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Front Page In Focus

Elevating Citizenship by Investment


In recent years, Antigua & Barbuda has witnessed a fascinating transformation in the motivations of those seeking citizenship through its innovative Citizenship by Investment Programme. This exclusive interview delves into the shifting landscape, exploring whether investors are now prioritizing lifestyle enhancement and corporate expansion over the traditional allure of enhanced mobility. We speak with Chairman of the Citizenship by Investment Unit Board: Ambassador Jeffery Hadeed, to unravel the nation’s strategic approach, its diverse investor markets, and the unique cultural immersion it offers to new citizens. Discover how this small island nation is setting itself apart in the competitive field of citizenship by investment.

CEO Insight: In terms of the rationales for those seeking citizenship by investment, is Antigua & Barbuda now seeing a greater proportion of investors focused on expanding their corporate footprint or on enhancing their lifestyle options, as opposed to solely being motivated by enhanced mobility?

Jeffery Hadeed: In recent years, we have observed a fascinating shift in the motivations of individuals seeking citizenship through the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme. The ability to travel freely, either for business or leisure, without cumbersome visa requirements, continues to be a compelling factor for investors seeking citizenship.  While enhanced mobility remains a significant motivating factor, we are witnessing a growing trend where investors are diversifying their reasons for pursuing citizenship.  Among these are a desire for corporate expansion, global market access, lifestyle enhancement and security.

In respect of corporate expansion, an increasing number of investors are now looking at Antigua and Barbuda not just as a picturesque location, but as a strategic hub for business expansion. The stable economic environment, business-friendly policies, and the potential for growth in sectors such as tourism and real estate, make Antigua and Barbuda an attractive destination for those aiming to expand their corporate footprint.  Additionally, Antigua and Barbuda’s strategic location and membership in international organizations open doors to global markets. Investors are recognizing the opportunities to establish or expand businesses, tapping into the Caribbean market while simultaneously benefiting from international trade relations facilitated by the dual citizenship.

“In respect of corporate expansion, an increasing number of investors are now looking at Antigua and Barbuda not just as a picturesque location, but as a strategic hub for business expansion”

Quality of life imperatives are easily answered with the country’s natural beauty, pleasant climate, cosmopolitan orientation, and vibrant culture.  Further with the current global landscape, marked by increasing geopolitical uncertainties, alternative citizenships are a means of security and a hedge against unforeseen circumstances.  Antigua and Barbuda’s CIP offers a stable and secure option for those looking to augment their varied desires for options. 

CEO Insight: Regarding investor source markets, to what extent are these becoming more diversified? Which new markets has Antigua & Barbuda identified as possessing a rich seam of potential and how are you courting both these and existing key markets? Are you, for example utilising any innovative new channels to speak to these prospects?

Jeffery Hadeed: The investor source markets for the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme have shown a noteworthy trend towards diversification. Recognizing the importance of expanding our reach, we have identified new markets with substantial potential while concurrently strengthening relationships with existing key markets. This strategic approach involves a blend of conventional strategies and innovative channels to effectively communicate the advantages of our programme.

In terms of diversification, emerging economies are now on our radar, particularly in regions such as Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa where economic growth and socio-economic conditions have spurred interest in investment migration. Market research and analysis play a pivotal role in identifying regions with a rising demand for citizenship by investment. This data-driven approach enables us to tailor our outreach efforts to the specific needs and preferences of potential investors in these markets.

While these emerging markets present exciting opportunities, we continue to focus on established financial hubs. However, within these markets, there is a concerted effort to reach out to segments that may not have been extensively targeted before. This involves strategic partnerships with reputable financial institutions, law firms, and global advisory services entities, enhancing the credibility of the programme and providing access to a broader network of potential investors.

“The ability to travel freely, either for business or leisure, without cumbersome visa requirements, continues to be a compelling factor for investors seeking citizenship”

Our outreach efforts include participation in global investment migration conferences and forums which provide a platform by which to engage with potential investors, immigration agents, and industry experts. In the digital realm, we recognize the growing influence of online platforms.  The Unit publishes a digital newsletter and shares current content on its Instagram page.

Overall, our approach is dynamic, reflecting a commitment to adapt to the evolving landscape of investment migration. By combining traditional methods with innovative approaches, we aim to reach a diverse range of investors and solidify Antigua and Barbuda’s position as a premier destination for citizenship by investment.

CEO Insight: Antigua & Barbuda appears to be resolute in its ambition to encourage greater immersion in its culture from investors than perhaps is the case in other jurisdictions with a citizenship by investment programme. How does one go about this and how can the extent to which this goal is being delivered on be measured?

Jeffery Hadeed: Our country is indeed committed to establishing strong connections with our new citizens.  As a part of this mission, successful applicants are required to visit the country for a minimum of five days at any time within the first 5 years of having been granted citizenship.  In partnership with our Licensed Agents, the intent is to have them experience the unique cultural experiences that encapsulate what it means to be Antiguan and Barbudan.  At the same time, when we travel to meet our citizens in the diaspora, we take elements of our cultural expression – food, music, dance and theatre.  The country also continues to engage with our citizens to support local initiatives and projects through volunteerism when they visit or through other forms of contribution.

CEO Insight: What responsibilities come with citizenship of Antigua & Barbuda?

Jeffery Hadeed: All successful citizenship applicants are required to swear or affirm the Oath of Allegiance either in Antigua and Barbuda, at an overseas mission or virtually.    They are also required to visit the country for a minimum of 5 days within the first 5 years of citizenship. It is also the nation’s expectation that individuals holding this status will comply with the laws and regulations of the countries in which they reside and more broadly, adhere to local, national, and international laws. Upholding these responsibilities is integral to being a law-abiding member of the Antigua and Barbuda community.

CEO Insight: Antigua & Barbuda’s citizenship by investment programme has enabled and continues to facilitate new project partnerships – especially in the hospitality sector. Which of these are you most excited about and why?

Jeffery Hadeed: We take great pride in each collaboration which has been successfully implemented.  Together with intrepid developers, we have been able to significantly improve and increase the accommodation room stock in Antigua and Barbuda.  This is particularly important in a tourism reliant economy such as ours. We are excited about the most recent additions to our approved developments to include Moon Gate Development, a 49 suite, all-inclusive hotel on the east coast; Falmouth Beach Houses, a development of 12 luxury villas on the island’s popular southern coast; The Gardens, located in Jolly Harbour as well the redevelopment of Sugar Ridge, both on the country’s west coast.  At the same time, the new villas being constructed by the teams at On Deck Living at Savannah and World of Indulgence at Nonsuch are welcomed additions to the programme’s investment portfolio.

CEO Insight: In a nutshell, how would you describe to interested parties that which distinguishes and elevates Antigua & Barbuda’s citizenship by investment programme?

Jeffery Hadeed: Antigua & Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme stands out because of its multi-option features – a total of four investment pathways for the potential applicant which respond to varied investment interests.  While the donation option is well known, individuals who wish to optimize their returns may choose the real estate or investment in business pathways.  Those who endeavour to impact the nation’s educational sector and pay forward to the future may choose the UWI Five Islands option which supports the country’s primary tertiary institution.  Antigua and Barbuda, as an investment jurisdiction, towers above its peers with its investor protection framework, availability of skilled and literate employees, airline connectivity and the most unexpected metropolitan flair on a small island developing nation. The programme’s reputation is also a distinguishing feature and this is due in large part to our unwavering commitment to due diligence and programme integrity. This dedication to transparency and responsible practices not only distinguishes us in the market but also elevates Antigua & Barbuda as a beacon of trust and reliability in the realm of citizenship by investment.