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Antigua and Barbuda Clarifies CBI Requirements

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
11 March, 2015

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has clarified the relationship between its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program and a housing project managed by a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company, Sweet Homes, emphasizing that investment in its development does not grant an automatic right to citizenship.

The Government was responding to reports that Sweet Homes may have issued advertisements that implied that purchasing a property from one of its developments in the UAE would enable the acquirer to gain citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Government said that it is reviewing the relevant advertisements, and if they are found to be misleading, the Government will look to have them removed.

The CBI unit reiterated that each application for citizenship is subject to a rigorous due diligence process, which must be carried out in Antigua and Barbuda. It said that in the specific case of Sweet Homes, this company cannot process applications. It has to refer all applications to a local processor who is required to be an Antiguan citizen by law. In turn, the application is scrutinized by the CIP.

The unit emphasized that the territory has stringent procedures in place, involving internationally reputable agencies in the US, UK, and Canada, to ensure that only persons of the highest standard of integrity are granted citizenship and that such persons pose no threat to the security of all other countries to which citizens of Antigua and Barbuda may travel.

The CBI program was launched in October 2013. When the initiative was launched, prospective citizens needed to commit to invest USD250,000. Alternatively, investors could spend USD400,000 on island real estate or make a business investment worth at least USD1.5m.

In Antigua, the basic rate of income tax is 10 percent on income up to USD48,000, 15 percent on income up to USD120,000, and 20 percent on income up to USD180,000, with a 25 percent rate levied thereafter. There is no capital gains or inheritance tax.

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