NEW CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT OPTION


2nd Passports It appears that obtaining a second citizenship is beginning to catch momentum as a global trend. I’ve met several people in just the past week who have obtained multiple passports (more on that in later) but this trend is Read more

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment


Through the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program, investors and their immediate family members can directly qualify for citizenship. Antigua and Barbuda, an independent Commonwealth state in the Eastern Caribbean, has a developing economy driven primarily by the tourism industry. The verdant tropical islands Read more

Investment-Based Immigration Opportunities


The twin island nations of Antigua and Barbuda are located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country boasts stunning beaches, opportunities for yachting, sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling, as well as golfing, horseback riding and more. Read more

Antigua & Barbuda becomes latest Caribbean country to sell citizenship to international investors


Antigua and Barbuda is joining other Caribbean countries in selling citizenship to international investors. Prime Minister Gaston Brown says the revenue generated by the citizenship-by-investment program will help put the islands "on the road to sustainable growth and development." A foreigner Read more

Antigua and Barbuda Launches Citizenship Program


On October 13, 2013, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, announced the launch of the territory's Citizenship by Investment Program. The prime minister described the program as "an initiative which has the potential to transform the economic Read more

Antigua and Barbuda launches ‘Citizenship by Investment’


Antigua and Barbuda has officially launched a residency for investment – or ‘golden’ – visa. The Prime Minister announced the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) late last week. To get a passport and citizenship in Antigua, investors must invest $250,000 to Read more

Antigua & Barbuda launches Citizenship by Investment Program


Antigua & Barbuda has launched its “Citizenship by Investment Program” with Prime Minister saying the initiative is to generate investments and jobs for nationals and to put the twin island-nation on the road to sustainable growth and development. According to Read more

China to spend US$1b in Antigua and Barbuda


Chinese investors are to plunge more than US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) into developing Antigua and Barbuda's first mega resort, creating 1,000 jobs for the tiny cash-strapped nation.   Chinese investors are to plunge more than US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) into developing Read more

Schengen Access - Citizenship By Investment


Soon, more than 20 countries will be granted the right of visa-free travel to Schengen countries, a right which will change the way citizenship in these countries will be perceived.   As some Caribbean islands are expected to be granted this Read more

Africans Seeking Alternative Citizenship By Investment


Wealthy citizens of unstable African countries are seeking alternate citizenship in safer places by buying real estate, TheStar reports.   These wealthy citizens are interested in visa-free access to South Africa.   Due to lack of awareness, demand for alternative citizenship by people living in East Africa is less Read more

NEW CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT OPTION

2nd Passports

It appears that obtaining a second citizenship is beginning to catch momentum as a global trend. I’ve met several people in just the past week who have obtained multiple passports (more on that in later) but this trend is hardly more than a few personal vignettes. While individual experiences are valuable to learn from, truth must be backed by facts – truth must proven and backed by evidence.

Empirically speaking, Google shows that the search query for “2nd passport” is trending massively. One might think this would make it harder to obtain an alternative citizenship because there is more demand – but actually as alternative passports begin to trend, I have noted that this is not a zero sum game.

Citizenship by investment sometimes involves a large investment, and Governments around the world are increasingly willing to cash in on this trend and offer citizenship by investment to affluent citizens looking to obtain a travel document, and more importantly: a citizenship should they someday wish to renounce their current citizenship.

For some, this would be an unthinkable deed to “turn their back on their homeland”, but for others – they simply seek the highest quality of life for themselves and their family, regardless of where in the world this happens to be.

 

India –> US –> Singapore

As a real life example, I met no less than 3 individuals within just the past week, who began life as an Indian national, moved to America and obtained dual US citizenship and maintained their Indian passport as well – and then finally renounced both previous citizenships in exchange for Singaporean citizenship, (a country which does not recognize dual citizenship).

Many people may wish to simply have dual citizenship, without being forced to renounce a previous citizenship; for them, Singapore is not currently an option.

However, there are plenty of other options for an alternative citizenship, some of which have been available for some time, others that are recently gaining momentum. The newest and most attractive is that of Antigua and Barbuda.

New Instant Passport option: Antigua and Barbuda

Reputable sources have informed me that the country of Antigua is now offering citizenship by investment. The legislation is now passed.

 

About Antigua

Antigua has a history of independence where they tend to pursue their own goals with a sense of national freedom and independence from outside pressure.

Antigua is known as an offshore jurisdiction which attracts businessmen seeking privacy, bank accounts, and other business such as gambling licenses.


Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment

Through the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program, investors and their immediate family members can directly qualify for citizenship.

Antigua and Barbuda, an independent Commonwealth state in the Eastern Caribbean, has a developing economy driven primarily by the tourism industry.

The verdant tropical islands of Antigua and Barbuda are an enticing travel destination, considered one of the most stunning and charming holiday locations in the world.

As a member of the British Commonwealth, Antigua and Barbuda offers its citizens visa-free travel to over 130 other countries, including Canada, Schengen countries (EU), and the UK.

 

 Benefits of Having Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship and Passport

Those who acquire Antigua and Barbuda citizenship and passport will be afforded all rights available to the country’s natural citizens. Rights and benefits include:

  • Visa-free travel: Citizenship allows individuals to freely enter EU Schengen member States among many others, including Canada, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, the UKHong Kong,Singapore, St. Martin and St. Barths. Travel for business or pleasure to 130 countries without needing to apply for a visa.
  • Dual citizenship: There is no requirement for an applicant to relinquish citizenship in his or her home country.
  • Resident status for dependents: Tuition for institutes of higher learning in Antigua and Barbuda are far less expensive for students with resident status.
  • Confidentiality: Applicant information confidentiality is expressly preserved by law.
  • Access to international banking institutions.
  • Strong asset protection laws and well-regulated financial services.
  • Stable democratic government and legal system based on English common law

Investment-Based Immigration Opportunities

The twin island nations of Antigua and Barbuda are located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country boasts stunning beaches, opportunities for yachting, sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling, as well as golfing, horseback riding and more. It is a member of the United Nations and CARICOM, making the small country a large player on the international stage. Considering all that Antigua and Barbuda have to offer, it comes as no surprise that the nation is called the Caribbean’s premier destination for tourism.

Antigua and Barbuda have become a very attractive option for foreign investors who are interested in relocating to an island paradise while at the same time diversifying their portfolio. While the nation’s economy is dominated by its thriving tourism industry, the country’s investment banking, financial services, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors are also very lucrative and successful. Moreover, its citizenship by investment opportunity is relatively new and requires a lower minimum investment amount in comparison to similar programs.

Investment-Based Immigration to Antigua and Barbuda

The government proposed the Antigua and Barbuda Economic Citizenship Programme Act of 2012. The purpose of the Act was to create a quick and easy pathway to citizenship for foreign investors who are seeking to relocate to the country.

Under the program, foreign investors have four options for qualifying for citizenship. The first option requires the foreign national to contribute at least $250,000USD to the country’s National Development Fund. The investment should be a lump sum, one time payment into government designated real estate that is valued at a minimum of $400,000USD.

The second option allows two or more investors to join their resources together and execute a sale and purchase agreement of an Antigua and Barbuda business as long as each investor contributes at least $400,000USD. The country’s Citizenship by Investment Unit will consult with the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) to approve businesses for the purpose of the investment-based citizenship program.

The third option allows a single foreign national to invest a minimum of $1,500,000USD into an ABIA approved business.

Finally, the fourth option allows two or more foreign investors to make a combined investment of at least $5,000,000USD into an ABIA approved business as long as each investor personally contributes at least $400,000 to the joint venture.

The Citizenship Application

Regardless of the investment option the foreign national chooses, after making the investment the national is eligible to apply for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship for the investor and family. Among other documents and materials, the application must include proof of the investment in the form of an escrow agreement, bank deposit, wire transfer, etc., and if the investor chose the real estate option, a copy of the real estate deed of sale, title transfer, and contract.

Additionally, the investor must submit an original reference letter from a bank professional at an internationally recognized bank. This letter must be no older than six months. Finally, the investor must also provide one professional reference from an attorney, accountant, notary, or similar professional. This reference must also be no older than six months.

If the application is approved, the investor and family can immediately obtain their Antigua and Barbuda passports which are valid for an initial period of five years and can be renewed indefinitely. While not required to permanently reside in the country, investor citizens and their families are required to spend at least 70 days in Antigua and Barbuda during the five years after they receive their first passport. The failure to do so will prevent the investors and their families from renewing their passports after the passports expire.

Benefits of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

Antigua and Barbuda passport holders have the unconditional and unrestricted right to live, work, and travel in and out of the country. Moreover, because of the nation’s membership in CARICOM, passport holders enjoy visa-free travel to more than twenty countries including the United Kingdom,CanadaBelize, and Jamaica. Antigua and Barbuda nationality also carries numerous financial benefits as well such as low tax rates.


Antigua & Barbuda becomes latest Caribbean country to sell citizenship to international investors

Antigua and Barbuda is joining other Caribbean countries in selling citizenship to international investors.

Prime Minister Gaston Brown says the revenue generated by the citizenship-by-investment program will help put the islands “on the road to sustainable growth and development.”

A foreigner can qualify for Antiguan citizenship with a $250,000 donation or with a real estate investment of $400,000. A business investment of $1.5 million can also qualify.

The strategy is part of a growing trend in the Caribbean to drum up revenue on tiny islands struggling to pay debt.

For years, St. Kitts & Nevis and Dominica have allowed investors to secure citizenship in return for a real estate investment or donation.


Antigua and Barbuda Launches Citizenship Program

On October 13, 2013, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, announced the launch of the territory’s Citizenship by Investment Program.

The prime minister described the program as “an initiative which has the potential to transform the economic landscape of Antigua and Barbuda.”

Under the program, those who invest in Antigua and Barbuda will be granted citizenship. To qualify for the program foreign investors must make a minimum investment of USD250,000 in the National Development Fund. Alternatively, those wishing to take advantage of the program may invest USD400,000 in real estate or make a business investment of at least USD1.5m.

Mr Spencer said that the United Progressive Party Administration has worked for over two years to ensure that the program can maintain its integrity and stand up to scrutiny.

He compared the program to similar initiatives in the United States, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, St Kitts and Nevis, and Monaco, saying “the singular goal of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program is to generate investments and jobs for Antiguans and Barbudans and to put Antigua and Barbuda on the road to sustainable growth and development.”

He went on to say that he believes Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program will soon be considered one of the most prestigious and well regulated and managed across the globe.

He also addressed concerns from critics that the program is about selling the Caribbean territory’s passports. “We have structured the CIP to meet the most incisive scrutiny and to deliver the most rigorous review of the applications received by the Citizenship by Investment Unit,” he said.

In Antigua, the basic rate of income tax is 10 percent on income up to USD48,000 and the next rate is 15 percent on income up to USD120,000; then it’s 20 percent up to USD180,000 and 25 percent above that. There are no capital gains or inheritance tax.


Antigua and Barbuda launches ‘Citizenship by Investment’

Antigua and Barbuda has officially launched a residency for investment – or ‘golden’ – visa.

The Prime Minister announced the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) late last week.

To get a passport and citizenship in Antigua, investors must invest $250,000 to Antigua’s National Development Fund; make a real estate purchase of $400,000; or a business investment of $1.5million.

Some critics have said that the program is no better than “selling passports”, but he said at the launch that the scheme, “Should in no way jeopardize the integrity of the national passport” – and that the CIP would not be an open door to all.

“We have structured the CIP to meet the most incisive scrutiny and to deliver the most rigorous review of the applications received by the Citizenship by Investment Unit,” he added.


Antigua & Barbuda launches Citizenship by Investment Program

Antigua & Barbuda has launched its “Citizenship by Investment Program” with Prime Minister saying the initiative is to generate investments and jobs for nationals and to put the twin island-nation on the road to sustainable growth and development.

According to the Prime Minister, over the past 2 years, his administration had sought to ensure that all nationals of Antigua & Barbuda, were educated and informed of the initiative, which the administration insists “has the potential to transform the economic landscape of the country”.

He said that various stakeholders including the general public had discussed the project and had examined the best strategic options available to support investment and residential tourism as well as examine the business benefits which can come with economic citizenship. He added that meetings had identified risks and necessary safeguards that should be in place to maintain the integrity of the Antigua & Barbuda passport and among other things as well as establishing an institutional framework to manage the program.

The administration has worked on ensuring that the Citizenship by Investment Program which we are launching can maintain its integrity and stand up to scrutiny,” he said, noting that while the United States Citizenship by Investment Program differs slightly to Antigua & Barbuda’s, the offerings remain the same, in that the investor becomes a citizen of the United States and the holder of an American passport.-(CMC)


China to spend US$1b in Antigua and Barbuda

Chinese investors are to plunge more than US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) into developing Antigua and Barbuda’s first mega resort, creating 1,000 jobs for the tiny cash-strapped nation.

 

Chinese investors are to plunge more than US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) into developing Antigua and Barbuda’s first mega resort, creating 1,000 jobs for the tiny cash-strapped nation. Construction on the mammoth 1,600-acre (647-hectare) multi-hotel, residential and commercial project is slated to begin early next year.

 

The ‘Singulari’ scheme – 50 per cent bigger than the regionally-heralded Baha Mar resort under way in the Bahamas – is being lauded as a major feather in the East Caribbean country’s tourism cap. Spanning 900 acres of land in the north of Antigua and 700 acres of tiny islands, it will include several luxury hotels, hundreds of private homes, a school, hospital, marinas, golf courses, an entertainment district, horse racing track and the Caribbean’s biggest casino.

 

A Yida spokesman said job fairs would be held within weeks to ensure locals were given first priority for the 200 positions being made available later this year when the land is prepared for development, and the 800 created next year when construction starts. “Over the next 10 years, Yida Group and its global partners will create an additional US$2 billion of gross domestic product and economic value to Antigua, including sales of real estate, creation of new industries and origination of foreign direct investment,” he added.

 

Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne signed a memorandum of agreement with the developers on June 13, one day after taking office following June’s general election. Browne declared his intention to transform the country, suffering crippling national debt and unemployment, into an economic powerhouse.

 

Citizenship By Investment is seen to be a major component of the project as it is for the future development of the economy and the island as a whole.

 


Schengen Access – Citizenship By Investment

Soon, more than 20 countries will be granted the right of visa-free travel to Schengen countries, a right which will change the way citizenship in these countries will be perceived.

 

As some Caribbean islands are expected to be granted this right soon, an increased interest in the passports of these countries will be the logical result.

Luckily, the Caribbean region hosts some of the most accessible citizenship programmes in the world; programmes that are also dubbed ‘over-the-counter-programmes’ due to the ease with which a passport can be obtained.

 

Various citizenship options were discussed at the Citizenship by Investment & International Residence Summit in Dubai last month, and the Caribbean islands were well represented.

 

“Today, migrants move to, move from, and transit through every nation – big and small; rich and poor – including south-south migration,” noted Sergio Marchi, Member of the Global Agenda on Migration of the World Economic Forum.

According to a joint report presented by Wealth-X, experts in the field, the Caribbean accounts for 25 per cent of the applications for citizenship programmes, a remarkable representation considering these applications are spread over only four islands – St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada.

 

Further, all four islands are ranked in the top 10 of the jurisdictions by examining the overall cost, speed, global mobility, quality of life and simplicity of the programmes. St Kitts and Nevis ranked third, Grenada 5th, Antigua and Barbuda 6th and Dominica 8th.

“We call these the over-the-counter programmes; these are countries that basically sell passports,” said the Managing Partner, M/Advocates of Law.

 

Antigua and Barbuda



Antigua and Barbuda already offer visa-free travel to 130 countries, including Schengen countries. Nevertheless, it is a relative newcomer to the market, with its citizenship-by-investment programme up and running since January this year.

 

Although the programme was launched last year, the programme is subjected to a couple of changes in response to the initial feedback, explained Harold Lovell, Minister of Finance and Economy.

 

“We are looking at changing the 35 days rule,” he said. Whereas most islands in the region do require minimal to no physical presence of the applicant in order to obtain citizenship, Antigua and Barbuda requires the applicant to stay in the country for 35 days over a period of 5 years, after having obtained citizenship.

 

“This seemed to be a hurdle for many people, and we do not want to harm the process,,” the minister explained on the sidelines of the summit.

Citizenship can be obtained when a minimum investment of $250,000 is made in the National Development Fund (NDF), a minimum investment of $400,000 is made in the real estate sector, or a minimum investment of $1.5 million in an existing business. By means of incentive, the NDF option has been reduced to a minimum investment of $200,000 in the first 6 months, an offer which runs until June, 2014.

 

“We are going into the right direction with the programme. We have received 44 applications so far, from nationals of China, Syria, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries,” Lovell said, adding that the expected revenue from the programme is $20 million this year.

 

No minimum level of English is required, and citizens approved under the programme will not be taxed. A maximum processing time of 90 days is applied, although this usually results in 30-60 days in reality, added the minister.


Africans Seeking Alternative Citizenship By Investment

Wealthy citizens of unstable African countries are seeking alternate citizenship in safer places by buying real estate, TheStar reports.

 

These wealthy citizens are interested in visa-free access to South Africa.

 

Due to lack of awareness, demand for alternative citizenship by people living in East Africa is less than in North, West and Southern Africa.

 

These citizenship-by-investment programs are offered by several countries and allow an investor to legally, and almost immediately, acquire citizenship without needing to physically move to the country of choice, according to the website.

 

“We are not at liberty to reveal any particulars or demographics of these applications,” the company told The Star.

 

Clients from tumultuous countries, it said, seek secure destinations for their families when the need arises. They are looking to benefit from visa-free travel, education for their children and international tax planning.

 

Countries that offer citizenship by investment are seeking the type of investments that stimulate their economies, The Star reports.

 

There are four citizenship-by-investment programs of real interest. These include two in the Caribbean (St Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda) and two in Europe (Cyprus and Malta).

 

To qualify, an individual must invest at least $300,000, and in exchange, receives citizenship and passports that allow visa-free travel to Canada, the European Union, and U.K.

 

Kenyans are often interested in the Antigua and Barbuda program mainly because the citizenship offers visa-free access to South Africa.

 

Malta and Cyprus programs are the most attractive, according to Henley, because they give immediate European Union citizenship. They are also the most expensive, requiring investments starting from 1 million euros ($1.378).

 

Cyprus investors pay taxes (over and above real estate taxes, which are unavoidable) if they live there for 183-plus days in a year.

 

With anti-money laundering regulations increasing worldwide, those applying for the Cyprus program qualify only if they have no criminal record from their countries of origin and have been cleared by Cyprus police as well.

 

Starting April, the Cypriot citizenship required a qualifying investment of $2.898 million including a 5 percent value-added-tax charge. Making Caribbean Citizenship By Investment program options such as Antigua & Barbuda more attractive with programs starting from $250,000 USD.