Antigua is usually a safe bet for investors, considering its appealing tax incentives and its safe and politically steady culture. If you’re interested in investing abroad in the “Land of 365 Beaches,” you may even benefit from the citizenship by investment program (CIP). Even if you weren’t considering a second citizenship, you might realize how great it could be to gain one along with that extra passport just by investing in the country. It’s a win-win, really.
Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP)
This program was established in 2002, and for a limited time, the price has been reduced in order to recover from hurricane relief, just as other countries such as St. Kitts and Nevis are doing. If you plan to look into this program, check and see if the 50 percent price reduction, from a required $200,000 USD investment to a $100,000 investment, still applies. Either way, you will need the following to apply:
- Proof of no criminal record
- Proof of good health
- High personal net worth
- Reside in the country for a minimum of 35 days over a period of five years
This program was adopted as a way for the government to increase and promote economic growth and foreign direct investment into the country, so the approved investment includes three options: a National Development Fund contribution or a charitable donation, a real estate investment, or a business establishment. Each one has its own requirements which must be met.
National Development Fund Contribution or Charitable Donation
Those who choose this investment route must make a minimum monetary contribution of $200,000 USD (or $100,000 if the price decrease is still in effect). This contribution must either go to the National Development Fund or a Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU)-approved charity.
Real Estate Investment
Applicants for this type of investment can purchase property valued at a minimum of $400,000 USD. The property must be located in a pre-approved real estate development area. The Citizenship by Investment Unit can be consulted on what areas are approved.
Those who are interested in going the business route for investment must invest a minimum of $1.5 million USD when establishing a new business solo. If there are two or more applicants making a joint investment, each must submit a minimum of $400,000 USD, and the overall investment must amount to at least $5 million USD.
Sugarcane and cotton are the main exports for Antigua and Barbuda, but it’s really tourism that drives this economy. The tourism industry makes up 60 percent of the country’s GDP, and that’s where most of the government’s improvement efforts are generally focused. Since Antigua is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, there’s no shortage of visitors, which makes this tourism industry especially successful.
Real Estate Market
Real estate prices today are still low from the housing crisis back in 2008, however, the country is seeing an increase in buyers currently. When the housing crisis hit, real estate value dropped about 40 percent in this country, and even now the prices sit at about 20 percent lower than their peak. This makes it a prime time for buyers. One thing that has increased demand is the citizenship by investment program.
Home prices in Antigua usually range from about $1.5 million to $5 million in USD. Popular areas for foreign investors have been: Jolly Harbour, English Harbour, Jumby Bay, NonSuch Bay, Sugar Ridge, Tamarind Hills, and the residential areas just north of St. John’s, the capital city. If you choose to invest through this method and use the Citizenship by Investment program, check with the CIU to learn about the several other developing areas. If you are not looking into the CIP, you will need a noncitizens landholding license, which will take roughly three to six months to obtain.
Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional monarchy, with a government based off that of England. It is headed by Queen Elizabeth II and led by a prime minister and parliament. It has kept a steady, peaceful political climate, and it is known to be one of the safest countries in all of the Caribbean. It measures high on a worldwide scale for low crime and lawfulness. The population is 90,000, and the country appeals heavily to foreign investors and tourists for most of its income. There are generous tax incentives for those seeking to invest, as well as a protection plan that is ranked highly for enforcing contracts and protecting its investors. This country will even guide investors through procedures and approvals!
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