Omar Best – So what is a country to do when they have exhausted all viable options to stimulate their economy and create jobs?
Several countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean have been faced with this very dilemma. While most of these countries’ economies are driven predominately by tourism, their leaders recognize the need to diversify in order to grow…the need to get creative in how they will bring money into the country.
Over its head in debt and running out of options to raise money, the government of Antigua and Barbuda has officially launched its “Citizenship by Investment” program. In a nutshell, this program allows foreigners to obtain Antiguan citizenship by investing US$400,000 in Antiguan real estate or US$1.5 million in a local business. Alternatively, foreigners can qualify for citizenship by simply donating US$250,000 to the government.
Antigua and Barbuda, whose investment for citizenship program is very similar to that of their neighbors St. Kitts and Nevis, hope to generate US$550 million over the next three years by attracting 1,800 new citizens. In addition to bringing in more revenue, Antigua and Barbuda hopes to create more local jobs as well.
Investors who decide to take advantage of the program may apply with dependents and family members over the age of 65.
From an investor’s perspective this program creates new opportunity for asset protection and global diversification. But the benefits of having an alternative citizenship and passport extend beyond this.
In the wake of FATCA, the innocuously named Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and other tightened government controls, the needs to seek supplemental investment options and gain an additional citizenship have never been greater. Antigua is an opportune place to safeguard what is yours and generate income at the same time. They are positioning themselves as a haven for foreign investment and business opportunities.
A second passport, depending on where you’re from, can also offer you safer travel, easier travel, and less costly travel—providing you the opportunity to avoid pesky reciprocity fees imposed on Americans upon entrance into many countries now.
In addition to the investment requirements, the main applicant will be responsible for the government processing fees, which will total about US$60,000, in addition to due diligence fees and background checks for each applicant. Additional fees will apply for each additional dependent. After that, new citizens are only required to spend at least 35 days on the island over a five-year span of the initial passport.