Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Dr Baldwin Spencer has officially launched the country’s new Citizenship By Investment Programme.
The project comes two years after Antigua’s Citizenship By Investment Task Force examined the options available to the twin-island state. Antigua is the latest in a growing line of countries who offer CBI, including Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis.
The programme offers investors the chance to become a citizen of Antigua and holder of an Antiguan passport.
“The singular goal of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme is to generate investments and jobs for Antiguans and Barbudans and to put Antigua and Barbuda on the road to sustainable growth and development,” Spencer said.
There are three kinds of eligible investments: a real estate investment of $400,000 USD; a business investment of at least $1.5 million US or a $250,000 USD contribution to Antigua’s National Development Fund.
“The economic development value of CIPs and related investment attraction initiatives, has long been established,” he said. “Many countries across the globe, including our neighbor St. Kitts and Nevis, in testament to the importance of attracting investment, offer residency status in exchange for a sizable financial contribution. In all cases, investors are offered the privilege of expedited residency with qualifying investments.”
Spencer said his government was “cognizant” of the fact that it had to safeguard the “integrity” of being a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and protect the country’s overall image.
“We are fully aware of the value of our passport and how passionately and with what great esteem the people of our twin-island nation regard this document,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the new programme would not mean an “open sesame for all and sundry.”
“As such, 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.
Former Canadian government official Donald Myatt is the CEO of the Citizenship By Investment Unit, which was established earlier this year.