The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program has undergone some changes, with a mandatory interview announced in November 2023 to further improve the program’s due diligence process and ensure its reliability and longevity. Most recently, a waiver of the five-day residency requirement was announced for exceptional circumstances.
Keeping track of this new information can be challenging, so we’ve created this comprehensive Q&A article to help you answer any questions you may have about Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program.
Waiver of Five-Day Residency Requirement – Exceptional Circumstance
On 6 December 2023, the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda agreed to waive the requirement to reside in Antigua and Barbuda for five days during the first five years following the acquisition of citizenship through the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program in the following exceptional circumstances:
• Passport renewals: Applications for passport renewals received between 30 June 2023 and 20 July 2023.
• 80-year-old applicants: Successful applicants to the CBI program who turned 80 years old at the time of being granted citizenship or during the first five years following this acquisition.
• Minor dependents who have not complied with the stay requirement: Cases where adult applicants have met the five-day residency requirement but minors who are part of the application have not. The requirement will be waived, and the dependents will be eligible to receive a ten-year passport if:
- The Antigua and Barbuda passports held by these adults are six or less months away from expiring
- The dependents comply with Section 4(1)
• Infirmity or acute disability: Individuals who have been granted citizenship and are registered but unable to visit Antigua and Barbuda due to infirmity or acute disability will be exempt from fulfilling the residency requirement. These individuals must present the following information:
- Evidence of their infirmity or disability in a sworn affidavit (submitted by a legal guardian in the case of a minor)
- A medical report from a licensed physician clearly outlining the issue and confirming the individual’s inability to travel
If you do not qualify for any of these circumstances, you must provide evidence showing that you have spent at least five days in Antigua and Barbuda in order to renew your passport.
Mandatory Interview for Citizenship by Investment Applicants
As per the announcement made by the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) on 13 November 2023, applicants to the Antigua and Barbuda CBI program who submitted their applications on or after 15 December 2023 must submit to a mandatory virtual interview. The following section provides more information based on frequently asked questions received by the CIU.
1. Who must take part in the interview?
The main applicant and any dependents aged 16 and older must take part in a mandatory interview.
2. Is there an interview fee?
There is an interview fee of $1,500 per application, in addition to the due diligence fees and processing fees.
3. At what stage of the application will the interview be conducted?
The interview will be part of the due diligence process and will be conducted once the investigative component of the process is complete.
4. How will the interview be conducted?
The interview will be conducted virtually on a date and time selected by the applicants. Members of the same application (i.e. the main applicant and all dependents aged 16 and over) must be present at the interview. In cases where applicants reside in separate locations, links to the virtual interview will be provided to ensure all members attend the same interview at the same time, as required.
If a subsequent interview is required, the applicant will be advised, and the necessary arrangements will be made. Again, the date and time will be confirmed to prevent conflicts or delays.
5. What if my first language is not English?
Interviews will be conducted by qualified third party service providers chosen by the CIU who can conduct the interview in the applicant’s native/preferred language.
6. Are the local agents required to sit in on the interviews?
No, Licensed Agents and/or external representatives are not required to sit in on the interviews with applicants.
7. How will the date and time of the interview be chosen?
Similar to the existing process used for virtual oath requests, the CIU will communicate the date and time of the interview through the applicant’s Licensed Agent. The CIU will provide at least three date/time options from which the applicant can choose the earliest and most convenient.
8. What documents must applicants provide for the interview?
Each applicant must provide the original identification documents submitted with their application, including:
- All passports held
- Government-issued identity documents
- Birth certificates
Certified copies will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. The main applicant may present the identification documents on behalf of applicants younger than 16.
9. Is there a penalty if I reschedule my interview?
While there is currently no penalty for rescheduling an interview, applicants are urged to stick to the date and time that they confirm with the CIU. This is to avoid conflicts and disruptions that could delay the processing of their application.
10. Will applicants receive a copy or transcript of their interviews?
As the interview is part of the due diligence process, reports and transcripts will not be shared with the applicant or any third party.
11. What happens once the interview is complete?
Once the interview (and any subsequent interviews, if necessary) is complete, the CIU will communicate the outcome of the application in the usual manner in accordance with Section 5 (14) of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment (Amendment) Act, 2016.
If you would like to find out more, get in touch with one of our consultants who can answer your questions in full and create a plan tailored to your individual circumstances.