investing in antigua and barbuda islandsWith an increasing number of foreign nationals eyeing Caribbean investments, so too have the reasons to invest in Antigua and Barbuda. Lush vegetation, postcard-perfect beaches, and Caribbean attractions such as the Devil’s Bridge have transformed the twin-island nation’s tourism industry into one of the Caribbean’s fastest-growing.

Over the last few years, foreign investments have poured in from iconic celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Giorgio Armani, as well as non-famous investors looking to yield optimal returns in the country’s real estate market.

The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program has ignited a rush of investors seeking dual citizenship and one of the Caribbean’s most powerful passports, providing visa free access to over 150 countries worldwide.

Top Industries for Investing in Antigua and Barbuda

Tourism

Tourism accounts for 50 percent of Antigua and Barbuda’s GDP. The nation’s tourism sector centers on cruise ships, luxurious all-inclusive beach resorts, and yacht excursions, and almost 50 percent of the Antigua and Barbuda population is directly and indirectly employed within the industry.

The yachting sector in Antigua and Barbuda has seen significant expansion, fueled by substantial investments from both public and private entities.

Fisheries and aquaculture

While fisheries make a modest contribution to Antigua and Barbuda’s economy, they play a vital role in supporting local food needs and catering to the tourism industry’s demands.

Maritime transport and ports

About 90 percent of imported goods arrive in Antigua and Barbuda by sea, underlining the indispensable role of shipping in the national economy. The maritime transport and ports industry encompasses a range of activities, spanning port operations, ship maintenance, and dry-docking, as well as marine services like offshore bulk transshipment and bunkering.

Business Process Outsourcing

Antigua and Barbuda offers a skilled workforce for Business Process Outsourcing. With a literacy rate exceeding 95 percent, the country demonstrates a sustained commitment to educational investment, cultivating a highly professional English-speaking workforce well-equipped to provide a competitive edge in industries outsourcing administrative, technical, and customer service operations. The government’s supportive policies towards ICT and business development further enhance its appeal as a BPO hub.

Reasons to Invest in Antigua and Barbuda

Obtain Antigua citizenship

Antigua and Barbuda is one of five Caribbean countries offering a citizenship by investment program (CBI). In exchange for contributing to the country’s economic growth, investors obtain Antigua and Barbuda citizenship status in three to six months.

Moreover, there is no need to visit the country to obtain Antigua citizenship by investment. The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Unit – the Antigua government authority responsible for overseeing CBI applications – allows investors to conduct mandatory interviews remotely during the application process.

Bustling tourism

This island nation is considered a jewel in the Caribbean, attracting tourists worldwide with its organic beauty, unbelievably blue lagoons, vast ports, and rich cultural scene. The country has 365 beaches, one for each day of the year, with options from vibrant beach hubs to serene private beaches.

To date, more than half of the country’s GDP is tied to tourism, and investors who choose to make business capital investments, such as investing in a government-approved real estate project in the tourism sector, can benefit from the dual advantage of stable returns and obtaining citizenship through the Antigua and Barbuda CBI program.

Obtain an Antigua passport

Not only do investors gain dual citizenship when successfully applying for Antigua citizenship by investment, but they also gain one of the Caribbean’s most powerful passports. The Antigua and Barbuda passport ranks 59th on the Global Passport Index.

An Antigua and Barbuda passport provides visa free access to over 150 destinations worldwide, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia, the UK, and Europe’s Schengen Area. Since this twin-island nation is a member of the Commonwealth, citizens can enjoy certain perks in the UK and other members of the Commonwealth, such as consular assistance where Antigua and Barbuda doesn’t have a consular presence.

Four investment options to obtain citizenship

The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program offers the most foreign investment options of all Caribbean CBI countries. Investors can be granted citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda by making a non-refundable contribution, making a real estate purchase, making a business investment, or contributing to the University of the West Indies Fund.

The West Indies Fund option grants one of the main applicant’s financially dependent children the opportunity to attend the university with a year’s free tuition.

Skilled workforce

The government invests a lot in Antigua and Barbuda citizens. From high-ranking colleges and courses on offer to training opportunities in tourism, financial services, and construction, the Antigua and Barbuda government has actively improved people’s skill sets, providing quality that meets world standards.

So, if you’re considering starting a business in the country, particularly in the tourism industry, through investing in pre-approved real estate projects, rest assured that you’ll get a lot in return from the island nation’s skilled workforce.

Tax perks

Antigua and Barbuda is considered a tax haven as the government imposes a zero percent personal income tax rate. Self-employed Antigua tax residents may be liable for some income tax on earnings gained in the country, but worldwide income remains tax-free.

Additionally, Antigua and Barbuda taxes do not include wealth, inheritance, or capital gains tax. The country is one of the most tax-friendly among the Caribbean citizenship by investment countries.

Access to OECS

Since Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), it is under a common central bank and a single currency (Eastern Caribbean Dollar). The Eastern Caribbean Dollar has been pegged to the US dollar for over 40 years. Antigua has no foreign exchange controls or restrictions on capital repatriation.

Safe and secure

Antigua and Barbuda is a socially and politically stable nation, with a solid democratic system, similar to that in the UK. With low crime rates, the country has virtually no high-level security concerns like terrorism, money laundering, or cybercrime.

Investing in Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment

antigua and barbuda investment opportunitiesEstablished in 2012, the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program has been an attractive CBI program for investors worldwide, granting successful applicants one of the Caribbean’s most powerful passports.

The Antigua and Barbuda investment authority overseeing the country’s program, the Antigua Citizenship Unit, welcomes investors to make a qualifying capital investment through one of four capital investment routes. In turn, investors and even their family members are eligible for dual citizenship.

The investment options include:

  • Non-refundable contribution
  • Real estate investment
  • Business investment
  • Donation to the University of the West Indies Fund

Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment cost

Obtaining direct citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda requires making a foreign direct investment that meets a minimum value. The minimum amount for each investment option is:

  1. A $100,000 donation to the Antigua National Development Fund
  2. A $200,000 investment in pre-approved real estate in Antigua
  3. A $400,000 investment in a joint business investment worth at least $5 million, or a $1.5 million sole investment to establish an approved business in Antigua
  4. A $150,000 donation to the University of the West Indies Fund

A single applicant must also pay government fees, including processing fees, due diligence fees, and a passport fee. Family members’ applications to obtain Antigua citizenship will require additional donations to the National Development Fund, as well as processing and due diligence fees.

Calculate the cost of citizenship for you and your family, including all associated fees.

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Eligibility requirements for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment

While there are no restrictions for investing in the country, there are certain criteria you must meet to invest in the nation and qualify for the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program.

Generally, you must:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Be of outstanding character
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Be in good health
  • Make a qualifying investment

Applicants from or with economic ties to a restricted country are prohibited from applying for Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program. These restricted countries are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Yemen
  • Sudan

The country’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) carries out strict due diligence checks, with due diligence procedures for every citizenship application, including a mandatory citizenship interview. The citizenship process takes three to six months.

Benefits of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship

antigua-and-barbuda-official-unit
Charmaine Quinland-Donovan, CEO of Antigua and Barbuda’s Official Unit, and Joe Rice, Head of Strategy & Business Development at Global Citizen Solutions

Antigua citizenship by investment offers individuals and their family members a wealth of advantages.

Key benefits include:

  • Visa free travel: An Antigua and Barbuda passport provides visa free or visa on arrival access to over 150 destinations worldwide, including South Korea, Singapore, the UK, and Schengen countries
  • No residency requirement: Applicants are not required to visit Antigua during the application process or reside there for a specified period to acquire citizenship.
  • Family inclusion: Eligible family members include a spouse, dependent children, dependent parents and grandparents, and dependent unmarried siblings of the spouse and main applicant.
  • Caribbean community benefits: Citizenship extends privileges associated with being part of CARICOM, as well as free movement through other OECS member states.

Options for Investing in Antigua and Barbuda

There is no shortage of investment opportunities in Antigua. Whatever your requirements and objectives are, you’ll likely find them fulfilled in this gorgeous nation.

Real estate investment

Any seasoned investor will at least consider, if not pursue, a real estate investment in their lifetime. Investing in Antigua and Barbuda real estate means your respective investments can be recovered or used to generate profit. Government-approved real estate can be sold or rented out, making for a lucrative opportunity.

You can invest directly in Antigua and Barbuda tourist accommodations, from commercial buildings like boutique hotels, resorts, or buildings down to actual holiday homes like luxury villas, beachfront properties, or condos.

Invest in a new or established business

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for eco-friendly investment opportunities in Antigua and Barbuda or to run a business on the islands, you can do so by either investing in an eligible enterprise project – alone or as a joint investment – or setting up a new business that generates income.

Generally speaking, investing in existing business opportunities that create jobs can generate solid profit since the economy is quickly growing, thanks to its booming tourism sector. Funds can be pumped into an existing or new business. Either way, it’ll be government-protected, so you can relax knowing your business investment will be sheltered from fraud.

Invest in agriculture

Antigua and Barbuda has a thriving agriculture with significant growth potential. In particular, the island’s pineapples are a hit. Known as ‘the Antigua Black Pineapple’, this crop grows in dark soil and is renowned in the region for its sweetness. It’s recognized internationally and is even sold in Norwegian supermarkets at a premium price. Poultry is another area to expand to. As a net importer of poultry, there are plans in the pipeline to make the country a net exporter of poultry products.

Sea-island cotton is another area to break into. It has high export prices and is even known among Japanese connoisseurs for its quality. With financial aid from the government, 30 acres are currently being cultivated. Investment opportunities come from producing local foods that are currently imported and selling them to the local market, including other Caribbean countries.

Invest in tourism

It’s no secret why the Antigua tourism industry is experiencing exponential growth. What’s not to like about gorgeous twin islands packed with breathtaking beaches, sunshine, watersports activities, a friendly local population, and a relaxing atmosphere? You guessed it, the tourism industry is the most lucrative area to invest in. Since it dominates the national economy, it’s the country’s most important source of foreign exchange and direct international investment.

You can opt to invest in more traditional assets like a five-star resort, a boutique hotel, or a golf course, or you can go for a less obvious investment like:

  • Sailing/yachting
  • Health and wellness tourism
  • Eco-tourism and nature tourism
  • Cultural and heritage tourism

Invest in waste management

As a nation heavily reliant on tourism, maintaining pristine natural environments is crucial for attracting visitors and preserving the country’s reputation as a tropical paradise. An inevitable consequence of a surge in tourism is increased waste, and plans have been proposed to make Antigua a cruise home port. Effective waste management in Antigua and Barbuda ensures the preservation of the island’s coastal areas, beaches, and marine ecosystems, which are key tourist attractions and there are Antigua and Barbuda government incentives for investors in waste management.

Talk to a Specialist about Investing in Antigua and Barbuda

Thinking about investing in Antigua? Talk to one of our Global Citizen Solutions specialists.

Our dedicated team will work solely on your behalf. We are committed to providing a specialized service to each of our clients with the knowledge that comes with years of expertise, as well as access to a proprietary database of market information.

We give insight and data analysis to allow our clients to make investments with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions about Antigua and Barbuda Investments

Why should I consider investing in Antigua and Barbuda?

There are many reasons to invest in Antigua. The opportunities are endless, from owning a high-ranking Caribbean passport that allows visa free travel to 153 countries, achieving optimal return rates on your investment with stable rental income, and gaining solid investment protection from the government to diversify your assets.

What investment options do I have in Antigua?

You can invest in the country’s tourism sector, agriculture, IT industry, real estate, or citizenship by investment. By far, investing via the citizenship program is the best way to procure an Antigua and Barbuda passport and enhanced global mobility in four short months, with the option to include your entire family in the application.

If you plan to invest through the Antigua citizenship program, the investment routes are:

  • Making a National Development Fund contribution
  • Buying pre-approved real estate
  • Making a local business investment
  • Donating to the University of the West Indies Fund

Real estate and business investments can be made as a single or joint investment.

Is Antigua a good investment?

Many view property in Antigua and Barbuda as a sound investment choice. In addition to financial returns on capital investment and a skilled workforce for business process outsourcing, The Antigua Citizenship by Investment Act allows foreign nationals to obtain citizenship from their property investments. The Antigua economic citizenship program grants second citizenship and a Caribbean passport to property investors.

What are the best sectors to invest in Antigua?

Along with the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program, investing in real estate, the tourism sector, or business process outsourcing is a great way for foreign nationals to profit from their investments and gain citizenship by contributing to the nation’s economic development.

Does the Antigua and Barbuda passport allow visa-free travel to Europe?

Yes, Antigua and Barbuda passport holders have 153 Antigua visa free countries they can travel to, including the European nations in the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Russia.

Can I apply directly to Antigua CIP without an agent?

No, the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program, or CIP, requires the main applicant and eligible dependents to submit applications to a local authorized agent licensed by the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) or an authorized representative.

What is the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship cost?

If you are considering obtaining citizenship by investment in Antigua and Barbuda, the minimum investment is $100,000 as a donation to the country’s National Development Fund for a single applicant or family of four. Applications are usually processed in less than four months by the Investment Unit.

Why is China investing in Antigua?

China’s investment in Antigua is primarily driven by strategic economic and geopolitical interests. Chinese President Xi Jinping stated in January 2024 that China seeks to invest directly in Antigua and Barbuda’s infrastructure, including infrastructure construction, green energy, and healthcare. These investments align with China’s global expansion strategy under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aimed at bolstering diplomatic ties and securing strategic allies internationally.

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