Applications for citizenship have increased – says CIU

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The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) said applications for citizenship have been showing an increase to near pre-Covid-19 levels.

Chief Executive Officer of the CIU, Charmaine Quinland-Donovan provided an update on the agency’s recent performance this morning.

She said that despite the challenges brought on by Covid-19, people continued to apply for citizenship.

“Fortunately, the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme has continued to enjoy sustained interest and the number of applications submitted has begun to increase to near pre-Covid-19 levels. At the beginning of March this year the unit began a comprehensive reorganization of its operating processes to facilitate greater electronic engagement and maintain response time. As a result of this quick response to the crisis at hand the unit has been able to maintain a steady stream of applications”, the CEO stated.

The CEO added that because the unit set up an online platform – unlike many of its regional counterparts, it was able to function during the lockdown.

In 2020, the CIU introduced a third option to real estate ownership by offering potential applicants approved real estate, starting at US $200,000.

They also made the UWI Fund option, which goes towards funding the fourth landed campus, more attractive for large families. A family of six or more can invest in this option for only US $150,000.

Chief Financial Officer Casford King said to date the unit has approved 275 applications.

“We have contributed significantly to the development of the country in a positive and real way. Pre-Covid, we were on pace to outdo the previous year in terms of applications, but since the advent of Covid we’ve seen the effects in terms of the numbers, but safe to say, we are returning to normal and there has been increased demand in terms of inquiries and persons wishing to apply for alternative citizenship. So the prospects of the program does look positive,” King maintained.

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