ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua & Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) has been ranked as the sixth most attractive in a new global report.
The report – by Wealth X and Arton Capital – is entitled “A Shrinking World: Global Citizenship for Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) Individuals.”
In a Caribbean context, Antigua & Barbuda ranks ahead third of four nations offering citizenship by investment programmes. St Kitts & Nevis is third globally; Grenada, fifth; Antigua & Barbuda, sixth and Dominica, eighth.
The authors say Dominica’s ranking is set to improve, though, as its citizens will soon gain visa-free access to Schengen countries. The Arton Index gives Antigua & Barbuda’s CIP 59 out of 100.
Under the criteria of simplicity, which measures the components; language requirement, physical waiver, interview with the government authorities, and fast track for citizenship, the country gets full marks with 20 out of 20. As for speed, which measures the length of the application process and time to citizenship, the nation received 15 from 20.
Under costs, which Arton Capital said is arguably the most important indicator for investors, the country got 12 out of 20.
Meanwhile, Arton Capital and Wealth X say the Caribbean is the second most popular region for economic citizenship applications.
Over half the number of applications is for Europe; a quarter is for the Caribbean; and 14 per cent for North American programmes.
The authors of the report said the popularity of the Caribbean region is thanks to the lower barriers to entry offered. They point to Antigua and Dominica, where they say fast track programmes are available and physical residency requirements are very low.
Over 20,000 families are said to apply for global citizenship programmes every year – with billionaires the most likely to apply.
The latest data shows most applications came from Pakistan at 17 per cent, followed by Lebanon at 15 per cent, then Egypt, Syria and the USA all at seven per cent and Russia at six per cent.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)