A new programme to lure foreign professionals to live and work in Antigua and Barbuda – and give the economy a welcome shot in the arm – has been officially launched.
Local residents are being urged to spread the word by sharing details of the ‘Nomad Digital Residence’ online.
The initiative is similar to schemes in Barbados and Estonia and offers eligible people from across the world the chance to reside in the twin island nation for up to two years.
Applications can be made via a dedicated government website: https://antiguanomadresidence.com/.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the aim is to attract people who can work remotely and still service the requirements of their employers, or clients if they are self-employed.
“In turn, these persons will rent accommodation, lease motor vehicles, shop in supermarkets, eat in restaurants, visit places of entertainment, and help to put money in the pockets of Antigua and Barbudans and aid the economy,” he said.
The nation is in a unique position to offer the scheme, he explained, due to its low number of active Covid-19 cases and fatalities.
“Additionally, the government has invested in modern medical facilities, including a state-of-the art infectious disease clinic and personal protective equipment for a brigade of medical personnel,” he continued.
He stressed that those taking advantage of the initiative “will be required to comply with all our protocols regarding Covid-19 in their own interest, as much as for the welfare of the Antigua and Barbuda community”.
Browne added, “This is an opportunity for the country to earn some of the money that we have lost from the decline in the tourism sector that has affected everyone. Therefore, it is in our collective interest to support and promote our ‘Nomad Digital Residence’ programme, and I urge everyone – persons and companies – to publicise the dedicated website on their web pages and social media pages. This is in everybody’s interest.”
How does the programme work?
- The long-stay visa is valid for two years from the date of entry. The non-refundable fee is US$1,500 for a single applicant, US2,000 for a couple and US$3,000 for a family of three or more
- Applicants must earn a minimum of US$50,000 a year and have the means to support themselves, spouse and dependents while in the country
- Children of the visa-holder can only attend private schools or UWI’s Five Islands’ Campus where regular fees will apply
- The visa-holder and dependents must have medical insurance, a clean police record and show evidence of employment or self-employment
- Visa-holders can only work remotely for companies and individuals outside of Antigua and Barbuda