Applications for the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) has been slower than anticipated.
That was according to Minister of Information, Melford Nicholas, who said that during the last quarter, the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda was informed that there was a slight reduction in applications to the programme.
“Upon the review of the last quarter, we felt that the number of applications were a bit lower than would be our expectations and the response we got that there needs to be a greater focus put on the promotion of the programmes in our chosen source markets,” he said during last week’s post-Cabinet briefing.
When questioned whether any other factors may have contributed to the decline in CIP applications, Minister Nicholas said no.
“I think it is question of ensuring the agents are doing what they are required to do in those source markets and to ensure when the files are completed… then to ensure that the funds do flow,” he said.
This revelation came after the Chief Executive Officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Charmaine Quinland-Donovan met with Cabinet officials to report on the speed and due diligence of the unit which processes applications for Antiguan and Barbudan citizenship under the 2013 Citizenship by Investment Programme Act.
According to the
Cabinet notes, there is currently a backlog of 200 application files, with 40 applications being processed weekly.
The Citizenship by Investment Programme has faced multiple controversies since its inception particularly after Indian billionaire businessman, Mehul Choski, who allegedly committed fraud in India, was found to have an Antiguan passport through the programme
and is currently fighting extradition to his country of birth.