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.