Certain situations or reasons may lead you to decide to leave your birth country. You might want a change of scenery for the long term, indulge in island living or have business interests in the region you want to migrate to. Whatever your reason might be, relocating overseas is a serious matter, especially if you’re moving with your family.
If you’re seeking a good place to relocate to, the Caribbean presents a couple of viable options you should consider. This includes the rising star in citizenship by investment: Antigua and Barbuda.
There are multiple pathways to obtain Antigua citizenship and several reasons Antigua is the perfect destination for you and your family. Read on to learn more.
Why Antigua and Barbuda? 6 Perks for the Family
Before you get to the “how” of acquiring Antigua citizenship, you first need to know why it is an excellent choice for your family.
Below are the top six family-friendly perks Antigua citizenship by investment offers:
Expanded coverage for the family
Like most citizenship by investment (CBI) programs in the region, Antigua allows principal applicants to extend their citizenship to their spouse and dependent children. What makes it different, however, is the latest update in the policy on who qualify as dependents.
As of November 2020, Antigua’s Citizenship-by-Investment Unit (CIU) expanded the range of who the main applicants can choose to be covered in the program, making it one of the most cost-effective and inclusive choices for big families.
Based on the new definition, qualified dependents for Antigua citizenship by investment now include:
- The principal applicant’s current spouse
- Children of the applicant or the spouse below 30 years of age who are financially dependent on the primary applicant
- Children of the applicant or the spouse aged 18 years of age or more with a physical or mental incapacity, living with and fully supported by the applicant
- Parents or grandparents of either of the applicant or dependent spouse aged 55 years and up who depend on the principal applicant financially
- Unmarried siblings of the principal applicant or the spouse
- The main applicant’s future spouse (comes with an additional $50,000 processing fee)
- Dependent children’s future spouses, provided the child is financially dependent on the main applicant (comes with an additional $50,000 processing fee)
- The applicant’s future grandchild from a dependent child (with a $10,000 fee for children below five years old or $20,000 if between six and 17 years of age)
Speedy application processing
Caribbean citizenship applicants looking to move to Antigua can also enjoy the speedy processing of their applications. So long as proper steps and complete requirements are fulfilled, the Antigua government can facilitate the process within three to six months or as quickly as 45 days.
More investment options
Antigua also offers the most investment options out of the top Caribbean nations offering citizenship by investment.
Originally, there were three investment routes:
- National Development Fund contribution – One-time non-refundable contribution of at least $100,000 per application for the main applicant and their dependents.
- Real estate investment – Investment in a government-approved real estate worth at least $400,000 for solo applicants or $200,000 for each of the parties engaged in a joint investment.
- Business investment – Investment in approved business ventures worth at least $1.5 million for a single applicant or at least $400,000 for each applicant in a joint venture that should bring the investment to a minimum total of $5 million.
Then, in 2020, the twin-island nation announced a fourth (and arguably one of the most competitive) investment options for families – a contribution to the University of West Indies Fund. This is set at a minimum of $150,000, which already covers the investment as well as all processing and government fees for a family of six.
According to Caribbean CBI experts, the change was probably triggered by the common trend where successful investors choose to include not just their immediate family but also those closest to them (as dependents). With this option, economic citizens can secure their loved ones’ futures, extending all the benefits of Antigua citizenship to more family members.
Visa-free travel benefit
Families who travel together stay together. With Antigua and Barbuda’s CBI program, this can be made possible with visa-free travel access to nearly 150 countries, including Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and country members of the European Union.
Stable and secure environment
One more thing that can affect your family’s bright future is the political stability of the country you belong to. As an Antiguan citizen, you won’t have to worry about this since the country has a stable democratic government based on the UK’s Westminster System.
The dual-island country is considered one of the safest and most secure in the world, thanks to its low crime rate and the impressive law adherence of its people. Thus far, Antigua and Barbuda have experienced no major security threats, be it terrorism or money laundering.
Concerned about your child’s education when moving to the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda? Don’t be. The fact that the country has a literacy rate of above 95 percent proves that they are investing heavily in education.
Antigua considers education as the cornerstone of its economic system. So, to secure the future of its citizens the government works double time in developing infrastructure and college networks and acquiring more certifications and accreditations to meet global learning standards.
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How to Acquire Antigua Citizenship
There is more than one way to become a citizen of Antigua, including affiliation, naturalization, and investment.
However, if you didn’t make it for the first two, you can check to see if you qualify for the third option with the following criteria:
- Outstanding character
- No criminal record
- Excellent health
- High personal net worth
Then, you’ll have to go through the standard process of citizenship by investment as administered by the CIU.
Here’s a quick rundown of the CIP application process:
- Application – This is your time to compile all necessary documents and requirements for your chosen investment route.
- Submission – Once all requirements are complete, you can submit your CBI application for review. The CIU processes all applications and examines every single one thoroughly. If necessary, they may also ask you to attend an interview.
- Determination – During this time, the CIU performs all the due diligence checks to determine whether to approve or deny your application. Approval in principle can be done within 90 days, though rejection is likely for those who make false statements or withhold any relevant information in their application.
- Investment Conclusion – After approval in principle, the next step is to complete the monetary requirements, including the required investment and fees payable for the processing of the application.
- Citizenship Grant – Once the application is approved, you can collect your passport, which usually takes 30 days in the pipeline. Passport issuance takes roughly three to four months from the submission of application, provided the CIU sees no cause for concern.
According to recent policy updates, the requirement to stay in the country for at least five days within the initial five-year period of citizenship is suspended temporarily, pending travel restrictions or until the set expiration on August 31, 2021.
Raise Your Family in the Caribbean
Antigua and Barbuda is not just a great tourist destination – it can also be an excellent place to raise a family.
Make the right choice by knowing what you’re getting and understand what it takes to become an economic citizen of this dual-island nation.