Unless you live under a rock you might be aware of the reports claiming diamond merchant and bank-fraud accused Mehul Choksi is in Antigua and has sought a local passport. If you think Choksi have spent a bomb to attain the Antigua passport, then let us tell you that the process to attain the passport is hassle-free and inexpensive. The country is home to mesmerising beach, azure waters, and tropical breeze. If you are wondering how Choksi landed up in Antigua with a legal passport, then let us tell you that the country has a unique system called ‘citizenship by investment’. One needs to invest a few lakhs and be neighbours with celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Eric Clapton.
Infrastructure building in the Caribbean island nations requires a lot of investments and the schemes for the citizenship is one of the many ways through which the nations attract funds for the development programmes.
Unlike other countries, the citizenship in Antigua is granted in about four months’ time. One doesn’t need to travel to Antigua and Barbuda during the application process.
Qualifications to attain Antigua citizenship
According to the Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program established in 2012, one must fulfill the following criteria to qualify for the citizenship:
- No criminal record
- Excellent health
- High personal net worth
- Outstanding character
- Reside with the family members included in the application of the country for at least 35 days with a period of five years.
Perks on Antigua citizenship
- No tax on worldwide income
- Visa-free travel to 132 countries including Canada, Hong Kong, Maldives, Singapore, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK.
Citizenship by investment
Following parliamentary assent to the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Regulations 2014, the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) was established. Below are the three investment options to attain Antigua citizenship:
- National Development Fund Contribution: A contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF) or an approved charity of a non-refundable amount of Rs 1.3 crore.
- Real Estate Investment: Investment of at least Rs 2.7 crore into real estate projects and to be held for a minimum period of five years. In addition of the property purchase, registration, processing fees and taxes must be paid.
- Business Establishment: Investment of Rs 10 crore or more into a business as a sole investor or a joint investor with at least 2 people in a business totalling at least Rs 34 crore.
Information source: Citizenship by Investment Unit – Antigua & Barbuda
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