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What It Means to Be a Resident of Antigua and How to Go There

Have you ever wondered what it means to live in a popular vacation destination like the Caribbean? Doesn’t it seem quite magical to stay for as long as you like in places that most people could only temporarily enjoy?

Antigua and Barbuda, a twin-island nation located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is a country that has become quite popular among tourists as well as people seeking a second citizenship. In fact, it is one of five countries with top citizenship by investment programs in the region.

As such, it is not surprising that many investors, especially those seeking more financial freedom and mobility, consider the country a prime choice for their second home.

To help you understand why this is the case, this article discusses what it means to become a resident of Antigua and Barbuda and the different ways you can go there.



What Makes Antigua and Barbuda Special

Antigua and Barbuda is only one of many countries in the Caribbean that offer truly spectacular sights to behold. But unlike others, it has all the elements of the proverbial island escape: fine white sand beaches, crystal-clear sapphire waters, verdant tropical foliage, and untainted coves surrounded by coral reefs.

Of course, there’s more to it than that. What makes Antigua and Barbuda so special is a combination of natural and cultural wonders that you won’t find elsewhere.

To understand the beauty of the country, read all about the four things that make it quite unique below:


1.     Rich culture and history

Situated in the Eastern Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda are the largest English-speaking Leeward Islands. There is a vibrant cultural heritage that resulted from a combination of African and Colonial influences.

It is deemed as the classic example of Creole culture born from a mix of West African, Amerindian, and European cultural traditions that are primarily British. Traces of these parent cultures remain present in Antiguan heritage – like in the people’s love for reggae music originating from Jamaica, home to Amerindian people.


2.     Natural wonders

Antigua and Barbuda are two islands filled with natural wonders that attract tourists. From the Devil’s Bridge natural rock arch and ancient forests to the 365 beaches of the main island of Antigua, there are so many sights to behold in this Caribbean country.

With that said, you are also in for a lot of activities, ranging from safari tours to kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.


3.     Great weather

Like other places in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda also boasts great weather that will make you feel like you’re on a summer break all year round. This is primarily because of the low humidity that makes it an ideal place to have your vacation especially November through to May.

Because of its temperate climate, Antigua and Barbuda only get an average of 39 inches of rainfall in a year, most of which happen from September through November. The coolest time of the year is between December and February, which is considered the most perfect time of year by many international vacationers.

4.     Nightlife and celebrations

What could be better than a temperate climate? Colorful celebrations paired with an active night scene, to mention a few.

Antigua and Barbuda is known for the laid-back lifestyle many countries in the Caribbean possess. However, the country is particularly famous for having lively nightclubs and bars, and an overall active nightlife.

And while it can lure tourists with awesome beachside venues and wonderful music, the country’s biggest party happens once a year: the Antiguan Carnival. This 10-day affair commemorates the abolition of slavery in the country, which is scheduled at the end of July through to the first Tuesday of August. It is also quite famous for featuring colorful costumes, cultural shows, concerts, street parades, and food fairs that highlight the country’s rich culture.


How to Go There: 4 Ways

As a top destination for people seeking the sun-soaked, laid-back life, Antigua and Barbuda is quite attractive for people who are looking for ways to visit and potentially maintain residency there.

Fortunately, the government provides several ways for you to enjoy long-term beach vacations, as listed below:


1.     Tourist entry visa

An entry visa allows you to stay for as long as six months in Antigua and Barbuda for leisure or business.

To acquire this visa, you must have proof of purchase of a return ticket scheduled within that time period to assure authorities of your plans of exiting the country. Other requirements include proof of accommodation, evidence of your capacity to sustain yourself financially during the period of your stay, and a valid passport.

Of course, there are some territories with legal ties to Antigua and Barbuda that allow their citizens visa-free access to the nation. These include:

●       Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and other members of the European Union

●       Commonwealth countries such as Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Uganda

●       Argentina, China, Columbia, South Korea, the United States, and other non-European and non-Commonwealth nations


2.     Multiple entry visa

If your reason for visiting Antigua is to fulfill a job and other situations that may require you to return to the country frequently, you can choose to apply for a multiple entry visa instead.

Although it has the same requirements as tourist visas, a multiple entry visa is valid for 12 months. It can only be granted according to the discretion of the issuing officer you’re working with, so you must present a valid reason for choosing to apply for this type of visa.


3.     Citizenship by investment

The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program offers high-net-worth individuals a chance to become a permanent resident in the country.

The program was fine-tuned by the Antiguan government through several legislations between 2013 through 2016 to ensure that economic residents also enjoy all the perks the native residents relish. This includes tax benefits, visa-free travel, and a chance to enjoy the highly sought-after beaches of the main islands of Antigua and Barbuda.


4.     Residency Permit

Aside from investing in the country, you can also become a permanent resident of Antigua and Barbuda if you’ve lived in the country for at least four years.

This residency status will remove the need for the annual levy payment and is valid for three years once the applicant provides the government the following:

●       Application documents and fees

●       Proof that you haven’t engaged in criminal activity in the past six months (e.g., police certificate)

●       Health certificate

●       A Statutory Boards letter proving you have paid the necessary taxes during the period of residency

●       A photocopy of the bio page of your passport

●       Copies of your birth and marriage certificates, if applicable

Plus, the Chief Immigration Officer can also ask for more documentation supporting your claims to make a sound decision about your residency application.


Why Antigua and Barbuda?

Out of all the countries in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda is one of the top providers of citizenship by investment. It also has quite an attractive culture that exudes diversity – a major deciding factor for expatriates. Make a wise decision when considering Antiguan citizenship with the help of this article.



Kal Kennard is the Managing Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean, North America and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.

Author: Kal Kennard   

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