The Citizenship by Investment Programme
Some information about Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda (in Spanish – “ancient” and “bearded”) is island state in the West Indies, bordering the west by the Caribbean Sea and the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
Antigua is the largest, 280 sq km (108 sq mi), and inhabited island. Barbuda, located 48 km (29 mi) north of Antigua, is the second largest island – 161 sq km (62 sq mi).
The small uninhabited island of Redonda only 1.6 sq km (0.6 sq mi), about 40 km (25 mi) west of Antigua is also part of the State Antigua and Barbuda. It has a population of 102,000 (2017) and the total length of the coastline is 153 km (95 mi).
Antigua and Barbuda are almost completely surrounded by coral reefs with great underwater world. Reefs are mainly found in nearly pristine condition, and although the depth is small, there are some good sea canyons and wreck sites. Saint John’s is a capital city and located on Antigua.
The only settlement on the island of Barbuda is a town of Codrington. English is the official language of Antigua and Barbuda. The East Caribbean Dollar is islands currency.
Island opened in 1493 the second expedition of Christopher Columbus, who named it Santa-Maria-de-la-Antigua (on behalf of the church in the city of Seville). Because of the water shortage on the island and the raids of the Caribs, Antigua and Barbuda for a long time not been settled by Europeans. In 1632, Antigua appeared the first English settlers from the island of St. Kitts. In 1671, Antigua and Barbuda, along with the islands of St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla and Montserrat became part of the British colony of the Leeward Islands. In 1784 on the Islands was founded the British naval base. In 1958-1962 Antigua was part of the West Indies Federation, in 1960, a colony of the Leeward Islands was officially dissolved, and the island became a separate British possession. Antigua was granted, in 1967, the status of an associated state of the United Kingdom with internal autonomy, while maintaining the responsibility of the UK for defense and foreign relations. Antigua and Barbuda became An independent state on November 1, 1981 in the Commonwealth, led by Britain.
Offshore zone of Antigua and Barbuda is considered a classic in the conduct of international business. The offshore legislation of Antigua and Barbuda is based on English common law. The most appropriate legal form for the registration of an offshore company is an International Business Corporation (IBC), holding companies, companies engaged in import / export of goods, financial and shipping companies. Offshore corporations are exempt from submitting financial, audit and tax reporting in Antigua and are exempt from paying taxes for 50 years from the date of registration. Registration of offshore corporations in Antigua are made in accordance with “the Law of international business corporations” 1982 with subsequent amendments. This law prohibits disclosing information obtained in the course of business or in the exercise of professional activities.
The country has a Constitution 1981. The head of state is the British monarch, represented by Governor-General appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of the country. Legislative power is vested in a bicameral parliament. It consists of an elected House of Representatives and the Senate. Executive power is vested in the Government headed by the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the Governor. There is a multiparty system in the state of Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua and Barbuda is divided into six parishes located on the island of Antigua, and two dependent territories – Barbuda and Redonda. On the island of Antigua, there are bodies of urban self-government in the face of the city and village administrations. On Barbuda operates autonomously legislature – the Council of Barbuda, its function is to perform limited functions (organization of health care, education, housing, repair of roads). The country has the lower courts dealing with both criminal and civil matters. The highest authority is the Supreme Court of the Eastern Caribbean, with headquarters in Saint Lucia in the composition of the Supreme and Appeal Courts. The representative of the court in Antigua and Barbuda (Judge-resident) functions as the supreme judge of the country.
The Citizenship By Investment Programme
Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) was established by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in November 2012 and approved by both Houses of Parliament in March 2013. Holders of passports of Antigua and Barbuda have the right to visafree entry or simplified entrance in more than 130 countries, including all of Western and Eastern Europe, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. Holders of this passport, as well as citizens of other Caribbean countries, need a visa to enter the United States because these countries do not participate in the Visa Waiver program.
Under the CIP, the applicant for citizenship must make a significant contribution to the economy of the country. The main applicant must be over eighteen years of age, meet the requirements of the program and to choose one of three investment options: a donation to the National Development Fund (NDF), the purchase of real estate or business investment. To qualify for citizenship via investing in real estate, the value of the acquired property must be a minimum of USD 200,000 and the development must be approved by the government. You are not allowed to sell on your investment during a 5-year period, but you can receive income from the activities of the project.
Another way to obtain citizenship is to invest in the National Development Fund in the amount of USD 100,000. This option does not provide for the return of dividends from your invested money. The third option: investment in a business approved by the government, the amount of USD 1,500,000. The option is suitable for those who want to expand the geography of their business.
The National Development Fund created to stimulate economic growth, create new jobs, support for small and medium businesses. The Fund helps local entrepreneurs and startups in attracting investments to improve the welfare of the population.
Features and benefits
Citizenship and passport of Antigua and Barbuda is
Benefits of acquiring Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship
You don’t have to worry that your passport of Antigua and Barbuda would have a bad reputation or that you would be sharing you citizenship status with shadowy characters. Both the existing procedures and the regulatory framework of granting economic citizenship are certain to preclude such precedents.
When providing CIP, the authority does not published information about this anywhere else and does not notify the state of the original nationality of the applicant.
As a Commonwealth citizen, your children will be able to benefit from the UK’s youth mobility scheme, receiving preferential treatment when applying to colleges and universities in the United Kingdom
About three hundred years, the country’s economy was based on the cultivation of sugar cane. At present tourism and financial field are increasingly growing. The share of agriculture in the state economy tends to decrease. The basis of the economy of Antigua and Barbuda is tourism, giving more than half of GDP. Servicing of foreign tourists brings the country 70-80% of foreign exchange earnings and employs about 70% of the working population. The main resorts are located on the island of Antigua. Agricultural production mainly serves the domestic market and suffers from a shortage of fresh water and a lack of labor force, which prefers higher paying jobs in the fields of tourism and construction. Three-quarters of the land are owned by the state. In the country grow cotton, sugar cane, vegetables, citrus and other fruits, breed cattle. The production of seafood, fish and lobster, is focused on export on the island of Barbuda, and on Antigua fisheries products go for the domestic market.
On the island there are facilities of food processing, oil refining and light industry. Antigua and Barbuda exports petroleum products, clothing, industrial and transportation equipment, paint, furniture, galvanized iron, raw sugar, molasses, cotton, citrus, lobster. Products are exported mainly in European Union countries: Germany, Great Britain and France. On the islands are imported food, industrial wood, oil and chemical products, machinery, transport equipment, light industry products. The main import partners are USA, United Kingdom, Singapore, China, Poland, Trinidad and Tobago. On the island of Antigua, all settlements are connected with the capital by roads. The total length of roads is 250 km. The city of St. John’s is the main port and harbour. Commercial fleet consists of almost 1000 vessels of at least 1,000 gross tons each. Under the flag of Antigua there are also over 900 ships of other countries. The country has three airports, including the international airport, one of the airports situated on the island of Barbuda.
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank was established in October 1983. It is the Monetary Authority for a group of eight island economies namely – Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and the St Vincent and Grenadines. The mission of ECCB is to maintain the stability of the EC dollar and the integrity of the banking system in order to facilitate the balanced growth and development of member states.
The conservative policy of the Bank has led to the stability of the currencies of the participating countries and made the East Caribbean dollar one of the strongest currencies in the region.
Antigua and Barbuda is a member of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Commonwealth of Nations. CARICOM is an international organization which consists of 15 member states all of whom are based in the Caribbean. CARICOM works to promote economic co-operation and integration in the region. The secretariat headquarters is based in Georgetown, Guyana.
The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary organization of 53 countries which share no legal commitment to each other but have a common goal of enhancing the “development of free and democratic societies” and “promoting peace and prosperity to improve the lives of all peoples of the Commonwealth.” There are many benefits to Commonwealth members such as easier travel between Member Countries, protection of all Members by other embassies and commissions around the world and eligibility for certain sporting activities (the Commonwealth Games).
Antigua and Barbuda is also a member of the United Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the Organization of American States, the World Trade Organization and the Eastern Caribbean’s Regional Security System. Antigua and Barbuda is also a member of the International Criminal Court (with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of Protection for the US military as covered under Article 98). In 2013, Antigua and Barbuda called for reparations for slavery at the United Nations. “We have recently seen a number of leaders apologizing,” said the Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer. They should now “match their words with concrete and material benefits”
The financial services sector in Antigua and Barbuda is relatively small, and offers services in the field of international banking, trust and insurance services, as well as registration of traditional international business companies. Regulation and supervision of financial services carries out by the Administration on international financial services, which was established as a legal entity in accordance with “the Law of international business corporations” 1982 with subsequent amendments. Currently the Administration is headed by four Directors, and the Chairman of Administration is the Solicitor General.
The government of Antigua and Barbuda has implemented a series of initiatives and measures for the proper regulation of offshore banking. The concern of the international community in connection with money laundering and other illegal financial activities has prompted the Government to review and amend the existing legislation in the field of offshore banking. As a result, there have been recent changes in the Law on international commercial companies and the Law on prevention of money laundering. The government aims to ensure the immaculate reputation of the country in world financial circles.
Interesting fact: In 2007, the World Trade Organization has officially allowed Antigua and Barbuda to violate intellectual property rights belonging to U.S. companies, worth USD 21 million. This decision was made due to the fact that the United States has inflicted damage to the economy of the island state, illegally blocking access to several Internet casinos that are registered on the island. Now, in particular, the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda can legally sell “pirated” movies, music CDs, etc.
Under current regulations, to qualify for citizenship of the Antigua and Barbuda under its Citizenship by Investment Program, the Government requires either a contribution made into the Nation Development Fund amounting to USD 250 000.00 depending on the number of dependents included in the application or an investment in designated Real Estate with a value of at least USD 400 000.00.
The third option: an investment in the business, approved by the government, the amount of USD 1 500 000, this option is suitable for those who want to expand the geography of its business. Additional payments for any dependents included in an application, due diligence fees, government fees and other fees are also payable.
In Antigua and Barbuda there is no tax on capital gains, inheritance and gift tax. In 2005 was introduced the income tax, the minimum tax rate is 10 %, the maximum is 25% of assessable income in excess of EC $ 25 000 per month or EC $ 180,000 in the year. The value of nontaxable minimum incomes of individuals is EC $ 36 000 a year. For persons not residing in the Islands on a permanent basis, the income tax is paid only on income received in the territory of Antigua and Barbuda. Persons who are in the country for at least 183 days a year, are considered to be tax residents of Antigua and Barbuda, and must pay tax on all income received.
Currently before Parliament are an amendments to Section 5 of Part III of the Income Tax Act, which offer completely replace the taxation of gross income tax only on income earned in the country. The corporate and business tax is 25% of the profit, while certain companies have been granted tax exemptions. Property tax is charged only on Antigua, it is missing on Barbuda.
Nature and culture
Antigua is a beautiful island with a picturesque coastline, many bays and rich vegetation, which has a huge number of modern hotels, Nightclubs, casinos, water sports centers and entertainment complexes. In the bays and harbours of Antigua and Barbuda have all possibilities for practicing water sports. Scuba diving, windsurfing and deep sea fishing have long found fans all over the world. English Bay is the most famous in Antigua.
In the past this harbour has been a stronghold of the Royal Navy, led by Admiral Nelson. Now here is the international yacht Marina. Annually, at the end of April in English Bay passes a week of sailing, collecting a huge number of different models of yachts.
The coastal waters of the island of Barbuda abound with colorful tropical fish. Nearby there are marine parks where you can go on a tour. The island is famous for its white and pink sand beaches and unique coral reefs, which protect it from large waves. This small piece of land in the vast expanse of the sea is considered one of the most picturesque islands of the planet, and its eight-kilometer Long Beach also is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Tiny and practically uninhabited volcanic rock known as Redonda, little visited by tourists, only sailors are frequent to these waters. Currently Redonda is a natural park.
Many diving areas are very close to the shore, rarely more than fifteen minutes away by boat. And the underwater world of the Islands is truly magnificent – it is home to numerous colorful reef inhabitants.
Sheltered West coast of Antigua is perfect for beginners, while the windswept East coast is famous for the constant winds, ideal for experienced athletes. Another common form of relaxation is sport fishing in the Ocean, the main objects of which there are marlin, tuna and king mackerel “wahoo”.
Cricket is the national sport of the island nation. West Indies hosted the World Cup 2007. Many matches were held on the islands. The representatives of Antigua and Barbuda has repeatedly advocated at the Olympic Games. Antigua boasts excellent tennis players, Brian Philip and Roberto Esposito, both participate in international tournaments.
Antigua Sailing Week – the most important holiday so revered here yachting, which begins the last Sunday in April, gathering more than a hundred vessels from all over the world.
The carnival dedicated to the abolition of slavery is the biggest annual festival of the country, begins in late July and culminates in a parade on the first Tuesday of August. During this period it takes place a huge number of musical performances, orchestral marches, circus performances and outdoor ceremonies with loud dance events.
Very interesting is the annual jazz Festival, which is held in October.