Antigua & Barbuda Ranked as Having Caribbean’s Top Citizenship by Investment Programme

ST JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda, Thursday November 9, 2017 – Antigua and Barbuda is ranked as the Caribbean’s top Citizenship by Investment programme, while Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis are ranked second and third respectively, according to the Read more


Antigua Observer   The cost for Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship under the National Development Fund (NDF) has been reduced to US $100,000. The previous price was US $200,000. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne who was speaking in parliament Thursday Read more

Antigua-Barbuda citizenship reduced to US$100,000

  CARIBBEAN NEWS NOW Oct 12th 2017   ST JOHN’S, Antigua — The cost for Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship under the National Development Fund (NDF) option has been reduced to US$100,000. The previous required contribution was US$200,000.   The announcement was made by Prime Minister Read more


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

Antigua and Barbuda Courts Investment in the United Arab Emirates

Antigua and Barbuda Finance Minister Harold Lovell has returned to the country following a trip to Dubai, the Ministry announced.

Lovell was in the United Arab Emirates to present at the Global Citizens Forum at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai last week. He addressed attendees on attracting investment to Antigua and Barbuda, particularly the components of the new Citizenship By Investment Programme.

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Antigua and Barbuda: Citizenship by Investment Unit Opens

During the seating of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hon. Baldwin Spencer announced the opening of the Citizenship by Investment Unit.


The Prime Minister said that Canadian Mr. Don Myatt, will head the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU). Mr. Myatt is said to have over 30 years of experience in the area of Foreign Service. The Prime Minister also divulged the location where the Unit will be housed; the third ?oor of the ABI Financial Centre. Mr. Myatt will be supported in the Unit by an operations compliance of?cer, project development of?cer, ?nancial controller, compliance of?cer, operations clerk and secretary.


During this week’s seating, seven Bills were debated. The House of Representatives debated two motions to facilitate the government borrowing Ten Million US Dollars from the World Bank for ?nancing the public and social sector transformation project and twenty-one million, nine hundred thousand US dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank to on-lend to LIAT 1974 Limited for the purpose of ?nancing the ?eet modernization project of LIAT 1974 limited.


During the sitting of parliament, Finance and Economy Minister, the Hon. Harold Lovell will led the debate on the Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act; the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act; the Data Protection Act; and the Statistics Act, 2013.


Attorney General, the Hon. Justin Simon QC, moved the second and third readings of the Offences Against the Person (Amendment) Act, the Electronic Evidence Act; and the Electronic Crimes Act, 2013.


First Readings of the Electronic Transactions Act, Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act, Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act, Audit Act, Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean Agreement Act, and the Tourism and Business (Special Incentives) Act, 2013 also formed part of the sitting of the House.


The Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act, moved by Minister Lovell, seeks to amend the Personal Income Tax Act, 2005, with a view to clarifying the type of income of an individual which is exempted from the payment of tax under the personal Income Tax Act, 2005.


The Data Protection Bill seeks to promote the protection of personal data processed by public and private bodies and for incidental and connected purposes. It also confers additional duties, with respect to data protection, on the Information Commissioner, whose of?ce is established pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2004.


The Electronic Evidence Bill, moved by Attorney General Justin Simon QC, contains three parts and seeks to make provision for the legal recognition of electronic records and to facilitate the admission of such records into evidence in legal proceedings.–Citizenship-by-Investment-Unit-Opens–17231843/

Syrian conflict expected to increase ‘passport sales’

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Syrian conflict is expected to boost government’s coffers through increased demand in the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), according to Dominican political analyst McCarthy Marie.


“We could see more demands for citizenship through the economic citizenship programme because there are millions that are displaced,” said Marie, whose home country also offers a similar citizenship programme.


“Each time they have had the disturbances, whether it was the civil war in Lebanon or whatever, we had an influx of people,” he added. The UN estimated that over 1.7 million people have left Syria since the conflict began.


Antigua & Barbuda’s former ambassador the United Nations (UN) Lionel “Max” Hurst, who is aligned with the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP), also suggested the conflict could cause a CIP “windfall.”


“Given the number of wealthy Syrian citizens, the peacefulness of Antigua & Barbuda, the fact there exists a population of almost 3,000 Middle Easterners here … that could be a very likely outcome,” said Hurst.


“It is the opportunity to commercialise a refugee programme in that you’re only accepting very wealthy people,” he added.


The former ambassador said a boost to the CIP would also have other benefits including boosting the offshore banking services as wealthy applicants move their wealth to Antigua & Barbuda.


Last week, former Canadian diplomat Don Myatt was named as CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), which opened its office in the ABI Financial Center on Monday, August 26.


The government of Antigua & Barbuda hopes, within three years, to attract 1,800 new citizens or 450 families and generate US $550 million by offering citizenship in return for investment or a direct financial contribution.


Marie, meanwhile, warned that the conflict in Syria is already having a negative impact on the Caribbean.


“Tourism depends on energy and the price of fuel is already rising as a direct consequence of the conflict,” said Marie, who noted gas prices rose by 75 cents in Dominica last week.


In recent days, the international price of oil has surged to a six-month high. A barrel of Brent crude jumped 6 per cent to US $117 last week, compared to less than US $100 a barrel as recently as June.


(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)

Citizenship by Investment Opens, Antigua

ST JOHN’S, Antigua- A Canadian has been named to head the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), which opened its doors on Monday August 26.


Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer told Parliament that Don Myatt would bring a wealth of experience.


“He has over 38 years’ experience with the government of Canada Foreign Service and he has accepted the offer to head the unit for a period of one year with the option to renew for a further year,” Spencer said.


Myatt will run the office located on the third floor of the ABI Finance Center on Redcliff Street, which government is renting for $20,169 a month. Spencer did not disclose the budget for the CIU Unit.


He will be able to rely on the support of consultants Henley & Partners, who the government contracted in June this year for six months and he will report to the Prime Minister’s Office.


Spencer will be required to submit a report to Parliament every six months on the progress of the CIU.


“The expectation is that there will be full disclosure of pertinent information, including the number of applications, the respective investments made, disbursement of investment funds, number of persons who have qualified for citizenship, balance of funds in the investment account and any other relevant information,” Spencer said.


Myatt will soon be supported by a contingent of local staff, including an operations compliance officer, project development officer, financial controller, compliance officer, operations clerk and secretary.


Attorney General Justin Simon said the aim is for an Antiguan & Barbudan to take over Myatt’s position in the coming years.


“The intention is, because the contract is only for two years, that we have somebody local who is an understudy that can take over from him,” Simon said.

CEO of Citizenship By Investment Unit, appointed

Antigua St. John’s – During Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer announced Canadian Don Myatt appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU).


“He has accepted the offer to head the unit for a period of one year with the option to renew for a further year,” the PM said yesterday in the House of Representatives.


According to the PM, Myatt has more than 38 years experience working with the foreign service in Canada and would bring a wealth of experience. The prime minister said Myatt’s credibility is recognised by the UK, Canada and the US. Myatt will report to the Prime Minister’s Office, and the PM will be required to submit a report on the progress of the CIU to Parliament every six months.


“The expectation is that there will be full disclosure of pertinent information, including the number of applications, the respective investments made, disbursement of investment funds, number of persons who have qualified for citizenship, balance of funds in the investment account and any other relevant information,” Spencer said.


The PM said that the government will be appointing overseas service providers as well as international due diligence providers to replace consulting firm Henley and Partners.

“This agreement provides for consultancy services to the government and CIU for a limited period of six months, terminating at the end of December 2013….They’re knowledgeable but in order to avoid conflict of interest and so on, we restructured that arrangement,” Spencer said.


The new Chief Executive Officer will operate from an office located on the third floor of the ABI Finance Center on Redcliff Street, which government is renting for $20,169 a month.


Attorney General Justin Simon said: “We had to get a CEO, at least to initially start out, who was not only qualified and experienced but who can pass the bar and pass the test where the international community and foreign governments are concerned. The intention is to have somebody local who will be understudying and can take over from there.”

Citizenship Forum to premiere Antigua in Dubai

The Global Citizen Forum, a platform for exchange between all relevant Global Citizen stakeholders in an effort to build awareness, educate and promote the concept as a way of life, is set to take place on Sept.12 at the Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai.


The forum is being curated by Arton Capital as a result of the increasing number of second residency and citizenships being sought by high net worth individuals and their families from the Mena region.


The forum will serve as a platform to examine this trend and the benefits that come with it, as well as review the new immigrant investor programmes that are being offered by a number of countries.


Commenting on the launch of the forum, Armand Arton, CEO and president of Arton Capital and forum founder, said, “This is the ideal time to raise awareness and explain the importance of Global Citizenship to a broad audience. As of today, over 20 countries are engaged in attracting Global Citizens and their investment and it is crucial to have a transparent and informed discussion about this industry as it is estimated that the number of participating countries will double in the coming years.” The forum, which is the first annual event to discuss the opportunities and responsibilities of being a global citizen, will bring together distinguished speakers from government agencies, leading financial, legal experts and industry professionals such as the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economy and Public Administration of Antigua and Barbuda, Harold Lovell, and various ministers from Bulgaria and Hungary.


Some of the topics being covered will focus on the challenges of globalisation and attracting foreign investment through Investor Programmes for Residence and Citizenship, while using funds for creating additional jobs and financing government projects.


Other issues discussed on the panel will cover dual citizenship and global taxation strategies, diligence challenges and global mobility (travel the world visa-free).


Joseph Ghossoub, a Global Citizen and CEO of The Holding Group, will open the panel discussion about “Why he is one of the 25 most powerful Arabs and still needs a second passport.”


Ghossoub said, “The forum will provide a professional platform to discuss the phenomenal growth of second residency and citizenship programmes with relevant stakeholders. Being a global citizen has given me the opportunity to extend my business reach into different emerging markets and has provided me with future opportunities and security for my family.”


The Dubai premiere of The Global Citizen Forum will showcase a lively debate, encourage participants to engage with distinguished speakers and panellists and seek out answers on various current hot topics.

Media reports CIP is targeting “anxious Chinese”

ST JOHN’S, Antigua- As Antigua & Barbuda gets ready to accept applications for its Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), a New York Times report has suggested “anxious Chinese” are the target.


The Finance Ministry said the CIP Unit is being outfitted with furniture and should be completed and ready to accept applications by August 15 – while marketing for the programme has already begun.


According to the publication, Antigua & Barbuda is among countries targeting worried Chinese immigrants looking for potential escape plans – through the Citizenship by Investment.


The article notes that investor immigration programmes are technically open to all, but quotes immigration lawyers who say the main target is Chinese families seeking escape plans and protection for their assets in case of turmoil at home.


Jean-Francois Harvey, a Hong Kong based immigration lawyer is quoted by the Times as saying, “There is an all-out immigration war emerging for the Chinese.”


The well- respected newspaper also quotes Hong Kong-based immigration lawyer Denny Ko, whose firm Henley & Partners, they said, was hired by Antigua to help set up the investor immigration programme.


“It’s a niche product, but a niche product for China is still big numbers,” Ko said.


Antigua & Barbuda and St Kitts are described as having the best deals, but still face competition from Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.


One of the main draws of the programmes is visa free travel, and Antiguan and Barbudan citizens can travel to EU Schengen countries without a visa for up to a 90 – day stay period, as well as enjoy visa free travel to the UK, Canada and Ireland.


With a direct payment of just US$200,000 required for full citizenship here and just US$400,000 for St Kitts – the Caribbean deals are much cheaper than elsewhere.


There is also alternative investment options; for instance applicants could make a US$400,000 investment in real estate or US$1.5 million business investment to apply to Antigua &Barbuda.


In comparison Australia offers a permanent resident visa for US $4.6 million, the UK for US$1.5 million to US$15.3 million and Canada for US$780,000. Applicants can then apply for citizenship several years later.


The US is also involved, where for US$500,000 and the creation of a certain number of jobs, applicants can eventually get a permanent Green Card.


Up to September last year, 80 per cent of the 7,641 applicants came from mainland China, according to data from the US State Department.


The cheapest deals elsewhere come from Greece and Hungary where permanent resident visas are offered for just over US $330,000 – but those countries make no provision for citizenship.


The programmes have seen success already elsewhere with Cyprus reportedly raking in close to US$400 million, while Australia has seen applications worth over US$780 million.


The Antigua & Barbuda government has said it hopes to attract 1,800 new citizens or 450 families within the first three years and generate US$550 million by the third year.

Caribbean Nations Race to Attract Chinese Immigrants

Caribbean governments are slashing requirements for visas and citizenship to attract wealthy Chinese immigrants in the hope of drawing capital to their shores.


While investor immigration programs are technically open to all, immigration lawyers say that governments are targeting anxious Chinese who are looking for potential escape plans for their families and protection for their assets in case of turmoil at home.


“There is an all-out immigration war emerging for the Chinese,” said Jean-Francois Harvey, an immigration lawyer at Harvey Law Group in Hong Kong. The best deals of the moment come from countries in the Caribbean and Southern Europe suffering from weak economies and heavy public debt loads. The attractions are visas or citizenship that allow for relatively unfettered travel and cheap real estate, either for investment purposes or for homes.


In the eastern Caribbean, the island nations of St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda are battling it out to attract immigrants. Both nations are struggling in a region wrecked by hefty public debt loads and anemic growth; the International Monetary Fund forecasts the Caribbean region’s 2013 growth at just 1.25%


St. Kitts, a tiny island nation with a population of about 53,000 that lies 1,200 miles southeast of Miami, has led the charge in easing citizenship requirements in the region. Citizenship is granted to those who spend $400,000 on real-estate investment or donate $250,000 to the country’s Sugar Industry Diversification Fund. A St. Kitts passport offers visa-free travel to most Western countries.


Not to be outdone, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts’s neighbor 70 miles to the west with a population of about 90,000, is set to launch its own program. Modeled on the St. Kitts program, an Antigua citizenship can be acquired for a limited time for a donation of $200,000 to the country’s national development fund.


“It’s a niche product, but a niche product for China is still big numbers,” said Hong Kong-based immigration lawyer Denny Ko, whose firm, Henley & Partners, was hired by Antigua to help set up the investor immigration program.


Although Antigua’s program hasn’t started yet—politicians are debating whether the country should require participants to live in the country for a number of days each year—the marketing for it has already begun.


Government officials in both Antigua and St. Kitts didn’t reply to requests to comment.


Another battle over residency visas is playing out in Southern Europe. Greece’s government is promising renewable five-year resident visas to foreigners who spend at least €250,000 ($328,000) on residential property—undercutting its neighbors’ visa offers by at least €50,000. The program, which is about to be launched, offers visas that allow free travel in most of Europe for 90 days every six months. Portugal last year began offering a “golden visa” to foreigners who purchased a house valued at least €500,000, while Cyprus also launched a program for those who spent at least €300,000 on a property.


“Everybody in Europe is coming to us to sell their houses to the Chinese,” said Hong Kong-based immigration lawyer Wendy Wong at S.W. Wong & Associates who serves mainland Chinese clients.


A spokesman at the government agency Invest in Greece said that the lower price was intended to attract more residents to the country.


A spokesman for government-run Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency said 1,000 properties have already been sold to Chinese investors, mostly in the coastal town of Paphos. “We can’t comment on whether Chinese investors would be interested in Greece,” he said. “We’re focused on ensuring that the Chinese people who invest in and move to Cyprus are warmly welcomed,” the spokesman said.


Spain is planning a similar residency option but it hasn’t released details.


But for some Chinese investors, the visa isn’t everything. Hungary last year began offering five-year residency visas to those who invest €250,000 in a special government bond program, but programs like these are less interesting to Chinese, who typically want to buy real estate for use as rental properties, vacation homes or simply leave them empty in hopes of a rise in housing prices.


“The mentality among most Chinese is they look at the real estate first, and the visa second,” said Mr. Ko. “Some just view the visa as a bonus.”


Wealthier countries are also eager to attract Chinese but the price is steeper. In the U.S., the cost is US$500,000 and the creation of a certain number of jobs. In the fiscal year ending September 2012, 80% of the 7,641 applicants to the program came from mainland China, according to data from the U.S. State Department.


Australia last November launched a “significant investor” visa that allows foreigners to settle for up to four years in exchange for a 5 million Australian dollar (US$4.6 million) investment into bonds, managed funds or equity investments. As of May, the country attracted 170 applicants, most of which are believed to be Chinese, representing a total investment of A$850 million.


Write to Jason Chow at



Caribbean nations wooing Indian immigrants

Soon, cricket may not be the only connection Indians have with the Caribbean. Countries like St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica and Antigua have rolled out attractive citizenship-for-cash programs to woo Indian immigrants.


The latest to launch a citizenship-by-investment (CIP) program is Antigua & Barbuda, a tiny independent Commonwealth state in the eastern Caribbean which will open up its borders to other nationals in a month. It is giving full citizenship for an investment of at least $400,000 (about Rs 2.4 crore) in an approved real estate project. A St Kitts citizenship, too, comes for $400, 000 while tiny tropical Dominica is even cheaper at $100,000 (Rs 60,70,000).


Both countries have set their sights on wealthy Chinese as well as Indian immigrants. “Since the program was announced in March, we have had a number of inquiries from Indian citizens. Most of them view it as a lifestyle investment,” says Jason Taylor, CEO, Janik Partners, an Antigua-based company that specializes in CIP.


So what are the advantages of an Antigua and Barbuda passport besides the tropical breeze, swaying palm trees and white sand beaches, of course? An Antigua passport can get you visa-free travel to 126 countries including Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK and Europe. St Kitts gets you over 100 countries. An Indian passport only gets you 55 countries.


As a Commonwealth citizen, one also receives certain preferential treatment in the UK. For example, your children may enter the UK to study without first having to apply for student visas. After studying, they may work there for two years without a work permit.


Eric Major, CEO, Henley & Partners, the global leader in international residence and citizenship planning, says, “Most Asian clients are keen on providing a western education for their children, and this is one of their primary reasons for seeking a citizenship. Another reason is mobility thanks to visa-free travel.”


Henley & Partners recently advised the Antiguan government on the design, implementation and administration of its CIP and also reformed the CIP of St Kitts & Nevis. Major adds that about 20% of its overall clientele for immediate citizenships are Indians, many of them NRIs. “We get about a 1,000 such applications each year in total and the overall numbers are growing. NRIs account for much of the demand because of the Dubai situation. Even though many Indians work there, most don’t have the privileges of residency. Those who have done well there but don’t have status often want a better standing, passport ranking wise. This is the new breed of people we call global citizens and we are helping them become that,” says Major.


That the Caribbean nations are serious about Indian immigrants became clear when Denzil Douglas, PM of St Kitts, who was in India in April, requested Indians to look at its citizenship program and invest in it. St Kitts has the world’s oldest CIP that was launched in 1984. The country’s CIP unit did not respond to emails.


But what is the profile of potential Indian customers? Amir Zaidi, managing director, Westkin Associates, a London-based immigration law firm says, “They are mostly married with kids, very successful and in businesses that generate a lot of cash very quickly, such as property and real estate. A vast majority of our clients for CIP may apply from US or Dubai (NRIs). Indians often start UK citizenship and St Kitts CIP applications simultaneously, so that the quickly processed St Kitts passport can give them easy access to the world till they get a UK passport after six years.”

Immigration Destinations for China’s Wealthy


The Hot New Immigration Destinations for China’s Wealthy

Unimpressed with the U.S., shut out of Canada, not deep-pocketed enough for Australia and spooked by Cyprus, mainland China’s wealthy are exploring unlikely destinations for immigration, including Portugal and the Caribbean.

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