freedom of being a global citizen and the consequent benefits.

Jose Herrera

ASEAN Director

Raised in Spain and qualified in the EU as an international lawyer, Jose has followed a career path first and foremost that has let him experience the world. Jose has worked for multi-discipline law firms in South America and Eastern Europe, and in the United States whilst working with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

For the last number of years he has been located in Asia and now resides in Bangkok, representing Citizens International for the ASEAN region. With his broad experience in jurisprudence around the world Jose understands the safety and support offered to successful individuals through a second citizenship, and knows firsthand that the lifestyle and opportunity in the Caribbean are second to none.

Sean Stewart

Tristan Primus

Jie Chu

Sean Stewart

Director of Business Development

A citizen of the U.K., Canada and Barbados, Sean has extensive international experience managing teams for two prominent U.K. real estate companies selling prime London property, and travelling the world in competitive yacht racing. He was appointed Director of Business Development for Citizens International in 2016.

With an engaging personality and a very easy charisma Sean is well versed in the lifestyle and benefits of international citizenship. Based in London, he advises our professional network and clients, and travels frequently through Europe, the Middle East and Africa representing the company.

Tristan Primus

Licensed Agent

Born and raised in Antigua, Tristan was a recipient of the Antigua Louis H Lockhart scholarship while reading BSc. Accounting and Finance with an Associate Degree in Accounting at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. Upon graduation, he joined Citizens International and under the guidance of the management team, he completed his CGA (Certified General Accountant) certification and qualified as a Licensed Agent for the Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program.

Tristan is responsible for liaising with the Citizenship Investment Unit on behalf of Citizens International and, in conjunction with the team, he assists in the timely processing of each client application.

Jie Chu

Director (PR China)

Jie Chu has a Masters degree from Peking University, and Bachelors degree from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. She also studied in France and the U.S. while at university, and is a Level III CFA qualified investment professional.
Based in Beijing, Jie Chu has over five years experience working across China’s major cities assisting clients and professional partners with Caribbean, North American, European and Australian immigration programs and investment opportunities. Fluent in English and Mandarin, Jie Chu is a keen traveller having most recently explored South America and she also coordinates informative and fun inspection trips to the Caribbean for our Chinese clientele.

Frequently asked Questions

Why Citizens International?

Get a second citizenship by investment with the help of our team at Citizens International. Our multi-national team is based in the Caribbean at our headquarters in Antigua and speak English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.

Our long-standing presence in the Caribbean helps to maintain positive relationships with the citizenship by investment (CIP) authorities while our clients and partners benefit from an efficient multi-service platform.

We offer a professional service to clients making citizenship applications, and in doing so we assist in assessing the most advantageous investment route on which to base an application.

Should you choose to review the real estate investment route, we can provide you with a selection of what we believe to be sustainable real estate opportunities in the best locations built by the most experienced developers. Our relationships with these developers allow us to be privy to exclusive real estate deals in Antigua and other jurisdictions.

Citizens International has a unique knowledge of the investment potential and opportunities in the Caribbean. We have placed millions of dollars of investment into new real estate projects and new businesses in the region, the latter offering excellent early investor returns. The diligence packages on these opportunities are extremely detailed and usually time limited.

Our concierge team will organize individual or group CIP familiarization trips for clients or professionals who wish to learn more about the islands and citizenship programs before making an investment. Once citizenship is granted, we remain representatives for clients. Our private concierge team can assist with a variety of services from bank accounts to company incorporations to further investment opportunities and trips to the Caribbean for business or pleasure.

This citizenship FAQ features some of the most common queries we have received from our clients and partners.

What is citizenship by investment?

Many countries around the world offer the opportunity to become a citizen via specific investments into the country. The three largest programs in the world are in the U.S.A, U.K. and Canada. Varying levels of investment and residency are required, along with strict criteria that applicants must meet, depending on the jurisdiction.

Five independent Commonwealth and Caribbean nations in the Eastern Caribbean also offer individuals and families from other countries the opportunity to become citizens of their island nations.

A Caribbean citizenship is offered in return for a significant investment into:
– an approved property development to grow the tourism infrastructure or
– an approved business to increase foreign direct investment or
– a government fund. Donations are non-refundable and used for government projects including public-private partnerships and approved charitable investments.

Generally the Caribbean programs are intended to encourage foreign direct investment, predominantly resort development, and stimulate the economy whilst also attracting international wealth and expertise.

What is required to make an application?

  • A clean criminal record
  • Proof of legal source of funds and financial history
  • Professional references and disclosure on wealth
  • Investment in one of the government-approved options such as a government fund, approved real estate or approved business

Why apply for a second citizenship in the Caribbean?

A second citizenship can be a vital component of a wealth planning and/or personal security strategy to be implemented in short order, or in the future.

The various benefits of having a Caribbean passport include visa-free travel to countries your primary citizenship perhaps doesn’t allow and personal income tax-free status.* There are also business tax and trade advantages should you structure an business enterprise here.

The option to base oneself in one of the most attractive regions of the world with good financial and social infrastructure is appealing to highly mobile individuals looking for a warm weather base. In the case of Antigua, the island provides travelers access with an international airport that is a popular flight hub to North America and Europe.

For those not seeking an immediate move, knowing that the option exists for a future move or tax planning strategy can offer peace of mind. And moreover, in today’s world, having multiple citizenships extends your flexibility in more ways than one as a global citizen.

*applicable to tax residents for which you need to be deemed to be resident in for a minimum period each year. This varies according to the jurisdiction.

Do I need to renounce my existing citizenship?

All five Caribbean governments offering citizenship by investment allow dual citizenship and will not publish any information about persons acquiring citizenship nor will they inform your present country of citizenship. You may be required by law in your home country to declare a second citizenship and we recommend you take professional legal advice on this matter in your home country.

Restricted Countries List for Antigua & Barbuda Program

The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, at its meeting held on Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017 updated the Restricted Countries List as follows:

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Yemen
  • Sudan

Nationals of the countries listed are eligible to apply for citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda under the Citizenship by Investment Programme after having met the following criteria:

  • Individuals born in these restricted countries but who migrated before the age of majority and/or have maintained permanent residence in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for a period of not less than 10 years and maintain no economic ties to any restricted country.

In addition, all applicants will be required to fully comply with the Programme’s due diligence requirements.

The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda has taken this position to safeguard the integrity of the Antigua and Barbuda passport and ensure that only persons whose past behaviour will not threaten the very well-being of the Citizenship Programme, can be accepted.

Does my family qualify for citizenship as well?

Yes. Your family can also obtain citizenship under your application. Qualified dependents can include parents and children (minimum and maximum age restrictions apply) with additional government fees payable.

How do I qualify to make an application?

To qualify for the property investment program, you need to make a minimum investment ranging from US $200,000 to US $400,000 in a government-approved real estate project, government fund or approved business.

In addition, you need to pay other fees and taxes as applicable and fulfill the formal requirements as specified by the government which includes all applicants passing third party due diligence checks by intelligence and compliance specialists Thompson Reuters in the U.S. who perform “deep-dive” investigations on each applicant on behalf of the Caribbean governments.

When do I get my passport?

Government approvals and processing may take about 3-6 months from the submission of your application. Processing time can be more or less efficient depending on the jurisdiction selected.

Can I speed up the processing time?

It is important to choose a reputable and approved legal representative such as Citizens International for the processing of your citizenship application. We work closely via our lawyers and professionals with the Government Citizenship-by-Investment Units to ensure smooth processing of each application and to maximize the efficiency of the process.

Will there be an interview with the Government before I am granted citizenship?

No interview is required with the government prior to citizenship being approved however stringent due diligence is carried out by the Governments on citizenship applicants. In some rare cases, the Government may request an interview and this could take place at an Embassy or high Commission or in the country.

Do I have to visit the jurisdiction before I am granted citizenship?

No visit is required prior to citizenship being granted however in Antigua, a minimum five-day visit is required within the first five years, during which, each new citizen must make an oath/affirmation of allegiance.  Antigua & Barbuda is the most expensive of the options and has the five-day residency requirement however it is the most desirable second citizenship option for many applicants due to the infrastructure, financial and general development level of the country and the direct flight access internationally, as well as offering a more compelling economic environment for investment.

How long is the passport valid for?

Citizenship is granted in perpetuity and the first passport is generally valid for five years and renewable thereafter.

When are fees and investment payments due?

Upon submitting your application, the government due diligence and some or all of the government fees are payable. A deposit on the property investment may be required to hold it while your application is reviewed (this is usually refundable in the case you are rejected through not fault of your own). Once approval is granted, the balance of the application fees, balance of the investment and other smaller fees such as passport fees are payable.

Will I have to pay tax in my second citizenship country?

Once you are granted citizenship you must retain ownership of your approved property or business investment for a minimum of five years. You are not liable for personal income tax in the jurisdiction unless you decide to become a tax resident. All the jurisdictions are low tax nations and in the case of Antigua there is no personal income tax at all. Tax residency requires a minimum residency period per year which varies from 30 days to 6 months depending on the jurisdiction.

Is there a mandatory residency requirement each year?

There is no mandatory residency requirement except in the case of Antigua which requires new clients to spend five days in the first five years. We recommend all new citizens visit Antigua regardless to take the oath of allegiance, check on their investment and familiarise themselves with their second home nation. The Citizens International concierge team can organise a bespoke 5-day trip for you and your family at your convenience.

Will I lose my fees if my application is rejected?

In the event that an application is rejected, the government application fee deposit paid upon submission and all of the government due diligence fees will be lost. These are the fees payable upon submission of the application to the respective Citizenship Investment Unit. Legal fees to your Licensed Agent who will submit the application, may be lost depending on the individual agent’s criteria.

Can I add dependents after I am granted citizenship?

Some of the governments including Antigua and St. Kitts made provision for additional dependents to be added within the first five years of citizenship. Dependents must fall within the stipulated parameters i.e. children of a certain age or student status, newly adopted children, new born children, new spouse. The process can take up to three months and additional application and due diligence fees apply. An additional investment amount may also be required if the investment route on which the original application was based was a donation to a government fund.

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