CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT IN ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
EB-5 Investment Voice
Mona Shah & Associates Global Podcast Series
Reported by Hermione Krumm, Esq.
EB-5 Investment Voice is the only Podcast series that focuses on and the United States immigrant investor visa, EB-5 and foreign direct investment. Mona Shah, Esq. welcomes guests from the industry, including: Developers, Regional Center Operatives, Attorneys, Legislators and Politicians.
Of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) countries, those located in the Caribbean Islands are popular choices because they offer faster processing times to citizenship. Since Grenada was covered in the last episode, today we give the centerstage to Antigua and Barbuda. Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the country offers visa-free access to the UK, EU and Hong Kong – amongst many others. It boasts other advantages as well, most notably the opportunity to claim young adult children attending college, and parents, grandparents and in-laws over 65 as dependents.
In this episode, Mona and Rebecca Singh, Esq. are joined by Charmaine Quinland-Donovan, the first female CEO of Antigua and Barbuda’s CBI Unit, to discuss the advantages of the country’s citizenship program and the three different investment options. From its inception, Mrs. Donovan was influential in establishing the program’s policies and procedures, and served as Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Operating Officer prior to her appointment as the CEO.
Intro on Antigua and Barbuda and its CBI Program
Antigua and Barbuda is located in the heart of the archipelago of the Caribbean Islands. A travel hub, Antigua boasts daily international flights.
- Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program has been up and running for the past four years. A recent increase in the program’s popularity can be attributed to clear and established processes along with a favorable turnaround time.
Approval for Citizenship
- If the paperwork is in order, an applicant can obtain approval for citizenship within six to eight weeks, followed by processing of the passport. An applicant does not necessarily need to be in the country for the approval process, although he/she has to visit upon approval.
- The residency requirement compels a successful applicant to visit Antigua and Barbuda for at least five days in a five-year period. This ensures that new citizens can speak confidently about the islands in conversation.
- There is no biometrics requirement at the moment.
- Investors looking for projects in Antigua and Barbuda have three options:
1) A one-time investment of at least $100K in the National Development Fund – a contribution to the government that will not come back;
2) A real estate purchase of at least $400K that is held for five years; or
3) An individual investment in business of at least $1.5M or group investment of $5M (each investor needs to invest in at least $400K) – this is unique from other countries’ programs.
- Barbuda was decimated by the hurricane this past September. The country temporarily reduced the minimum investment in the National Development Fund to $100K to raise the $200M necessarily to rebuild. The reduction in the minimum investment started in November 1, 2017 and will end on October 31, 2018. Any subsequent increase (whether it will return to $200K or any other amount) is yet to be determined.
- There are 45 approved real estate projects in the works, and 28 of those have product in place. Only two projects on Barbuda were delayed by the hurricane.
- New construction projects endure a lengthy approval process that involves completing the application as well as providing a development plan for the site, information about the developer’s background, and proof of ownership of the property. If it is a company, documents required include articles and memorandum of association, information on the beneficial owners of the project itself, and an evaluation report. Projects to enhance existing properties must provide a business operations plan, financials, projections, historical accounts, proof of funding and etc.
Generous Definition of Dependents
- The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program includes children from the ages of zero to 17. Children aged 18 to 28 who are full-time university students qualify as well.
- There is no age limit on children who are physically or mentally disabled upon successful demonstration of the disability and the child’s total dependency.
- Parents, grandparents and in-laws aged 65 and older can be considered dependents too.
Benefits of Citizenship
- Antigua and Barbuda provide its citizens with visa-free access to 135 countries, including the UK, EU and Hong Kong. (You would need to apply for a visa to visit the US.)
- The country has an established business infrastructure and an educated workforce that assists any company set-up. Antigua and Barbuda also feature an American medical school. Upon completion, credits are easily transferred to the US.
- The government is currently in talk with the U.S. to see whether an E-2 treaty can be formed. As of date, Antigua and Bermuda is not an E-2 treaty country.
Please see the link below for access to the podcast episode: https://mshahlaw.com/citizenship-by-investment-in-antigua-and-barbuda/ .
About the Speakers:
Mona Shah, ESQ.
UK born, Mona, a dual licensed attorney, was formerly a Government Prosecutor with the British Crown Prosecution Service. Mona has extensive knowledge of all facets of U.S. immigration law; her expertise ranges from specialist business law to complicated, multi-issue federal deportation litigation before the US Courts of Appeal. Recognized as an industry leader in EB-5, Mona has received many accolades for her work, including voted top 25 EB-5 attorneys in the US 4 years in a row; Top Lawyer by Who’s Who International, ‘Top Attorney of North America’
Mona, an adjunct professor at Baruch College, CUNY University, has authored numerous articles, a published book for investors, co-edited EB-5 Gateway (BLS) and is a recommended author with Lexis Practice Advisor. Mona is regularly invited to speak worldwide, has been interviewed by mainstream news channels, including Fox Business News, Al Jazeera and quoted in major newspapers, including the New York Times.
Rebecca S. Singh, ESQ.
Rebecca is an experienced attorney with Mona Shah & Associates.
As an advanced EB-5 practitioner, Rebecca works with project developers, analyzing, crafting and preparing project documents for initial regional center designation, as well as actual project or amendment filings. In addition, Rebecca handles direct EB-5 project petitions, both pooled investments and individual entrepreneurs, and I-829 petitions. Rebecca is well versed in USCIS compliance.
Rebecca is highly proficient at investor petitions, counseling clients through all stages of the EB-5 program. She has successfully filed complex source of funds issues from clients worldwide.
Mrs. Charmaine Quinland-Donovan holds the distinctions of being the first national of Antigua and Barbuda and the first woman, to head the country’s Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU).
Her appointment as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) took effect on March 27th, 2017.
Prior to this recent appointment, Charmaine served in the CIU in three prominent capacities; Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer. She was instrumental in shaping and implementing policies and procedures from the establishment of the Unit and making necessary enhancements in response to changes in the industry.
About the Author:
Hermione Krumm, Esq. is an associate attorney with Mona Shah and Associates Global. Hermione works with EB-5, corporate, merger and acquisition (M&A), intellectual property and foreign direct investment (FDI) matters involving China, the UK and the US. Hermione writes and comments frequently on current business and immigration issues. Her articles have been published by LexisNexis, ILW, EB-5info, EB-5 Supermarket, etc. Hermione received her LL.B. (Hons) from the University of Manchester School of Law (UK), and obtained her LL.M. from Cornell Law School. Hermione speaks fluent English, Mandarin and Cantonese.